hahahailtotheking: (These girls and their cup intrigue me...)
Mickey Mouse ([personal profile] hahahailtotheking) wrote2012-07-28 04:17 am
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Dream Drop Distance Let's Play part 1: A Tale of Two Towns.

Evening folks! This here be what it says on the tin- my recap, for a lack of better word, of playing Dream Drop Distance! Follow me beneath the cut for tales of daring, innuendo and motion sickness as I tackle the first world:

Intro movie is just as awesome as the trailers showed it to be. I especially likes how throughout the entire movie Mickey conducts the orchestra ”playing” the song, and when lightning bolts strike and tornado winds blow he gets affected by it as well, until he decideds to pop up in the upper screen and get Oldanort to step off his boys. At any rate- time to get this started…

-Ookay so the intro is kind of weird.
-We start with a flashback to when Ienzo and Even first became Nobodies. Seeing his colleagues faceplant and then vanish into thin air chills Braigs feet something fierce and when he voices his newfound desire to chicken out of the deal Terranort suddenly busts out his keyblade and stabs Braig in the chest. Because you don’t question SCIENCE in his abode bitch.
-When Braig asks if Xehanort never lost his memories in the first place, he just replies that his name is now Ansem.
-Gee I can really feel how this intro sequence will in no way be confusing to newcomers, because Nomura said they had done all they could to be as inclusive as possible.

-SUDDENLY DESTINY ISLAND
-Riku and Sora are standing around being KH1 aged and then go on the raft without Kairi. I read a fan-fic that started like that once.
-Then there’s a dark storm and suddenly tentacles and Ursula pops up and attacks two nubile young boys fighting against the storming tides.
-I read a different fanfic that started like that once.
-That was a joke.
-It was actually the same fanfic as the first one.

-TUTORIAL TIME and Ursula is easy even on Proud mode.
-I play Proud Mode because I’m masochist like that.
- She mostly stays still and you can just jump up and wail on her face. A-button is attack combos, Y is guard, X is use a command/spell/special attack and B is jump.
-So we win and then fall into a whirpool where we see a Keyhole. Riku and Sora engages in a bit of synchronized keyhole to key insertion and then we see the mysterious dude in the brown robe from Kingdom Hearts 1 peeping in on them, telling us the world has now been connected.
-DON’T WE ALL FEEL SO ENLIGHTENED

-Interesting: we’re actually given the choice to see a flashback (that’s what the game calls them) featuring vital exposition-dumps by Yen Sid. Like if we skip this we will legit have no idea what’s going on in the game.
-He pretty much says that Xehanort had such a massive hard-on for knowledge regarding lifes big questions that it was only a matter of time before he knocked down some real precious priceless china with it, and that he will come back to bother them again.
-Neither Riku nor Sora are surprised or even question this statement at this point.
-He tells them that even if Sora and Riku fancy themselves Keyblade masters already (which is poppycock because in HIS DAY you weren’t a master until you saved the universe four times, uphill every time and in snow!) they have to learn anew and start from a clean slate… and offers no further explanation as to WHY. Just, nope. Start over. Not because it will let them learn some new move, or help them figure out some great secret just go and learn you whippersnappers. Maybe another flashback will explain further…

-I kinda love how Sora’s reaction is ”what no we’re awesome jus the way we are” but Riku is susceptible to suggestion and is all ”BUT I HAVE DAAAARKNESS IN MY HEART” even if we totally established that’s cool and a strength of his. So he says they should do it and Sora is like ”Oh gosh buddy of mine guess a-testin’ we go :D ”

-NOW THE DIVE MINIGAME, still no explanation for how we got here. You fly towards the screen and pick up stars that give you points and smack enemies that come too close. Think Gummi ship sequences sans gummi ships.

-THEN TRAVERSE TOWN. Sora looks around for Riku and attracts a wild Neku with his Noise. Neku is his usual douchey self and states laconically that Sora is not a Player, but before Sora can tell Neku he has both a girlfriend AND a boyfriend and has basically got MAD GAME Neku clarifies what Player means in this context and decides to move on. Sora manages to friendship him up the head though and Neku begrudgingly allows Sora to help him out while he looks for his partner. And that leads us into Flowmotion…

-Okay gonna save gameplay rambles for later on in the entry when I’ve gotten a good grasp on it.

-Anyhow Sora chases after Neku, beats some bad guys, and then we get to create Dream Eaters. We also get an informative Flashback explaining how the sleeping worlds can’t be touched by Heartless, so instead the Darkness creates malicious Dream Eaters called Nightmares which eat dreams, and kind Spirits which hunt the Dream Eaters.
Sora: Huh, so what creates the Spirits?
Yen Sid: Beg pardon?
Sora: Well if Nightmares are the symbolic representations of Heartless, what are the Spirits supposed to come from?
Yen Sid: …
*Summons a visual of a Meow Wow*
Sora: OH MY GOD A FLUFFY WUFFY CUDDLY WUDDLY PUPPY HE’S ROLLING AROUND AND HIS TUMMY IS SO BIG AND FAT AND SOFT LOOK AT HIS WIDDLE TONGUE OH MY GOD IT’S SO CUTE CAN I KEEP HIM RIKU CAN I CAN I CAN I?

- I end up making a Meow Wow that I call Bulkhead and I pet the stupid adorable wonderful DUMB thing until I manage to give it a whole level. It is cute beyond words and I love it so much you guys. Neku finally tells us his name after we save his life, and Sora thinks it’s high-faluting fancy namby pamby because Neku has a first AND second name and Destiny Islands don’t take kindly to that kind of nonsense. We bounce around Traverse Town which simultaneously feels smaller and larger than before and are then led into a meeting with… an Org 13 coat-dude!
-Sora is knocked comatose because he’s seen so many dudes in coats lately that he can’t even handle them anymore.
-That is to say he ”drops” and we now control Riku.

-Riku ends up all ronery until out of nowhere
the one
the only
the glorious
~Joshua~ appears~!
-Joshua wants Rikus help to find a lovely little girl in order to use her ”portal” (no doubt for hideous purposes), and Riku decides that he’d rather not trust yet another skeevy dude who knows his name. But Joshua says he wants to help us find Sora so… Riku goes along with him anyway. Riku. We need to talk about your co-dependency Riku it’s getting seriously troubling man.

-Joshua gives us a short schpiel on how the Dream Eeaters don’t attack him, but they attack anyone who’s a ”dreamer”. Riku wonders if that means he’s a dreamer which makes Joshua reminisce about a certain boy that Riku reminds him off, and which had dreams the biggest of anyone even if he said he wasn’t a dreamer.
”Why must I be such a sucker for the cute, sullen and emotionally constipated ones?”
”You said something?”
”Not a thing~.”
Sooo they HAVE already played the Reapers Game? They have been taken from their world to this one? I am so lost right now.
-YES BEAT
-YOU ARE THE BEST BEAT
-Even if he has apparently been told by a dude in black coat that if he fights Riku he and Rhyme can totally go home I don’t care, it’s not Beat if he’s not getting manipulated somehow.
-Rhyme is who Joshua is looking for in order to use her as a portal btw
-I don’t know what that means but it’s probaby not wholesome
-Beat summons Dream Eaters but they rebel and Riku has to beat their asses down. We get a tutorial in how to use Dream Links, which is team-up attacks with our Spirits, and they can mostly be condensed down to ”Riku fuses with them, Sora rides them around”. Riku fuses with a Bat Spirit I name Count and turns into Wolverine. He be bad.

Okay so Riku drops after this, and then I run around with Sora some more and then drop back to Riku again. Keeping up with the story is gonna be hell with all these involontary changes. Riku then runs into Shiki and a MASSIVE battle to defend her against wave after wave of monsters takes place. Proud mode MIGHT just be a little bit more than I can chew. But I win because I’m awesome like that and Riku then gets flirted with by Shiki.
-It’s kind of adorable how bad Riku is.
-Oh my god he outright says ”I’m bad at this”, this being responding to a girls come-ons Oh Riku. She and Riku then proceed to look for her missing partner… even if she’s never actually seen on the overworld. Oh programmers.
-NEXT DEVELOPMENT: Sora meets Rhyme, learns she’s lost her memory and remembers nothing. His response? LET’S GO FIND NEKU AND SOLVE ALL OF THE PROBLEMS :D and Rhyme goes along because she trusts people I guess
-Or possibly just Sora because he’s Sora and about as deceitful as a Meow Wow and even when Rhyme is an amnesiac she’s sharp enough to tell that Sora is a righteous dude.
-Riku follows Shiki into an encounter with mister Blackcoat on top of a greenhouse, who apparently promised Shiki he could send her back home! The plot thickens…
-Sora then also shows up at the greenhouse where Neku is hanging out and forgives him instantly because FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC AND HEALS ALL WOUNDS.
-Also Joshua shows up and flirts with Neku a little.
”My days are once again brighter with you in them~.” (actual quote)

-Over in Rikuverse the blackcloak takes off his hood and reveals himself to be… some dude with dark skin and grey hair and amber eyes. He wonders what Riku’s doing there.
”Do you even know what you’re doing?”
”I… I know-”
”No seriously do you have any idea what’s actually going on? This story’s handling of in medias res is terrible. WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING FOOOR?!”
-In Soras world we don’t even get a speech, he just shows up and backhands Neku away (Rhyme was dissapeared by Joshua) and starts the fight.
-So yeah boss fight time. It’s a huge baboon jack-in-the-box, and while the first couple of rounds has it kick my ass I manage to find out the trick soon enough. Sora fights it on the glass-roof of a greenhouse and mostly just runs around dodging it’s big, HURTFUL punches (although I do get trapped in one attack in which it traps Sora in the box and then just whacks him up and down and up and down a bunch of times, it’s glorious to see). Easiest way to handle him is to slide into a wall and then execute a Flowmotion attack, they hurt him WAY more than any regular attack. After that I simply Dream Link with Bulkhead (Soras Dream Links make him invincible) and bounce his ass back to the stone age.

-Riku isn’t that different. The boss fights via magic distance attacks this time though, fireballs and teleporting punches. I handle it the same though-I slide on the hand-rail inside the greenhouse which lets me use a Flowmotion attack that teleports me to the nearest enemy for a few quick blows. This is useful because it hurts more than regular attacks and the darn thing floats around everywhere so I can’t reach it with regular attacks. Worth noting is that you are NOT invincible during Flowmotion attacks and you can’t interrupt them, so quick ones are better than long-lasting ones. Camera is not my friend inside this confined place.
After fighting the two boss-fights Sora and Riku gets two different endings each, then one they share.
- Sora gets to see what happens in Rikus world as the black coat threatens Riku, though they are both just these ghostly blue transparent apparitions. Joshua shows up and explains that the world has been split into two ”imaginings”, parrallel worlds where one is for Sora and one for Riku, and that while he has no idea why that is mister Black Cloak is probably responsible for it. Also, Rhyme is apparently the portal between two worlds because Joshua can use her dreams to travel between them.
-Yes.
-That makes total sense and was appropriately foreshadowed and expanded upon to the point where it in no way feels like an asspull.
-Sora, Neku and Rhyme then take turns slowly and agonizingly saying their respective partners names. It’s very touching.
-Riku gets to see Beat nearly fall all over himself because Rhyme is visible his world but only as a ghostly projection and it’s killing him inside as he slowly bats his hand at her face, whereupon Riku, Shiki and Beat slowly say Sora, Neku and Rhyme’s name.
-It’s very touching and hilariously shippy.
-Holy hell.
-Beat never tells anyone that Rhyme is his sister.
-I REALLY hope that the people who find about TWEWY from this game aren’t too ship-triggerhappy because man are they in for a cold shower.
-Seriously he even sort of tries touching her ghostly face and
-Wait why are the projections not responding to each others movements
-Like they can see each others as projections but when Beat raises his hand Rhyme-projcetion doesn’t even react
-I guess they decided that having her react to his ghostly touch would just be shipper-overload and all things considered maybe this decision was for the best
-Inconsistent though it be.
-AND NOW THE TRUE END.

-…
-Joshua ”So those four people had died so I needed a world in which to gather their memories and restore their bodies in, and since as we all know Traverse Town appears whenever someone is lost I decided to dream up a new Traverse Town in which they could all be recreated with your help~”
Riku: ”That makes absolutely no sense and we have never heard any of this information before.”
Joshua: ”Does it, and haven’t you?~”
Riku: ”Actually yeah I’m pretty sure that PUT YOUR SHIRT BACK ON GOD OKAY YOU’RE RIGHT DREAMS CAN TOTALLY BE USED TO RESTORE PEOPLE TO LIFE AGAIN WHATEVER YOU SAY MAN”
Sora: ”How can hips even move like that...”
-Maybe it’s just because it’s late and I’m tired but Joshua’s whole explanation clarifies nothing.
-I have no idea if this is TWEWY-Joshua, Kingdom Hearts AU Joshua, why the characters from TWEWY are apparently dead and know each other and are still playing the Reapers game despite no reapers being around…
-You know I’m just gonna call that none of the events here are going to play a long-term role in the story, so lets put them out of my mind until the game clarifies things.
-Ha ha what a funny I just made.

-FLASHBACK TIME AGAIN
-Sooo this is newsworthy.
-During the ”age of fairy tales”, Light was everywhere and all was groovy, but then people started acting like butts and wanted to hog all the light. You know the story from here- great war, worlds are sundered by the darkness spawned by the war (which was the first darkness at that, natch), light survives in the hearts of children and they recreate the worlds as scattered little pieces. BUT. During the legendary war the X-blade was shattered into twenty pieces. Seven of Light, and Thirteen of Darkness. OOOH SEE IT WASN’T JUST A COINCIDENCE ORGANIZATION THIRTEEN TOTALLY MEANT SOMETHING GAIS.
-Also: the first warriors in the war modeled the Keyblades after the X-Blade and used them as tools of war, but when the worlds were recreated some took them up as weapons to protect the worlds instead. ”Any other origin have yet to be revealed”.
-There are three kinds of Keyblades: those of light, those of darkness and those of ”heart”. The last two are apparently super-rare as most Keyblades, including Sora and Rikus are apparently Keyblades of Light. They unlock any lock, and any ”non-agent of light” can be defeated by it. Special Keychains allow the Keyblades appearance and performance to be altered.
-All of this is part of the new ”glossary” function which is basically like a dictionary that updates at certain points in the story. I’ll post anything from them that I find interesting or clarifying.

-Yen Sid tells Sora they’re going to send him into a world and search for seven Keyholes of slumber, and once they unlock all those keyholes they’re going to awaken some kind of power that’s apparently gonna help them do stuff. He says nothing of what the power is or what their quest can do to awaken the slumbering heroes Mickey was talking about, just… seven keyholes of power mang. Better get to it chop-chop.
-I’m starting to suspect Yen Sid just wants these darn whipper-snappers to go through some completely useless tasks like HE used to do BACK IN THE DAY HARRUMPH.
With that out of the way, onto

-FLOWMOTION.
-Turned out to be harder than I expected to learn, but once it clicks it really clicks.
Press Y and hold the stick in a direction to dodge roll/dash, and if you hit an object as you dash you stick to it temporarily. Hit a pole, start spinning, hit a wall, bounce off it, hit a rail and slide on it. Hit the A-button during this to execute an attack of varying strength. Basically the entire world is your Advent Children-esque playground.
-You can even dash into an enemy and "stick" to it if it's a big enough enemy, and then throw it into the crowd with A. Biggest use of Flowmotion so far is that if you hit a wall and then jump you get a MASSIVE boost in height. Press Y again to air-dash, hit another surface, and you can keep on jumping higher and higher indefinitely. It’s easy as pie to cover a whole stage like this.

-DREAM EATERS!
-They are this games way of unlocking new attack commands and abilities like Combo Plus and HP Boost and so on. Three Dream Eaters in your active team, two active in the field and one in reserve. These get exp when you’re in battle and Link Points, which you use to buy new commands.
-Each Dream Eater has a Command Board attached to it where you spend Link Points to get new attacks. Here’s the thing- pet and play with your Dream Eaters in the special menu dedicated to playing, and you can change their nature- essentially their AI-behaviour profile. Some of these natures mean NEW commands show up on the board, so pet these suckers for all they’re worth to unlock maximal amount of commands.
-So far Sora has Bulkhead the Meow Wow and Slimer the Toximander (Toximanders take AGES to do link ups with jsyk). Nothing in reserve. Riku has Count the Komory Bat and Knuckles the Pricklemane and nothing in reserve.
-Also you can use toys to play with Dream Eaters to raise their affection, levels and Link Points. The toys can get you some MAJOR point-age really quick, so they’re recommended.

-DROPPING
-Not as much of a pain in the ass as I initially feared.
-There’s a meter and it moves kinda slow, and when it’s empty you are forced to switch character. If you find special challenge portals in the stages and complete their challenges (stand on the portal which is only visible on the lower screen and then push on the lower screen) you get extra points. These points can be used to buy bonuses like extra attack strength and slower-moving Drop Meter that the next player receives.

-THE STAGES.
-Traverse Town was WAY bigger… and smaller.
-Clarification: you can’t enter any buildings and you can’t talk to anyone. The stages are empty save for a TON of treasure chests.
-But they are WAY bigger than they were in Kingdom Hearts 1, and even 2 come to think of it and definitely Birth By Sleep, even if some artifical barriers exists that mean you can’t go some places as Riku and Sora respectively. This is so that you can dash around and do a ton of different acrobatic feats and really soar around the place, and it’s impressive, don’t get me wrong. Using Flowmotion you can move between areas super-quick so it’s not a pain in the ass or anything, it’s just kinda… empty. There’s nothing in these worlds but monsters and stuff to fight.
-And moogles I guess. Moogles are here to sell stuff to you again. I have no idea what Nomuras justification is for that. As capitalism is omnipresent, so are its moogle avatars?
-And in the worlds defense, there are tons of hidden nooks and crannies that you really have to look for, so that’s nice. You need to spend some time with these stages in order to really get to know their layouts.
-Have to admit that it gets kinda disorienting sometimes because the camera doesn’t always keep up and the stages don’t always have enough landmark features that help differentiate the different zones, so you can walk around in circles at times before you really understand where you are.
-And that’s it for the first day and the first stage of playing! I had a lot of fun so far, even if it was far more challenging than I expected. Next time up, we have The Grid!

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