Square-Enix's 'Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance' for 3DS.
The next chapter in Square-Enix's popular Disney-themed video game series Kingdom Hearts is less than two months away with Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for the Nintendo 3DS.
Storyline-wise, the game takes place immediately after the events of Kingdom Hearts II with protagonists Sora and Riku having to take the Mark of Mastery exam (as was introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Birth Before Sleep for the PSP). You see, all this time, Sora and Riku have been self-taught keyblade wielders and have never had any real formal training. With a large-scale impending threat on the horizon, Yen Sid (the sorcerer from Disney's 'Fantasia') decided it was high time that the two finally master the weapon. Essentially, that's what Dream Drop Distance is all about: Sora and Riku actually becoming true keyblade masters.
"In terms of gameplay, you'll be playing as both Sora and Riku," explained Dream Drop Distance Product Manager Raio Mitsuno. "You actually alternate between the two."
The reason players switch between the two protagonists is due to the game's "drop" system. Which ever the active character is will fall asleep after a certain amount of time. When that occurs, gameplay will switch off to the other character with the story switching to wherever that other character had left off. Both Sora and Riku will visit the same worlds, but they'll allow the player to experience different things while at the same time indirectly interacting with each other.
"What happens with Sora in the world will also happen to Riku in that same world and you'll see two very parallel paths intertwining," Mitsuno said in relation to the game's dual-character gameplay.
As for the worlds that the player will be visiting, Mitsuno states they will all be Disney-themed and brand new to the series. These worlds include those inspired by 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', 'Pinocchio', 'Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers', 'Fantasia', and the recent 'Tron: Legacy' major motion picture.
Kingdom Hearts fans haven't seen anything relating to what happens after Kingdom Hearts II, which released on the PlayStation 2 six years ago, and Square-Enix seems all too happy to provide this little glimpse of the advancing storyline as the company works towards an all-but-inevitable Kingdom Hearts III.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is rated "E10+" by the ESRB and will be released as a 3DS exclusive title on July 31st, 2012.