Review by ChronoCactaur
"Dreams Drop In The Distance"
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance is the long-awaited sequel to KH2. Well not really, but it's fairly close to being KH3 I'd say.
KH3D is the 3DS equivalent of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep on the PSP, but it takes a few steps forward and a few steps back at the same time, meaning that it's roughly equal in quality to BBS, but for different reasons. The Dream Eaters are the replacements of the Command Board, and they're much more engaging and addicting; Probaly more rewarding, as well. Flowmotion also adds an interesting depth to both combat and platforming, but the command system from BBS has been dumbed down; There is no more combination, or leveling up, so it's more like Re: Coded in that regard.
In terms of story, Dream Drop Distance is probaly the most newcomer friendly entry after the original Kingdom Hearts, thanks to a Chronicle for every entry released thus far that gets updated throughout the adventure. The game also includes a glossary for stuff like the Heartless, Nobodies, Organization XIII, and the Keyblades. The Disney Worlds, while few in number, are all fresh and interesting, with different storylines for both Sora & Riku(Though Riku usually gets the shorter visits). My personal favorite would have to be City Of Des Cloches, which is based on Hunchback of Notre Dame(1996). It's big, and there's plenty to explore with interesting backdrops and enemies to fight, and is loyal to the source material. My second favorite would be Country Of The Musketeers, which is surprisingly based on a 2004 Direct-To-DVD Mickey Mouse film, and is also a loyal representation. There isn't a single world I despise in DDD, whereas there's at least "that one world" I'd hate in every other Kingdom Hearts game, and again it's because DDD focuses on quality over quantity.
Since Dream Drop Distance is on a Nintendo handheld, that means some design decisions had to be made. You now have to unlock critical mode by beating the game once, but Proud offers plenty of difficulty as it is, and is on par with KH1 Expert Mode and KHBBS Critical Mode, but includes an EXP Zero ability which is usually only usable in Critical Mode. One can only assume it's so casuals won't be overwhelmed; Personally I think it's silly, but it does give incentive to replay the game(Like the Disney worlds weren't incentive enough?).
Overall, I think KH3D is a great "link" game for KH3, which will hopefully be the next release, and is the best Kingdom Hearts game available on Nintendo systems. If you're looking for KH3, this will be enough to weight your appetite.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/03/12
Game Release: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (US, 07/31/12)
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