Aaron's Backstage Pass: Kingdom Hearts
Ten years ago a game came out on the PS2 by Square Enix called “Kingdom Hearts.” It looked like a very interesting game and like a lot of fun. I bought it and was a fan immediately. It was new and featured a full cast of popular classic Disney Characters. There were a lot of things to discover in the game and it took a really long time to complete. I really enjoyed playing it and have played all of the sequels.
Last week I got the opportunity to play “Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance” by Square Enix on the Nintendo 3DS. *
In this game you play the two popular characters in the series, Sora and Riku. In order to prepare to take care of an approaching threat, Sora and Riku enter the “Sleeping Worlds” to complete a Mark of Mastery exam. In this world they encounter a new group of enemies and helpful spirits called the “Dream Eaters.” Along the way you will also encounter a whole cast of classic Disney characters. You will also visit some new Disney worlds that appear for the first time.
I really enjoyed this game for a number of reasons and I will go through the many reasons why I liked “Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance.”
The graphics are amazing. They are colorful and very detailed. I would have to say in my opinion that the graphics are better than they have ever been. The artists spent a lot of time making the game look great and the 3D effects are stunning. The characters look alive and look like they could just jump out of the game at any time.
Controlling Sora and Riku are very smooth. You use the circle pad and you have perfect control. I did not have any problems with the controls at all.
When you are in a battle you attack with the A button and jump with the B button. You can also lock onto the enemies when there are multiple ones. This helps a lot, because you can focus on just one enemy at a time. You can also attack with magic or use items during fights. I really like how there are shortcuts and you can actually go into a menu and set them up. You use the direction pad for spells and items and by going into the menu you can choose if you want the up direction to be for fire magic or if you would like it to be used for potions so you can fill up your life meter quickly in a battle.
There are many new features in the game and that really makes this a fun and exciting new game. One thing that you discover right away is that you can play as the two main characters. In the previous games you just played as Sora, but now you can also play as Riku and you can switch between the two characters. Plus they also have an updated new look. Each one of them has different powers and different keyblades. The keyblades are their main weapons and you can find new ones throughout the game.
There is a new way to move around called, “Flowmotion.” When you are running around you can push the Y button and you go into a lightning fast motion and you can interact with the environment and do some pretty cool attacks when fighting enemies. A great example of this is that there are railings all over and you can jump on the railing, go into the flowmotion, and fly across the rail.
In the “Sleeping Worlds,” the new creatures are called “Dream Eaters” and they split into two categories. There are the Nightmares which are the monsters that you fight and then the spirits. You can get over fifty different spirits to join your team and help you fight the Nightmares. This is really cool, because there are so many of them and you can level them up and make them stronger.
Another thing that I really liked about this game is that when you come across a new feature in the game, a menu pops up and explains what you need to do and what it is. A picture comes on the screen and it describes and shows you what buttons to press and what the feature does. Plus at any time in the game you can go into a menu and look at this information again. I found that this was very helpful and wish more games would do this.
One thing that I also would like to mention quick is that there are lot of celebrities that voiced the characters, such as Leonard Nimoy(Star Trek), Haley Joel Osment(The Sixth Sense), David Gallager(7th Heaven), Hayden Panetierre (Heros), Jesse McCartney, and Quinton Flynn (Robot Chicken)
Overall I really liked “Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance” and I think a lot of people will. The graphics are amazing and the story is very well written. I think the fact that most of the Disney characters that are in the game add to the fun, because you never know who you are going to run into or will help you in your adventure. Plus there are a ton of secrets to discover, so I know I will be playing this game for a while.
*“The copy was provided by Square Enix for review purposes”