returns to the console world and this time it has received a 3D
makeover in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. For the
uninitiated Kingdom Hearts takes gamers through the wondrous worlds
of Disney and Final Fantasy as King Mickey and court magician Yen
Sid (Fantasia) send their two greatest warriors, Sora and Riku to
the land of Sleeping Worlds. Why? Because they need to become the
Keyblade Masters to defeat the villainous Master Xehanort.
Oozing with classic
Disney, these characters venture through seven worlds based on
various Disney films and locations such as Tron: Legacy and
La Cité des Cloches (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Needless
to say, Level design is very impressive, even in this cartoon
bubble. Another interesting element of the game is that the player
controls both Sora and Riku throughout the game which enhances the
overall story telling of both characters thanks to the "drop"
At its core, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is an adventure
game with similarities to the Final Fantasy series which has a
healthy amount of combat. Sora and Riku level up as you progress and
each have their own unique abilities when fighting enemies with
access to a variety of weapons and spells. The drop system does add
something fun to the game, especially as you can switch between the
main protagonists quite smoothly. This does enhance your gaming
As opposed to
fighting Disney or Final Fantasy characters, your party of
adventures battles dream eaters that are split into nightmares and
spirits. Nightmares can take the form of just about any creature,
however spirits just like final fantasy are used as party members.
You can also level these creatures up from fighting and even play
mini-games with them that has parallels to Nintendogs. Similar to
previous Final Fantasy Games, Sora even has the ability to chain
attacks with spirits in order to create some devastating combos.
With that said, the game supports over 50 different Spirits that can
be recruited by your characters.
Controls work quite
well on the 3DS and it does support the circle pad pro which assists
in movement. One new control mechanism in the game is the Command
Deck which easily allows you to move between attacks and defence
mechanisms. You can even use the environment during battles with the
new "flowmotion" technique that allows you to interact with the
gaming environment. However for the majority of the time, melee and
magic attacks is the way to victory. Needless to say, you need as
much RPG experience while playing this game to traverse the seven
worlds to face the big bad at the end.
Graphically Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance does a great job
at recreating the various worlds and characters from both the Disney
and the Final Fantasy franchises. When you interact with the Disney
characters in the game, they look and act like their cartoon
counterparts and more importantly, each of the different worlds that
you visit influences the gameplay of the title. Special effects
looks great, especially when linked to the 3D capabilities of the
3DS with some good use of depth. To compliment the graphics, the
soundtrack works extremely well with the story that not only pulls
at your emotional heartstrings but changes when the battles
commence. Everything comes together quite well in this regard.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is definitely a precursor to
Kingdom Hearts III which proves as a valuable link to the next game.
Without spoiling the story of Dream Drop Distance, there's some
great gaming moments in the title that really take this franchise to
the next level, especially the ending that will leave most gamers
craving for more.
The control system
works perfectly on the 3DS and the developers have ensured that the
capabilities of this console are not just used for gimmicks but
rather, they are integral to the gameplay. With lush graphics,
engaging gameplay, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is a must
have 3DS game, even if you have never played the previous games in