Translation of this article from Famitsu on Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance featured at Jump Festa 2012.
Previously it was revealed that the main character from The World Ends with You, Neku Sakuraba, would be making a guest appearance. In this new trailer fellow friends Shiki, Beat, Rhyme, and Joshua will be joining him. They appear in Traverse Town, where we see Beat teaming up with a Kuma Panda Dream Eater. Joshua says, “This world is split into two parts.” There is profound meaning behind these words, perhaps Joshua knows something?
Other scenes presented included Quasimodo and Frollo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, a Tron world with a shooting-like stage where Sora seemed to glide across the screen, and a large number of scenes relating to the series. A screen where you can communicate with your friendly Dream Eaters was shown, displaying different colored Wonder Nyan and others. Maybe you can customize the colors of your partner Dream Eaters?
Also, King Mickey, Donald, and Goofy debut their roles in the new world “Country of the Musketeers”. It seems the motif of the world is based on the famous lines of the Three Musketeers, “All for one, and one for all!” But the reality of this world is different, King Mickey (Sora calls him Mickey) doesn’t seem to know Sora. It seems there must be some reason for him to be in this place? Moreover, the demo takes place in this level. The different stages you can go to include an opera house, tower, etc.
Fans of Organization XIII will be happy to know that I can confirm Axel, Zexion, and Lexaeus appear again. Zexion wears a white lab coat and Lexaeus wears his guard uniform, they seem to appear in their human forms. Axel is always shown in his Organization coat, in another scene he appears by King Mickey’s side when he’s in a pinch and says his famous lines, “My name is Lea, got it memorized?” Lea was his name when he was human. Perhaps his past will be revealed? Incidentally, it’s Maleficent who puts King Mickey in a predicament. Like Xehanort spoke of, Maleficent speaks about gathering 7 pure lights in order to rule the world…
Also, a movie scene is incorporated into the trailer, showing Sora falling through the center space of a spiral staircase, when he lands he becomes Roxas. There he thrusts a Keyblade at Xion who appears. From there various scenes are shown in succession, showing the characters in dramatic circumstances, composing a visual of impressive scenes from the series. There is a scene where Sora and Riku fight against Xehanort, but is it just for show? Also in the last part of the trailer, a young man wearing the Organization coat with the facial features of Ansem and Xemnas appears, he poses the question, “Sora, aren’t you too harboring hearts other than your own?” From the side, the face of Vanitas is exposed!
More than before the mysteries developing in this trailer make it irresistibly interesting. It will be uploaded to the official site soon, so by all means check it out when you can!
The demo I tried was the episode in the world called “Country of the Musketeers”. This world has a Three Musketeers motif where Sora along with King Mickey disguised as a musketeer, Donald, and Goofy. Here they protect Minnie who rides in a horse drawn carriage and are disciplined by Pete, who is captain of the musketeers. Reversely in Riku’s scenario, Riku fights hard to stop the plot aimed at harming Sora and company.
The most interesting part is the Drop Gauge displayed on the bottom right of the screen when you play. When the Drop Gauge hits zero, the characters are switched. There is a time limit on the gauge and it seems that it cannot be replenished. So in that way you play as Sora to Riku, then from Riku to Sora, being forced to switch every few minutes. Also, if you press the start button the game pauses and you can press “DROP” button on the bottom screen. Doing that drains the drop gauge instantly and you can switch characters.
Furthermore, when you switch (from here on out I will refer to switching as “drop”), a screen pops up that shows the prizes, points, etc. that you accumulated during play. From there you can prepare the characters to your advantage for the next stage. For example, you can consume a potion that Sora collected and upgrade RIku’s magic power. Furthermore it seems that you’ll be able to utilize HP prizes here.
Well, in reality, being forced to switch characters like this is sort of tense and exciting. For example, you are in a boss fight with Sora, but then you drop to RIku and advance his storyline, but then you switch back to the boss fight with Sora, and you have to deal with an entirely different battle situation. Moreover, Riku and Sora are each off on their own separate adventures, but like the aforementioned links, you really get the feeling of “being together even when you are apart.” Because of the method gameplay being used to tell the story, more than any of the other titles before this you can really feel the connection between Riku and Sora.
In battle, the new partners, the friendly Dream Eaters are confirmed. Sora has the Wonder Nyan, as well as Neko Cat, and Zou Elephant. Meanwhile Riku borrows the powers of the Dream Eaters that resemble a pegasus, frog, and goat. During battle icons of the three Dream Eaters are shown on the bottom screen, and on top two of them appear in battle. If you slide their icons around on the bottom you can switch out which partner Dream Eaters you want at any time. Also, Sora can do a cooperative action with Neko Cat where you press buttons in time like a rhythm game. Doing so makes them do a technique where they appear to dance together. Seeing Sora really get into the dance is worth seeing! Sometimes the message, “The Dream Eaters have noticed something!” will appear, and your partner Dream Eaters will stare at a specific spot. When they do that, they are indicating where you can find a hidden enemy. Along with helping in and out of battle, their accompaniment feels very much like having a friend around.
Also, enemies among other objects will display certain icons that when you press X + A buttons, you can invoke the Reality Shift ability. Playing on the bottom screen, you can use this system to make a special attack happen on the top screen. The Reality Shift feature also changes depending on the world. In the “Country of the Musketeers” world, the Reality Shift for Sora and Riku along with the three musketeers appear like a comic illustration. On a screen organized like a comic strip, you slide or touch according to the commands, and on the top screen the special technique occurs. Producing the comic strip, the animation looks like the original work, so the fans will be happy to see that.
When you press the Y button you invoke the Free Flow Action ability, during which you can slide, climb up walls or swing from poles, among various other techniques. It’s a bit difficult to become accustomed to the freedom of it. However, from the Free Flow Action ability, a wide variety of flashy special techniques are available. It’s especially fun to do when you have a large number of enemies on the screen and to just let it take over. Furthermore, using the Free Flow Action against a large enemy like the Zou Elephant you have an advantage, since you can do a spinning attack called “Blow Off” that lets you defeat it without using your hands. It’s a great feeling to let out these sorts of huge, flashy actions! In the demo when you played as Riku, you could spin off the equipment in the bottom stage of the opera house using the Free Flow Action. There is also a device that closes off the path, when you need to move in a hurry, dashing alone may not be fast enough so jumping and then going into the Free Flow Action might be better. Just for reference for those trying the demo tomorrow.
By the way, if you press the L + R buttons twice quickly, the camera switches to show behind the character, and you can check the area by moving the camera direction. This camera doesn’t move around on its own, and as soon as you press the button it returns to the regular view. Prior to this the processing seemed a little poor, but since the battle scenes are so intense in this title, it’s better not to waste space on fine tuning the camera actions. By pressing L + R and moving the control stick around you can get a good look with the camera. There is also a zoom feature which really stands out, for instance when you are doing the co-op technique with Neko Cat, the commands stand out in front of the player, or when you do the Action commands on the top screen with Sora and Riku which feel very intense. I’d like to use it to the extent that my eyes no longer become tired from looking at it.
With a simple game play and flashy techniques, the battles this time are nerve-wracking and, and refreshing. The action parts seem unlike that of a hand held gaming device and feel very dynamic. Along with a storyline that connects to Kingdom Hearts III, a trailer that features characters like Axel and Xion, I’m intrigued at what will happen to these characters “that should not appear”. I want to hurry and play it!