Reviews: Kingdom Hearts 3 D Dream Drop Distance
Pink Streak!..Speeds by!...Sora the Hedgehog! Sora! He can Really Move!
Swoosh! Zoooom! Biiiiuuummm! Yes I do like the "flowmotion" thing they added and hope it stays for Kingdom Hearts III, aside from being fast way to get around, it opens up a new option of attacks. You play as Sora and Riku, no Donald Duck or Goofy. Instead you get Pokémon for partners, called dream eaters in the game. I personally found them clownish and unsightly as all of them are garishly colored, not preferable to Final Fantasy or Disney character party members. Someone else might like the collect 'em all monster feature because they are useful and some are very cool looking...cool like a tie dye pinata though. There are no final fantasy characters in this game, but that must be a style choice because instead you meet people from The World Ends with You DS game. A game I did not play, so their cameos are not of interest to me. You also don't partner with any of them or fight against them as bosses so...meh. This game hasn't improved on the whole 'world's being really empty' thing, that's been a series mainstay. And I really, really didn't care about visiting the Tron sequel world. There aren't really any bonus bosses, just one really. But the bosses of the main game are awesome enough to make up for it, at least the Org XIII ones. Sora and Riku are reverted to kid ages (different costumes though) from the first game without explanation and you might not like it. It changes nothing in gameplay, but if you prefer teen Sora & Riku, too bad. I didn't like the Keyblades either, all pretty ugly in my opinion and not as cool as Riku's starter key. The timer and forced character switching got annoying. All the Xehanorts are here, if you love that. So you got Leonard Nimoy, Richard Epcar and Paul St Peter hamming it up in your face. It would only be greater if they brought Billy Zane back. One of the harshest critiques one can make of it is that it's really just a holdover for Kingdom Hearts III. What is revealed to you about Org XIII here, could probably have gone in that 358/2 game that mostly starred the Org. The best praise, is Kingdom Hearts hasn't lost a step and has "BIG" plans for the last game...Kingdom Hearts III is Coming! D-link and Command styles and shotlock from Birth by Sleep are gone so there's actually a bit less gameplay since last time, sadly.
Good but I wished that they could do more
Dream Drop Distance is the latest game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise and while I enjoyed the game immensely, I wish that they did more with the game. The plot of the game is very confusing and it mostly relies on the player being very familiar with the series in order to understand the plot. The story takes place directly after the events of Kingdom Hearts II where Sora and Riku are going to Yen Sid's tower for their Mark of Mastery exam. Yen Sid tells Sora and Riku that for their test they have to go the 'Sleeping Worlds' or worlds that are trapped in slumber and need to be woken up by the Keyblade. There are seven worlds in all that had yet to be awoken from darkness the boys need go to all of them to finish the test. That is just the start the game but if you want the rest of the plot, I suggest you play the game. The gameplay is standard Kingdom Hearts fare. It is an Action RPG where you can control Sora and Riku as they travel throughout the universe and visit various Disney worlds. What is new to this game in particular are the Dream Eaters or magical spirit beings that serve as the good counterparts to the Nightmares. You have to raise the Dream Eaters in order to unlock new abilities in order to make Sora and Riku stronger. The Dream Eaters themselves serve as you party members throughout the rest the game where they fight along side you and they level up and the way they fight also changes depending on their disposition. Also, unique to this game is the Drop System where you can switch between Sora and Riku at any point during the game. The Drop Gauge monitors how long you get to play as the two characters although you can extend the gauge when you switch them. There is also the Flowmotion system where Sora and Riku can interact with their environment as well as perform various tricks in order to defeat enemies. The game is good for the most part but does have some flaws. For one thing it is really short despite the fact the worlds have gotten bigger. The Drop system sounds a good on paper but the Drop Gauge ensures that you don't get as Riku or Sora for too long. The very fact that you can get interrupted in the middle of a boss fight is annoying and it gets worse that you would have to restart the fight again. The gameplay is also inferior to Birth by Sleep in that you have to rely on the Dream Eaters in order to get new skills.
Worth playing casually
The story is vague and most of the information and tying-together of everything relies on the player already being a fan of the series. If you aren't and still play this expect to either read tons of Info Dump "files" and cutscenes or just be lost. Even watching Let's Play videos of the other series I still struggled until I read other people's analyses. That said, this game does have an interesting battle system and the combat mechanics are good. Unlocking certain movesets can be tedious. This is an offshoot of the JRPG series after all. But once you get them, the payoff is great. Far more intuitive and real-time than the traditional turn-based strategy of older RP Gs. Not a bad game to pick up and it's not so long that you're going to devote 100+ hours. You can take or leave the plot, depending on how invested you are in Kingdom Hearts and Disney.