September 26th, 2007, 19:47 Posted By: Shrygue
Following up on our report on Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep for the PSP, we've got the latest on the new DS entry in the series, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
Square Enix has drafted Japanese development studio H.A.N.D. for the new game, but the regulars are, of course, overseeing the project. Tetsuya Nomura is the director, with Tomohiro Hasegawa, who served as art director and was responsible for texture work in Kingdom Hearts II, serving as co-director. On the HAND side, the head of production is Kouji Yamamoto. He previously worked on Chocobo and the Magic Picture Book.
The three shared new details on the game in an interview with Famitsu.
The storyline this time around focuses on Roxas and his days with Organization XIII. The game will tell the story of why why Roxas attempted to enter the Organization XIII, and eventually why he attempted to leave. The game starts off when Roxas enters Organization XIII, but we could end up seeing his birth in the game's prologue.
Looking at the Kingdom Hearts story timeline, the game takes place before Kingdom Hearts II, during the one year period where Sora is asleep. Sora's memory is being reconstructed during that time. The development staff is currently thinking up some methods for incorporating the ability to see Sora's memories into the game; this is just in the idea phase, but it could involve something that focuses on the connection between Sora and Roxas.
The game's single player mode will focus on the Disney worlds. The developers are selecting the worlds from past titles that fit in well with the new title. According to Hasegawa, the game may end up featuring different types of play for each world.
As for gameplay specifics, the three developers aren't talking. Hasegawa hinted that the game will have the action-oriented gameplay of past titles, although he admitted that there's a problem with button count. The lack of buttons on the DS is an area that HAND is currently addressing.
Outside of the single player story mode, the game will include a multiplayer mode. This mode has nothing to do with the storyline, according to Nomura, but it will likely have some connection as far as items and character growth are concerned.
Four players can play together in multiplayer mode. The game will let players select from all members of Organization XIII, with at least thirteen characters on offer. The characters have different skills and different weapons.
Multiplayer mode will be mission-based, with bosses to fight and puzzles and traps to clear. The focus will be on short gameplay experiences with high replay value. We can look forward to both competitive and cooperative modes, with Yamamoto even hinting that a score attack mode could be in the works.
About that name. According to Nomura, it's actually a code name whose meaning players will only understand once they've cleared the game. He provides somewhat of a hint, though. The term 'days' in the title refers to the fact that the game progresses on a daily basis, telling the daily life of Organization XIII.
Like the other two Kingdom Hearts games announced at the Tokyo Game Show, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is currently without a final release date.
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