Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

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Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
KH3D Euro Cover.jpg
Developer(s) Square Enix 1st Production Department
Publisher(s) Square Enix (JP/NA)
Nintendo (EU/AU)
Director(s) Tetsuya Nomura
Tai Yasue
Producer(s) Rie Nishi
Artist(s) Tetsuya Nomura
Gen Kobayashi
Takeshi Fujimoto
Writer(s) Masaru Oka
Composer(s) Yoko Shimomura
Takeharu Ishimoto
Tsuyoshi Sekito
Series Kingdom Hearts
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
Release
  • JP: March 29, 2012
  • EU: July 20, 2012
  • AU: July 26, 2012
  • NA: July 31, 2012
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance [lower-alpha 1] is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo 3DS, revealed at E3 2010. The game is the seventh installment in the Kingdom Hearts series and was released in Japan on March 29, 2012. It was released outside Japan on July 20, 2012 in Europe, July 26, 2012 in Australasia and July 31, 2012 in North America.

Action role-playing video games are a subgenre of role-playing video games. The games emphasize real-time combat where the player has direct control over the characters as opposed to turn or menu-based combat. These games often use action game combat systems similar to hack and slash or shooter games. Action role-playing games may also incorporate action-adventure games, which include a mission system and RPG mechanics, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) with real-time combat systems.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Square Enix Japanese video game company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling 144 million, the Dragon Quest franchise selling 78 million and the Kingdom Hearts franchise selling 30 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

Contents

Taking place after the events of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded , the game focuses on Sora and Riku's Mark of Mastery exam in which they have to protect parallel worlds in preparation for the return of Master Xehanort. Besides controlling the two playable characters across a single scenario, the player is able to recruit creatures known as Dream Eaters that are able to assist in fights.

<i>Kingdom Hearts Coded</i> video game

Kingdom Hearts Coded, stylized as Kingdom Hearts coded, is an episodic action role-playing puzzle video game developed and published by Square Enix, in collaboration with Disney Interactive Studios, for mobile phones. Coded was a Japan-only release announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show. Its Nintendo DS remake titled Kingdom Hearts Re:coded was released in Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia. A cinematic remake of the game was included in the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix video game compilation for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Sora (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) main protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts video game series

Sora is a fictional character and the protagonist of Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts video game series. Introduced in the first Kingdom Hearts game in 2002, Sora is portrayed as a cheerful teenager who lives in the Destiny Islands and has been best friends with Riku and Kairi since childhood. When they plan to go on a journey to see other worlds, they are separated by creatures known as the Heartless, with Sora obtaining a weapon called the Keyblade. Donald Duck and Goofy then recruit him in their journey across various worlds to aid King Mickey while Sora searches for his friends. Along the way, the trio protects the worlds they visit from various villains. In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora searches for Riku and fights against Organization XIII, who attempt to seize Kingdom Hearts for their own. Sora has also made supporting appearances in other games from the series, and reprised his role in manga and light novel adaptations of the games.

The Square Enix staff decided to develop Dream Drop Distance after being impressed by the quality of the Nintendo 3DS. Taking advantage of the console's functions, they increased the action elements from the series based on the system previously seen in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep . Additionally, both the gameplay and the plot are meant to give a glimpse about what the following title in the series, Kingdom Hearts III , would be like. The game has been well received in Japan and in the US, selling over 250,000 and 180,000 units on its debuts respectively.

<i>Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep</i> 2010 video game

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable, serving as the sixth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series. The game was released on UMD in Japan on January 9, 2010, in North America on September 7, 2010 and in the PAL regions on September 10, 2010. An international version of the game titled Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix was released in Japan in January 2011 featuring the changes made in the non-Japanese versions.

<i>Kingdom Hearts III</i> 2019 video game

Kingdom Hearts III is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the twelfth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, and serves as a conclusion of the "Dark Seeker saga" beginning with the original game. Set after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, returning protagonist Sora is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, King Mickey and Riku in their search for the seven guardians of light as they attempt to thwart Xehanort's plan to bring about a second Keyblade War. Their journey has them cross paths with characters and visit worlds based on different Disney and Pixar intellectual properties.

A HD remaster of the game titled Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD was released for the PlayStation 4 in 2017 as part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue collection.

PlayStation 4 Sonys eighth-generation home video game console

The PlayStation 4 is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3 in February 2013, it was launched on November 15 in North America, November 29 in Europe, South America and Australia, and on February 22, 2014, in Japan. It competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.

<i>Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue</i> 2017 video game compilation

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a collection of the Kingdom Hearts series, developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4. A successor to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, it was announced in September 2015 and released in January 2017.

Gameplay

The game, which largely follows the action RPG and hack and slash gameplay of previous games in the series, sees players alternate between the roles of Sora and Riku. Alternating between characters is done via the 'Drop' system. During gameplay, a Drop Gauge gradually depletes over time, though it can be replenished with items. When the gauge completely empties, control will switch to the other character, though players may also opt to drop manually at any time. Drop Points, which are earned by defeating enemies and completing optional objectives, can be spent on bonuses that can be used until the next time the character drops, such as a slower Drop Gauge or increased attack or defense. [1] The game reuses the Command Deck system from Birth by Sleep , in which players can customize a deck filled with various actions, spells, and items that can be quickly selected. There are also several new elements added to the gameplay. Flowmotion allows players to move quickly about by performing actions such as bouncing off walls, grinding on rails and spinning around poles. [2] Reality Shift is a system the player can use on certain objects or weakened opponents involving a touch-screen activated minigame unique to each world. These include dragging the screen to fling a target like a catapult, touching hidden words to take control of enemies, and playing a small rhythm-based game to cause fireworks to appear. [3] [4]

Hack and slash or hack and slay refers to a type of gameplay that emphasizes combat.

A battle in the game, featuring the Command Deck commands on the left side of the screen, and the two selected Spirits and the Drop meter on the right side. Sora is the character in use, with his health meter and character portrait at the bottom right. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance gameplay.jpg
A battle in the game, featuring the Command Deck commands on the left side of the screen, and the two selected Spirits and the Drop meter on the right side. Sora is the character in use, with his health meter and character portrait at the bottom right.

One of the key elements of Dream Drop Distance is the inclusion of the Dream Eaters. Whilst they generally serve as the main enemies of the game, up to three good Dream Eaters, known as Spirits, can be recruited per character to assist them in battle. Spirits can be created by combining Dream Fragments together with an item or spell, either via experimenting with combinations or using recipes found throughout the game. Characters can also link with Spirits to perform unique attacks. Along the way, the player can care for these Spirits by petting them, feeding them items, or playing mini-games with them, which can unlock new abilities for the Spirits. [5]

The game takes place across multiple worlds based on Pinocchio , The Hunchback of Notre Dame , Tron: Legacy , Fantasia and The Three Musketeers , each having two different plots from the perspectives of Sora and Riku. These worlds need to be completed by both Sora and Riku in order to unlock new worlds and progress through the game. Upon visiting each world for the first time, each character must go through a Dive section, in which characters freefall down a tube and must clear a certain objective, such as obtaining a certain number of points, defeating a certain number of enemies in a time limit, or defeating a boss character. In this mode, Sora and Riku can attack opponents, slow down their descent, or dodge attacks. They can also pick up magic spells which give them a limited supply of magical attacks to use against enemies. [6]

Outside of the main game, players can play an additional mode called Flick Rush, which can be played alone or with another player via wireless multiplayer. In this mode, players battle with a team of three Spirits and pit them against each other. Players fight against their opponent by flicking up cards from the touchscreen. Each card has a number value determining its attack strength, with multiple cards combining to increase the overall value. The player whose attack value is greater than their opponent's gets to attack with their Spirit. A slowly replenishing meter determines how many cards the player can send out at a time, and each Spirit has a limited number of cards that can be replenished by swapping them out with another Spirit. The first player to eliminate all of their opponent's Spirits wins the game.

Plot

Setting

Dream Drop Distance follows the events of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts Coded , though much of the game's plot is set concurrently to the original game via time travel. There are a total of seven playable worlds, most of which are based on various Disney properties, albeit in a "world submerged in sleep" due to being destroyed by the Heartless. [7] Most of the Disney worlds introduced are entirely new, including: La Cité des Cloches (based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame ); the Grid ( Tron: Legacy ); Prankster's Paradise ( Pinocchio ), which also includes the inside of Monstro's belly from previous games; the Country of the Musketeers ( Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers ); and the Symphony of Sorcery ( Fantasia ). The other two worlds, Traverse Town and the World That Never Was, are original to the series and have both been featured in previous games. In addition, the game's opening tutorial is set on the Destiny Islands, another original world.

Characters

The game features Sora and Riku as the two main characters of the game, taking part in a test to improve their skills with their weapon, the Keyblade. For most of the game, the two are depicted as they appear in the original game while also being given new clothes. Their older selves from Kingdom Hearts II also appear during cutscenes, while Sora is briefly playable in this incarnation during the end credits. A younger incarnation of Xehanort, first introduced as the optional "Mysterious Figure" boss from the North American and European releases of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep , serves as the game's primary antagonist together with his two revived alter egos: his Heartless, Ansem, and his Nobody, Xemnas. Several former members of Xemnas' Organization XIII, including Lea and Ansem the Wise's apprentices, return after being restored to their human forms.

Like previous games, Dream Drop Distance features various Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, who is seen in the game in three different incarnations: his original characterization in the Kingdom Hearts series as the king of Disney Castle; a musketeer as featured in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers ; and the young apprentice of Yen Sid shown in Fantasia . Donald Duck and Goofy make similar appearances as well. Characters hailing from their respective worlds play a small role in the main story, while Maleficent and Pete reprise their roles as antagonists, and Yen Sid as a supporting character. Unlike the other major installments, which feature an extensive cast of Final Fantasy characters, only a single Moogle appears from the franchise. Dream Drop Distance features appearances of Neku Sakuraba, Joshua, Shiki, Beat and Rhyme from The World Ends with You , another game owned by Square Enix with characters designed by Tetsuya Nomura, marking the first time that non-Disney, non-Final Fantasy characters have appeared in the series. [8]

The game introduces a new type of creature called Dream Eaters, which come in two varieties—"Nightmares", which eat good dreams and create nightmares, and serve as enemies similar to the Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed from previous games; and "Spirits", which eat nightmares and create good dreams, and also act as Sora and Riku's party members. [9]

Story

Anticipating Master Xehanort's return, Yen Sid puts Sora and Riku through a Mark of Mastery exam to bestow them with the power necessary to rescue their own missing allies and counter Xehanort. For the exam, they are sent to worlds that remain trapped in a "sleeping" state after being destroyed by the Heartless. There, they must unlock seven keyholes in order to fully restore them to the realm of light; they are also advised to create benevolent "Spirit" Dream Eaters to guide them and battle the malevolent "Nightmare" Dream Eaters that infest the sleeping worlds. Yen Sid sends Sora and Riku back in time to their homeworld's destruction, allowing them to enter the sleeping worlds. The two are separated at the start of the test, each finding himself in an alternate version of the worlds. Throughout the exam, Sora and Riku repeatedly encounter a gray-haired youth who is accompanied by Xemnas and Ansem, respectively.

Upon completing the exam, Sora and Riku arrive in the World That Never Was instead of the realm of light. Revealing that he and his associates have lured Sora into a trap, the youth places Sora into a deep sleep, where Sora defeats Xemnas within his own dreams. However, Sora's heart is swallowed by darkness, but is encased within Ventus's armor for protection. Meanwhile, Ansem reveals that Riku has spent the entire exam traveling through Sora's dreams as a Dream Eater. Riku defeats Ansem and is confronted by the youth, who reveals himself to be Xehanort's adolescent self, tasked by his present self with assembling a new Organization XIII composed of thirteen incarnations of Xehanort from across time, including hosts of his fragmented heart. Afterward, a revived Master Xehanort appears and attempts to turn Sora into his final host, intending to pit his thirteen "seekers of darkness" against seven "guardians of light" in order to achieve his ultimate goal of recreating the χ-blade. He is foiled when Sora is rescued by Lea, the revived human form of Axel from the original Organization. Xehanort and his incarnations fade back to their original time periods, assuring that both factions will inevitably clash.

Returning to Yen Sid's tower, Riku enters Sora's dreams and releases his heart from Ventus's Nightmare-possessed armor, saving him. Riku then arrives in a simulation of the Destiny Islands and meets a virtual copy of Ansem the Wise, who gives him research data he had left in Sora's heart to help Sora save those connected to it. After Riku returns to the realm of light and reunites with Sora, Yen Sid commends Riku for braving the realm of sleep a second time to reawaken Sora, declaring him a Keyblade Master; Lea also reveals himself to have become a Keyblade wielder, and intends to become a Master as well. Sora is undaunted by his failure and returns to the sleeping worlds, where he thanks his Dream Eater companions.

In the game's secret ending, Yen Sid and Mickey discuss Xehanort's plan. Yen Sid reveals his intent to gather seven Keyblade wielders in order to prevent Xehanort from using the Princesses of Heart to forge the χ-blade. To this end, he has Riku recruit Kairi to be trained as a Keyblade wielder.

Development

The game was created by the same development team that worked on Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep , [10] then part of Square Enix's 1st Production Department. [11] Since it contained members who worked for The World Ends with You , the group decided to use characters from said game in replacement of Final Fantasy characters. The decision to make a Kingdom Hearts game for the Nintendo 3DS was due to the positive impression the Square Enix staff had when viewing the console's quality. [12] The console inspired Nomura to make the Dive Mode function where the character moves to different worlds without the use of a vehicle, while the Flowmotion was thought prior to deciding which console use. [13] The game's title was used to reference its various themes, with "Dream" referencing the storyline, "Drop" for the gameplay style, and "Distance" referring to the main characters' interaction, and, while unintentionally, the system's autostereoscopic 3D effect. Although Tetsuya Nomura admitted the English used was not grammatically correct, the team still decided to use it based on the way it sounded. [1] Development was notably shorter than the ones from previous Kingdom Hearts games. [14] However, co-director Tai Yasue emphasized how the finished product resembled Kingdom Hearts II and Birth by Sleep but improved. [15]

The team wished for the game to have more action than the previous games. Nomura noted the similarities with Final Fantasy Versus XIII as a result of their similar styles. The new maneuvers employed in Dream Drop Distance are also meant to give a glimpse about how the next game in the series, Kingdom Hearts III , would look like. New worlds were included in the game as a result of multiple requests by fans. [1] The switches between player characters Sora and Riku across the game are meant to contrast the style from Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, which allowed the player to use three characters in their own campaigns, as well as explain the word "Distance" in the title because the two characters never interact across their stories. [16] The Free Flow system was made using data from Birth by Sleep, which took nearly two weeks to obtain a form similar to the one from the game. [17] The game originally intended to use returning Heartless and Nobodies as generic enemies. However, the setting gave the staff the idea of introducing new creatures, Dream Eaters, who would also join the player in fights. [12] They were also inspired in part by Nintendogs + Cats —Nomura wished that his virtual dog could battle with other pets met through Streetpass and created the Dream Eaters based on this concept. [18] They are used in the mini-game Flick Rush which originally intended to allow players to use a picture. Nomura did not approve of this idea. [17]

With Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, the staff revealed that Dream Drop Distance would revolve around Sora's and Riku's "Mark of Mastery" exam, but were worried about how to set it. The idea of Sora going through a dream was inspired by the subtitle of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and served as a basis for the game. [19] Sora and Riku were chosen as the playable characters in anticipation for the franchise's ending of the "Xehanort arc" as well as to represent the theme of "the light and the dark sides of hearts" which the two characters represent. [12] The former's inclusion was also done due to the character's popularity in Japan. [13] Nomura has stated that the themes of the game are trust and friendship, and that like Birth by Sleep, the story is on par with that of a numbered title. As a result of the game's plot, both Sora and Riku appear in their younger forms from the first Kingdom Hearts game. However, to avoid misconceptions that Dream Drop Distance was a remake of the original game, Nomura decided to change Sora's and Riku's outfits for most of the game. [20] Despite using two protagonists, the game primarily focuses on Riku's growth across the series. When starting production, the staff had decided to make the story as complex as possible, leading to the inclusion of several cutscenes which can be viewed by the player anytime they want. In order to make it more accessible, scenario writer Masaru Oka was in charge of the Chronicles feature, which explains events from previous games. [13] The game's story is also meant to connect directly with Kingdom Hearts III, [21] although its original ending was not approved by the staff and was scrapped. Like previous titles, Dream Drop Distance has a secret ending that connects to Kingdom Hearts III although the staff found it unconventional in comparison to previous ones. [22]

Promotion and release

The game was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010 as "Kingdom Hearts 3D Demo" for the Nintendo 3DS. [23] It was formally unveiled though at the Square Enix 1st Production Department Premier event at the Toho Cinemas in Tokyo, Japan on January 18, 2011 with its first trailer along with its official name. [24] During the game's development, Nomura emphasized the mystery element of the story and confirmed that the theme of the game is trust. [23] In July 2011, a Famitsu article included an interview with Nomura in which he revealed that the game would have an unlockable secret movie. A playable demo released the same month also first featured the Dream Eaters as the player characters' partners and the game's generic enemy. [25] A Dengeki issue featured another interview with Nomura, where he confirmed that he would be considering what he called an "HD Technical Test" in order to commemorate the series' tenth anniversary and to entice new players to the series. [26] This occurred on March 3, 2012 in the form of a premiere event where footage from the game, including its full CGI introduction sequence, was showcased to celebrate the game's release. [27]

The game was first released in Japan on March 29, 2012, and in North America and Europe on July 31, 2012 and July 20, 2012, respectively. [28] [29] In Australasia, it was released on July 26, 2012. [30] A limited edition titled "Mark of Mastery" was also released in North America featuring twelve art cards, AR cards able to unlock new Dream Eaters, and a protector case for the 3DS console. [31] While this has been noted to be the shortest gaps between the Japanese and English releases in the Kingdom Hearts, the latter version does not include new features not seen in the former. However, the Mark of Mastery limited edition was made so that English gamers would be able to obtain bonus material that can only be obtained in Japan. [7] The game was also included within the "Kingdom Hearts 10th Anniversary Box" package made in commemoration of the franchise's 10th anniversary. The box also included the Nintendo DS games Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. [32] Unlike Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II and Birth by Sleep, there would not be an updated version of the game according to Tetsuya Nomura. [33]

A guidebook, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Ultimania (キングダム ハーツ 3D [ドリーム ドロップ ディスタンス] アルティマニア), was published in Japan on May 1, 2012. [34] Square Enix also published a light novel by Tomoko Kanemaki based on the game on June 28, 2012 under the title of "Side Sora". [35] The second volume, titled "Side Riku", was released in Japan on September 27, 2012. [36]

A HD remaster of the game for the PlayStation 4, titled Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, was announced in September 2015 at Tokyo Game Show to be part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue collection, which was released in January 2017.

Music

Unlike the previous games, the music for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance was a collaboration by Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto, and Tsuyoshi Sekito, containing musical compositions from all three. Among the songs included are tracks from The World Ends with You , originally composed by Ishimoto, who remixed them for Dream Drop Distance. [37] Orchestral arrangements were provided by Kaoru Wada. The Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack was released in Japan on April 18, 2012. [38]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic 75/100 [39]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.com C+ [40]
Famitsu 38/40 [41]
G4 Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [42]
Game Informer 8.25/10 [43]
GameSpot 7/10 [44]
GamesRadar+ Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [45]
GameTrailers 8.2/10 [46]
IGN 8.5/10 [47]
Nintendo Life 7/10 [48]
Nintendo Power 8/10 [49]
Nintendo World Report9/10 [50]

The Tokyo Game Show featured a playable demo which earned the game top honors as "Best 3DS RPG" in RPG Land's Tokyo Game Show Awards, [51] following a hands-on report that praised the boss fights. [52] RPG Site also praised the game upon its first impression, calling the demo "refreshing". [53] Reception to the game's released trailers, demos and general information was generally positive, and the game ranked among Famitsu's 25 "most wanted" list in October 2011. [54] The Official Nintendo Magazine listed it eighth in their "Games of 2012" feature. [55] In an IGN poll, it ranked as the most expected Nintendo 3DS game for 2012's summer. [56] It also won the "Most Valuable Game Award" from the Nintendo Power magazine. [57]

In its first review, Famitsu gave Dream Drop Distance a rating of 10/9/10/9, or a total of 38/40, in their March 22, 2012 issue, which made Dream Drop Distance the second highest rated game in the series for them, after Kingdom Hearts II. [41] The game debuted at the top of Media Create's sales charts, selling 213,579 copies during its first week. The release was also noted to have helped boost the sales of the Nintendo 3DS console. [58] Although the number of pre-orders surpassed that of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the Nintendo DS, the first week's sales were lower. Nevertheless, Media Create noted that this was due to the comparison between the number of units sold between the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo 3DS during the time the games were released, with the former having sold more copies than the latter. [59] The game continued to appear in Media Create's polls for the next several weeks, selling a total of 311,688 units as of May 2012. [60] [61] In North America, the game sold 200,000 units during August 2012, with 180,000 regular editions and 20,000 Mark of Mastery editions. [62]

English publications have given Kingdom Hearts 3D moderately positive reviews, with lower scores than Japanese review outlets, generally praising the gameplay while criticizing the plot. It received an aggregated score of 75/100 on Metacritic. [39] Game Informer writer Bryan Vore praised the new gameplay elements and, unlike other reviewers, how well the story handles the franchise's plot, especially as it was set after that of Kingdom Hearts II, unlike many of the other newer titles in the series. [43] Audrey Drake from IGN echoed similar comments about the gameplay, but felt that the story was sometimes not very interesting. [47] Mark Walton from GameSpot praised the combat systems and environment design, though he wished that the game didn't force the player through the levels linearly and dismissed the plot as "labyrinth-like" with poor dialogue and confusing motivations. [44] Bob Mackey of 1UP.com was harsher on the game than other reviewers; while he too found the plot incomprehensible, he also felt that the numerous game mechanics combined together to form a confusing and frustrating system. [40] The reviewer for GameTrailers had a different take, finding the combination of mechanics to form "the best battle system in the series to date" and was not as dismissive of the plot, though they did note that it required a lot of knowledge of previous games in the series to follow. [46] Leah Jackson of G4 had one of the highest reviews for the game out of the major English review outlets; though she had similar praises and criticisms as other reviewers, she felt that the gameplay and graphics more than made up for the sometimes confusing plot. [42]

HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

In the credits of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix , clips of Dream Drop Distance were shown as well as the inclusion of a secret ending related to the game, hinting at a possible additional collection. [63] In September 2015, Square Enix announced Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue . The collection features an HD remaster of Dream Drop Distance as well as Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover , a cinematic retelling of Kingdom Hearts χ that reveals new parts of the series' history, and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, a new game taking place after the events of the original Birth by Sleep, told from the perspective of Aqua. [64] It was released on January 12, 2017 in Japan and January 24, 2017 for other countries. [65]

Notes

  1. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance(キングダム ハーツ ドリーム ドロップ ディスタンスKingudamu Hātsu Dorīmu Doroppu Disutansu)

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The Kingdom Hearts video game series, developed by Square Enix in collaboration with Disney, is set in a universe consisting of numerous self-contained worlds based on intellectual properties from both companies. Many of these worlds are based on animated Disney movies, though Kingdom Hearts II introduced worlds based on live-action Disney films as well. In addition to the Disney worlds, a number of original worlds appear over the course of the series.

Aqua (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) Kingdom Hearts character

Aqua is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. First making cameo appearances in Kingdom Hearts II and its updated version Final Mix, Aqua is one of the three playable protagonists who is introduced in the 2010 prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. She is one of the Keyblade apprentices training under Master Eraqus alongside her friends Terra and Ventus. As the only one among her friends to obtain the rank of Keyblade Master, Aqua is assigned to monitor Terra and Ventus as she combats dark creatures known as the Unversed. She has also appeared in other Kingdom Hearts titles, including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue as the main character of the playable episode Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, and as a boss and temporary playable character in Kingdom Hearts III.

Terra (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) character of Kingdom Hearts series

Terra is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts, prominently featured in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as one of the game's three playable protagonists. He appears in-game as a pupil of Master Eraqus who trains alongside his friends Aqua and Ventus to become a master of the Keyblade weapon. Terra's storyline highlights his struggle to tame his inner darkness, a negative attribute that serves as a source of both power and corruption for him. Prior to Birth by Sleep, he had a cameo appearance in a secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II and its re-release Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix; the later game included an optional boss fight against the Lingering Will, a hollow armor containing Terra's mind.

<i>Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days</i> video game

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is an action role-playing video game developed by h.a.n.d. and Square Enix for the Nintendo DS. It is the fifth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, and takes place near the end of the first game, continuing parallel to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The game was released worldwide in 2009. The story is told from the perspective of Roxas, following his daily life within Organization XIII and his relationship with fellow Organization member Axel; it also introduces a fourteenth member, Xion, who becomes friends with the former two.

Ventus (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) Kingdom Hearts character

Ventus, commonly referred to as Ven (ヴェン), is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. Having first made cameos in Kingdom Hearts II and other related titles, Ventus was introduced in the 2010 prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as one of the game's three playable protagonists. In its story, Ventus is introduced as the youngest apprentice of Master Eraqus who trains him alongside his best friends, Terra and Aqua, to become experienced warriors with the Keyblade. When Terra goes on a mission to find Master Xehanort, Ventus follows him, having also become concerned about his fate. As Ventus journeys through various worlds and battles dark creatures called the Unversed, he learns about his own origins as well as his relation to Xehanort's apprentice, Vanitas.

E3 2010

The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010 was the 16th Electronic Entertainment Expo held. The event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. It began on June 14, 2010, and ended on June 17, 2010, with 45,600 total attendees. There was also an E3 event held in Sony's PlayStation Home.

<i>Theatrhythm Final Fantasy</i> 2012 video game

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a rhythm video game, developed by indieszero and published by Square Enix for Nintendo 3DS and iOS. Based on the Final Fantasy video game franchise, the game involves using the touch screen in time to various pieces of music from the series. The game was released in Japan in February 2012, and in North America, Australia and Europe in July 2012. An iOS version was released in December 2012. A sequel, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, was released in 2014. A third game based on the Dragon Quest series, Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, was released in 2015. An arcade game, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: All-Star Carnival, was released in 2016.

Tetsuya Nomura is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix. He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has led the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

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