Kingdom Hearts 3D Demo Impressions

Kingdom Hearts 3D Cover
Yesterday, the Kingdom Hearts 3D (Dream Drop Distance) demo was made available for download on the Nintendo eShop. Here's our first impression of the game.

There are two modes available to choose from which is the tutorial to review the game controls and the main game demo course. The menu buttons are displayed on the lower screen and you can either use the touchscreen or use the physical buttons to navigate.

In the tutorial you'll get introduced to the basic elements of the game such as moving the camera around, attacking, using magic and new control features such as flowmotion, and reality shift. You'll also get to fight with Little Mermaid octopus-woman villain, Ursula. Everything taught in the tutorial can be reviewed on the main course by pressing the start button.

In the main demo course, Sora finds himself in Traverse town town and looks for Riku. He then meets another kid who is in some sort of "game" and has a clock ticking on his hand. The cutscene can be skipped at any time by pressing the start button and choosing "skip scene" or just continue with it if you want to know a bit more if what's going on. By the way, Sora is the only playable character in the demo.

Once you take control of the game you'll notice that there are small animals following your around. They are called spirits and they'll be aiding you in battle. You can also make them lend their powers to Sora by filling up their pink gauge and pressing on their icon on the bottom screen.

The bottom screen also displays the map and you can zoom in and out. The map also shows the location of your character, as well as your spirits and enemies. It's a pretty good use of the lower screen.

The game world will make you feel so free. Being able to run and jump around in an open space is really something good for me. The flowmotion is really something cool, making Sora glow momentarily and then allowing him to jump against walls, circle around a pole and sliding through the stair hand rails. Sora can also grab on edges, so when it seems like you won't reach the other end, Sora will grab the edge of a room for example and you'll be able to climb up.

Sora is also able to fly and you can control his direction left or right. While I like this feature, it also seem a little broken since you don't get pushed back when flying forward against a wall. Sora's somehow just stuck on that flying animation. It's good nevertheless.

The demo ends with a boss fight which is not so difficult to beat. Although sometimes, because of the boss's enormous size, it becomes a little bit hard to see what's going on.

As for the graphics, it's somehow comparable to the PS2 Kingdom Hearts. It's a little hard to find something that sets the two different versions on the two platforms apart. The 3D definitely puts some depth into the environment with no noticeable slowdowns.

The character models were good, and both the characters and the environment get a decent polygonal structure which avoids making things look flat.

Overall, the demo was great and it's something that really makes me want to reserve some money for once it comes out. You'll have 30 credits before the demo runs dry so you'll have plenty of time to fly and think about. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance will be released on July 31, 2012 for the US.

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