It may seem like it was just yesterday that the worlds of Cloud Strife and Mickey Mouse collided to create Kingdom hearts, but Dream Drop Distance marks 10 years of the series’ lifespan. By this point in time most gamers understand what Kingdom Hearts is and have decided whether or not it is a series that is worthy of their library, and Dream Drop Distance understands that about itself. For a Kingdom Hearts game with Disney characters, vibrant colors and wonderful music, Dream Drop Distance is the worst game for someone new to the series to be introduced to. The storyline has reached a point where it’s hard to make sense even for a seasoned Kingdom Hearts player and it’s fairly weaker than the other entries in the series, the gameplay is a bit more frustrating than the other entries, the storyline is a bit off and the game might be better off without some of the new features.
Dream Drop Distance relieves many fans of the series by finally inching the storyline of Riku and Sora forward. One of the greatest things about the game was finally seeing the characters move ahead and come together, that being said the characters and story are static throughout the entire game. Throughout the game you switch between Riku and Sora as you save the worlds from a new threat called the Dream Eaters. Sora always jumps into things headfirst at the sight of a friend like a dog to a bone and Riku tries to help people listen to what their hearts say. It feels good to see these two (kind of) together again but after you get past the first world hearing Sora talk about friends is just ridiculous. There are some points in the story that are also left unexplained but you can only be left thinking that they are saving it for Kingdom Hearts 3.
The drop system in this entry of the series is a fresh new take on the game where you switch between the two protagonists after a drop timer runs out or you choose to switch. This can add a nice change of scenery but at the same time it can make the game completely frustrating. Mid boss battles if the timer runs low and you have not defeated the boss then next time you come back to that character you have to restart the entire battle. Also sometimes it can be completely confusing when you have been one character for a long period of time only to switch to a point in the game that you barely have any memory of.
Combat is also frustrating at times because of the unforgivable combat and annoying camera controls. The new flowmotion is probably the best feature added to the game, flying through entire worlds as super parkour Sora has to be one of the most satisfying features of the game. Flying into walls and enemies like with the press of a button makes the game much more enjoyable than the normal Kingdom Hearts combat. But with good there must also be bad and the pet system added to the game is definitely a bad note. The developers tried to add a Pokemon feel to the game, allowing you to craft pets and bring them along battles instead of Donald and Goofy or other partners from the Disney worlds and it didn’t feel as fun with the pets as it did having Mulan or Tarzan. Pets also have to have maintenance done to them in the form of a Nintendogs type mode. Pets begin to lose their hearts after a while in battle and the only way they can regain the hearts is by being pet by their owner or being fed. This becomes more of a hassle than anything else later on, you are already working on getting past the monsters that pop up one after another only to be delayed by your pets being held back because they are clingy and need to be nudged by your stylus.
Looking past all the flaws, Kingdom Hearts 3D is one of the best games you can get for your 3DS right now. There are a good amount of collectables throughout the worlds and while the game does drag from time to time it’s a pretty enjoyable play through. Graphically it is one of the prettiest games on the portable system, with bright characters and music that will be stuck in your head for days the presentation is some of the 3DS’ finest.