updated 8/2/2012 3:19:54 PM ET 2012-08-02T19:19:54

For the past ten years, Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series has been enchanting players of all ages.

Revolving around a universe inspired by various Disney films (including classics and recent releases like "Chicken Little" and "Pirates of the Caribbean"), this adventure/role-playing series keeps getting better. With its debut on the Nintendo 3DS with "Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance," they don’t appear to be slacking off any time soon.

This latest chapter in the series features two characters fans will be familiar with – young warriors by the names of Sora and Riku. With their Keyblades (enormous swords that resemble keys) by their sides, they fight an all-new evil haunting their land, in the form of Dream Eaters. These Technicolor-shaded creatures are a lot more hazardous than they appear, but with the help of the new Flowmotion attack techniques (more on that in a moment), you’re able to fight back with ease.

What’s cool about these Dream Eaters is that, once they are vanquished, you can enlist them for battle and even customize them to a certain degree.

"Dream Drop Distance" retains every once of Kingdom Hearts’ enjoyable gameplay, as you’ll be able to move around in real time, striking enemies and unleashing powerful spells, including sliding dashes and chilly blizzards.

Now for the new Flowmotion techniques. Using stair rails, light posts and other items scattered throughout each stage, you’ll perform acrobatic feats that make you a lot faster – and less likely to be hit. You can also activate Reality Shift segments, which utilize the touch-screen to enhance battles. Some of them get rather tiring, having to hit certain things at the right time, while others are engaging thanks to fun mini-games which utilize the 3DS touch-screen.

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Another part of Kingdom Hearts’ true magic is its design. As you did before, you’ll visit classic Disney worlds throughout the game, including a level inspired by a musical number from Fantasia and a world brought to life through TRON imagery. This is a fantastic-looking game, especially in 3D, as you can really feel a rush flying through wind tunnels and collecting stars at light speed. Likewise, the voicework is great, with Haley Joel Osment returning to voice Sora, along with David Gallagher as Riku and a few other familiar Disney favorites. Keep an ear open for Leonard Nimoy and Hayden Panetierre, too.

"Dream Drop Distance" is yet another top-notch addition to the series, expanding its worlds beautifully (really, TRON’s is something special) and adding enough techniques to keep battles interesting. Even if you haven't been a fan, this is an ideal chapter to “Drop” in with.

RATING: 3 / 4

© 2012 TechNewsDaily


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