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Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance | Available Now
Nintendo 3DS | Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios| Developer: Square Enix
It’s been a while since I picked up this game, actually almost two weeks but there is just so much to it that I didn’t know where to start. Being someone that has only played about five minutes of the original KH game on the PS2- I didn’t know if I was well suited for the job of reviewing the 3DS version, but I decided to throw down the gauntlet and give it a shot. Having played the game on the brand-new Nintendo 3DS XL, I could see that the game was far more suited for a larger console and wished that they could have released a version of the game for the Nintendo Wii too.
Starting up the game, you are immediately treated to an immense 3D presentation of the intro- which frankly, blows you away and presents the 3D graphical capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS XL to it’s maximum. At this point I am wondering how much more improved the graphics can be, but I forget of course that this is a cut scene and in my years of gaming, I always know that those are much better than the graphics in the actual game. As someone who has never really played any of the games in the franchise, I am completely on the edge and wondering what to expect next. I know nothing of Sora or Riku or their backstories. I didn’t even really know why Square Enix had fused a Final Fantasy-type game with Disney characters.
But still I soldiered on, scratching my head at the many confusions about ‘key blades’ or ‘portals’. The main outline of the game is that Sora and Riku are aiming to become ‘keyblade masters’ and to complete this, they have to unlock all the Sleeping Keyholes. Completing each world unlocks a keyhole, and at the end of each world there is a World Boss. There are also monsters called ‘Dream Eaters’. The bad Dream Eaters aim to steal your dreams and must be defeated. The good Dream Eaters are also called ‘sprites’ and are almost like Pokemon to help you along the way as companions. With these Sprites, you level them up as you would any other kind of virtual pet. There’s also an option to pet them like an animal from Nintendogs and to be able to take little 3D pictures of them using the built-in camera on the handheld system. But of course, only if you wanted to.
As I played more of the game, I discovered how fun yet frustrating this game could be. Something kept me playing though, the compelling music and the amazing graphics kept me glued to my portable console- playing hour after hour and day after day of the game. One of my favourite things about the whole game is the combat system, as it was very stereotypical of Square Enix games. The combat system is almost a good 50% of the game. Killing each Dream Eater using the Flow system was pretty cool too, sliding along rails and swinging between lamp posts like a cartoon version of Tarzan. My only downfall of the game though was the Drop system, I found it very irritating to be almost playing two games alongside each other. You have a set time on both Riku and Sora, playing in parallel worlds but different stories and different characters to accompany them along the way. After this set time, the Drop timer runs out and you are moved back to the other character, stopping you leveling up one characters quicker than the other. This can happen at any time, so if you’re in the middle of a boss fight and you are dropped out- you have to start the fight all over again when you play the character again.