One of the most hyped feature of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is the fact that players can also take part in a single or multiplayer Mission Mode. Here, you can control any of the members of Organization XIII, along with some other special, hidden characters that are unlocked through the main story mode. I decided to take a break from the main story to see what Mission Mode’s all about.
I quickly realized that the character you choose in Mission Mode is going to be based largely on the way you play Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. Some present a larger challenge than others. Some characters use brute force while others make better magic users. And then, there are some that are just plain hard to use.
Here are my initial impressions of the 13 members of Organization XIII in combat. Keep in mind, these are just my personal opinions, and a character that didn’t work for me might end up becoming your favorite.
- Xemnas: He may be first on the list, but he’s the last character I tried using. His stats are generally above average, compared to the other members as a whole. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have that same pizazz that Xigbar, Xaldin, Lexaeus and even Luxord or Vexen have. He’s a great character who works well in practically every situation, but just not all that special. I thought he was good, but I didn’t think he was great. Especially since his combo only lands three hits.
- Xigbar: He’s a strategic character, difficult to master at times. Once you learn how to properly use him, he’s the most unique and fun members of Org. XIII. His stats are slightly lower than the other members except in terms of agility, but he’s also got the longest range attack. I loved using him, especially since it takes so little time to reload. He can hold 16 bullets and attack in a frantic flurry all at once. He also has a combo attack unleash with Y after firing with A that you can use to help him get out a situation where he’s trapped. He’s definitely one of my favorite characters. Be advised! There are some aiming issues if short enemies are too close to him. The bullets will fly over their heads.
- Xaldin: He’s one of the first, of many, Org. XIII members with average stats. He, along with Lexaeus and Xigbar, was also one of the few characters to really wow me! He’s awesome, alone or in multiplayer. He has two combos, a standard one that involves mashing the A botton and hits the enemy with three devastating hits. The second is a bit tricky to pull off and requires timing, since you press A twice then Y twice to unleash a devastating four hit combo. He’s strong and I have no idea where he hides all those spears. I’d recommend him to experienced players, only because he can be difficult to use.
- Vexen: He’s a good magic user and decent attacker, but not the kind of fighter you’re really use in a single player mission. Okay, you could, and you may do well. But really, I found he worked best in multiplayer missions, backing up other characters. That way, he stays out of the reach of enemies. His two hit combo attack involves him tossing the shield out in front of him at a bit of a distance, attacking an enemy and knocking it back slightly. He is good against flying enemies, because his attacks send the shield flying in an upwards arc, and his magic attacks can sometimes K.O. enemies in one hit.
- Lexaeus: He’s slow and bad with magic, but his HP, attack and defense are the best there is. His jumps also seem a bit smaller than other characters. But none of that matters, because he’s the best attacker in the game. He’s got a great reach, and two different combos. The first is a two hit combo, triggered by pressing A twice in a row, that attacks an enemy in front twice in a row. The second is a three hit combo, press A then Y twice, that hits an enemy, launches it into the air and finally smacks it back down. He’s what I expected Saix to be. I love using him in missions. Beginners and veterans will have to trouble using him. You’ll wipe out enemies and not even realize it.
- Zexion: Though his HP is the lowest out of all the Org. XIII members, he can work in Mission Mode if you know how to use him. Even though his weapon’s a book, his range isn’t all that bad. (Better than Demyx.) He can also perform a neat combo where, after hitting an enemy with A, pressing Y repeatedly starts a chain attack where he launches the opponent into the air, then shoots pages at it. He’s also a strong magic user. He’s also pretty quick.
- Saix: He’s an incredibly strong offensive fighter. Not so great with magic, but that’s okay. Nice amount of HP as well. However, I hated fighting with him. Hated. He’s slow. His combo only does two attacks, and each one puts him before his weapon, so a particularly fast opponent can counter. Plus, the combo just has him deal damage twice to the area directly in front of him. He can be overwhelmed not only by multiple enemies, but single enemies as well. The attacks don’t even send enemies flying that far. I’d only use him in a multiplayer mission if I had to.
- Axel: He’s a well rounded character with average stats. Very easy to use, much like Roxas. He has a decent combo, which ends in a wide circle slash that attacks any enemies surrounding him. He was one of my favorite characters to use, since he works well in pretty much every situation.
- Demyx: As difficult to defeat as he was in Kingdom Hearts II, I expected more of him in mission mode. His stats are pretty average and well rounded, much like Roxas’ and Axel’s. However, his weapon range seemed abnormally short to me. It’s like I had to be right on top of enemies. Personally, I found him annoying to use.
- Luxord: One more character with average stats! He’s a great distance fighter, and works well against large groups of enemies. Sadly, his combo is incredibly short (only two attacks). He uses cards to attack, which shoot out in an arc in front of him in the first part of the combo and sprout up surrounding him in the second part. I’d have him stand in place and just keep attacking, while the various heartless converged on him to meet their doom. He’s another one of my favorites.
- Marluxia: He’s yet another character with average stats. He’s pretty strong, and his scythe has a nice reach to it. His attack combo is fantastic though. He attacks an enemy, then launches it into the air. The enemy is the juggled briefly, then sent flying far away with a final attack. He works great in both single and multiplayer missions, and is great against single or multiple enemies. As you can tell, he’s also one of my favorites.
- Larxene: Her HP’s almost as low as Zexion’s, but she’s FAST. Think limit break fast. Instead of throwing her daggers though, she holds them between her fingers and fights with her fists. Kind of disappointing, but she’s just so quick that it doesn’t matter, she’ll be out of an enemy’s range before it can strike back. I did notice she has some troubles with large groups of enemies, mainly because the last part of her attack combo has her launching ahead without warning, right into a large group. She can work solo, but I’d recommend her for multiplayer missions.
- Roxas: He’s absolutely average in every way. Since you’re playing as him throughout Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, you’ll be completely comfortable using him in Mission Mode. If you’re playing that mode for the first time, or are a KH 358/2 beginner, he’s the character to use.
There are two other things to keep in mind in Mission Mode. First, you earn EXP and items that can be used in the Story Mode. Second, pausing the game doesn’t pause the action. The enemies on screen will still continue to hunt your character down.