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Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] (Nintendo 3DS)
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|Price:||£39.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
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- 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 Cite 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.
- 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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Please bear in mind that I obviously haven't finished the game, and I'm only writing to give potential buyers a vague idea of what to expect - I hope to update this review upon my completion of the game.
The basic principle is the same as in Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 - travelling between different worlds and unlocking key holes. Sora and Riku are taking a test to become keyblade masters, and must unlock the keyholes for 'sleeping worlds' in order to pass.
On the whole, the graphics are great. The opening video - as usual - is fantastic, and the 3D works well. The in-game graphics are about the same as those in Kingdom Hearts 2, but a little more pixellated because, obviously, it's on a smaller screen. I tend to find that there is some slight ghosting with the 3D while I'm playing, but nothing really off-putting and it isn't constant.
The characters look detailed and expressive.
The game makes use of all the buttons on the 3DS. I found it a little tricky to remember all the different buttons, but I think I've got them nailed now.
Fighting has been improved - the MP bar has been removed and, instead, each power has to 're-load' before it can be used again. This means you don't have to repeatedly use Ether in order to use magic attacks or cure yourself, so I like this change.
Also, you are able to jump onto walls or spin around lampposts for better fighting combos or just for effect. It's a fairly easy technique to use, and it looks very cool.
I did experience some lagging within the game at one point - it lasted for about a minute or two but then went away. I didn't have issues with lagging before or after that, so I don't think it's something to worry about.
Instead of Donald and Goofy fighting with you, you have dream eaters. The easiest way to describe the Dream Eater system is it's like a cross over between Pokemon and Nintendogs+Cats. There are different types of Dream Eaters to obtain - you can find 'recipes' for them, or you can just combine a bunch of materials and see what comes out. Apparently, you're also able to breed them (but I haven't got far enough to comment on this).
To make your Dream Eaters more effective in battle, you can play games with them and pet them. The games you play with your Dream Eaters are fun little mini-games that I actually enjoy playing.
The 'Drop' System:
Throughout the game, you alternate between playing as Sora and Riku. I think this is an interesting feature that allows you to have different experiences for each world. At first, it seems like a bit of a pain. However, I've gotten used to switching between the two characters, and now I like alternating between the two of them. It also adds an element of strategy into the game.
Basically, you have a meter that goes down. When you reach the bottom of the meter, you switch characters. You don't have to wait for the meter to deplete, though. There is an option to just 'drop' anyway.
If you're in the middle of a boss fight and this happens, then it can be pretty irritating, because - when you return - your character's health remains the same (ie. if it was nearly empty when you switched characters, it will be nearly empty when you switch back), but the boss' health bar returns to full, no matter how much damage you've dealt.
As I said, I hope to add more detail and information to this review once I have completed the game. At the moment, this is just a review because there are no others.
Feel free to ask questions in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer them for you. :)
This outing is by far the strongest entry in many years and utilises the technology of the 3ds well. The graphics are superb, vibrant and Clear. The Storyline is sometimes drawn out and borderline convoluted but does the job. The gameplay i also solid with the main mechanic being the new 'Drop' guage swapping between Sora And Riku. This guage counts down and enters 'bonus mode' before forcing you to swap to the other character. using Items delays the gauge dropping and swapping. This system does seem redundent when it drops you during a boss fight as you can instantly swap straight back but the boss regains all it's health back so keeping an eye on the meter is key. Cameo's from the cast of Square-enix's 'The World Ends With You' was also very welcome.
It's one of the finest 3DS games on the market and comes highly recommended
The stand-out factors are the gameplay, the visuals and the audio. The gameplay is like any other 3D KH game, being a very solid action RPG, but it introduces a few changes here and there to keep things interesting. The main one is Flowmotion, a new type of movement mechanic that allows both Sora and Riku to both scale large distances easily as well as perform some quite stupendous acrobatics. The areas in each world have been designed to work with this, so you can easily catapult yourself around levels whilst not feeling like you're breaking the game. Dream Eater Spirits replace Donald and Goofy as your team members, and are probably best described as Pokemon but if they were made by Tetsuya Nomura. There's a lot you can do with them, but you're gonna want them mainly for ability unlocks.
There's little to say about visuals and audio, but for very good reason; they're both very good indeed, with cutscenes looking especially nice in 3D. Gameplay suffers some framerate issues with 3D on, but with it off it's otherwise fine, with areas and characters alike looking visually pleasing overall. Audio is taken care of by Yoko Shimomura and company, and is great as always, though I feel it was a missed opportunity to not have Daft Punk help out with the TRON: Legacy world music.
However, there's a few things you'll want to know. There's a lot of talk about the Drop system in the game, and not all of it is good. Basically, you're on a time limit whenever you play as either of the main characters, and when your time runs out, that character falls asleep and you automatically switch to the other. Whilst this is a bit of an annoyance, it sounds worse than it actually is; you can control it to a fairly significant degree by using fairly common items that reset the Drop timer, for example. This lets you ensure that it isn't going to run out at a very inopportune moment, such as a boss battle.
The next thing is the plot. Kingdom Hearts as a series has a very intricate storyline spanning a large cast of characters, which has been further expanded over the last few years by the games for the DS and PSP. The plot involves quite a few deceptively complex concepts, and this game involves almost all of the major ones in one form of another. As such, the late game demands a level of understanding of them, which the game mercifully attempts to aid you with in the form of Mementos, various forms of synopses and terminologies unlocked as you play the game. These tend to be quite concise and easy to comprehend, but it all comes down to (a. whether you're already a a fan or (b. if you're new to the series and think you'd like the story. It's probably worth playing KH1, 2 then Birth By Sleep if you're (b., or at least reading up on them, and coming to your own conclusion.
As I said, this game is very close to being an absolute must-have, but the Drop system and the complicated plot hold it back from that, which is a shame considering that the game itself is an absolute blast to play. That said, it's still absolutely worth your time if you want to get invested in a franchise with an interesting story, and it's a no-brainer if you're already a fan, even if you haven't played in a while.
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