The RaT Project 36
Doctor Who News:
–Waters of Mars to air on BBC1 in UK on Sunday, 15 November @ 7PM
–Doctor Who Podshock SecondLife Meetup Sunday 15 November
–North American DVD Update
—-Dalek War Boxset (March 2, 2010)
——Features Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks
—-Remembrance of the Daleks Special Edition (March 2, 2010)
–Who at the Fab Cafe 2
—-Second such event
—-Cultdom Collective co-host Dave AC attended, along with Tim Drury, and his son, Matt.
—-Report on event on Cultdom Collective (TalkShoe ID 54821) Studio Show
Wheel of Time News:
–“The Gathering Storm” now #1 on New York Times Best Seller List
—-Also #1 on independent bookseller’s list
—-and being bestselling hardcover fiction book at Barnes & Noble and Borders
—-Borders position was overall regardless of genre
–Friday, 13 November: Book Tour event at Clarkston, GA campus of Georgia Perimeter College
—-3:30PM EST, book signing with Sanderson, McDougall
The RaT Project Reviews:
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Review
SquareEnix returns to a Nintendo portable system with another Kingdom Hearts game. The Game Boy Advance saw Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (a game that was ported to the PS2 as Kingdom Hearts: Re Chain of Memories). That game had its share of problems (the main being the awkward card-based system for battles), but it was an okay game, and had a good story (although it only made real sense if you’d played the first KH game on the PlayStation.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days tells a story that runs concurrent to events in Chain of Memories (and even well past that), making this another Kingdom Hearts 1.5 story (meaning it takes place between the first and second Kingdom Hearts games). The story structure is such that you don’t have to have played the main two games to enjoy 358/2 Days. You play as Roxas, a character who starts off with no memories, and learns of the game’s worlds and the story as he goes along. Those who have played the other Kingdom Hearts games already know that Roxas is Sora’s Nobody. Sora is the main character of the main-series Kingdom Hearts games. A Nobody is a creature without a heart, created when something becomes a Heartless. I’ll leave at that, without going too much into backstory. Suffice it to say that not knowing the story to this point does not detract from being able to enjoy this game. Everything is explained as you go along.
The gameplay in this is quite similar to the main-series games. Gone is the awkward card-based battling system from Chain of Memories. This time you have direct control over Roxas and his attacks, which makes for much smoother gameplay. The menus can be a distraction, though, as the menu cancel and jump buttons are mapped to the same button. This makes spell-casting a bit of a nuisance. All the other controls work fine, however.
The game’s structure is set up as a series of missions. The majority of these missions are quick to complete. There is the occasional boss fight that will take a considerable while to defeat, but those are few and far between. For the most part, the missions on this game are ideally suited to the DS: it’s a game on a portable console, and quick missions are ideal for a portable console.
The graphics are excellent for the DS. SquareEnix is known for pushing the DS to the limits where graphics are concerned, and this game is no exception. All the Disney worlds that you explored in the first KH are back, and they look great on the DS. Character movements are fluid and well animated. On top of this, the occasional cut scenes during the game are a treat, as they push the graphics even further.
The music on this game can be a bit repetitive. However, the tracks on this game are excellent, and well-representative of the various Disney worlds that you’ll explore.
My one complaint about this game is how long it takes to actually get into the real meat of the game. A considerable number of missions at the start of the game draw out the tutorial part of the game, which really end up emphasizing the redundancy of the gameplay. If you can get past these, however, the game really comes into its own, and becomes quite enjoyable. After this, character development and story progression will be to the extent that you’ll forgive the game for the tutorial missions.
There is a multiplayer section to the game, where you can play missions from the main game. Besides earning slight rewards in the main single-player mode, there’s not much there in the multiplayer. A good way to have improved this section of the game would have been to include Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support. As it is, the multiplayer is only over local wireless.
After playing this game, I found that I had a strong craving for ice cream, however. After the majority of missions, you see a cut scene where Roxas and friends gather in Twilight Town for ice cream. This is an example of nice little character touches that really bring this game to life.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories gets a 4 out of 5.