Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

So the demo for KH: Dream Drop Distance hit the eshop this past week. Having had a chance to finally sit down a play it, plus a bit of time to reflect on it, here’s some of my thoughts.

First, I’ll say that I’m still super excited about this game coming out. I love the bight colors of the world(s), and even Traverse Town seems to be brighter some how. The first character interaction you have is with the main character from The World Ends With You. I had tried to play that game (TWEWY) in the past, and had never gotten into it, so I’m rather unfamiliar with most of the characters. I have to say that I do appreciate finally having a character who isn’t like “sure, strange person from another world who I’ve never seen before, please help me with my problems!” Kingdom Hearts wouldn’t be as fun if everyone was like that, but it was a refreshing change of pace, having some one say no. It was a more real interaction between two people who’ve never met, than any other part of any of the Kingdom Hearts games.

Now, on to game play. It took a bit to get used to the “FreeFlow” system, but once I figured out that you can pretty much “FreeFlow” everything, it made things a bit easier. The game is set up in a similar fashion to the previous KH games on the DS, as well as Birth By Sleep on the PSP. You use the circle pad to move, L and R control your camera, A is attack, B is jump, X for your special Skills, and L and Y allow you to “FreeFlow” and you scroll through your spells and special attacks with the D-pad. Combat is fairly intuitive, and has the same familiar feel of other games in the series. One of my favorite aspects, other than the “FreeFlow”, was being able to use your Dream Eater companions. As you attack, a pink meter fills. After it’s full, tap it on the bottom screen, and you and your Dream Eater do a dance like maneuver, with you pressing A, B, X, Y when the music note hits your target circle. I never did very well with it, but I look forward to more practice once the actual game comes out.

Over all, the demo is quite short, and left me wanting more. I can’t wait to play the full game, when it comes out July 31st.

Kingdom Hearts

I’ve always had a lot of love for the Kingdom Hearts games, ever since I borrowed my friends PS2 to play the first one when I should have been taking my finals my first year of college. I ended up beating the game in about two days. I was completely drawn into the story, art, and characters. I’ve always been a fan of Disney, and really enjoyed the Final Fantasy games I had for my PSone. When my friend offered to let me play Kingdom Hearts, I couldn’t pass it up.

Fast forward a few years, to when Kingdom Hearts 2 came out. I was beyond thrilled. By then I had my own PS2 to play on, and even bought the collectors edition strategy guide. It was just as much fun as I remembered the first one being. I’d play for hours, and not even realize the time had passed. Kingdom Hearts 2 brought even more Disney and Square Enix characters into the KH world, along with the return of some old friends.

There’s been 4 “spin-off” games, all on handhelds, that I’ve gotten to play as well. While Chain of Memories, and 358/2 days were a struggle to play, despite my love of the story, Birth by Sleep and re:Coded are both amazing. I love Birth by Sleep, because you see a side of Kingdom Hearts that’s never been seen before. You meet characters before they were villains, and it added so much to the KH universe. It answered a lot of questions, but also created more. Re:coded I just started playing. I’ve already logged close to 5 hours in the game, once again neglecting my school work for game play (I’m sensing a pattern here…). It’s so much fun to play a different version of the first Kingdom Hearts, and remember what it was like that very first time.

My amazing, tolerant husband, who knows how much I love the games, has ordered me Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance for my birthday. I can’t wait to see this new side, to once again play as both Sora and Riku. I’m getting the Mark Mastery edition, and I can’t wait to see how Square Enix works with the Augmented Reality aspect of the 3DS. I’m also excited about the 3DS case, and the art cards.

I sincerely hope that KH: 3D is everything people want it to be, and will be another great installment of an already great series.