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The Seven Sleeping Keyholes
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In 2002, Square Enix released Kingdom Hearts in the US. Before it release, people have no idea how it will turned out due to being a crossover of Disney and Final Fantasy characters. The game surprised everyone and sold million of copies. The game worked thanks to a surprising interesting concept while being corny at times I’m not going to lie about that. The gameplay was addicting and very neat to have Disney characters help you in battle. The music is awesome that adds to the experience. Over the years, they released Kingdom Hearts 2 and other games that took place before in the games and a prequel called Birth by Sleep was released in 2010. Now the very recent game will continue the story after 2 called Dream Drop Distance.
The plot has Sora and Riku go see Yen Sid to talk about the upcoming threat. Master Xehanort has returned and they have to do something before it’s too late. To be ready for the threat, they both have to take the Mark of Mastery to gain more power and be a true keyblade master. They have to go into the sleeping worlds to unlock 7 sleeping keyholes. The reason these worlds are asleep is after Sora saves the worlds in the first one, some remain never return to normal and cut off from the many worlds out there. The creatures that they be on the lookout are called Dream Eaters. There are two types of them, one are nightmares that eat good dreams while Spirits consume the nightmare and aid our two characters to find the keyholes and unlock the power.
Like most KH games, it is an action RPG where you do the usual attack, dodging, using magic, and block. The command deck from Birth by Sleep makes a return where you can set to 8 commands during the game. The big new features in this game is the flowmotion where you can bounce off of walls, poles and such in high speeds to use powerful attacks like a finishing move, and grabbing large enemies and throwing them to other enemies. The second new feature is reality shift is where you see a pink down arrow on the touch screen and once you trigger it, you have to do the objectives right for more damage. If you don’t remember bits from the past game. You unlock the mementos that shows you flashbacks in event on this game and the chronicles where you read the events from Birth by Sleep to Re Coded. Lastly another new feature is the drop system, there is a gauge to shows how much time you have left before switching between Sora and Riku. Once you drop, the more enemies you kill, you can give bonuses to the next person like more attack power and such. There are items to reset the gauge and you can drop anywhere you want during the game. When you drop in the world you’re at, the forecast changes that it could be that items are cheaper, or you get extra bonuses. Similar to the gummi ship, you dive to the world to go to where you go do objectives like collect this much or beat this boss to go into the worlds.
The other biggest feature in the game is the spirits, You can create spirits that you can train by items like balloons, and water barrels increase their bond to you and experience. You also give them food that increase their stats, LP, and such. Also you can pet them kind of like nintendogs that after a good amount of petting, they do a action depending on the spirit that shows their bond like Meow Wow will lick the screen. They also the key on getting abilities and commands by the ability link board where you use LP to get them. At battle they help out attack while doing little damage and sometimes healing you, and once their link gauge is full. In Sora’s case it let him use limits to deal powerful damage than in Riku’s case, it activate a link style similar to the command styles in Birth by Sleep. Lastly your spirits can go play in a minigame called Flick Rush where the objective is using higher value cards while switching spirits to beat the other team to win.
The things I like are the new features on the gameplay on the most part. Flowmotion adds on a already chaotic battle system and made it even more enjoyable, fast paced, and crazy.The worlds are huge with a bunch of treasure chest to explore and find and it helps that the design in the Disney worlds captures on what they look at in the movies other than the fact that they is no NPC around. While it depends on the person view on the story. It does has it corny parts to it that you could do a drinking game on it but in all seriously I like that one of the characters grow more, it reveals alot to keep people excited for KH3, and that most of the Disney characters are in character( Yes even Frollo is still his bad self with some things cut out). The spirit training/petting is surprising addicting with tons of spirits to create with different abilities and making that good team to use. The music is just as good as the other KH games with really memorable tracks that adds to the experience.
The things I didn’t like is the idea of the drop system, it sounds kind of annoying that when you in the middle of something but you have to stop since the gauge is almost out. In all honestly It isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I would give the drop system itself a 5/10 that I don’t like the overall idea but it is tolerable due to the items that reset it that cost not that much and you can drop anywhere you want. Still this part is going to be a like it or hate it on the system. The AI of the spirit can be alright at time, they do attack but there was times that I was need in healing and the ones on my party that know cure didn’t use it. Unfortunately after you beat the game, it doesn’t have a good amount of replay valve. You unlock a boss, still chests to get, the minigame, and portals to rebattle bosses. I wish they could've added more content after the game other than the new game plus to bring spirit you made with you.
Oh and one more thing, you may want to play the others or look up on what happens before playing this game if I were you. There is a chance that you may be confused about the story if you play this instead of the other games I recommend playing Birth by Sleep, KH 1, 2, and maybe 358/2 Days if you like.
Overall, this title has flaws that might ruin it depending on the person, but thankfully the gameplay is fun as heck, the spirits are surprising neat, and it keeps you interested in the story. Recommend to KH fans and 3DS owners that want a action RPG.
Now I will go dive into the nightmares of bad games and play NinjaBread Man on my Wii to save one of the apparently best( The Last Story) for last.
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