The console entries in the Kingdom Hearts series contain some fond memories for me (despite their flaws), but I've found the portable sequels to be a bit underwhelming. So much of the series' appeal lays in exploring the world of Disney and characters of Square Enix -- something that the limitations of the PSP and DS got in the way of. They just felt a little too miniature for their own good.
While I'd prefer a full-blown next-gen sequel, the graphical capabilities of the 3DS returns the visual flair of the series. Exploring the world of Kingdom Hearts has all the flair and Disney magic that has been missing from the series lately. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance resembles the greatness the series once achieved, even if it's another portable sequel with a terrible subtitle.
The brief TGS demo showed off the game's tweaked combat system and some new locations. The first portion of the demo has the player taking on the role of Sara, exploring Traverse Town (the first city in the original Kingdom Hearts). Since the demo was in Japanese, I can't accurately explain the context of everything but you guys should know something very important: This game pairs you with a panda and a giant cat. I'm not sure why, but I'm completely fine with this. Ecstatic, actually.
Kingdom Hearts 3D introduces the new Social Link system which lets you turn your companions into powerful panda or cat beasts that deal out massive damage to enemies. While turning the panda into a spinning ballerina of death and projecting him via catapult is pretty neat, riding a giant bouncing cat might make this a day-one-purchase for me.
Another new addition to the series is the dash button that lets the player traverse quickly across the screen and jump up buildings like a ninja. You can also use light posts to swing on and off to get the drop on an enemy. I don’t think Kingdom Hearts needs to be any more manic, but, surprisingly, it works pretty well. It's not exactly Ninja Gaiden, but the sense of speed and improved maneuverability give this entry a unique feel.
Exploring Notre Dame with Riku, during the demo's second scenario, confirmed to me that Kingdom Hearts 3D may very well bring back the quality of the original console releases and make the series relevant to non-diehard fans again. We'll have to wait until later next year to know for sure, although the game will come out in Japan in Spring -- in case you want to get your fat bouncing cat on a bit early.
|2:45 PM on 05.16.2013|
Kingdom Hearts 3D is only $10 at Best Buy today
I don't know what it is about Square Enix games, but they always feel like they cost too damn much. This is especially true of the handheld titles -- I refused to pick up Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy for $39.99, waiting instead...more
|4:00 PM on 07.26.2012|
Exclusive: Meet the Kingdom Hearts 3D sound team
[Editor's note: Hailing from Norway, Audun Sorlie is not only passionate about game music as an editor on OSV and writer for various magazines around the world, but he's also a big Kingdom Hearts fan. To commemorate the relea...more
|11:30 AM on 05.11.2012|
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance pre-order AR cards
Square Enix sends word of these pre-order bonus augmented reality cards, given out while supplies last with your order of upcoming 3DS game Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. The AR cards will allow the unlocking of rare...more
|9:00 PM on 04.22.2012|
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance dated for Europe
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (hoo boy, that name...that name is something) has begun its final descent onto retail shelves worldwide, already debuting to much success in Japan. With this past week's Nintendo Direct ...more
|11:10 PM on 04.08.2012|
PAX: Kingdom Hearts 3D, now with even more Jeff Bridges
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has Jeff Bridges. Boom. End of preview. ... Fine, I'll tell you more about the rest of the game.more
|4:00 PM on 02.27.2012|
Kingdom Hearts 3D European release date leaked
Looks like Square Enix dropped a release date deuce. Kingdom Hearts 3D (also known as Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance) will be coming to Europe this summer; Of that, there is no doubt. But according to GimmeeGimmeeGames, ...more
|8:00 PM on 02.20.2012|
Kingdom Hearts 3D 10th Anniversary Box innards revealed
If there's anything that brings out the Veruca Salt in me, it's Japanese exclusives. The Kingdom Hearts 10th Anniversary Box will be no exception. The set, so far unconfirmed outside of Japan, includes three games: Kingdom He...more
|1:15 PM on 12.21.2011|
Guzzle down this massive Kingdom Hearts 3D trailer
How dare we post the latest Kingdom Hearts news without posting the latest trailer! We are complete failures at journalism! The above eight-minute behemoth was first shown during the recent Jump Festa in Japan. In addition t...more
|9:20 AM on 12.20.2011|
Announced for US: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Square Enix has a Christmas gift for Kingdom Hearts fans. Today, they announce that 3DS title Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is coming to North America and Europe next year. It's Square Enix meets Disney again, now wi...more
|9:01 AM on 05.23.2013|
This Valhalla Knights 3 trailer is horny and NSFW
PlayStation Japan held nothing back with this newly released this trailer for upcoming Vita title Valhalla Knights 3. It wastes no time in showing you how horny this game can be. You'll see what it's like to enter a particul...more
|4:00 AM on 05.23.2013|
Awakening was almost the last Fire Emblem game
Fire Emblem: Awakening surprised just about everyone with its critical and commercial success. In Japan, the 3DS strategy RPG had sold over 400K units through June 2012, and it's likely continued to grow since then. In the US...more
|7:00 PM on 05.22.2013|
WildStar's Paths accomodate specific MMO play styles
The new MMO on the block, WildStar, is gearing up for its release this year, and the developers at Carbine Studios are cranking out new details as we near that. As if making choices in MMO games weren’t tough enough, C...more