GAME NAME: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
DEVELOPER(S): Square Enix
PUBLISHER(S): Square Enix
GENRE(S): Action RPG
RELEASE DATE(S): 20 July 2012
The concept of a Disney/Final Fantasy collaboration probably has you very skeptical and confused. This might have been the case ten years ago when the original Kingdom Hearts made its debut on the PlayStation 2. The series has now made its first appearance on Nintendo’s 3DS with Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, which is an appropriate celebration of its ten year landmark.
Sora and Riku make a return in Dream Drop Distance and are tasked with passing the ‘Mark of Mastery’ exam. This exam takes them on an adventure through seven different worlds which all build up to the new Kingdom Hearts sequel while filling in many of the previous title’s story arc gaps. The storyline and implementation of 3D visuals are nothing short of amazing and as a Kingdom Hearts fan you’ll find yourself picking your jaw up off the floor on numerous occasions. The downside to this informative story is that if you have not yet played any of the other games in the series you will be extremely lost, you’d be best served getting hold of a copy of the previous titles and familiarising yourself to really appreciate the innovative story line.
‘Flowmotion Combat’ is a new addition in Dream Drop Distance which allows you to shoot across environments and perform various special attacks. Flowmotion reinvigorates the unique RPG battle system. In fact you’ll wonder how this addition wasn’t included ages ago. Another, less influential, addition is the ‘ Drop system’ which lets you to switch between the two character’s parallel story lines. You are forced to do this after a certain amount of time, which rightfully prevents you from focusing on one particular story.
Dream Drop Distance utilises the 3DS camera and AR functionality which lets you to interact with Dream Eaters. Dream Eaters are basically Pokémon which need to be maintained in a similar fashion to that found in Nintendogs titles. A novel yet forgettable concept.
The games visuals, level and character design are outstanding and integrate the various franchises perfectly making the Kingdom Hearts concept feel more believable than ever. Questing through The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Three Musketeers, Tron: Legacy and Fantasia‘s environments has never felt more rewarding and nostalgic. Yoko Shimomura has taken care of the game’s music which adds detail to the atmosphere and environment and the voice acting is comprised of most of the original cast members from the previous titles.
Be prepared to invest a lot of time into this handheld title. It easily takes over 25 hours for a single playthrough, which excludes a large portion of the game, giving this some true home console value. Overall Dream Drop Distance is a great new entry in the series and paves the way for some glorious future titles. Keep in mind that using the Circle Pad Pro will add to the fluidity of the game and that the game is heavily based on the previous game’s story arcs. So if you haven’t played any of the previous titles it is advised that you first complete those before taking on Dream Drop Distance. It’s the right thing to do.