HBM Reviews: Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]
Hey guys. Sorry I haven't been posting lately, but if you haven't noticed, it's kind of summer, and I have at least the tiniest bit of a life, so I've actually been doing shit lately. Also, due to how pointless the latest Bleach filler has been, I'm on hiatus with the recaps until we get back to the actual plot. Hopefully, this will be the last time this happens, and if it's not, the next time will be sometime during the final filler arc. So.. yeah, let's get on with this!
If you remember my Looking Back On Kingdom Hearts post, you wll also recall that it's pretty much my favorite or 2nd favorite series of all time. You may also remember my look at the first English trailer for the game and my thoughts on that. Well, let's see if this game holds up to the expectations, shall we?
If you haven't played a single KH game before, I can't help you catch up with the plot. Beat all the games up to re:coded, then you can continue this post. Go on, I'll wait.
... You all caught up? Okay, good.
This game takes place shortly after re:coded, and depicts the adventure that Sora and Riku go on after KHII. Basically, there are seven "Sleeping" worlds, which were brought back from the darkness after the events of previous games. I'm not entirely sure what this means, but from what I know, whatever happens when our heroes go to those worlds doesn't actually happen, and once the worlds "awaken,"
everything will be as it should. So Sora and Riku have to go to each world and unlock their sleeping keyholes for their Mark of Mastery exam. However, as this is happening, Xehanort and his new cohorts are lurking in the shadows, watching Sora and Riku's every move. What are they planning? Well, you'll have to play the game to find out!
The controls are petty much the same as in Days and re:coded,but with and additional feature: Flowmotion. Basicaly, if you Air-Dash or Dodge Roll into a Wall or pole, or land on a rail, you can jump, twirl, grind, dash, and do all sorts of crazy acrobatic stuff that you would think is possible in a KH game outside of cutscenes! If you don't understand what I mean, wtch some gameplay footage, or better yet, PLAY THE DAMN GAME ALREADY. Also, you have a little gauge by your HP called the Drop Gauge. It gradally depletes over time, and when it's empty, you "Drop," or switch, to the other character. You can also manually Drop from the Start menu.
Instead of Heartless or Nobodies or Unversed, the enemies this time are Dream Eaters. They're these adorable animal-looking things that apparently only show up in sleeping worlds. They also replace party members from previous games for whatever reason. Basically, you can find recipies to combine items you find into Dream Eaters. You can then name them, play with them, level them up, etc.
Dream Eaters have a little purple gauge under their HP called their Link Gauge. When it fills, you can tap their icon to Link with them, which will activate a powerful atatck for Sora, and for Riku, he'll absorb the Dream Eater and gain some traits and power from them. Obviously, this drains their Link Gauge completely. When both Dream Eaters you're using have their Link Gauges filled, an extra icon appears next to them. Tap it, and both their Links get combined into one even more powerful Link.
You can find portals in the worlds you visit to fight sall swarms of Dream Eaters with little side-objectives, like "Don't get hit more than twice" and "Win without using X commands." When you beat the game, you'll also unlock secret portals that let you refight much more powerful versions of almost every boss.*
The voice acting in this game is great, as usual, but there are a few issues. For example, Haley Joel Osment was obviously trying far too hard to sound young, and only came across as annoying until around the second visit to Traverse Town. I'm kind of irritated that none of the original actors from Tron Legacy reprised their roles, but that's kind of understandable. Pinnochio sounds annoying and a bit flat, but he's obviously voiced by a kid, so I'll let it slide. Finally, Rhyme's new voice actor makes her sound at least 7 years too old. She could have at least tried to sound younger; it would have been annoying, but not as annoying as sounding too old.
Overall, this game falls just a bit short of what I expected, but hey, It's Square Enix, they never release nything that lives up to it's hype, other than KH2 and Dissidia 012. I'd still say this game is great, but hey, all KH games are at least decent! THis one falls toward the high end of the spectrum, which is awesome to me. Hopefully, the next game** will be even better!
HBM, signing out!
EDIT: As a special bonus, I'm going to put a list of stuff that could have improved the game.
NPCs: Sanae Hanekoma (Traverse Town), Clopin (La Cite Des Cloches), Zeus/Castor (The Grid) At least 2 more of the Organization members' Somebodies (Cutscene only, probably in Radiant Garden)
Bosses: Sho Minamimoto (Traverse Town (Riku)), Koki Kariya and Uzuki Yashiro (Traverse Town (Sora)), Judge Frollo (La Cite Des Cloches (Either)), CLU (The Grid (Riku)), Optional/Secret Neku/Shiki/Beat/Joshua/Rhyme Boss Rush*** (Traverse Town (Both)), Superpowered Nightmare that looks like a corrupted Darkside (Final Final Boss (Riku))
General Stuff: Remove all lag, make party members immune to status effects, make Chill Clawbster/Black Coat Nightmare/Xemnas/Younganort stop running away like a little bitch, and let the fully upgraded health bar take up the entirety of the bottom of the screen.
* The only bosses it doesn't let you refight are Ursula (tutorial boss), Sora's boss rush from the second visit to Traverse Town, Riku's "boss" from Fantasia (more of an extra Dive than a boss), and Riku's first three bosses from the final world. You can refight Sora and Riku's final bosses by going to that area, but then you can't drop into them until you beat the other Final Bosses all over again and go through the 5 minutes or so of waiting for the credits to be over with. Thank god for skippable cutscenes!
** I actually have an idea for the next game (don't read on if you don't want to spoil the secret ending).
I think that instead of focusing Sora's training for the next game, they should focus on Kairi's training. Think about it: Sora gets enough focus as it is, and we still have yet to play as Kairi. It would also be a great oppurtunity to reuse some underused worlds without it being too stale, while also putting in some more female targeted worlds, like Princess and the Frog, and Tangled. Just throwing that idea out there, in case Square wants to claim it.
*** This would have worked similarly to the fight with Cloud, Tifa, Squall, and Yuffie in KH2's Hades Paradox Colloseum. Would have been kinda awesome...