Kingdom Hearts 3d: Dream Drop Distance takes us back to Disney World. But will we end up on the ride of our lives or is this just another unwanted stop on the way to to KH3?
Kingdom Hearts’ initial premise was an idea made of sugary sweetness: take the most loved Disney movies and adapt them into video games. The idea made the mouths of gamers and Disney fans salivate. And in many ways, Kingdom Hearts started with success. But it was bound to go awry.
Square turned the celebration of all things cuddly and cute into a repetitious cash-cow, all but bludgeoning that innocent initial idea to death with unnecessary complexities in gameplay and story. For Dream Drop Distance to work, Square would have to return to that oh-so-simple initial idea that made the series a hit in 2002. Unfortunately, Dream Drop Distance once again refuses to embrace simplicity and instead churning up a mess of a plotline and often painfully poor gameplay mechanics.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance Story and World
You know how it works by now. Sora is sent into Disney World thanks to the excuse of a flimsy and wholly unsatisfactory plot device that sort of (but not really) incites his adventure.
Sora and spiky-haired Riku are given dream-based training for a battle against evil. From here on in the story goes somewhere but honestly, you’re not going to care.
What is important (sort of) is the fact that Sora and Riku must switch spots when a “drop” metre reaches zero. Essentially, this means that for each of the Disney Worlds you visit, there’s a different storyline for each character.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance Gameplay
This Drop metre idea might not seem too bad at first, at least not until you realise that it forces you to switch character and horribly inappropriate moments, like in the middle of a boss fight. Making this yet worse still is the fact that, unless you remember to use the “Drop Me Not” item before a fight, you’ll be starting the section from scratch once you return to that character. . . . If that sounds confusing, don’t worry: it is.
Another core gameplay component of Dream Drop Distance is the ability to create spirits by using material gained from monsters. You can cast two spirits into your party at one time and use them for fighting, gaining abilities and merging for limit break attacks. You can boost the stats of these creatures by rubbing them in a mode ala virtual-pets and by playing mini-games. If this sounds like fun, don’t get too excited; the novelty soon wears thin.
What’s wrong about Dream Drop Distance is not the complexity of the system but more the manner in which those complex gameplay elements are brought together. The menus are a headache, the tutorials might as well have been written by Dickens (they’re painfully long), the story is basically a mess. . . the game comes over like a bunch of cords wound together that you have the pleasure of untangling in the hopes that they might power up something fun.
Speaking of fun: if there is a fun part to Dream Drop Sitance then it’s the combat. A “Flowmotion” system let’s Sora and Riku dash, grind and wall-jump by pressing a button and helps with escaping monsters. There are lots of customisation options and the action feels good. The bosses are also good, their giant screen-filling selves making for some excellent battles.
Dream Drop Distance is not without its charms. The graphics are gorgeous, the combat is fun and of course you get to meet your favourite Disney pals. The trouble is that you can never escape the nuisance of those tangled wires of story and mechanics. They completely ruin what might have been a wonderfully joyous romp. And so we’re all once again left wondering when Kingdom Hearts will return to the simple, magical adventure it should always have been.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance Overall: 6.5/10
>>>>>>>>> NEXT GAMEPLAY <<<<<<<<<<<