Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance review

It’s been ten years since the original Kingdom Hearts Final Fantasy and Disney mash-up and now Kingdom Hearts comes to the 3DS in the form of Dream Drop Distance. Old favourites Sora and Riku are back and this time they’re charged with completing the Mark of Mastery exam which doesn’t involve sweating over a piece of paper in silence but instead, both entering parallel worlds and saving them from cute but deadly monsters known as Dream Eaters.

You can also recruit these little monsters to aid you and as an added bonus you can also play with them virtual-pet style by stroking and prodding them in an AR environment to make them stronger and like you more. Ahhhh! You can also link with them in battle when the time is right to do super attacks and really deal some damage.

Combat’s still in realtime but now there’s something called Flowmotion which propels you round the levels and lets you attack in style by pressing the Y button. You’ll skid along rails and go all glowy and take lots more health away and look cool in the process. As you progress through the game you’ll find plenty of items and magic to upgrade your characters and Dream Eaters with and new Keyblades so smash things over the head with. Combat does work for the most part but sometimes it can be a bit unresponsive, especially when trying to cycle through items and abilities in your Deck and when trying to block. Boss fights can also be super tough to the point of frustrating as they hack of a massive chunk of health off in one fell swoop.

This is also one of the most beautiful games I’ve seen on the 3DS yet. It’s bright and colourful as you interact with characters such as Quazimodo, Mickey, Pinocchio and even Sam and Kevin Flynn from Tron Legacy and if you’re not sure what the hell’s going on there are plenty of flashbacks and mementos to watch and read that fill you in on the back story of Disney’s fables and the Kingdom Hearts canon itself as you warp around the worlds.

So where does the ‘Dream Drop’ part come in you ask? Well it’s an interesting and sometimes frustrating mechanic where a meter runs down as you play with each character. You can choose to ‘drop’ into Riku or Sora’s story at any point but sometimes you’re forced to when the meter runs out. It does create a sense of urgency but sometimes it feels like an ad break at an inopportune moment on a commercial TV station.

This latest Kingdom Hearts game does have its faults but it’s still a very high quality game. If you like Disney and the previous games it’s a must buy. It gets 8 out of 10.

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