My experience with Dream Drop Distance and game discussion *SPOILERS*



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Adambomb

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first off, this is not a rant and i don't mean to intentionally bash a game on its own forum, i am merely talking about my experiences with this game and wanting to discuss some of my thoughts about it. Secondly i am a long time Kingdom Hearts fan and have played and loved ( Days was a little iffy for me) all of the games prior. I just recently acquired a copy of this game after two agonizing years of being without a 3DS to play it on. I honestly came into it not expecting much (judging by what i've heard about the game from others) but was delighted to find that it was quite entertaining, fun, and innovative. Ah yes, and there will be many many spoilers in this post.

The Story:

Im not gunna lie, i really did not like the story of this game. Maybe it was due to the poor writing in this game ( i couldnt even take the "dramatic" final cutscenes seriously due to the ineffective writing) or maybe it was because they randomly played the time travel card in a series that can already be confusing as it is. Now i have never really had a problem with the storylines of KH games (although i see how you could find them confusing) but upon entering The World That Never Was in DDD i no longer had any idea what was happening in the game. This confusion was partly cleared up later in that world, but it still annoyed me that the plot was not told in the most logical way possible. To make matters worse the story deals with hard to grasp concepts like time travel and Inception-esque dreams within dreams. These deep ideas needed to be presented in a more easily digestible fashion. Perhaps the story could have benefited from more elaboration and less pointless character cameos ( frequent YMX sightings and seemingly pointless Vanitas appearance) Perhaps they could have spaced out the time travel talk throughout the last couple of worlds instead of making it a dramatic realization? I dont know, i dont even like that time travel was included in the game, but im not going to argue.

Characters

I hated Sora honestly. Ive never hated him or had any issues with him in any other game, but in DDD he is either being a complete idiot or trying to befriend every single freaking person he sees. This annoyed me to no end. Especially times when he would instantly forgive people that betrayed him (Neku) or when he would instantly buddy up to everyone he meets ( Neku). honestly all of his dialogue with Neku was painful. I enjoyed Riku because he somewhat balanced out Soras out of control optimism with his laid back demeanor ( or maybe it was just because he had less dialogue for the writers to screw up). I enjoyed finishing the game with him and i was satisfied with his character arc mostly being resolved. I was also fine with Lea getting a keyblade (as I know some where not) i personally did not see any problems with that.

Disney Worlds:

The Grid was awful in my opinion, and just really not fun at all. As was La Cite De Los Cloches (or whatever it was) but to a lesser degree. I really enjoyed Pranksters Paradise and Symphony of Sorcery, i thought they were a return to form for Sqaure's execution of Disney Worlds. Symphony of Sorcery was stunning and fantastical and i really enjoyed the polarity between Riku and Sora's Pranksters Paradise experiences. They made The Grid and La Cite look dead and empty by comparison. The storylines of each world left a lot to be desired, but by now i should just expect that they're never going to be as good as the storylines were in the first two games.

Non Disney Worlds:

Traverse Town was a welcome sight for me and i absolutely loved zipping around it with Flowmotion. I thought all of the newly added areas fit in with the rest of the world and did it justice (except District Four which seemed really out of place for me). The scale of that world seemed a little off, but that's to be expected on a handheld re-creation. The World That Never Was was gorgeous in my opinion, i enjoyed it more than any other world just because of how epic it was to jump from skyscraper to skyscraper blasting away at dream eaters, making your way across the vast dark city. I honestly liked it more here than in its original KHII form.

Flowmotion:

Not as fun or useful as i expected it to be. By the end of the game i hardly used it unless the game prompted me to, or i thought i could use it to find a chest or something. In the end i thought it was a novelty, not bad in any way, but not particularly riveting or game changing. I did not think that the Flowmotion attacks were overpowered or anything, and honestly if you feel this way then just dont use them, its not that hard. On the contrary, by the end of the game i thought these attacks were useless and did next to no damage without Turbo activated.

Spirits:

Spirits were one of my favorite parts of this game. I thought that raising and collecting different Spirits to get commands and growth abilities was very fun and innovative. Some have said that this gameplay element was forced upon the player that wanted to get powerful commands but didnt want to play a nintendogs/KH hybrid, but you do not HAVE to raise dream eaters to get powerful commands. I mean i found Salvation in a chest for gods sake. You will be perfectly fine if you only raise a few dream eaters and get your commands from chests (although your experience will be much less rewarding). I remember finally creating Keeba Tiger and squealing with delight because i knew that i now not only had a new badass companion, but also had the Dark Aura command on the horizon. I liked being challenged to obtain the most powerful commands, in my opinion they were way too easy to come by in BBS and was glad to see this change

Difficulty Level (Common Enemies)

Jeez those Dream Eaters are tough! These were in my opinion the most challenging common enemy type in the series to date. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that these guys always kept me on my toes and made sure that i couldn't steam roll over them like I could to the Unversed or Heartless (in KHII) Although some of these dream eaters were hard due to cheap combo attacks ( Zolephant, flower thingy, Drill Sye, etc.) many of them were just plain challenging ( Ryu Dragon, Keeba Tiger, Skelterwild) i really appreciated this difficulty boost, and it really enriched my experience even if it was mildly frustrating.

Difficulty Level (Bosses)

I was so disappointed with the bosses in this game. I heard talk of truly epic battles with enigmas like "The Anti Black Coat Nightmare" and "YMX", but most of these fights were really disappointing. I never died to a single boss in Sora's story ( I was on Proud mode by the way) and died one or two times to each of Riku's bosses (excluding the mole thingy, chernabog, and the final bosses). The Dream Eater bosses were usually pretty lame and predictable in my opinion (although i did like the Clawbster), but i have always had more of a problem with the human enemies in the series. This was not the case in DDD. The final bosses of this game were a joke for me. The Xemnas and Ansem fights are SOOOOO overdone by this point in the series i mean it feels like we have fought them in every godamn title. Neither of them were challenging seeing as though they pretty much followed the same tired attack patterns they had in previous entries. Anti Black Coat was the only one i died to, but that was because i was startled by his attack that leaves you at one health (as story bosses usually do not possess this power in previous games if my memory serves me well). YMX caught me in the time loop a few times which was frustrating, but with Dark Roll and Dark Block this fight was a joke. The Ventus Armor fight was, much to my displeasure, the easiest of the bunch. These fights were a huge let down after BBS's difficult main story boss fights.

Bosses Design:

The bosses are probably my favorite part of KH and the main thing i look forward to when i start a new KH game. it honestly doesnt matter to me whether a boss is hard or not (although it does make me slightly more inclined to enjoy it) as long as their design is stylistically appealing, fresh and innovative, and visually impressive. Vanitas from BBS is a good example of what i like from a boss, he has a fighting style that was new and fresh, he looks badass, and he has attacks that are memorable. the only boss from DDD that fullfilled this to some extent was Young Master Xehanort. Although he was pretty much a mix between Terranort and the Mysterious Stranger (or whatever its called) the addition of the infinitely looping battle was fresh and memorable. I think this is the only battle i will actually care to remember from this game, all of the others just fell short in my opinion. None of them seemed to have desperation attacks or any moves that were visually impressive in the the slightest, the most they had were some rather obnoxious combo attacks. The second Ansem fight was the only one that actually impressed me in an aesthetic sense. The long corridor of darkness was stunning and daunting, the best part of the whole fight for me.

Sora/Riku playstyles:

i thought that they could have done more to make each character distinct from one another like they did with Aqua, Terra, and Ventus from Birth By Sleep. They both felt mostly the same to me, although Sora did have more overpowered magic attacks (sparkga, salvation) while Riku had more utility (dark roll, dark block, vanitas esque slide attack). This is more of a minor gripe though, in the end it didn't really matter.

Overall Direction:

Although the gameplay was fun and interesting, by the end i just wanted my psp back so i could go play Birth By Sleep again after four years. In my opinion this game was a step down from BBS, which was my favorite handheld title and my second favorite title overall. Dream Drop Distance had a tough job to do, it had to follow BBS ( which i think is commonly agreed upon to be one of the best games in the series), introduce and pull off a ton of new gameplay mechanics, and properly set up the long awaited third game. Do i think that it succeeded in these areas? no I do not. Do I think it was a fun and interesting game? Hell yes. I had a lot of fun playing it despite its short comings. Although i had fun with the spirits, i would not like to see that feature to return in future titles. I honestly dont care if Flowmotion returns in future titles as it was a mere gimic for me in DDD. In the end i think that the series needs new writers desperately (Ones who can make me love Sora again), and more immersive worlds and boss fights. If they can pull that off for Kingdom Hearts 3, these last 10 years of waiting will be worth it.


What did you guys think? has this game aged well or gotten better with time? feel free to disagree with me or call me an idiot, but remember these are just my opinions. All i want is to discuss this new (for me) installment in my favorite game series :)
 
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Adambomb

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I cannot read any of this. Could you add proper spacing to your post? Thank you very much.
Im very sorry about that, when I was typing it I had the spaces but when I submitted it my computer threw a fit and got rid of them. Damn technology
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Im very sorry about that, when I was typing it I had the spaces but when I submitted it my computer threw a fit and got rid of them. Damn technology
Lol, it's fine. It looks much better now and that is what matters!

(our forums will mess with formatting sometimes so lol it's understandable)
 

Adambomb

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Lol, it's fine. It looks much better now and that is what matters!

(our forums will mess with formatting sometimes so lol it's understandable)

Thanks for notifying me :)

Quick question though, does anyone actually post on this forum anymore? I feel like im really late to the party lol. Almost two years late to be exact.
 

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Thanks for notifying me :)

Quick question though, does anyone actually post on this forum anymore? I feel like im really late to the party lol. Almost two years late to be exact.
Yes, tons of people. Right now people are discussing the upcoming 2.5 HD collection for Kingdom Hearts and the new E3 announcements, so their attention is a bit diverted from DDD for the time being. C:

I haven't had time to fully read your post (I've mostly skimmed) but I did notice your mention of wanting BBS back. BBS is coming the the PS3 in HD with the Final Mix content (previously unavailable in North America), if you weren't already aware.

Also, I'm sorry that DDD was such a letdown for you. We all definitely have some gripes with the entry but it does have some great moments as well. And regarding the gameplay aspect, I actually really liked how they did it with this entry. Sora and Riku are essentially supposed to be relearning everything from scratch, simultaneously. So it makes sense for their move-sets to not be too varied from each other. But in the same vein, they were quite different. I vastly preferred Riku, because I do find Sora to be a bit stale.

Riku was the highlight of the game, in my opinion. And that was Nomura's intention. Riku has more bosses than Sora, gets a better character arc, etc. This was about Riku being a hero and finally moving on from his past sins.
 

Adambomb

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Ah yes, im very excited for the HD 2.5 collection and the chance to replay Birth By Sleep :) And I will finally be able to fight the Lingering Sentiment and the data Organization

Im sorry if I sounded negative and nit picky, I just have unfortunately high expectations from this series, especially after Birth By Sleep. I guess I just wanted 3D to recapture that feeling I got when I first played BBS. I agree that it didnt have some great moments, Symphony of Sorcery and The World That Never Was were both amazing in my opinion. And I 100% agree with what you said about Riku, I absolutely loved playing as him and getting to finish out the game as him. In a way I think Sora's irritating behavior in this game further allowed Riku to stand out and capture the spotlight.
 

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Though I don't get why you find Sora so particularly irritating in this entry? His naivety and friend-making schtick is definitely his modus operandi and so so so typical. In fact most people I've seen are happy that it was toned down compared to how he was in II. But opinions will vary I suppose.
 

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I have to disagree for the most part--3D is probably my favorite KH game since CoM--but I agree that I am so sick of fighting Ansem/Xehanort's Heartless at this point. I'll be glad after KH3 that hopefully I'll never have to see his face again. And, yeah, The Grid and Notre Dame were awful. I loved Flowmotion myself, and especially loved the return of large environments where you actually have to search for things.

I actually thought the bosses were tough, but I did speedrun through the game (finished at around lvl 25-29). I was thinking of replaying the game the past day or so. I've never replayed any of the side games just because handhelds are too annoying for me to play for long periods of time (having to hunch over/lay around, not being able to see as well, etc.). I'll be glad when they put the game on PS4 or whenever, I know it'll come eventually.

I have to admit that the fact that Riku and Sora were the center of the game really endeared me to the game though. I feel like they are the center of the series, but Riku was mostly absent in KH2 and neither were present in Days or BbS. I have to admit it might be the same reason I enjoyed Coded, even though it was really repetitive like CoM.
 

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I think it's kind of funny how much you hated Sora in this game. I started disliking him in KH2, but then I felt that Dream Drop Distance redeemed him a bit for me.

And I thought DDD was challenging enough for me (played it on Proud) and I really did enjoy it's story. Though the aspect I enjoyed the most pretty much seems agreed upon by many, and it's Riku's entire arc.

I don't know, I loved DDD, I think the only part of it I was kind of meh about was the spirits as party members. I didn't hate them, but I didn't love them either.
 

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To be fair every world feels empty and not just in DDD but the series as a whole. Places that should be populated never are.
I can agree with Sora's character though I've found him more or less stupid since KH2. They tried to remedy it a bit with DDD but not enough for me to feel they did.
Riku was definitely the shining star this game.
I too found flowmotion a novelty and later an aggravation as I did the dream eaters. I wasn't fond of the whole virtual pet/pokemon angle with them and quickly grew tired of it.
I also found the game challenging on critical, especially with Young Xehanort. (man he was a bitch with that clock and whip...)

The parts I agree most with your post though is the concepts. Time travel and inception were honestly overly confusing and even with Nomura interviews and even Young Xehanort himself explaining them we still have more confused fans than anything.

I really wish they had never added either. A realm of dreams? Sure by all means that's fine. Dreams within dreams? Meh okay I guess. But time traveling to the past to enter the realm of dreams and somehow be in the present? Worlds being both in the dream realm and real world? REALLY?? No just no, there's so many ways Nomura could've done this that wasn't annoying to figure out or that didn't appear as a cop-out for him to bring back kh1 sora/riku along with Ansem and Xemnas.

For the most part DDD was meh for me by the end and now the only times I use it is for it's theater mode.
 

Adambomb

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Though I don't get why you find Sora so particularly irritating in this entry? His naivety and friend-making schtick is definitely his modus operandi and so so so typical. In fact most people I've seen are happy that it was toned down compared to how he was in II. But opinions will vary I suppose.

I actually found Sora tolerable for the most part in KH II, perhaps that was because I first played it when I was seven years old though. Playing this one when im now sixteen and way past the point of being okay with Sora's unfailing (and slightly cheesy at times) optimism, I was very intolerant. When he instantly forgived Neku for betraying him not ten minutes after they met I knew that I was going to have a problem with Sora in this title. Perhaps this is an unpopular opinion, but I actually found him more irritating in DDD. Although like I said that is most likely do to the fact that this is the first new game (featuring sora as a main character) that I have played in my teen years.
 

Adambomb

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To be fair every world feels empty and not just in DDD but the series as a whole. Places that should be populated never are.
I can agree with Sora's character though I've found him more or less stupid since KH2. They tried to remedy it a bit with DDD but not enough for me to feel they did.

Riku was definitely the shining star this game.
I too found flowmotion a novelty and later an aggravation as I did the dream eaters. I wasn't fond of the whole virtual pet/pokemon angle with them and quickly grew tired of it.
I also found the game challenging on critical, especially with Young Xehanort. (man he was a bitch with that clock and whip...)

The parts I agree most with your post though is the concepts. Time travel and inception were honestly overly confusing and even with Nomura interviews and even Young Xehanort himself explaining them we still have more confused fans than anything.

I really wish they had never added either. A realm of dreams? Sure by all means that's fine. Dreams within dreams? Meh okay I guess. But time traveling to the past to enter the realm of dreams and somehow be in the present? Worlds being both in the dream realm and real world? REALLY?? No just no, there's so many ways Nomura could've done this that wasn't annoying to figure out or that didn't appear as a cop-out for him to bring back kh1 sora/riku along with Ansem and Xemnas.

For the most part DDD was meh for me by the end and now the only times I use it is for it's theater mode.
Well im glad im not the only one out there that was less than impressed with this title. I thought that this was a very meh entry as well. The convoluted storyline and poorly executed gameplay additions (not to mention the length) made this feel a lot like a spin off title to me instead of the main story entry that it was promised to be. As enjoyable (or perhaps a little less) as CoM.... well Re:CoM that is.

Oh and the reason I liked Symphony of Sorcery so much is because it felt like it didnt need to populated and full of life, if that makes sense. It seemed like a fantasy land that you were pioneering, it felt like it was untamed wild for you to explore (although it was linear as hell).
 

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To be honest, the reason KH1 Sora seems so likable is because he's not talking a lot of the time, and when he does talk, he's often making a point or asking questions about shit that matters. He had a generally upbeat demeanor, but never over-did it, and was never so gung-ho like in later titles.
 

Adambomb

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To be honest, the reason KH1 Sora seems so likable is because he's not talking a lot of the time, and when he does talk, he's often making a point or asking questions about shit that matters. He had a generally upbeat demeanor, but never over-did it, and was never so gung-ho like in later titles.
That is so true. Having just replayed the first game I can attest to this fact. He rarely has dialogue that isnt necessary to the story. And he got in fights with donald and made mistakes and was overall just a more believable character, not the saint like, over optimist we have in DDD. (And apparently KH II)


Btw I love your username
 

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Well im glad im not the only one out there that was less than impressed with this title. I thought that this was a very meh entry as well. The convoluted storyline and poorly executed gameplay additions (not to mention the length) made this feel a lot like a spin off title to me instead of the main story entry that it was promised to be. As enjoyable (or perhaps a little less) as CoM.... well Re:CoM that is.

Oh and the reason I liked Symphony of Sorcery so much is because it felt like it didnt need to populated and full of life, if that makes sense. It seemed like a fantasy land that you were pioneering, it felt like it was untamed wild for you to explore (although it was linear as hell).
What's so annoying to me about DDD is that it could be done in simpler less complicated ways and still get the same result.

Now worlds like that, yes it's fine. But most you go to at least has an area that is supposedly populated yet never is. Worlds like Symphony of Sorcery or Tarzan's world, it makes sense they're empty their in remote or unpopulated areas.
 

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I loved Dream Drop Distance! :) Sure it has it`s flaws and the story could have been less complicated, but as a whole I really liked it. I enjoyed the boss battles(Young Xehaort was so cool!), the ties to other titles and the music. But the thing why I really enjoyed DDD, was that if you had hang on and played every title since KH1, the game gives you so much. It ties with the previous titles and to the future. I think the best example for this is the epilogue, which you play with Riku. The fight in Dive to the Hearts against Ven was really cool link to KH1 and BBS. But the best comes after this: the three questions. When I realized it was a tribute to KH1, I just felt this warm feeling. Even better, the questions were asked by Roxas, Ventus and Xion, and that ties perfectly the new to the old. Man, I just got the feeling that this game was made to the fans, and I really appreciated it. :)
 
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Adambomb

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What's so annoying to me about DDD is that it could be done in simpler less complicated ways and still get the same result.

Now worlds like that, yes it's fine. But most you go to at least has an area that is supposedly populated yet never is. Worlds like Symphony of Sorcery or Tarzan's world, it makes sense they're empty their in remote or unpopulated areas.
Yes I completely agree that empty and dead worlds are a problem with the entire series, although there are a few worlds that are exceptions
 

Adambomb

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wait, op, your saying you never lost on soras side? am i the ONLY guy who had trouble with rinzler?lol.
Yeah I dont think I got a single game over on Soras Story. But yeah I actually have heard of a lot of people that had trouble with Rinzler. I personally didn't, although I did think that the gravity reversing was an annoying gimic. I just stayed put and blocked or constantly dodged while the gravity was flipped
 
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