Published on June 10th, 2012 | by Davis Fan0
[E3 2012] Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Preview
Out of all of Square-Enix’s franchises, Kingdom Hearts is arguably the one that’s been around the block the most. There has been a different version available on practically every portable device since the series’ inception, and now it’s about to hit the Nintendo’s 3D portable. With a little over a month before its release, we check out the game at E3.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance brings back the command deck system from Birth By Sleep, where different commands like special attacks and magic spells are loaded and used without the cost of MP but with the added penalty of recharge time for any command. It’s a system that certainly fits the pace of Kingdom Hearts by eliminating any need for pesky calculations. New to the series is the flowmotion mechanic, which players can use by dashing into environmental objects and execution contextual actions that can be used during battles, puzzles, or to trigger events.
Rather than the standard Disney companions, in the demo at least, dream eaters serve as the two additional allies for players. Aside from the allies’ primary function such as attacking or healing, players can activate ability links once the link gauge is filled. From the dream eaters in the demo, there were already several unique link abilities, including some that augment players’ attacks with elements or cast one giant spell that manifests as a mini music rhythm game.
The new drop system is of particular interest. Throughout the game, players will play as both Riku and Sora in parallel progression, constantly dropping in and out of each character’s story. It sounds confusing, but a timer is started and depletes as players progress, stopping players mid game to transition from Sora to Riku or vice versa. By repeatedly defeating enemies, players can prolong their time before dropping and purchasing upgrades for the next character. It’s a system that encourages players to constantly play through both characters’ stories, regardless of their preferred protagonist.
While we may all be anxiously awaiting even a slight hint that Kingdom Hearts 3 is still being planned, the franchise itself is still alive and well. Fans of the Disney and Square-Enix collaboration should pick this one up if they want to keep up with Sora and Riku’s adventures come July 31, 2012.