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About the product
- Dual protagonists - Play as the two most popular characters of the franchise, Sora and Riku
- "Free-flow" action - Enjoy fast and effortless movements while interacting with the environment and performing acrobatic attacks
- Brand-new creatures - Dream Eaters inhabit the Sleeping Worlds, and are split into two categories: Spirits and Nightmares. Recruit over 50 different types of Spirits as allies to fight alongside Sora and Riku
- New Disney worlds - Beloved Disney worlds and characters, such as La Cité des Cloches (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), make their series debut
- Story progression - With updated looks for Sora and Riku, and the impending conflict made clear, this title is a big step forward in the series
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King Mickey and Yen Sid prepare for an impending threat by putting Sora and Riku through the Mark of Mastery exam. Sora and Riku are sent into the Sleeping Worlds, where they will face enemies and allies that have never been seen before. If they can successfully complete the task they are given, they will be deemed true Keyblade Masters.
From the Manufacturer
In preparation for an impending threat, Sora and Riku enter the Sleeping Worlds to take the Mark of Mastery exam. They will face new enemies and make new friends in worlds they've never set foot in. If they can successfully unlock seven Sleeping Keyholes and return to their world, they will retrieve a great power and be deemed true Keyblade Masters.
KINGDOM HEARTS 3D [Dream Drop Distance] is the latest entry in the beloved collaboration between Disney Interactive Studios and Square Enix, which has shipped over 17 million units worldwide. In this much-awaited follow-up to KINGDOM HEARTS II, players take control of both Sora and Riku as they look to become Keyblade Masters. The adventure will take them through Disney worlds never before seen in the series, and new gameplay features will elevate the acclaimed KINGDOM HEARTS experience to new heights.
- Players will alternate taking control of the two most popular characters of the series, Sora and Riku.
- Creatures called Dream Eaters inhabit the Sleeping Worlds, and are split into two categories: Spirits and Nightmares. There are over 50 types of Spirits that can become allies and fight alongside Sora and Riku.
- Spirits can be bred and nurtured, and will help Sora and Riku learn new commands and abilities.
- From La Cité des Cloches (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) to The Grid (TRON: Legacy), every Disney world that Sora and Riku will visit is new to the series.
- Players can use their environment to perform Flowmotion: fast and effortless movements that can be tied to powerful finishing moves.
- Players can activate Reality Shift under certain conditions and execute various attacks by responding to Touch Screen commands. Each world will have a unique Reality Shift.
- Players can challenge others to Flick Rush matches, or use StreetPass to trade Link Portals, in which special combat challenges can be set or Spirits can be temporarily lent to other players.
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We join Sora and Riku after the events of II and "Re:Coded". Riku is playing for the good guys again, teaming up with Sora to take on the Mark of Mastery exam. This involves them travelling to various worlds in order to find hidden keyholes that will prove their meddle as true Keyblade Masters. The plot is a welcome change of pace from the treacly sentimentality of "358/2 Days", the rehashed narrative in "Birth By Sleep", and the confused logic and pacing of "Re:Coded." Nomura and all others involve certainly listened to the critics when it came to the story in this entry, and gave us what we wanted: a true follow-up. Much in the vein of "Chain of Memories", "Dream Drop Distance" expands on world of the game without losing its focus, and never gets lost trying to pander to fans. The result is the most focused game yet, and one whose story is filled with enough emotion and excitement for any gamer to enjoy. That being said, it's best to be familiar with the franchise before tackling this one. Newcomers may feel a little bit lost.
My main concern about "DDD" was definitely the gameplay, given that it hasn't really changed in several years. All fears have been put to rest now, due to the fact that the dev team definitely took their time with making a fun and balanced experience. The level-based hack-n-slash we're used to is still here, but it's aided by the addition of a new system called "Flowmotion." This is a snazzy way of saying that Sora and Riku now fancy themselves to be masters of parkour. The real surprise here is that Square Enix managed to slide in a new gameplay feature without turning it into a convoluted wreck. Flowmotion works fabulously. Within a few minutes of playing, you'll be grinding off of rails, using enemies as pommel horses, and careening off walls hundreds of feet in the air. Doing this allows you to deliver devastating special moves on enemies. Every enemy encounter, and especially every boss stage, transcends typical button-mashing battles and turns into something more visceral and downright fun than I ever expected from this franchise.
The other addition is the "Drop" feature. You'll be playing as both Sora and Riku in this game, as they battle through parallel worlds to find the hidden keyholes. This works in a very unique way; you have a time with each character, as they experience different narratives in the same worlds. You have to beat the world with both characters in order to truly beat it and progress the story. This is less cumbersome than it sounds, and is in fact a very interesting way to approach handling both characters. You can also jump to another character early by using the "Drop" button on the pause menu. This can be handy if you get to a good stopping point in one character's progression. Getting to experience both characters' unique perspectives is a welcome change in pace for the series.
Another worth mentioning, if only for a few sentences, is the addition of Spirit companions. Much like the world-specific partners of previous games, these animals fight side-by-side with you and can be teamed up with for a special attack. However, it works in a similar fashion to the "Shin Megami Tensei", where you collect certain components of the monsters, then combine them in order to create them. Depending on how many components you have, you can alter the strength and abilities of the monsters. You can have three with you at any given time, and I highly recommend you do so. These partners are very helpful, and fun to customize and level up. The interface for leveling them is very similar to a virtual pet simulator by way of "Final Fantasy X"'s level system. It's not too complicated, but not overly simplistic. Just the right balance of strategy and fun make this a worthwhile component to an already great game.
Graphically, this is the best-looking game in the series, without a doubt. Having played several 3DS titles, I can firmly say this is the prettiest one yet, and clearly demonstrative of what we can expect from Square Enix in the near future. Environments pop to life with dazzling use of textures and shadows, and everything blazes forward with no drop in the frame rate. From Notre Dame to The Grid, these are beautiful renderings of iconic settings, some of which have never been visited in the franchise before. The only negative is, unfortunately, the uneven use of 3D. Frame rate has a noticeable drop when the feature is used in some areas, yet flows smoothly in others. While the effects are nice and all, I would recommend only using it for cutscenes. The game actually stands very strong on its own graphical merits, and the effects steal the thunder a little bit.
Haley Joel Osment (remember him?) turns in another show-stealing performance as Sora, enough to make one wonder why he hasn't just decided to become a full-time voice actor already. The rest of the cast is predictably great, as is the music. The soundtrack once again spans a variety of styles, implementing the techno and trip-hop found in "The World Ends With You" when its characters are on-screen. There's nothing more to say, really, given that people already know Square Enix excels in this department.
Here we are, seven years after "Kingdom Hearts II" left us speechless, and we're finally given the sequel we've wanted for so long. According to series creator Nomura, "Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance" is a taste of the gameplay we can expect from the third entry. If this is truly the case, then I say bring it on. This is the best entry in the "Kingdom Hearts" series so far, and a surefire candidate for Handheld Game of the Year. If you've been holding out because of Square Enix's incessant milking of the franchise, this is the one you've been waiting for.
Ironic. In creating the best game of this stellar series, the developers have created perhaps the best 3DS title yet.
If you're a huge story nut like me and you are only playing this game in preparation for KH III, then you might want to try Beginer Mode. The enemies are a lot easier to fight and it moves along pretty quickly. If you are expecting the battle system to be close to the original PS2 game, you're sorely mistaken. The new battle system in this game is a little tricky, as you have to cycle through your Deck to use your magic, items, and special abilities. If you don't think you'd like that, maybe wait a few months for the Kingdom Hearts 2.8 ReMIX on the PS4. If you don't mind, then this game is with the money.
My only complaint and the reason for the 4 star review is the fact that I did not get the AR cards that were said to be included in this game. These AR cards are used to create Spirits, a friendly type of Dream Eater. Dream Eaters are the enemies you encounter in the Sleeping Worlds, which is what this whole game is about. The Spirits act as your companions, replacing Donald and Goofy from other Kingdom Hearts games.
Dropping. A new function in this came is the Drop meter. This is a meter that sits by your characters health. It slowly depletes as you play, and when it reaches zero your character will fall asleep, and you'll be switched to a different one. Riku and Sora are in different parts of each world and must do differnet things to find their keyholes. There is no way to stop yourself from Dropping, you can only stall a little bit by using certain moves or defeating enemies. This can be very frustrating at times, but if you remain vigilant you can get a lot done before you Drop. So far I can play each character for about a half an hour before they drop and I switch to another. There is a way to upgrade this meter and make it go longer. If you think this will be a problem for you, then you might want to check out some playthroughs on YouTube.
This is a really good game, and while it's a little short, you can't expect much for a 3DS game. It is plenty to explain Sora and Rikus Mark of Mastery exams. If you're a big KH fan, I highly suggest you play this game.