Sheesh, took me a while to think of making an entry on this. It's worth writing about though!
So I picked up 358/2 Days on the 29th, a few days after my 19th birthday (woohoo!) and though I did not play it non-stop, I did when ever I had some spare time and completed it the other day. Here is my little assessment on it (Warning, if anyone's looking at this who DOESN'T want spoilers, turn around and walk out~)
Axel is as you would expect - friendly and sociable (at least to people he likes, aka Roxas), cocky, a bit of a smart alec, likes to say 'Got it memorized' a hell of a lot. Keeps a lot of secrets from just about everyone, even his best friends and the one I presume he's sworn to serve (Saix). He seems to put up a pretense when he doesn't want to worry Roxas or Xion, or when he feels it would be best. Extremely loyal and protective, but he'll do what needs to be done, as long as it doesn't interfere with his own motives or strong beliefs. He is one of the Nobodies, through contact with Roxas and Xion, who had begun to see through Xemnas' illusion and realize that even if he doesn't have a heart, he can still feel. Though he is reluctant to realize it fully, even up until the very end. ): Also, pssstt... Axel's most secret and passionate ambition is to become a ninja. It's true. His real name is Lea.
Demyx is cool, a bit ditzy, kinda lazy (makes me do his missions for him sometimes), loves his sitar (obviously), and tends to talk badly about people when they're not around. (Especially Larxene, since it's implied she bosses him around alot.) Or just likes gossip in general, I guess. Since he hates fighting and hard work, he won't even bat an eye when it comes to ditching his partner or totally slacking off on missions. The only person he seems to really get along with is Xigbar. He reminds me of a upper classman in high school, especially because of his second joke (the one that emulates a user's personality) weapon, a mop labeled "After School". ( I can totally see him pretending to jam out on it in the classroom when no one is looking )
Larxene is an even bigger c**t then I had expected before. Like holy s**t. She is very me, me, me oriented, as you would expect. Hates putting up with what she thinks is "stupid" and are "wastes of her time", especially when put on Roxas-babysitting duty. Her joke weapon made me laugh - a lightbulb. If you can't figure out what this implies, give me a moment to thrust your face into the gutter. I think despite her tough attitude, she also has a very girly side.
Gimpy is a diiiiiiick. I tried in vain to bash him in the head with the keyblade a few times when he wouldn't stop calling me (Roxas) stupid/idiot, etc. Also he enjoys giggling to himself in the corner about his experiments. He is solely responsible for the 'Replica' project involving the Riku Replica and Xion. His throne is also the lowest out of every other Nobody's, implying that he spends more time doing research then missions to gain any standing. Since he was eliminated quickly at Castle Oblivion, the Replica project had no further guidance, which may account for many of the problems which thereafter spiraled out of control. HE IS AN ICE MAN. (god I really do hate him)
Zexion is uptight and a*****e-ish too. Likes to be snarky and kinda judgmental. But as he gains respect for you he becomes a bit more friendly. His joke/personality-based weapon almost made me bust a gut - Dear Diary. Thank you, translators, for taking the wonderful opportunity to side with the fandom that pokes fun at his emo-tastic attributes.
Marluxia is sorta OOC IMO. He's a hell of a lot nicer then I imagined he'd be. Then again, the gentle niceness facade that hides his underlying malicious, ambitious, and poisonous personality is correct, so I think he's probably plotting stuff inside his head the whole while he's being amiable. He loves to use 'Hmph' a lot, which is pretty suitable of him. Sadly (for me) we don't see much of him, since he's one of the unfortunate lot that perished in Castle Oblivion, though quite deservingly. I think his voice actor ******** up when trying to replicate "I shall scatter your heart to the winds!" ... just doesn't sound like him.
Xigbar reminds me of a cross between the class clown and the badass, which is what I always imagined him to be anyways. He likes coming up with nicknames for people. Kind of a jerk sometimes, funny though, and sharp as a tack. Says 'As if' enough to warrant a catchphrase. I honestly don't know who's side this guy is on, and there are a lot of unexplained mysteries about him. He appears to have connections to the main characters of Birth By Sleep (Ventus, Terra, and Aqua) since not only did he mention them in KH2 (this blew my mind when I replayed it) but he sees Xion take the form of Ven. He doesn't seem to particularly give a s**t no matter which way the wind blows - in favour of the Organization, or not. He is both with and against Xemnas, as though his own motives are completely different for joining the Organization, though Xemnas has a certain trust in him anyways... I think this might be elaborated in Birth By Sleep (I need a PSP)
Saix is all business. Seriously. He doesn't say anything except what's necessary while he assigns you missions, so forget the idle chatter with this guy. He seemingly has a main plan for taking over the Organization, which he had recruited Axel on. According to these recent developments, those two had actually been acquaintances/friends/best friends (this is up to you, the game doesn't specify how close they were, though the Secret Reports imply that they had been at least close enough to talk about personal thoughts in the past) when they had still been humans. Saix, more then anyone else in the Organization, pines for a heart. It is to this end that he seeks to obtain control over the Organization's doings, since I believe he figured out early on that Xemnas was pulling the wool over everyone's eyes for his own manipulative gains. Yet sadly, Saix lives the remainder of his life as nothing else but a lapdog while his dream melts away in Xemnas' controlling fist... and his and Axel's friendship gradually completely fades away, as is present when the blue-haired lunatic is in fact almost solely responsible for his death in KH2. It's kinda depressing when you think about it. Over here, I'm convinced Saix has a great, secret love for cute things, because his personality weapon is ******** adorable. XD
Xaldin is just... Xaldin. Doesn't show up very often, when he does actually gives encouragement and pushes Roxas to work hard. Implies that Demyx's constant sitar playing annoys him... XD Is quick to take advantage of weaknesses in others, and his continued servitude to the Organization seems to me as nothing more then a respect for Xemnas, as he has made it clear he does not particularly care for feelings. If only for a true existence, perhaps, he works. Very, very subtle malice he has.
Luxord enjoys his card games, laments when he loses half his poker team to the events of Oblivion, and refers to everything in gambling metaphors. He has more of a philosophical outlook on life then the others, and I think though he'd want a heart, to him joining the Organization was a chancy game that he might derive amusement and a sense of purpose from. He isn't really a poor sport, as seen from he doesn't get angry from though remarks on how the lower rung of the Organization is left out on all the important matters. To this guy, life is about having fun, I'd think, even if only to cover up for the loss of his former life.
Lexaeus won't even talk to you outside of missions. I wish I had more to impart on him then that, but I'm serious. Mysterious guy, him.
Roxas is kinda angsty and naive, but really cute in a helpless way. Looks up to Axel in like a big brother sort of deal, and Axel responds in kind. (Not AkuRoku at all, thank god. Take that fangirls.) He really grows and matures as the game progress, as his consciousness is honed he begins to question the motives of the Organization, and why he listens unquestionably to their demands. He values his friendship with Axel and Xion more then anything, and he is particularly protective of Xion, due to her sort of outcast status in the Organization. Sadly, when when discovers that Axel is hiding more then he's willing to tell, he fights with him viciously. Axel just takes it without complaint - I guess due in part to his guiltiness for lying to his best friend, and because he is depriving his best friend from knowledge of himself for his own good. The trio would eat ice cream while watching the sunset everyday, and a common motif in the series is how Roxas would never want to forget his days with his friends. (GUESS WHAT HAPPENS LOL) He doubts, more then anyone except Xion, that Nobodies really cannot feel. Interestingly, Luxord comments on this by saying he is jealous of children, who seem to have the ability to cast burden and doubt aside and live freely. When it becomes clear that the trio's days together must end, Roxas panics and strives to keep everything together to no end. "I want to eat ice cream with everyone again..." Roxas repeats to himself in vain. He leaves after Xion's death to fulfill her wish and discover the truth about himself, leaving Axel nothing but a 'Winner' stick, which Axel says is just like him. Xion's absorption grants him the ability to dual-wield Oathkeeper and Oblivion. It is after that he fights Riku and loses to the inevitable end of having his memory wiped while he sent to digital Twilight Town... and so all his memories, the ones he cherished, were cast away to the farthest corner of his mind... and only Axel is left to remember their days together.
Which brings me, finally, to Xion. She is a kind girl, if slightly befuddled most of the time. She follows Roxas unquestionably, who looks after her and introduces her to eating ice cream on the Clock Tower with him and Axel. The three quickly become best friends after Roxas has a talk with Axel about having any. In the beginning, she is chipper and greets her friends with a smile, but that begins to decay as she realizes her origin - she is not a Nobody, in fact, she is less then that, being nothing more then a replica of Sora. Even then, she tries her best to remain strong even while she falls apart inside, until eventually it is too late to pretend anymore and she attempts to flee the Organization to seek out her true destiny. Axel brings her back on both accounts, even though he knew what she was and what was to become of her, because he refuses to let her fade away, even if she becomes imprisoned in Xemnas' service. Xion knows what would befall of Roxas if she became stronger - the Organization would only need one of them - so she sacrifices herself to join up to Roxas so that he may live on a little longer until he realizes that he must return to Sora. Though she would miss her best friends, she states in her Secret Report that no matter what, even though the others will forget her, her memory of them being together would live on in that segment that belongs only to herself. The final battle is against a warped, Sora-esque version of her that Xemnas had altered to battle Roxas for superiority, but when Roxas wins she retains herself and warns him of what Xemnas intends to do with Kingdom Hearts, and to set the hearts they'd collected together free. She fades away in Roxas' arms, even as he began to forget she ever existed.
... ;___; I liked Xion alot. Reading this here might not convince the person who hadn't played yet that she wasn't much of a Mary-Sue, but she honestly had a very developed and likable character. I became attached to her throughout the game, and I cried when the end that I knew ahead of time would happen began to approach. Those three together were love.
When Axel said to them that even if one day they must part, they will still always be together inside each other's memories, as long as they remembered ... I felt such a crushing sadness, since Xion is forgotten completely and Roxas is rewritten to forget everything of his time with the Organization. Only Axel's memories are left of those sunset evenings, and the ice cream they shared together. He ended up so alone, it's heartbreaking ... even Saix had become so distant from him at that point, Axel wanted nothing to do with him anymore. It's no wonder he sacrificed himself for Sora in the end, since both the people he cared about most (even if one was forgotten, I think consciously remembered) came from that same person. I think Axel realized a long time ago that the Organization was never going to get hearts, or at least that he wouldn't be around long enough to see it. He never spoke of the future with confidence.
Such a sad, sad wonderful story. Now I can appreciate the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II so much better, and I think when I get around to replaying it again whichever time from now, I will really break up over Axel's pleas for Roxas to remember him and come home.
All any of them ever wanted was to eat ice cream together again. That ... wish never came true...
Goddamnit Sora, you don't even know how much strife and pain you caused! He'd probably bust a tear dam if he ever did, knowing how sensitive he is. But Roxas and Xion live on him, I suppose... and they must be happy, being whole. Only Axel really got the shitty end of the stick here, but I think he might of died happy, too... in the end, he gave himself a sense of purpose and existence that the rest of the Organization envied as much as they called him foolish. I like to think that when Nobodies die, they wander the darkness looking for their hearts. I hope some of them, the more deserving, will find them someday.
Hmm, I think this is long enough. XD I never got around to reviewing the gameplay, but I'll say this much - it was good. The missions were kinda repetitive, and the boss battles were a bit bland sometimes, but I do love it. It was just like playing a console Kingdom Hearts game. I like the panel system too, really allows for customization. And playing as anyone I like in Mission and Multiplayer mode is love. This game was so worth the money; I'll be cherishing it for a long, long time. And I'm sure I'll cherish the feelings I had playing it for much longer. After all, I still haven't forgotten how excited I was the first day I picked up a controller pad at the tender age of five, why would I forget such beautiful gaming memories as these?
If anyone Kingdom Hearts fan who's (lol, yeah right) read this far who hasn't gotten the game, and didn't care for the spoilers, please, please do pick it up. I can hardly see you regretting it, unless you're just a sour butt who likes to complain about everything (like I've seen some people doing, seriously. Can't you appreciate a good game?)
And that's all! Ete is out! ♥
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