Kingdom Heart 3D: Dream Drop Distance (Game Review)

Finally! The game I have been waiting for for a year was finally released on the 20th of July in the UK... and now I am finally playing it! And it's almost finished. This review has been a little bit hard and long to write since I can't talk much about something without giving away secrets and spoilers! But I am learning to get better at telling you my feelings on something rather than just filling you in with the knowledge. This goes for future posts too!

Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance is the brand new instalment in the Kingdom Hearts series and what an instalment it is. The game shares many similarities with Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Birth By Sleep and Re:coded. The story takes place where Kingdom Hearts Re:coded left off and now we see Sora and Riku being 'put to the test' in the Mark of Mastery exam in which they have to protect parallel worlds in preparation of the return of Master Xehanort.

Traverse Town has returned (from the original Kingdom Hearts) and is the place where you start off. Sora and Riku are both playable characters, but can only be played for a certain time due to a feature called the 'Drop Gauge' which is kind of like a time limit. After the Drop Gauge runs out, one of the characters will sleep while you play as the other character. Both characters must level up and uncover what's going on in regards to the return of the Organization XIII members and Xemnas and Ansem's reappearance. In Traverse Town, there are more districts to explore which makes the town seem far bigger compared to the Kingdom Hearts version, so this was a really nice surprise . Also there was an introduction of some new teenage characters from the game The World Ends With You who Sora and Riku encounter and learn about. This is similar to how Final Fantasy VII characters appeared in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II at Hollow Bastion / Radiant Garden.

The game play has become more complicated yet at the same time more radical, since there is a new battle style to learn called 'Flowmotion'. Sora and Riku must use the battlefield to their advantage in order to dish out some damage here and there while moving around wall to wall, jumping high and spinning round poles or big enemies etc. The use of commands that were introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep have been helpful and saved my butt a lot but it is very important in this game to use the environment in order to deal some real damage to the Nightmares. Another fun thing is 'Reality Shift' which utilises the touch screen to attack the enemies. It varies from world to world but is still really cool when you do get the chance to use it. In The Grid, you get to touch words on the screen in order to hack into enemies. While in Fantasia you touch the buttons to help follow the orchestra piece. Another cool thing to do in this game is to 'Dive' into the worlds, which is basically Skydiving down while either collecting stars or destroying enemies (way better than travelling in the Gummi Ship in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II).

Square Enix never disappoint me. They have a skill of making each game in the Kingdom Heart series better than the last. The stories, the enemies and the characters is what makes them. The Kingdom Hearts storyline is huge with twisting plot lines for each game which all eventually lead into one massive storyline. But one thing I liked a lot about the newest release is the enemies called the Dream Eaters. These new race of creatures are both dangerous and friendly since Sora and Riku must attack Nightmares and create and befriend Spirits in their newest adventure. The Dream Eaters sure are fun to battle along side and you actually raise them like pets since in this game you get to play with them (not like Nintendogs though but similar). And it is way better than a Tamagotchi to be honest (laughs).

The Grid world (from TRON Legacy) was the world I was most looking forward to exploring because of my love for the films, especially the suits and light cycles. Surprisingly they didn't put any of Daft Punk's music in and only Riku got to do a light cycle battle. The race track was a typical round and round track, but the light cycle weapons were just like in the film! Not bad really, I just wish their was Daft Punk music in it (as I just mentioned) and the voice actors for the characters were the actors from the films (same goes for the other worlds if they aren't the same voice actors). But I guess it can't be helped really, they probably weren't available at the time or something. 
Fantasia was a load of fun too due to the major level of nostalgia and they even included a version of the remastered orchestrated pieces from the films so that definitely made it super brilliant for me. 

I guess I love KH just as much as Lewis loves his Shenmue. But I love it a lot due to (in my opinion) some similarities that I believe I share, like Roxas's feelings and personality in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and the fact I cosplay him, the idea of combining Disney and Final Fantasy in a fictional universe similar to the Disney films we all know and grew up with, except aimed at an older crowd. 
I recommend this game to any Kingdom Hearts fan (as long as they can acquire a 3DS). It is a great game to bridge the gap to the long awaited Kingdom Hearts III, which will be released in a year or two hopefully.

Alt:Mag © Kaizo Minds Collective 2023 | Layout designed by Rumah Dijual and Lewis Cox.