Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance Review
Kingdom Hearts, the odd yet awesome mash up of Disney and Square Enix characters in one fun action packed RPG. 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the series and to celebrate Square Enix is releasing a brand new title in a series along with the first collector’s edition in the series. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance takes place right after the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts RE:Coded for the Nintendo DS. Dream Drop Distance has you follow the journey of both Sora and Riku as they are summoned by Yen Sid to take the mark of mastery exam in order to become true keyblade masters and the defeat the evil Master Xehanort.
As usual with Kingdom Hearts, Drop Distance features the standard Disney worlds and Square Enix character cameos that the series is known for. However, for the first time the characters from the fantastic DS title, The World Ends With You, are taking the place of the usual Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts. Also new are a couple of Disney worlds from movies like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pinocchio, Tron: Legacy and Fantasia. Along for the ride is a brand new combat system called Flowmotion. Flowmotion allows the player to use their environment to land powerful attacks on Dream Eaters. Now you’re able to make high building jumps and fly from building from building like a rela keyblade master. If you have ever played a game in the series you’ll notice how much more powerful Sora and Riku seem in Dream Drop Distance because of the Flowmotion and how awesome it is.
Speaking of Dream Eaters, Dream Eaters are the new enemy type for Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. There are two types of Dream Eaters, there are the evil Nightmare Dream Eaters that attack and cause people nightmares and then there are the Spirit Dream Eaters that take on the roll as your ally and help you fight off Nightmares by linking with Sora and Riku to perform special attacks. Spirits almost act like the Pokemon in Kingdom Hearts. You can create Spirits with the many items you collect in the game. Once you have your Spirits you can train them to level up, feed them, take AR pictures with them or change their colors. It’s a nice addition to the series that while it’s certainly not going to make you want to play an additional 10 hours to train your Spirits, it will certainly be a fun way to level up your allies.
Kingdom Hearts hasn’t had the best platforming system since it was first released. Kingdom Heart Dream Drop Distance fixes some of the series’ platforming problems but there’s still the occasional area where you jump on a platform you’d think you can stand on but you end up getting your character stuck instead. It’s certainly not a reason to skip out on Dream Drop Distance. It’s a minor flaw in a great game.
Kingdom hearts has been known for it’s fantastic music library and Dream Drop Distance is no different. Expect to hear classics like Utada Hikaru’s Sanctuary and Dearly beloved that will touch your heart like when you first heard them in Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. Composer Yoko Shimomura has really showed off his music skills with the combat music in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance as well. Along with the liberating music is some great voice acting work. The original voice acting cast is back in addition to some new voice actors reprising the role of Neku and other characters from TWEWY that will get fans cheering for a TWEWY sequel. Dream Drop Distance also has some of the best visuals on the Nintendo 3DS. 3D isn’t mind boggling but it is noticeable and just a nice addition.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance is the greatest handheld Kingdom Hearts game to date. The music is as great as always and the graphics are the best on a handheld console. Flowmotion is awesome and makes me wonder how I could of played the previous Kingdom Hearts games without it. The addition of Spirits is a nice addition that while it certainly doesn’t give Dream Drop Distance a ton of more replay value, it will give gamers new ways to level up their allies in a fun manor. Dream Drop Distance’s story may be the most complex of the entire series, but it’s also one of the greatest with cutscenes that will leave KH fans cheering and pumped for the long awaited Kingdom Hearts III.