No, this isn’t Kingdom Hearts 3, which Square Enix had no comment on. But, in regards to the franchise’s timeline, this is the sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2. Featuring seven new Disney worlds and new characters in said worlds, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is shaping up to be a breakout 3DS hit.
Our demo of the title takes place in the Tron: Legacy world and has us control Sora, one of two playable characters in the game.
Riku is also playable, as the two characters are doing their own missions given by Yen Sid to prepare them for the return of Master Xehanort. In essence, Kingdom Hearts 3D is two stories in one. while Sora and Riku will occasionally interact, for the most part they have their own seperate stories that you’ll get to play through, thanks in part to a gameplay element known as the Dream Drop. Each character has a meter that, when it runs out, the character will fall asleep and you’ll take control of the other character, regardless of wherever they last were. If you were in mid battle in the middle of a forest, you’ll resume control exactly there. It was noted that it’s best to let the meter run through, but if you’re able to start a boss battle, you probably should manually let your character fall asleep.
As you progress through the game, you’ll earn Dream Points, which can be spent once the meter runs out, to help boost up your characters stats and skills, adding a nice RPG element to a combat system that caters more towards button mashing and auto attacks. You’ll eventually learn the ins and outs of maxing your time with each character, but even when you do, there’ll be enemies are able to drain your Dream Meter. Sufficed to say, this is an integral part of your gameplay that will add a sense of urgency as you play through the title.
Anyone who wants to know how to pull off 3D on Nintendo‘s handheld needs to take a memo from this title. Not only are the 3D visuals absolutely amazing, but, for whatever reason, they don’t give me a headache. It was an absolute treat to play through the level in full 3D, especially when I came across familiar characters from the Tron universe; Sam Flynn, Kevin Flynn, and Quorra look exactly like their actor and actress counter parts, impressing myself and several other media members. The game itself is a visual treat and runs pretty flawlessly on the 3DS hardware. Furthermore, it was nice to hear there be sort of a shift towards visiting some older Disney worlds. Both the Fantasia and Three Musketeers levels should be an absolute treat. We were told that where there wasn’t an exact length targeted to the game, the first world took a couple hours for the rep to beat and he mentioned how this is going to be a full fledged Kingdom Hearts experience.
The demo was in Japanese, which was a little disappointing since the title launches this Summer, but we were told that a fully functional English demo would of been available a week later. Still, this is being far too nitpicky; there was a lot to like from my hands on time with Kingdom Hearts 3D and I can’t wait for its release July 31st. Based on what we were told and shown, this is the traditional Kingdom Hearts experience fans have been waiting for.