The time has come to hear the story of one of Kingdom Hearts’ most important characters: Roxas. Yes, the story of Sora’s mysterious nobody is finally told in the Nintendo DS installment, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. Taking place after Sora gives up his heart in Hollow Bastion, 358/2 Days picks up in front of the abandoned mansion in Twilight Town. A young boy awakens in front of the gates, and is greeted by mysterious man in a black coat. The man then makes the name “Sora” appear in front of the boy’s face, rearranges the letters and adds the letter X, creating a name for the boy: Roxas. Upon this event, Roxas joins Organization XIII as the 13th member. His weapon of choice, the enigmatic keyblade, a weapon of unfathomable power thought only wieldable by Sora.
Unlike the other games in the Kingdom Hearts series, 358/2 Days will focus on the time Roxas spent as a member of Organization XIII. Players will experience the same feel they did when playing Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, since game play (in terms of main controls) is relatively the same as the Gameboy Advance installment. However, the card system has been removed, and instead will be a regular battle system, much like what was used in Kingdom Hearts. With this removal of the card system, the L and R buttons will now move the camera around and lock onto to enemies. X and Y (for the DS) buttons have been added. X will scroll through the command menu. Y performs the ability “Reflect Guard.” It will perform dodge roll and glide when used while on the ground or in the air. Furthermore, the very way the game is viewed resembles the 3D graphics of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, complete with full 3D cutscenes. It will definitely push the limits of the DS, nearly rivaling the graphics that will be seen in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for Sony PSP.
Players will be sent into the daily lives of the Organization’s members, taking part in various missions. Each time a mission is completed, it is unlocked in the game’s 4-player co-op mode. Here, up to four people can control Roxas, Saix, Xigbar, or Axel and go on the missions they have unlocked. At the end, each player will be seen in the white chairs the Organization sits in. Based on how well they do on a mission, the chair will rise. The opposite can be said if the player does poorly on one. Daily life as a member of Organization XIII will be the main part of the story, until Roxas’ fated duel with Riku, thus beginning Kingdom Hearts II.
But the story does not end there. Joining the cast is yet another member of Organization XIII. She is the most mysterious member seen thus far, seeing as how she is clearly not in the subsequent games. Yes, Organization XIII’s 14th member, Xion, will finally been introduced in this installment. Sometime after Roxas’ birth, Xion will join the Organization. It is said that she has some sort of connection to Kairi, yet she resembles Birth by Sleep’s Aqua. Like Roxas and Sora, Xion is able to wield the keyblade, and spends her free time with Axel and Roxas. But, just who is she? What is the fate that will befall her in this story? All the answers, and more, will be answered in 2009 when Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days reaches Nintendo DS. The story is not over yet.
Axel, Roxas, and Xion enjoy their free time in Twilight Town