King Mickey and Yen Sid prepare for an impending threat by putting Sora and Riku through the Mark of Mastery exam. Sora and Riku are sent into the Sleeping Worlds, where they will face enemies and allies that have never been seen before. If they can successfully complete the task they are given, they will be deemed true Keyblade Masters.
Dual protagonists - Play as the two most popular characters of the franchise, Sora and Riku
"Free-flow" action - Enjoy fast and effortless movements while interacting with the environment and performing acrobatic attacks
Brand-new creatures - Dream Eaters inhabit the Sleeping Worlds, and are split into two categories: Spirits and Nightmares. Recruit over 50 different types of Spirits as allies to fight alongside Sora and Riku
Story progression - With updated looks for Sora and Riku, and the impending conflict made clear, this title is a big step forward in the series
July 31, 2012
Average Customer Rating:
based on 128 reviews
Average Customer Review:
( 128 customer reviews )
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 80 found the following review helpful:
Square Enix's RedemptionAug 02, 2012
By Elias L. Blondeau
"The Atlanta Fried Critic"
I've been a fan of the "Kingdom Hearts" franchise for a while, but even the most devout followers have begun to grow weary of its publisher's practice of shelling out prequels, in-between-quels, and all-over-the-place-quels. In all of these games, the gameplay remains fundamentally unchanged, with the exception of "Re:Coded", which was otherwise a disappointment in my book. It seemed that, on the surface, Square Enix was simply jumping on the 3DS bandwagon and shelling out another half-baked entry in order to stall before people tore down their door and demanded Kingdom Hearts III already. Regardless, I decided to give this the benefit of the doubt, and I'm pleased to announce that this is the best game in the series since "KHII". In fact, it may arguably be the best entry yet.
We join Sora and Riku after the events of II and "Re:Coded". Riku is playing for the good guys again, teaming up with Sora to take on the Mark of Mastery exam. This involves them travelling to various worlds in order to find hidden keyholes that will prove their meddle as true Keyblade Masters. The plot is a welcome change of pace from the treacly sentimentality of "358/2 Days", the rehashed narrative in "Birth By Sleep", and the confused logic and pacing of "Re:Coded." Nomura and all others involve certainly listened to the critics when it came to the story in this entry, and gave us what we wanted: a true follow-up. Much in the vein of "Chain of Memories", "Dream Drop Distance" expands on world of the game without losing its focus, and never gets lost trying to pander to fans. The result is the most focused game yet, and one whose story is filled with enough emotion and excitement for any gamer to enjoy. That being said, it's best to be familiar with the franchise before tackling this one. Newcomers may feel a little bit lost.
My main concern about "DDD" was definitely the gameplay, given that it hasn't really changed in several years. All fears have been put to rest now, due to the fact that the dev team definitely took their time with making a fun and balanced experience. The level-based hack-n-slash we're used to is still here, but it's aided by the addition of a new system called "Flowmotion." This is a snazzy way of saying that Sora and Riku now fancy themselves to be masters of parkour. The real surprise here is that Square Enix managed to slide in a new gameplay feature without turning it into a convoluted wreck. Flowmotion works fabulously. Within a few minutes of playing, you'll be grinding off of rails, using enemies as pommel horses, and careening off walls hundreds of feet in the air. Doing this allows you to deliver devastating special moves on enemies. Every enemy encounter, and especially every boss stage, transcends typical button-mashing battles and turns into something more visceral and downright fun than I ever expected from this franchise.
The other addition is the "Drop" feature. You'll be playing as both Sora and Riku in this game, as they battle through parallel worlds to find the hidden keyholes. This works in a very unique way; you have a time with each character, as they experience different narratives in the same worlds. You have to beat the world with both characters in order to truly beat it and progress the story. This is less cumbersome than it sounds, and is in fact a very interesting way to approach handling both characters. You can also jump to another character early by using the "Drop" button on the pause menu. This can be handy if you get to a good stopping point in one character's progression. Getting to experience both characters' unique perspectives is a welcome change in pace for the series.
Another worth mentioning, if only for a few sentences, is the addition of Spirit companions. Much like the world-specific partners of previous games, these animals fight side-by-side with you and can be teamed up with for a special attack. However, it works in a similar fashion to the "Shin Megami Tensei", where you collect certain components of the monsters, then combine them in order to create them. Depending on how many components you have, you can alter the strength and abilities of the monsters. You can have three with you at any given time, and I highly recommend you do so. These partners are very helpful, and fun to customize and level up. The interface for leveling them is very similar to a virtual pet simulator by way of "Final Fantasy X"'s level system. It's not too complicated, but not overly simplistic. Just the right balance of strategy and fun make this a worthwhile component to an already great game.
Graphically, this is the best-looking game in the series, without a doubt. Having played several 3DS titles, I can firmly say this is the prettiest one yet, and clearly demonstrative of what we can expect from Square Enix in the near future. Environments pop to life with dazzling use of textures and shadows, and everything blazes forward with no drop in the frame rate. From Notre Dame to The Grid, these are beautiful renderings of iconic settings, some of which have never been visited in the franchise before. The only negative is, unfortunately, the uneven use of 3D. Frame rate has a noticeable drop when the feature is used in some areas, yet flows smoothly in others. While the effects are nice and all, I would recommend only using it for cutscenes. The game actually stands very strong on its own graphical merits, and the effects steal the thunder a little bit.
Haley Joel Osment (remember him?) turns in another show-stealing performance as Sora, enough to make one wonder why he hasn't just decided to become a full-time voice actor already. The rest of the cast is predictably great, as is the music. The soundtrack once again spans a variety of styles, implementing the techno and trip-hop found in "The World Ends With You" when its characters are on-screen. There's nothing more to say, really, given that people already know Square Enix excels in this department.
Here we are, seven years after "Kingdom Hearts II" left us speechless, and we're finally given the sequel we've wanted for so long. According to series creator Nomura, "Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance" is a taste of the gameplay we can expect from the third entry. If this is truly the case, then I say bring it on. This is the best entry in the "Kingdom Hearts" series so far, and a surefire candidate for Handheld Game of the Year. If you've been holding out because of Square Enix's incessant milking of the franchise, this is the one you've been waiting for.
Ironic. In creating the best game of this stellar series, the developers have created perhaps the best 3DS title yet.
One of the best Kingdom Hearts games yetJul 31, 2012
By Samuel Havron Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] is an amazing game in nearly every way. There are a whole lot of things to do while on your adventure, and the worlds are large and full of places to explore.
The story is still as complicated as usual, but it's a great one that really sets the tone for Kingdom Hearts 3. If you've never played a Kingdom Hearts game before (or just need a refresh on the story), this game has cutscenes and readable reports that fill you in from the very beginning.
New gameplay elements to the series, such as flowmotion and the drop system, are intuitive and really make the game great. Flowmotion makes moving on the field, whether in battle or not, a much easier and more enjoyable experience. The drop system is a clever pacing tool that keeps you interested in both Sora and Riku's respective stories throughout the game. In addition, the command board and abilities make a welcome return here.
In battle, Sora and Riku have partners that are creatures called spirits, and they are one of the two types of Dream Eaters. There are over 50 different kinds of spirits, and as such they are quite varied in size, shape, and fluffiness. There are a lot of things you can do with a spirit that influences their stats and even their affection for Sora or Riku; for instance, you can pet, feed, and play with them in similar vein to the Nintendogs games.
The second type of Dream Eater is called a nightmare; the various types of nightmares are Sora and Riku's main enemy throughout the game. Depending on the difficulty level you choose at the beginning of the game, nightmares can be easy or more difficult to defeat.
The sound system in the game is noticeably more high spirited and festive than other entries in the series, but this is not a bad thing. Classic Kingdom Hearts tracks such as Hand in hand and Dearly Beloved make a return, while new songs still keep to the original feel of the games. My personal favorite track in the game is Traverse in Trance.
Overall, Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] is clearly one of the series' best, and one of my all time favorite video games.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
I'd say it's my #3 favorite KH gameSep 27, 2012
By Nikoli The Kingdom Hearts series has always been one of my favorite video game series, so naturally I had to pick this game up. I have to say I really liked this one, especially seeing as every other KH on a Nintendo system (Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days, and Re:CODED)... well, they sucked.
This game plays more like the PSP title Birth by Sleep than it does 1 or 2, with the Command system acting as your main source of nonbasic physical strikes, magical attacks, and items. The new Flowmotion combat is pretty to look at at, as well as the Reality Shift mechanic, but I usually ignored these gimmicks unless a boss fight required it. As for the Dream Eater system, I had no love. Your Spirits (good Dream Eaters you have obtained through a synthesis process similar to Item Synthesis in the originals or Command Fusion in BBS) will serve little combat aid in the attacking department, the Link Attacks are just another gimmick that steals real strategy away from combat, and the fact that half of your passive abilities are linked to what Dream Eater you have equipped really bugged me.
Let me elaborate on this. All abilities have to be earned through completing a Spirit's Command Chart. Each Spirit has a specific chart, each with unique abilities to unlock. Think along the lines of Final Fantasy 10 or 12's system. Certain passive abilities, like Once More and Leaf Bracer will be both characters' forever once you unlock it with either character (which is cool), but Stat-Boosting abilities, like Attack Boost, Fire Screen, Reload Boost, and Magic Haste will only be yours if you stick with the Spirit. You can equip up to 3 spirits at once, meaning you can diversify your Stat abilities a little once you've completed a Spirit's board, but that itself requires either sticking with the same Spirit for a lot of gameplay, or really obnoxious minigames. Either way, I was upset I couldn't max out my characters like I took the time to do in BBS.
Other than that one MAJOR flaw, the only other thing that takes away from this game is its story. Don't get me wrong. Overall, especially the last 8 hours or so, the story is almost better than 1 and 2's combined, but it takes a long time to get going, let alone make any sense. Oh, and for those who insist they won't play any of these "filler" Kingdom Hearts games and are waiting for III... good luck!
Lastly, on another positive note, this game has the greatest soundtrack of possibly any Square Enix game to date. The remixes from older Kingdom Hearts games and The World Ends With You (another Tetsuya Nomura game for the DS, and a great game in itself were amazing, and the new tracks are to die for.
9 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Another Good Kingdom Hearts GameAug 02, 2012
By Matthew Kruse I have played every Kingdom Hearts game that has been released in the U.S. and I must say this is the most enjoyable handheld Kingdom Hearts title that I have played. The controls are very solid, the new party system will keep a player busy for a very long time, and the graphics are some of the best that I have seen on the 3DS. If you are a Kingdom Hearts fan, this is a game for you, if you own a 3DS and have never played one, this is a good game to start, there are constant times when it explains what happens in the other games so you won't be at a total loss as the story progresses. This is a title that makes my 3DS worth every penny, and a great addition to the KH games. I can't wait to see more games like this from Square-Enix in the future.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
great addition to the series!May 08, 2013
By Kristi I really enjoy the Kingdom Hearts series. This is a great addition to it. I have only played a bit of it, but I am really enjoying it so far
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