KH3D – Demo Impression

This article comes from Famitsu, it’s more detailed than the others have been but I’m not done yet; I’ll finish it later. It’s finished now!

Loaded with new elements and the appearance of a new character!? Kingdom Hearts 3D Play Report from TGS 2011

At Tokyo Game Show 2011, Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance is being exhibited in Square Enix’s Booth. We present a play report of both Sora and Riku’s scenarios.

Sora crosses paths with that guy!?
Tokyo Game Show 2011 is taking place at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, September 15 to 18, 2011. At Square Enic’s booth the world premiere of the Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance (from here on out, KH3D) demo is being exhibited. Here we’ll report our experience trying out the demo.

We’ll start off with a summary of the game. KH3D is an action RPG and the first of the Kingdom Hearts series to appear on the Nintendo 3DS platform. This time there are two main characters, the series star Sora and his best friend Riku.

In the demo you can choose between Sora and Riku’s scenarios. Not only are the two main characters to choose, but the worlds, enemies, and interacting characters are different so you get considerably unique experiences with each.

The first person we tried out was Sora. The scenario takes place in the familiar Traverse Town; however there are two new areas to explore, District 4 and District 5. Sora appears here and encounters none other than Neku, the main character of It’s A Wonderful World (The World Ends With You)! It’s the first time in the Kingdom Hearts a Square Enix character other than the Final Fantasy characters has appeared. It seems Neku is wandering around the area in search of a partner, though it’s a different place, I wonder if we will see more partners like Shiki and the others from Wonderful World (TWEWY) appear here too…?

When Neku separates from Sora, he advances and runs into the new enemy, Dream Eaters! Surrounded by the colorful enemies, I move to attack them by barraging the buttons. The attack operations are very crisp as it’s been with the KH series before, but the new system is a refreshing change. Using the “Free Flow Action” ability, you can swing around and round the poles and jump kick off the walls. You can see that the motions are clearly advanced, but it’s so easy to operate. When you press the Y button you can “Slide” (like a mini dash), if you’re in front of a pole you automatically begin swinging around it. Or if you are in front of a wall, you can pounce right off it. Furthermore, if you press A during “Free Flow Action” you can switch to a “Free Flow Attack”. These high speed actions are very exhilarating, it’s like all the action you expect of the KH series but amplified! But if you get too excited and continue to press the Y button, eventually he’s going too fast and you lose control of Sora. Luckily, even if you lose control you are still taking down the enemies. Once you are used to the hectic style of Sora flurrying about, you’ll no doubt gain more control and enjoy it more.

Earlier I wrote that the Dream Eaters were the enemy this time around, but in truth that isn’t correct. There are two types of Dream Eaters, there are those that appear as your enemies and those that appear as Sora and Riku’s companions. The companion Dream Eaters fight alongside you as AI, but if you fill the “Link Gauge” and touch the bottom screen (or press L+R+ A buttons at the same time), you can ride the Dream Eater and together with Sora do a cooperative attack. Additionally, if you activate both companions at the same time you can do the “Dual Link” ability, an even stronger technique. In Sora’s “Dual Link” technique, the Dream Eaters combine into one large one which he rides quite comically.

Additionally, when I hit several of the same enemies in battle, the lock on mark changed into something special. At that time pressing X and A buttons at the same time I was able to invoke the “Reality Shift” technique. Invoking it, Sora’s figure disappears and the enemies are displayed on the bottom screen, shrouded in balls of light. You can drag them close and launch them, making the enemies wrapped in the balls of light spring forward and create a big explosion. This seems to be an attack that involves numerous enemies.

Hurrying along, a fairly large bipedal Dream Eater appears. It seems to be some sort of boss. In a spacious area you attack while running about and the boss steadily chases after you. Though there have been many battles before with a space confined to the boss fight, this boss fight area was quite spacious. Furthermore, you are fighting on top of a glass rooftop, so the glass will break and you can fall into the building’s interior! I was able to make the best use of the surprising tricks and crush the boss, ending Sora’s scenario.

Continuing along, next was Riku’s scenario. It takes place in “Le Cité des Cloches”, the world inspired by the Bells of Notre Dame. It’s the first time this world appeared in the series. In comparison with Sora, we can see Riku’s stylish actions however they are not all that different in operation. But the cooperation with the Dream Eater companions was very different. With Sora we saw a direct cooperative attack by riding the Dream Eaters around, in contrast they serve as power ups to Riku. By choosing a Dream Eater, you can invoke attacks shrouded in fire, illuminating the power that dwells inside of Riku. The “Reality Shift” ability is also different with Riku, in his case the lower screen displays the enemies and pillars whose object icons can be tied up. While the enemies are connected by the chain, Riku can run on top the chain and attack all the enemies caught up in the line.

The boss in Riku’s scenario is a winged Dream Eater. Riku can’t fly, or so I had thought, but above the field whirlwinds blow and lift you up, Riku can ride the wind fight while floating. The floating operated a bit differently than the Glide ability, I finally took out the boss and finished Riku’s scenario.

This report became extremely long, but I had a good look at the numerous new elements introduced in this demo. Though we looked at the new editions to the battle system and the aspects of the Dream Eater companions, it seems there are still more elements to discover. KH fans will definitely want to get a glimpse at all the new elements through playing the KH3D demo!