Re: For those who have already got DDD in Europe/Australia, what did you think so far?
Here's what I posted on neogaf and it's appropriate here too:
Ok just finished the game and I'm disappointed as hell. After BBS this is a huge letdown and a game that should have been great but somehow managed not to be. Here's my breakdown:
Graphics- Honestly, the level of graphics, while one of the best on the 3DS, is comparable to BBS. There are a few minor improvements Aqua's hair is much better for example. However there are some VERY noticable frame drops when there are many enemies around.
Level Design- it was quite refreshing to see vast areas in KH game again. However, the problem with these and the lack of anyone in them made the world feel very empty. BBS suffers from the same problem but manages to conceal it with smarter level design as the areas are smaller and sot he emptiness is not as noticable. However, in 3DS it really feels as though you're playing through a hack-and-slash game with RPG elements rather than ARPG.
Combat- HUGE letdown after BBS. The command deck was perfect in its form in BBS and Re:Coded. Merging and leveling commands was fun. Also the commands you got throughout the game just felt strong and gave you a huge incentive to use them as opposed to your regular attack. The way the commands work in 3DS is really dumbed down. You no longer level your commands. The only way to get better commands is through leveling your dream-eater and a-staring the dive sections. The combat also doesn't look as fluid as it did in BBS (probably due to the removal of the combos and chains).
Dream Eaters are a nice little addition but I much preferred D-Links with various Disney and KH characters.
Flowmotion, however, that is something I can get behind 100%. It really made the game fun when moving around and trying to avoid attacks while preparing for your own great attacks.
Story- Now, before getting into super spoilery stuff, I want to say it was a completely stupid decision to leave the explaining of the whole purpose of the game to skippable flashbacks. The pacing was also quite awful. In previous KH titles it was acceptable to get a goal at the start, go through half of the game's Disney worlds and lock some keyholes, go back to your hub world, get more explanation on your goal, finish off the Disney worlds and the keyholes and let the story really start in the final KH world. BBS did away with this as the interaction of Ven, Terra and Aqua with the Disney worlds around them mattered and they weren't there just to lock some keyholes. In DDD we're back to the former mechanic and, honestly, not only is it stale but thanks to BBS you can see how lame it is to have story unravel this way. now, mind you, DDD does some good with a cutscene everytime you finish the world, but it's nothing stellar.
For the super-spoilery stuff I felt this game did nothing to advance the story at all. Xehanort is back, which we all knew about. He wants the X-Blade, which we all knew about. They do give us some new insights like the Organisation's true goals or the upcoming keyblade war but that's hardly something we needed a new game for. All in all, the game could have been shrunk in a few cutscenes at the start of KH3 rather than having a separate game for it. In fact, the game in this manner felt much more like Re:Coded rather than BBS in terms of importance.
Lastly, I'm kinda hating the choice of the system for this one and it feels more and more like Nintendo made some sort of an agreement with SE for the game (as evidenced with the publishing agreement in Europe). It's obvious that a system with more power could have made the areas feel much better and that the team seemed to have designed these with this in mind. Also because of DDD another game that Nomura originally intended to release after BBS was cancelled as stated in the Ultimania interview. And when you add to that the importance of DDD's plot to the overarching KH story, it really is a let down.