Why is DDD so loathed and hated?



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What do you think of Dream Drop Distance?

  • I love this game and consider it one of the best in the series/my favorite game

    Votes: 5 26.3%
  • It's okay, don't love it or hate it, it's average

    Votes: 10 52.6%
  • I hate this game/consider it one of the worst in the series

    Votes: 4 21.1%

  • Total voters
    19

redcrown

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So I've noticed a pretty popular opinion that DDD is one of the most unliked game in this series, and some consider it the one that ruined the series. Why is that? I don't make this thread as an attack or to tell people they're wrong for their opinions, I've just always been curious about this sentiment, since I remember when it came out in 2012 with divisive reactions towards it that I still see lingering to this day.

So, I ask you, if you don't like or outright hate DDD, how come? Is it the game mechanics? The plot and lore elements it introduced? The character arcs? The pacing of the story? The time travel? The Norting other characters, bringing back old villains, or even the sleeping realm itself? The dream eaters? What is it specifically that you don't like about this game, if you do?

I'll be the first to admit that I don't like the time travel or Norting aspect either, or the reviving of certain characters (or just the way they were revived with the recompletion thing, since it feels like a retcon and nullifies death ever happening in this series), or Axel getting a Keyblade, but personally I've always been able to separate those elements and scenes from the game itself, since they don't actually come about until the very end anyways.

And for me, everything else about the game overshadows any of those ever being present. I mean, there's so much more that this game did positively than negativity imo. The extended Traverse Town, the flowmotion, the large rooms to explore, the visuals, the unconventional worlds choosen, the new types of attacks magic and mechanics, the character arcs of Sora and Riku, the idea of sleeping realms and how well it was actually integrated into the story (before the time travel at the end), the TWEWY characters being introduced into the KH series even if they had cheesy moments, heck I don't even mind and actually like the dream eaters and the way you can team up with them and use their powers was a nice mechanic to me. And most of all, Fantasia.

That's just my personal view of it though. I've actually replayed this game quite a lot too, not as much as KH1 I would say, but pretty close. I consider it one of the best games in this series, and very very far from being one of the worst. (That honor goes to Days for me)

I've also made a poll to gauge the overall fan opinion of this game, to see if it's that detested or not.
 

Veevee

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I am one of the people who don't like the game, I will gladly state why.

- Sora acts dumb. He has never been the smartest guy around, but this time he blindly runs into every stupid trap. Which is jarring because he's been presented as way less gullible, more sassy and more nuanced in KH2. DDD felt like a downgrade. It's a general thing I dislike about KH - the baddies are not the smarter ones, the goodies are just so. dumb. sometimes. Character arc? What's that?

- The pacing: It's pretty redundant. You play a world, get mocked by an organisation member who's spouting gibberish, finish the world, get a snippet of a cutscene and the interesting stuff is crammed into the last 2 hours or so and the most important thing - the time travel - gets about 10 minutes of attention. I needed months to understand it and, looking at KH3 now, I'm pretty sure I still don't really understand how it works. Yes, I know, KH games often had this pacing, doesn't mean it's good. I felt reminded of Re:Com where the world contributed basically nothing to the overall story and I was just finishing them because the gameplay was nice and I waited for another cutscene. Making 75% of the game's story basically pointless and cram all the rest into the last two or three hours was never good pacing and will never be.

- The Dream Eaters: I find them atrocious. The are way too patchwork colourful for my taste, were annoying to level up, you didn't really had a chance to bond with them since you were simply replacing them with better ones and in no way they replaced actual party members.

- Large rooms to explore: "Explore". Depending on the world, these were rather long hallways with enemies ..

- The dialogue: KH never had the best dialogue, but some of the Riku / Sora buddy moments were just so cheesy. I mean I love their bromance, but I don't need it explained in every last detail because show > tell. "Darkness within darkness" is bad writing even for KH standards.

THE STORY: This is what bothers me most. Up to this point, it was basically enough to pay attention ot get everything. Starting from here, it became super complicated not because it's actually so complex, but the way it is presented is just so convoluted. We spend about 20 hours of the game with only snippets of story and the relevant stuff gets way too little screentime. Also, the time travel thing is another cliché the series didn't need and also didn't explain well enough to be good. I also wasn't too fond of basically reviving every character by "heartless and nobody probably destroyed, everyone is baaaack". I liked the twist what the original organisation's purpose was, though. Overall, the game left me super confused and not because I didn't pay attention but because the explanations sucked. Oh, and the "Lea gets a keyblade" thing was never necessary and KH3 did everything but make it a logical conclusion. He was way better with the chakrams.
.. also, why on earth are you hiding important story cutscenes behind optional clickboxes that sound like flashback summaries?

On a positive note:
I love flowmotion and I love that you could go everywhere from the start, thus no backtracking. Awesome.
Riku is smart and sassy in this game, also I like his design (unlike Sora's). Fun to play.
The gameplay in general was pretty fun.
Some worlds are quite beautiful. Fantasia had a great design.
 

AdrianXXII

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Personally I think it's okay, not horrible, but not great either. It's definitely on the lower end of my KH ranking though. My issues are less with the game play and more with the story and it's presentation.

Here are my issues, hope no one sees these as attacks on the game.

One of the issues I had with it (and too a lesser degree BBS) is that at parts it felt cheaply made with monsters only spawning at certain points if you went through the right spot and so on.

The Disney worlds in this game felt even more rushed and incoherent than in previous titles, half the time I didn't even know what was going on, which might have been intentional to echo a dream, but generally didn't make the visits to the worlds all that fun for me.
Some things seemed to play out in the wrong order, which isn't new for this series, but it felt more glaring in this game than it has in the past. Like Sora meeting Xemnas in one world and then being surprised and startled at meeting him in the next world, acting as if it's the first time they met.

The other thing that bothered me was the introduction of time travel and the way it was done. While I like the idea of the final game in the Saga allowing us to face of against all the final bosses and big bads of the series so far. I feel there could have been better was to go about it. Time travel is tricky and now that it's introduced it'll be a can of worms we'll always have to deal with. Especially seeing it's not as restrictive as it should have been.

I also didn't like that we deaged Sora and Riku for no real reason, they could have easily gone on this quest in their KH2 designs. It also didn't make sense to me that Kairi was left out of this training. If they're all starting from 0, adding an additional campaign for her would have made sense, instead of using her training as a way to side line her in KH3.
Her not even being at the tower while her friends were doing the exam just felt wrong to me.

Lea randomly getting a Keyblade doesn't bother me that much, but it seems kind of pointless.

Sora's portrayal in this game really annoyed me. He's been a bit of a goof in the past, but never this dumb, naive and frustrating.


What i did like about the game was the realm of dreams, it's a cool setting that could be used to do properties that would be harder to do in the regular series, much like Fantasia.

It was nice that Riku's Story arc was continued and mostly resolved. It felt like a nice reaffirming of the lessons he learned in KH2.

They ended up adding a few mechanics I like. The dive to reach worlds was more fun than most gummiship missions, the flow mostion opened up the map and added the long missing versatility back to the series and the ability to face off bosses you already defeated was great and sorely missed in KH3.

The take on the Deck system felt pretty good, I always enjoyed the variety of moves that become available with that system.

That people get recompleted after their Heartless and Nobody were defeated was known to most of us fans since KH2, so that revelation didn't really bother me too much. Even in KH1, as a kid, I assumed that by defeating the heartless we were resorting people.

The revelation of Nobody's growing hearts also didn't bother me seeing the Days and even KH2 hinted at it. Heck Naminé seemed to be rather emotional in CoM, so I never really was surprised by them having hearts in this series.

I was happy that the series itself finally got around to confirming these things that were stated in Ultimanias so long ago.
 

disney233

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While I love DDD, and my personal belief that the introduction to TAV (My LEAST favorite trio. We didn't goddamm need them. And 0.2 showed absolutely no new light.) Was what made this game spiral out of control. However, even I can't deny that DDD has WAAAAY bigger problem. Especially storyline.

The lore made NO sense and just like BBS it wasn't a needed game. None of the games after 2 were needed. No but no, DDD decides to introduce this Time Travel BS that barely makes sense, and some recusant shit that I STILL don't know what it means. I got NOTHING from the story. DDD was what created this tipping point of mind-boggling lore & continuity BS.

The worlds, while emptier than the usual disgusting emptiness, I found the worlds and the DE to be enjoyable tbh. Majik Lapin will forever be my favorite DE.
 

Absent

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Everyone thinks that [Insert Game Here] is the worst and most loathed game. It all varies, like the flavor of the month.
For example I think V-Cast is the worst Kingdom Hearts game, like ever. I also don’t think DDD ruined the series, that game was not the cause, but a symptom of a long time problem.

The series was heading towards DDD post 2. The pieces were all there.
 
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I consider it the weakest of the "good games" or the best of the "bad games."
KH1, 2, BBS all good.
COM, Days, Coded all bad (though I enjoyed them for what they were.)
3, 0.2 and DDD are somewhere in the middle for me.

DDD was improved by being on PS4 since the battle system could shine here. I didn't care much for it on regular 3DS.

Story-wise I felt it was one of the weakest. I hated the fact we didn't get any real story until the end, and what we got wasn't that great. This is the game that made a lot of people hate Sora. I didn't hate him, but why was he acting so ooc?

The worlds felt empty, even by KH standards, though I did love the selection for the most part. Fantasia was a great addition and I hope we see it again in some form.

I disliked the Dream Eaters. Horrible designs and I never felt any connection with them. I did like the concept, it was just not well done.
 

Divine Past

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Well after beating the game I had and still have 0 interest in replaying the game. I just felt a lot of the Disney worlds felt like a blur (I remember 0 things about the Musketeer world and very little of Prankster Paradise ) and one of the Disney worlds was the awfulness that was Tron.

The story was a mess and I hate time travel so that was a negative for me as well. I will be fair and not criticize the game for what I would have done and made this a Kairi/Riku game and just have Sora sleep during the game. You could have had the same subplot of Xehanort trying to take Sora but we get to see Kairi actually interacting with Disney character and developing her self confidence to make up for the shitty endgame storyline.
 

Raz

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I think about how incoherent the Tron world was and that pretty much sums up the entire DDD experience for me. My favorite world was Musketeers but I'm also not sure how it is able to exist. Sleeping Worlds/Time Travel was all very poorly executed/explained.
 

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3D is my favorite game along with KH1, KH3, and CoM. I think Absent is right that every game in the series is hated and loved by someone. 3D was the game that revived my interest in KH and gave me hope that KH3 might actually improve on 2's major flaws, because of how impressive the level design was and the fact that there were at least cutscenes at the end of every world that kept you tuned into the overall plot / main cast. Not to mention we actually got a game that featured Sora and Riku heavily again after so long. That might have played a role, too. ;)

What I hate about The Grid is that I would've liked to have seen TRON again... If he had actually still been the TRON we'd met in KH2. All those other characters did not interest me.
 

Rodin

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It's mostly the storytelling. I remember hating every part of it outside of the Lea moments. Granted I didn't play the game when it came out so maybe the gameplay could have cushioned the storytelling flaws for me.

Looking back I'd say it felt like the first draft than the finished product. I agree with Raz as I felt the realm of sleep was too inconsistent. The initial idea of it being a sort of Limbo for fallen worlds was cool but the Mickey worlds start to throw a wrench in that description. It broke the immersion I had and nagged at me the whole time.

The big issues were Xehanort's scheme and Sora's arc. I don't mind Sora failing, I just don't feel like the game earned it. He was made dumb to get to the end rather than having him fail because of his own flaws/mistakes.

I just hated Xehanort's reveal outside of YX's presence.

The dream eaters might have been better off more like Digimon than Pokemon- giving them more autonomy/personality than just interchangeable pets. In the anime, the Digimon partner would act as a foil for their human partner so I thought using the Dream eaters that way would have helped the story. I'm not sure how it would work gameplay-wise but I'm thinking how Atreus was in God of War.
 
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Sakuraba Neku

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I don't hate eveything about it, but it's the only Kingdom Hearts game so far that made me feel I got too old for this franchise. Mainly because of the dream eaters. The concept is good, but the execution not really.

One of the reasons I love this franchise is because it's a mix of Disney + Square. And not a mix of Disney + Square + Pokémon + Nintendogs.
 

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I'm probably the only one here who loves the Dream Eaters, but the one thing that irks me about DDD is the EXTREME lack of Disney allies. Birth by Sleep was a bore with the solo, but makes it up have unique characters fight in certain scenarios like Stitch and Prince Phillip. At least have the Musketeers be present to fight the Beagle Boys, l mean...C'MON! I guess this also follows with everyone's complaint on how the Disney worlds seem hollow, despite its size. A pity that it's nothing more than a running gag in each game...especially 3.
 
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