As an avid Kingdom Hearts fan, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we have been waiting far too long for the next installment of Sora’s journey. Even though Dream Drop Distance doesn’t come out for a little less than a month, Nintendo has kindly put up a demo of the game on the Nintendo 3DS’ eShop. But is it any good? Read on to find out!
While the full game of Dream Drop Distance puts the player in the shoes of both Sora and Riku, the demo only shows a short 30 minute segment of Sora’s story. It starts out with our hero waking up in the middle of Traverse Town, a location from the first Kingdom Hearts game. After realizing that his partner, Riku, is no where to be seen, he calls out for him. Instead of Riku showing up Sora meets Neku, the main character from the Nintendo DS’ under-appreciated gem, The World Ends With You. After Neku explains to Sora that he needs to find his partner in a mysterious “game”, you are free to explore Traverse Town.
The first thing you will notice about Dream Drop Distance is that it feels and looks exactly like a console Kingdom Hearts game. As I was fighting my way through enemies I almost forgot that I was playing on a handheld device. Dream Drop Distance also brings back the ability deck feature. Rather than having magics and powers that use up mana, each ability has it’s own recharge bar, and can chosen by using the d-pad to cycle through the list. The biggest change in gameplay, however, is the Flowmotion feature. By simply pressing the Y button, the player can engage enemies with special attacks and zoom around the battlefield. Flowmotion adds a whole new whole layer to combat, making every battle unique.
Despite these differences from the usual Kingdom Hearts formula, the new features feel completely natural and flow together perfectly. USing the d-pad to cycle through your abilities is somewhat awkward at first, but you eventually get a feel for it. The demo only left me wanting more, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the game will turn out. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance will hit store shelves on July 30.