Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance Review
Disney Interactive Studios and Square Enix have released another game in their highly successful Kingdom Hearts series. This one is for the Nintendo 3DS and titled “Dream Drop Distance”. The title is a play on the 3D aspect of the game as well as a “Dream Drop” component that was added to this installment not in previous ones.
First off, allow me to tell you a bit about myself. I always find it is important to know something about a reviewer while reading a review so that you know where they are coming from. I know that when I know a little bit about a reviewer, it helps me make a more informed decision about whether or not I agree or disagree with their opinions.
have loved video games since I was a child. I think I’ve went through every system from Colecovision and intellivision (showing my age) to the current PS3 etc. I have already put a pre-order in for the upcoming new Nintendo Wii U. Now, at 40 years of age, I still love video games, but it takes a lot more to keep me interested and engaged. I definitely prefer a game where I don’t have to sift through a Bible sized book of instructions in order to play. I really love the Nintendo 3DS and feel it is the perfect platform when you’re ON THE GO in MCO or otherwise. It’s like a small alternate universe you can fit in your pocket. I love keeping the 3D slider on Maximum 3D although it’s a bit of a challenge keeping your eyes in the “sweet spot” when battling Ursula and other Villains!
So, now, let’s get to Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance! Only for the Nintendo 3DS.
You needn’t have played other Kingdom Hearts games in the series to enjoy this title. It helps, but is not needed. Kingdom Hearts is basically a union of Final Fantasy and Disney. On its own, I don’t really like Final Fantasy. When married with Disney, I think it’s magical. It gives the fight between good and evil a real sense of wonder and validates Mickey Mouse as a relevant Hero.
I’d love to give you some of the back story about Kingdom Hearts, but even though I have played and completed every single one, I can’t. I have no idea what the story is. As a true matter of fact, I don’t even think the writers who explain the story even understand it themselves. It’s a convoluted mess that makes me laugh every time I read it. If you get a moment, and it interests you, check out the Wikipedia entry of the storyline and try to make sense of it. It will blow your mind LOL.
You play one of two characters in this game, Sora and Riku. The game features seven playable Disney Worlds, including La Cité des Cloches from The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Grid from Tron: Legacy; Prankster’s Paradise from Pinocchio; Country of the Musketeers from Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers; and Symphony of Sorcery from Fantasia. The two other playable worlds are Traverse Town and The World That Never Was. You alternate between playing as Sora and playing as Riku when a timer runs out and you go into a Dream Drop. It’s fun but also a little gimmicky. It’s really a way of making the game longer without adding more worlds. Meaning, you play the world as Sora and then the same world as Riku with few variations. It can be frustrating when you are just about to kill a boss and you are “dropped” and switched to the other character (shakes fist at sky) J.
Unlike most Disney games, you actually fight in Kingdom Hearts. No blood of course, but using your KeyBlade you bash enemies around in satisfying style. You need to kill the boss of each world as both Sora and Riku in order to save the worlds from evil. Familiar Disney characters and villains are always popping up making it a Disney fans delight. The voice work on the characters is top notch and appears to be the original actors whenever possible.
This installment of the series adds a special “flying” move technique called FLOWMOTION that really makes gliding and pummeling enemies a lot of fun, especially in 3D.
The pet component is totally cool. Remember those virtual reality pets that you needed to take care of on little key chain games back some years ago? This Kingdom Hearts game contains mini games like that.
You can create and “adopt” pets they call spirits that fight alongside Sora and Riku and help you in the game. They are needed to defeat many enemies. You need to nurture these spirit pets to make them more powerful. You get to feed them and pet them using the touch screen. The more attention you give them, the more they level up and become an asset to your game play. Of course, I love the Big Blue Panda Mickey looking one.
Children pick up this game and get into it almost immediately while those of us over 25 will likely need to read the instructions a few times to figure out what is going on. Once you do, it is a marvelous fun romp through Disney fantasy realms where you can escape reality and believe you are saving beloved Disney characters and enchanted places.
Something fun to note – Sora can sometimes be spotted in the Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I only saw him once but bascially freaked out when I did. He was the most amazingly designed park character I have ever seen – holding his keyblade weapon and all. Try and catch him the next time you are at the MNSSHP event! The first person to tweet me a NEW picture of Sora from this year’s event gets a prize!
Also – A new Kingdom Hearts game is in the works for all the major current and upcoming new consoles within the next year. If you get a chance to play this Nintendo 3DS installment, you’ll be seasoned enough to take on the next big screen Kingdom Hearts when it is released!
Now go forth and save the Disney Worlds!
Be sure to follow John Saccheri on Twitter @DisneyWorlds!!!