Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance review
[Continued] Page 2
Your main enemies in KH3D are Dream Eaters, quite possibly one of the weirder enemies in the series thus far. They're not as menacing as the Heartless, Unversed or Nobodies. In fact, they seem the most childish, with their rainbow color palette and animal representations. These Dream Eaters are also your allies. No Donald and Goofy this time around, instead you'll collect various materials to 'craft' Dream Eaters that will fight and level up alongside your character.
Outside of battle, you'll be able to take care of each Dream Eater in an almost Tamagotchi style. You can pet them, which raises some of their stats, give them food, hunt for treasure, train to increase skills, or unlock various skills on their Ability board. It's not as deep of a system as it sounds, but if you're into the monster collecting craze, you'll most likely love this addition to the series.
Lastly, Reality Shifting puts your touchscreen to use. Each Reality Shift is different based on the world you're in. In the Grid you'll be hacking the system, Traverse Town will have you flinging barells that do splash damage, and La Cité des Cloches (Hunchback's world) lets you connect enemies with your stylus which then makes you grind between them doing a great amount of damage. Reality Shifting actually adds yet another layer to the addictive real-time combat, which I had absolutely no problem with.
Like in Birth By Sleep, the Final Fantasy cameos are on an all time low, consisting only of Moogles. It's a shame, since like I've stated in my previous review, I enjoy the unconventional marriage of kid friendly Disney worlds with various Final Fantasy character appearances. However, The World Ends With You fans will be happy to know that Neku, Shiki, and other characters from the game do make an appearance (a pretty big one too) in KH3D, and are fully voiced for the first time. Pure awesomeness.
Fans will also be pleased to hear that most of the worlds are mostly new to Kingdom Hearts. You'll visit the Hunchback of Notre Dame, go back to the Grid, which is newly updated to resemble Tron: Legacy, and even cross swords in the Country of the Musketeers. It's all faithfully recreated, to the point where you'll just want to go and rewatch those timeless classics.
If one thing's for sure, the series can be quite complicated to follow, considering the games have taken place across multiple systems. Thankfully KH3D has an included Memento system which includes Flashbacks and Chronicles. Flashbacks give you more backstory on a given level in beautiful cutscene form, while Chronicles detail all of the events in past games, ensuring that you're caught up to speed. While it would have been nice to see Chronicles in cutscene form, the size limitation of the 3DS cart probably made that impossible. Still, it's definitely helpful.
One of my biggest complaints, which coincidentally doesn't have anything to do with the game itself, is that it's on the 3DS! While I definitely enjoyed the 3D effects, I can honestly say I'd much rather play this on a big screen TV. It's also not a short game by any means, so being on a portable that doesn't have the greatest battery life is somewhat of an odd choice.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance can easily stand on its own as one of the best handheld entries, and is a great precursor to Kingdom Hearts III. If anything, that alone should get any Kingdom Hearts fan excited.