Re: For those who have already got DDD in Europe, what did you think so far?
Rinzler was actually the first time I died in this game, lol, I guess mainly because I play directly on Proud and tried to tackle him with Sora only at Level 15.
Someone should also have told me that you can't block his stomp attack, *ggg*. But anyways, in the next round I got the pleasure of killing him off with Comet, where Sora stands on top of the flying rock with his hands behind his head-gesture like a boss. *ggg*
I've finished three worlds so far (Traverse, La Cité des Cloches and The Grid) and it's very entertaining. The world stories tie in better to the overall plot this time, with both Riku and Sora taking advice and making references from the world's plot for their overaching adventure and even the villains (aka Young Xehanort, Ansem and Xemnas) take examples from the world's plot to make a point in their babbling. Playing with the Dream Eaters is tons of fun and really makes them help you with eagerness in battle the more you play with them. I don't know which Dream Eater I have in the team atm (the lizard or the goat) is responsible, but one of them keeps casting Regen on Sora during boss battles and cluttered battles with more than four nightmares, and that's extremely helpful.
I almost forgot to switch spirits in my team since I was so used to work with those I already befriended.
I have to say though that some treasure chests in this title are really hidden well. I've cleared 3 worlds and I already miss one treasure chest in Traverse for Sora, three for Riku and another four in the Grid with Sora.
Flowmotion is in fact a need to get some of the weirder placed ones.
The battle system is also a breath of fresh air, and as Nomura intended, much more fast-paced. Combining Flowmotion attacks, regular Keyblade swings, block-counters (Riku's blast of dark energy is particulary effective!), commands and reprisal attacks is very satisfying.
Some rudimentary approaches to this variety and combining stuff was already done in Birth by Sleep, but in DDD it is way smoother and surely faster.
As for the Drop System, welp, I'm either a rare breed or just able to adapt very good since up to now the Drop System didn't bother me one inch. On the contrary, I find myself planning ahead what I want to accomplish in this "drop phase" and also prepare as much bonus as possible for the other character. Before boss-fights I always quaff some of the items that fill up the drop gauge again so I have enough time to analyze the boss' attacks and attack accordingly.
Story I won't say anything on since this isn't the spoiler-section, so the only things remaining are the music and the Reports/Memento feature.
The music I think does not need anything more than to say it's awesome as usual. The world's tracks are very catchy, Traverse giving off that "dreamy" feeling while La Cité des Cloches has a certain subliminal feeling of imminence and sublime to it (especially when running around the cathedral).
They also use some tracks first introduced in BBS repeatedly, like the Wayfinder-theme (aka Destiny's Union) often in epic/dramatic scenes which really tugs on one's heartstrings Like when Rinzler falls from the arena reaching out for Sora and he's too late to catch him, the farewell scene between Esmeralda, Phoebus, Quadimodo and Riku or Kevin Flynn blowing himself up.
And then there's the reports and the memento feature, some of my favorites in this game and surely one of the best ideas they had (this should have been actually earlier in the other games as well).
In the reports there's a big character compendium where characters are added the more worlds you clear, one section for the world inhabitants and a "main character"-section where important original characters of the KH-Series are added a few at a time. You start out with Sora, Riku, Braig and the brown hooded figure, but which each cleared world there are more characters added in this section as well. The kicker? While all characters have a 3D-Model to them, some, like Sora, Riku or Phoebus, can have their costumes changed inside the Database.
The descriptions for some characters on the bottom screen are in some cases a bit less detailed than they should be, but that's a minor flaw in my book.
The Chronicles over the other games also have a neat extra feature that isn't really seeable on the first look. Besides giving a detailed text on what happened in the specific game and who the central characters are, you have a picture from this game in the background.
Now remember what Nomura said in the Ultimania? That he originally intended to make the chronicles full blown with many pictures of the most important events of each game like a photo album? Well, they couldn't do it this time as he said, but they have a small compromise in that while you scroll down the text, the background image changes to four or five different pictures from the game in question. It's only a minor gimmick, but I found it pretty neat. ^__^
Last but not least, the glossary gives a really simple, general overview over broader things like the Keyblade War, Keyblades and the X-blade, so together with the chronicles and the reports it gives at least a general overview for those for aren't that well-versed in the overaching plot and makes them familiar with important characters from the games after KH2.