Alright, let me explain, because I bet you’re pretty confused right now.
Square Enix released a lot of Kingdom Hearts games over the years. But not all of them were well received. Nor did all of them get the HD treatment that most of the games did. However, Square couldn’t just throw them away altogether, as they were all crucial to the overarching story of the franchise.
So, what do they do? Simple! They remaster all the cutscenes and put it into the HD collection as a movie!
Is this cheating on my part? Yes. But I want to review Kingdom Hearts 2 sometime soon and that game makes almost no sense unless you know what happens in this one. And I’ll be fucked if I’m going to buy and playthrough that shitty DS game. Cyberpunk is coming out soon, I ain’t got time for that shit!
Story: Are you sure you should be eating that much ice cream? Like, you guys are eating it every day, are you okay?
Hooooooly SHIT this story is boring! Why’d it have to be so important to KH2?!?!
Taking place parallel to the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days (and the award for the worst title of all time goes to…) focuses on Roxas’ days in Organization 13. Initially withdrawn and silent, Roxas, wielder of the Keyblade, is set to work on murdering Heartless and furthering the Organizations plans. During this time, he makes friends with Axel, as well as a mysterious girl names Xion, who can also use the Keyblade. What is the truth behind Xion and the Organization, and how will the revelation of that change the relationship of these three friends?
The best things about this story are all novelties. The only time I had any sense of life when I was watching it was when the characters went off to Castle Oblivion to explain why they’d be off-screen for a while. At least then I could go “Oh hey, they’re gonna go do the thing they did in Chain of Memories! That’s kinda neat! I wish I was playing that!” Then I’d go right back to being a zombie and desperately wishing it were over.
Yeah, this story does absolutely nothing for me. It’s so slow that it feels more like torture than it does a narrative. Worse yet, this one has the second most confusing story in the entire series, only being beat out by Dream Drop Distance (I dread the day we get to that one). It is filled with so many plot twists that make absolutely no sense that it actually gave me a headache.
Not that it’s complete garbage. The characters are all pretty flat, but their relationship is kinda cute and does a good job at pushing this tedious story along (even if their scenes are all just ‘sit on a tower, eat icecream, and exposit shitty dialogue). Plus, watching it after playing KH2 fills in a lot of gaps in that game’s story, which is is appreciated.
Unfortunately, that’s the only real positivity I can give this movie. It’s a supplementary addition to a better story. If you watch this movie on its own, completely detached from KH2, it is downright miserable to watch.
Presentation: Ah, High-Res PS2 Models
Or are they DS models? Eh, who cares. They could be originally made for this movie and I wouldn’t be impressed.
This movie looks like what all the Kingdom Hearts games before KH3 did. It’s an odd blend of a cartoon and anime style, with decent character models and animation. On terms of an actual production, it’s on-par with the other games.
Unfortunately, the actual cinematic side of it is pretty flat and boring. There is virtually no life or creativity behind the cinematography. Nor does the animation ever become truly impressive or memorable. It’s basically like watching a long-ass Kingdom Hearts cutscene.
But to be fair: it does have that trademark KH music. This series has always had an absolutely phenomenal soundtrack, and this game turned movie is no exception. If nothing else, it gives you something pleasant to listen to.
If you can tune out that hilariously corny voice acting. Not saying that’s bad. Just saying that it is.
Believe it or not, but Square actually did us all a favor by making the game into a mediocre movie. Because as it was before, you needed to play through an extremely tedious RPG to get to this mediocre story. So, at the very least, this version doesn’t waste too much of your time.
Still a total waste of my life, though.
If you are a die-hard Kingdom Hearts fan, if you’re just that invested in the KH storyline, then you do technically need to watch this movie. But I can’t recommend it! Seriously, unless you are head-over-heels for this series, you shouldn’t bother with this one. Just accept the fact that you’ll be confused and ignore the movies.
Yes. I said movies. As in plural. Because god damn it all, there are two more of these things. And guess what? One of them is actually worse!