Review

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

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Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is daring enough—or foolhardy enough—to mess with success.

By Steve Heisler • August 6, 2012

The Kingdom Hearts series of games came out swinging: Coiffed characters who’d be at home in a Final Fantasy universe teamed up with the likes of Donald Duck and Goofy to take down Disney villains. The tone blended fast action with the more staid role-playing tradition in a dark fantasy setting, lending a sinister look even to the cheeriest sections of Alice In Wonderland or Aladdin. It was a blind date between two seemingly disparate universes, but they got along great. Square Enix had cracked the code. But as a faux Jeff Bridges says in a Tron: Legacy-themed portion of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, if you mess with the code even a little bit, you mess everything up.

Welcome to KH3D:DDD (catchy), the bloated seventh installation into the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Its code bears little resemblance to the svelte mashup from whence it came. No longer is it simply a Final Fantasy game in a Disney costume—it’s also a rhythm game, an Angry Birds ripoff, and a (very not at all superfluous) Tamagotchi. And the game’s so nice, it forces you to play it twice.

Seriously. Sora and Riku, the perpetually teenaged powerhouses of the series, are on a quest to become Keyblade Masters—the Keyblade being a weapon of choice, and exactly what it sounds like. They must travel to worlds from previous Kingdom Hearts titles, only this time the worlds are trapped in slumber, occupied by hungry Dream Eaters that take the shape of stained glass-inspired goats, bats, and snakes.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

In keeping with the sleep theme, Sora and Riku occupy parallel versions of the same worlds and are marked with a Drop Gauge that counts down to zero, at which time one falls asleep and the other wakes up. The upshot is that if Sora is about to kill a boss, for instance, you have to then continue questing with Riku before returning. This also means you have to conquer worlds as both Sora and Riku, and the difference in runs is barely noticeable.

There are some things you can carry over between the worlds, most notably the Dream Eaters you’ve constructed for yourself—creatures that you enlist to fight alongside you on the front lines of combat. Or you can play with them—that is, touch their icon in the bottom screen, over and over, until they feel your love. They roll and purr with delight as you “pet” them or “feed” them treats. You can sit there and do this as long as you’d like, too. Did I mention “never” is not an option? It is not an option.

Dream Drop Distance is filled with touchscreen joys like this. Occasionally, you encounter railings or large pillars that are set up for “flowmotion”—a sort low-stakes parkour played via touchscreen swipes. You enter “reality shift” mode in the same way, which allows you to, for example, fling barrels into the battlefield with the flick of a finger as your character disappears entirely. There are different permutations of both modes in each of the worlds (you hack computer terminals in Tron and ride bubbles in the funhouse world loosely based around Pinocchio), so you’ll never want for variety.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Nor needless explanation. Every aspect of this game is detailed ad nauseam, from the way you free-fly between worlds to the power-ups you can purchase when you “drop” and switch between Sora and Riku. There are plenty of exposition-filled flashbacks, too, though these are thankfully optional. It takes about two hours to get through the game’s instructional lectures before you’re allowed to figure anything out for yourself.

And once you do, Dream Drop Distance can actually be quite fun, much like every Kingdom Hearts title. There are plenty of Keyblade varieties to try on, challenging bosses to slay, and a multitude of Dream Eaters to fight or ally yourself with. But every time you’re about to discover something new, up pops an explanation screen to ensure you’ll follow the rigid rules the game’s laid out for you. Or, worse yet, the Drop Gauge reaches zero, and you’re back in a world you’ve already explored.

Kingdom Hearts’ two-games-in-one premise was once a gamble, but it has proven to be a tried-and-true formula for success. Now, the series shoehorns even more disparate ideas into the mix, like a new film that’s part fiction, part documentary, part animated, and randomly 3D for a few minutes at a time. Fake Jeff Bridges would be furious.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Price: $40
Rating: E10+

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  • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

    Yikes. I remember liking the first two KH games enough when they came out and I was like 14. I tried playing one of the DS ones recently and oh man it was pretty bad. It just recycled the worlds from the first game but it was glitched up because they take place in a computer or something? I don’t know. Also the character designs are just embarrassing.

    So yeah, this sounds pretty similar to that one I guess. 

    • Dikachu

      I tried playing the first one… only got about 4-5 hours into it before I turned it off.  It was so loopy and convoluted and meandering, much like most of their games since.  I also really hate their J-rock-on-acid inspired character design, it’s like a nuclear bomb went off inside a Goodwill.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         Yeah, while Tetsua Nomura’s designs looked awesome when I was in middle school and FFVII was just coming out, I think I was already sick of his aesthetic by around the time “The Bouncer” was being advertised for the upcoming PS2. It’s trying a bit too hard to be cool, and results in a universe populated by Japanese idiomatic equivalents of “Poochie.”

        They story’s kind of preposterous, too. This is a silly corporate-synergy mash-up game where Goofy battles with Sephiroth – it doesn’t really need a portentous, overwrought middle-school-Wagnerian plot with its own Byzantine cosmogony. I enjoyed the first game, and the kind of silly “epic” Final Fantasy-style plotting felt like part of the pastiche at that point. But it feels like, in subsequent games, they’re taking it all a bit too seriously, but aren’t able to pull that off.

        • caspiancomic

           I’m going to try and eliminate any vestigial goodwill you may have had for Tetsuya Nomura, if you’ll allow me. The man has said in interviews that his relatively iconic FFVII designs were so demure because he was butting up against the original Playstation’s hardware limitations. Once he got around to FFX we started to see his unrestrained style getting expressed. I guess the absence of limitations truly is the enemy of art.

          His statements make especially little sense when you compare Yoshitaka Amano’s original designs with their NES counterparts. By all conceivable metrics Amano’s artwork is more beautiful and complex than Nomura’s, and the hardware limitations he faced were even greater.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          Well, it’s pretty undeniable that the SNES generally had better graphics than the PSX. That was kind of the trade-off for the advent of 3-D gaming. If FFVII had been a 2-D game, it could have been even more visually ambitious and beautiful than FFVI.

          …Which is a poor argument on my part, because, as you pointed out, Amano was doing artwork as far back as the NES games, and was doing more ambitious concept-work than Nomura.

          That said, they seem to have left Nomura to his own devices in Kingdom Hearts, and moved Final Fantasy stuff into the hands of Hiroshi Minagawa, who’s work may not be as visionary or inventive as Amano’s, but is solid, and certainly less obnoxious that Nomura’s. (Though I do find it a little off-putting how so many of the characters in Vagrant Story and FFXII are wearing weird fetish gear, it’s still not as grating as the raver gear in FFX…)

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          @caspiancomic:disqus Imagine what Shadow from Final Fantasy VI would have looked like if he were designed and drawn by Nomura rather than just designed.

        • PaganPoet

          @caspiancomic:disqus  I agree with you, but you have to admit, the actual in-game sprites of FFI-VI looked nothing like Amano’s art. Bartz’s in game sprite is brunette and wearing a blue tunic, yet his art depicts him with white hair and crazy zebra-patterned tights? Celes’s in-game sprite is wearing a green leotard and white cape, but her artwork shows her with a form-fitting black and yellow catsuit.

        • caspiancomic

           @PaganPoet:disqus Admittedly his main character designs tend to be reinterpreted into a more palatable form, but if you look at his monster designs especially, the fidelity between Amano’s concept drawings and the finished game assets is pretty striking.

      • rvb1023

         You made it further than me, the last thing I remember is the dolts from FF VIII showed up and I ended up in Wonderland.  At that point I decided that since I hated every character and this story was going to be stupid even by SE’s low standards I would just cut my losses.

  • NFET

    Damn it, this doesn’t look good. I’ve played both DS Kingdom Hearts games. Couldn’t get into 365/2 Days at all because of the lack of action and incomprehensible plot (plus too much tutorial). The Re:Coded one was better, but I reached the final place where it made me do every level over again and said “Fuck it”. My time is precious and I stopped having fun. I was thinking about giving the series one last try with this, but it looks like I’m better off keeping my money and the 30+ extra hours I now have with my life. The only remaining temptation is the appearance of characters from The World Ends With You. That is a pretty strong temptation actually, but no, I’ll survive.

    Maybe I should just start investing in a PS2.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      If that last line means you’ve never played the first two games, which are arguably the only good games in the series  (and almost inarguably the best ones in the series), yeah, I suggest you give them a shot.

    • Cornell_University

      regarding PS2s:  It’s a buyer’s market on those things right now and not much of an investment.  I bought one only six months ago off ebay used.  it’s the orginal fat model, which you could kill a mugger with and would still work fine.  Look for ones that come as lots with games and controllers, and are actual auctions and not dealer listings.  I paid $50 for mine, and it came with a controller, multi-input cable and a bunch of crummy FPS and movie tie-in games that I sold on Amazon.  all told it’s cost me less than $40 (with some games not sold yet) and I can play FF8 for the rest of time on it! *gunshot*

    • AHyperkineticLagomorph

       I’ve been avoiding KH partially because it’s managed to outdo Assassin’s Creed in terms of unwillingness to actually move on to the third game in the series.

      You can’t wait forever to give your audience a proper sequel. Especially when you’re in an industry where your competitors are more than willing to do just that.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        VAAAAAAAAAAAALVE!

    • caspiancomic

       Yeah, if you’ve played the DS instalments but not the PS2 originals, you’ve given yourself a warped perspective on the series. 358/2 Days is terrible, so bad that I didn’t even bother with Re:Coded in spite of actually owning the hardware for it. These games are getting a lot of lip in this comments section, including some from me, but I really do consider the first game to be truly excellent. KHII has even stronger gameplay if you can forgive the pointlessly dense plotting.

  • Colonel

    My plan to take over the world with information was less convoluted than this series’ plot-line.

    It makes me proud.

    • RidleyFGJ

      KH is certainly in need of some scissors. 61.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        Kingdom Hearts: Plot Fat Trim / Seize The Brevity!

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        That’s one of the only things I remember from MGS2 in terms of quotes. I use it alarmingly often, and managed to freak out my girlfriend one time by accident.

        Also the la le li lu lay lo and Raiden’s particularly musical reading of “Metal geeeaar.” 

    • Andrew_Ryans_Caddy

      I gave up on the series after KH2 didn’t make a lick of sense, and I say that as one of the seven people in the world who fucking loves MGS2. 

      • Aaron Riccio

        Sora! SORRRRRRRAAAAAAA!

      • rvb1023

         At least you could make the argument your game had a great plot twist or even a level of brilliance.  KH offers little more than teenage anime leftovers.

      • The_Forgotten_Quill

        Eight…or was I already counted?

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    well that’s too bad.

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    well that’s too bad.

  • caspiancomic

    I think I lamented in the weekly releases thread that this is/was one of my all time favourite game franchises, and the way it keeps kicking itself in the dick like this is pretty upsetting to watch. I know Steve said the game is ultimately pretty fun, but it sounds like it hasn’t addressed any of the series’ biggest flaws: the pointlessly convoluted story that is terribly told, and the unfocused mishmash of hundreds of different gameplay elements trying to work in tandem. Even Kingdom Hearts II felt overstuffed, with attacks, magic, items, Summons, Limits, Drive, context sensitive special moves, and whatever else I’m forgetting, and I think they’ve only crammed more stuff in with every instalment. And although I think I have a relatively firm grasp on the series’ pointlessly dense mythology, even I have lost track of exactly what’s been happening recently.

    Still, in spite of myself, I actually kind of want to play this. Chain of Memories did a similar Sora/Riku thing (although you only unlocked Riku’s story after completing Sora’s) and Riku played differently enough from Sora that it was actually pretty interesting playing through the game a second time with him. I’d still like to get Birth By Sleep under my belt before tackling this, although apparently PSPs are still like 70 bucks used, which I can’t really afford to throw away on one game right now. Maybe I’ll go out of my way to make a friend with a PSP or something. Oh, and a 3DS. Man, when is this series going to come back to a console that somebody actually owns?

    • RidleyFGJ

      The lack of a console KH title has everything to do with the core team being on Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Once that wraps up, they can go back to focusing on console installments.

      …did I say “once that wraps up?” I really meant to say “if that wraps up,” as it has become the JRPG equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever.

      • The_Forgotten_Quill

        Is there some deity to which I can sacrifice to get a port of FF Versus XIII to the Xbox? 

        • RidleyFGJ

          Do you want the game to come out within this century or not?

      • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp David Dalrymple

        The consensus seems to be that FFvXIII is vapourware. Its assets will be cannibalized for future projects.  

    • The_Horse_Chestnut

      I do recommend BBS, it is certainly the most reminiscent of the main series.
      The gameplay is my favourite of any of the KH games. They finally managed to find a way to make magic useful without simply making it more powerful, and there are all sorts of fighting styles you can use in different circumstances. Magic feels like a part of a larger strategy, rather than just “Oh I have MP, I’d better heal myself”. Perhaps the Shotlock abilities get into your “overstuffed combat” problems, but I felt they meshed well into the rest of the combat anyway.

      The story is perhaps a bit unimpressive. It is told quite interestingly though, and there are plenty of character cameos. It’s probably worth playing just to finally sort out the origins of the main antagonist, even it if a bit silly.
      The multiple perspective aspect isn’t particularly well utilised either. I didn’t feel I got much extra insight into the actual storyline at most points of the game, and even the Disney world stories are so familiar that breaking them into sections has no real effect.

      The minigames are also pretty fun. I spent many many hours on the monopoly-esque Command Board, and there’s also a kart-style racing game, a rhythm game (which I didn’t care for) and a weird fruit sport that I never fully understood.

  • http://twitter.com/skeletalknight Mike LeChevallier

    Steve, you don’t have to be the Drop Guage’s bitch. You can Drop WHENEVER THE FUCK you want. Also, add Drop-Me-Nots (buyable) and/or Drop-Me-Nevers to your Command Deck and you can stay Sora or Riku for as long as you need to complete an objective. Your review sounds like you didn’t play for very long, or rushed through the game. It just reeks of laziness, honestly.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Teti’s gonna love this.

      Also, I really don’t believe that Squenix characters are more complex or whatever you’re implying than Disney characters. 

      • skeletalknight

        Um…Organization XIII?

        • caspiancomic

          I think I agree with your original premise that the Organization XIII members are “brooding, philosophical and ego-centric”, but I consider those to be marks against them. I personally found most of those characters to be pretty one-note (although occasionally endearing- I liked Demyx, even while he kicked my ass), with the exceptions of the members who were tied directly to the plot (Axel, Roxas, Saix kind of).

          I think The Thirteenth Order are actually handy shorthand for a lot of the problems of the series from a writing perspective. There are a huge number of them when a much smaller number could accomplish the same purposes in the script, most of them have basically no personality (Remember Luxord? I don’t!), half of them are introduced and quietly disposed of in sideline titles that not everybody bothered to play, etc. I haven’t played Birth By Sleep (where I understand some of them are fleshed out a bit further), so maybe that game would change my mind about them generally, but I have played 358/2 Days, which was all about them, and thought it was probably the worst game in the series. I’m just not convinced the series would suffer terribly if like half of those characters never stepped up to plate.

        • Aaron Riccio

          I’d rather mess with Red XIII. Or play XIII. 

        • GS_Dodobird

          One of my biggest issues with KH2 was that I found the XIII folks about a billion times more interesting than Sora and co., mainly because of the core dilemma of them not having hearts or souls (or something — it’s been a really long time, and I was much younger back then) yet clearly having emotion. I rooted for them because it was tragic, and they seemed deserving of whatever it was they were missing. 

          And then you just went around killing them all, and their arcs didn’t really resolve as much as they just abruptly ended when they happened to cross your path.

        • caspiancomic

           @GS_Dodobird:disqus Yeah, I remember having a similar reaction to them towards the end of that game. Like, in the earliest parts of KHII the Organization is depicted as this generically evil pack of faceless goons that Sora has to stop at all costs, but once you actually learn what they’re after, you realize you don’t really have all that much reason to cross these guys. Their motivations are selfish, sure, and they’re willing to do some dirty stuff to get what they want, but there’s basically no reason for Sora to run around systematically killing them. Hell, the final leg of the game involves basically breaking into their house and killing them one at a time. They just wanted their hearts back! You don’t have to kill them just ‘cuz they’re a bunch of jerks!

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         But you gotta admit, dude, they ARE more convoluted. That’s a good thing, right?

    • doyourealize

      I’m going to assume Heisler played the whole game (can I do that?) Your criticism of the review not mentioning the use of the Command deck to avoid having to switch between characters seems more a fault of game design than a lazy reviewer. The theme (or one of them) of this review seems to be that trying to shove too many things into a small space can harm the overall feeling, and details like the one you mention can easily get lost in the confusion.

      That idea seems to carry over into the story as well, and while I haven’t played this one, I do remember KH storylines being a little unwieldy at times. I’ve played KH1,2, and Chain of Memories, and I agree with you that the mix of  characters can be whimsical and new enough to overcome a convoluted plot, but is that really enough to carry 7 iterations?

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

        As someone who genuinely enjoys the series but feels that the original concept apparently beloved by the “BUT WHERE IS KHIII?’ crowd is incredibly stupid, the series to me has always been about, in order:

        1. Yoko Shimomura music.  That is well intact, though she had a little assistance this time.
        2. button-mashing gameplay.  Skill has rarely been a necessary aspect of battles thanks to the target audience and them saving those tests for the endgame.  There is still lots of button-mashing.
        3. each developer, no matter which it is, throwing a ton of nonsense into a game like they’re the Rare of role-playing game companies.  Gummi ships, anyone?  Summon, Dalmatian, and equipment collecting?  I mean, I like it, because I like collecting trinkets, but the series has never had a laser-like focus.

        In that respect, “fun, after you deal with the weirdness,” describes the series as a whole and isn’t much condemnation of this particular entry.  People who know what they’re getting know that the gameplay systems ALWAYS work properly (contra Steve).  This is 2012 Square-Enix, but they’re still Square-Enix.

        • doyourealize

          And that’s part of what I love about Square-Enix. There’s always so much more to do. I like FFXIII enough, but I didn’t love it until I got to complete all the extras that take place after the proper game. But it can be overwhelming at times, which is a good part of why I was never able to get too far in TWEWY, and I think Heisler’s failure to mention that feature has more do with that than rushing through the game. And like I said, I haven’t played any KH games beyond the first three, though that’s due more to an ignorance about their releases (I couldn’t believe there were 7 when I read this) rather than a refusal to play anything but a numbered entry. I was just wondering if that particular draw, Square characters + Disney characters, is enough to hold these games together despite convoluted plotlines.

          PS – Don’t know how up your alley this is, but I thought of you when I read this.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          I totally understand. It’s not even volume of content so much as type. Your avatar, for instance, comes from a company known for overloading its players with tasks and systems. I consider Jupiter’s games less complication than From’s.

          The interesting thing is that, like The Legend Of Zelda, the tutorials are both too long and unhelpful. Now, Steve’s criticism looks more potent. If he didn’t understand or use an intermediate mechanic but still hated how slowly it taught him the basic ones, that’s the fault of Square-Enix (or H.A.N.D. or whatever).
          I don’t remember the tutorial well, but a game can only fairly demand that you wade through lessons OR invest in spreadsheet and map-making, not both. Maybe this game fails that test.

          @doyourealize (blast)
          Ha!  That was great.  I swear I’m not weeaboo-ing around, fetishizing imports.  It was Ignition not bringing over S.N.K.’s inexpensive, text-light, and well-ported Neo Geo compilations that finally broke me.  “If I can’t trust good publishers to risk the bare minimum in this market, then I have to change.”  If I could change 1 thing about the art world, it would be near-simultaneous, inexpensive localization.  Then, everyone could be in conversation, not just those smart enough to show up at The Gameological Society.

  • Captain Internet

    Has anyone else unlocked Pocohontas yet?

    • Aaron Riccio

      It was only a matter of time before the X-rated gamers found their way to something as “innocent” as Kingdom Hearts.

    • Staggering Stew Bum

      Has anyone unlocked Pocohontas yet?

      Colin Farrell had a decent crack at it.

      • HobbesMkii

         And she was only 14 (at the time)!

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      The ‘Song of the South’ level made me wildly uncomfortable.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        That comment reminds me of how during development, Epic Mickey was frequently touted as a game that would illuminate darker, weirder, unsung corners of Disney properties, despite that being something Disney would never greenlight. And, unsurprisingly, the extent to which that avenue was pursued was the “dark” revelation that Walt Disney had designed a generic rabbit character before designing his generic mouse character…

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          It was rare a game that definitely didn’t do itself any favors by releasing all the concept art so early on in the development cycle.
             It showed these amazing, strange and disturbing ideas that no one would have thought possible for a Disney game  Which as it turned out, was true.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           Yeah, that game made a lot of lofty promises, and didn’t really achieve any of them. The groundbreaking design by lauded designer Warren Spector was just a watered-down good/evil mechanic grafted onto a generic platformer, and the promise to paint and shape the game world was manifested in the most unimaginative way, ever.

          That game, and Spector, actually did all the stuff people get on Molyneux’s case for doing….

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          If you’ve seen the 1st round of concept art (which, granted, is often very different from the final product in general), you’ll see that his vision was different from what Disney allowed him to do, which was  http://nintendoeverything.com/63798/beautiful-epic-mickey-concept-art He genuinely knows his animation, so I was personally sad when the callbacks and history were obvious.  http://www.1up.com/news/warren-spector-addresses-disparity-epic

          But, hey, it got Oswald on DVD and on t-shirts.  I’m cool with the letdown.

      • Cornell_University

        in the european version it’s an open level, no cheat codes needed.  they also all claim they “don’t see what the big deal is”.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          Your comment made me reflect on what a Japanese developed perspective on civil war period black culture, animated through the prism of Jim Crow-era cinema would actually look like and I began weeping blood.

  • Cornell_University

    Meow Wow?  not bad, but I would’ve gone with Conway Kitty.

  • stakkalee

    So I’ve never played any of the KH games (I know, I know…) and can’t speak to whether DDD is a quality entry in the series.  I’m interested in the Tamagotchi-esque Dream Eaters and how the game incorporates them.  I understand they’re essentially NPC companions that assist in the fighting during the main levels; is this correct?  And at other times during gameplay you need to “care” for them by giving them attention, pretend-feed them, and (I desperately hope) pretend-cleaning-up-their-poop.  Steve mentioned that ignoring them is not an option.  I have a few questions – is this a mechanic that’s been used in previous KH games?  Does it feel like a logical extension of the game, or does it just feel tacked-on?  Does it add anything to the game beyond annoyance, ie. if you give your pet more attention does that make it a better fighter?  This seems like something that was added to make the game more accessible to younger players – is that a fair assessment?  And how often do you need to pay them attention?

    I’m trying to think of other games that follow the “More is more” approach, cramming in as much different content as they can, but most of the examples I can think of are in-game minigames (hacking in Deus Ex, the puzzles from Assassin’s Creed, there was a neat little spirit-walk minigame in one of the Baldur’s Gate games that was a callback to those old text games) that are A) Fun and B) relatively ignorable.  This Dream Eater mechanic just seems like busywork, and I wonder how it got in there - company mandate?  Or misguided developer?

    • Mooy

      The best example I can think of for a “More is More” game would be ARMA 2. It’s a military sim so you have all your standard guns and vehicles, but they also added hundreds of other little things like bicycles and glow sticks. I also played a mission as a goat, with my objective being to escape the hunters who wanted me dead. I’m not sure why they includes such things into a realistic army sim, but I’m glad they did.

      • Effigy_Power

        Then again, in Sims the “more is more” approach is really what people usually want. With less attention to detail you sort of betray the premise of realism.
        Judging by all those popular train and bus-sims, the crowd for uber-detail is big enough.
        I am sure they’d call ArmA2 arcade-y if your bullet wasn’t affected by the rotation of the planet over long distances.
        “What? No Coriolis-effect? What is this, Bayonetta?”

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/997779-kingdom-hearts-3d-dream-drop-distance/63616107  That’s short and sweet.  It’s like Pokemon or any other game with a familiar system (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Phantasy Star Online, and so on), but with more consequence.  Your Emporeon will rarely screw up or disobey you or be that much more effective if you care for it properly.  It’s about fine-tuning in that series.  Here, I’d say it’s a secondary (not primary, not tertiary) game mechanic.

      Since you’ve always had party members with their own a.i., this is just adding a little depth, going after a younger audience, padding the game, and accomodating handheld limitations.

  • Professor_Cuntburglar

    How much Dream Drop distance?

    But seriously, if I don’t like JRPGs, am I correct in assuming that I will hate all of these games?

    • PaganPoet

      You will probably hate the storyline, but KH, KH2 and KH:Birth By Sleep all have fantastic gameplay.

    • The Guilty Party

      Miles o’ Dream Drop Distance!

      … wait, I’m confused.

      • GaryX

        This is the best comment. O’Keefe!

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       They’re more action-RPGs than full-on RPGs. Think Secret of Mana. If that type of game is on your hate list, then these games are. If not, then you may enjoy them.

      I’ve only actually played the first, back when it came out, and enjoyed it at the time, but I’ve had zero desire to revisit it and it’s definitely not on any “personal favorites” list or anything. It’s a solid action-RPG.

  • PaganPoet

    I don’t understand why SE just can’t give us all what we want: Kingdom Hearts 3. Birth by Sleep was a decent enough prequel/spinoff, but everything else has convoluted the story to a point where most people can’t even piece it together.

    But SE is especially clueless when it comes to what their fans want as evidenced by the Final Fantasy series: Less ridiculous hairstyles, belt buckles, straps, zippers, and accessories, please, and better developed characters.

    • Effigy_Power

      Can you even imagine a world in which a FF character wears only one belt? It’d be panic in the streets. Weeaboo-panic, but panic nonetheless.

      • PaganPoet

        That’s almost as unlikely as a FF main character being over the age of 20.

        • Effigy_Power

          Yeah, it tickles me when I see 19 year old veterans and generals and stuff.
          The JSDF must have a pretty easy ladder to climb.

        • rvb1023

           The supposed main character of XIII was 21.  That counts, right?

  • ILDC

    “perpetually teenaged”

    And isn’t Haley Joel Osment now 30?