Kingdom Hearts:Dream Drop Distance-First Thoughts (Spoiler Free)
I’ve had Dream Drop Distance for a couple of days now. I picked up the Mark of Mastery Edition solely for the purpose of getting the 10th Anniversary case with it. Included was also five AR cards and art cards each depicting the cover art of every game.
Unlike other DS KH games, I cannot put this one down. It is by far the best out of the Nintendo lineup. What I thought was going to be another rehash of previous titles, DDD follows the successful gameplay of Birth By Sleep, the PSP exclusive title, while having it’s own unique style. In this one, you take control of both Sora and Riku simultaneously, switching back and forth within worlds. You are allowed to switch between them at any given time; this is called ‘Drop’ where the player can put the current character in a sleep stasis and resume the role of the other at exactly the point they left. A bit of a twist though; you are timed to a certain extent. This happens when you explore the worlds more extensively and can happen anytime, including boss battles. It was quite the surprise when I was fighting the first boss and Sora all of a sudden fell asleep. When the countdown starts at a certain point, items are doubled and dropped more frequently when fighting. Bonuses are added depending on what you collect during your travels. Each drop offers points that can be used for the other character’s benefit. I find it quite exciting to drop suddenly then as one then appear as another in the middle of a fight.
Speaking of fighting, there are NO heartless in this game. Instead, enemies are called Nightmares, under the category of Dream Eaters. As such, your partners are no longer Donald and goofy, but other Dream Eaters known as Spirits. These spirits fight alongside you in battle and follow you around handing out hints or secret areas. Each Spirit is unique and can be created using items you pick up in the game. I myself have six already.
I’m not going to get into details but story wise; I’m just going to say love it, so far. While I only just beat the first world, this story has more depth than 385/2 Days had in the whole game. The worlds are colorful, bright and enchanting. As veterans will remember, the very first world you enter in the first game was Traverse Town, the world where Sora learns of his role as a keyblade wielder and where we meet all of our lovely Final Fantasy crew. The first world in DDD is in fact, Traverse Town only this time the world is opened up immensely bringing in at least five new areas alongside the originals as well as some newer characters to the series.
One gripe I do have is the fact that Sora and Riku appear to be younger in this game when it clearly takes place after the second. There are cut scenes called ‘flashbacks’ showing an older (or current, if you will) Sora and Riku receiving information from Master Sid about their Mastery Exams. Guess you can call me picky, but it does seem odd hearing a deep-voiced Sora coming out of his younger self.
All in all, I cannot wait to lose my life to this game. I’ve been a fan since the beginning and to see what the team has in store for after this one is most exciting! It is definitely a MUST play!
Also, the opening scene is by far one of the best fully utilizing the 3ds’s capabilities. Check it out below. Definitely watch in HD.