Update 1: Time played: 6 hours, 34 minutes
It is time for my first impressions of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance! I’ve completed the first few worlds of the game and I’m ready put some of my thoughts on paper. Like I’ve mentioned before, the game takes place over one broad playthrough with and you swap between Sora and Riku’s stories at different moments. You’re forced to swap most of the time because your time with each character is on a timer, and once that timer runs out on one character you have to play the other one for a little while. It’s an interesting way to encourage the player to keep both characters on a similar pace within the story and not just solely focus on one character, but I can see it getting really annoying in the long run. Also while on the story, one of the very first things I noticed is that Sora is incredibly stupid. It’s almost like he was dropped on his head between games, because so far he’s just blindly believed everything people tell him which has lead him into traps. It’s actually baffling, and his stupidity reminds me somewhat of Goku or Monkey D. Luffy for the Dragon Ball and One Piece fans out there. Thankfully Riku seems to have a functioning brain and is a bit more skeptical about people than Sora is.
Both Sora and Riku feel very similar for the most part so far. There hasn’t been an immediate difference in character playstyles like there was in Birth by Sleep, but I have seen some character exclusive commands in the early game, so they might diverge from one another later on via those. Having said that, however, there is one fundamental difference between Sora and Riku, and that difference is in the Dream Eaters and the Link System. Dream Eaters are essentially the Kingdom Hearts series’ take on Pokemon, with Sora and Riku both being able to have a party of two monsters and one reserve monster. Dream Eaters all have different abilities themselves and levelling them up will unlock abilities and commands for Sora and Riku. The Link System allows you to combine forces with your Dream Eaters for a variety of different powers. This is where Sora and Riku differ the most in gameplay. Sora can link up with his Dream Eaters to perform a Link Attack, in which he uses the Dream Eaters themselves for attacks, such as riding the fat cat Dream Eater to belly flop on your foes. Riku links up with his Dream Eaters for a Link Style, a technique that augment’s Riku’s attacks much like how Command Styles did in Birth by Sleep.
It’s an interesting system so far, considering that the rest of the combat is nearly copy-and-pasted from Birth by Sleep, but I’m somehow not enjoying it as much as I did in Birth by Sleep. Is it because I’m getting tired of the Command Deck after nearly 30 hours straight of it? Does it improve later on? Or is it just a worse version of Birth by Sleep? Stay tuned!
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance