Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 54
  2. Negative: 1 out of 54
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  1. Jul 23, 2012
    This new entry in the Kingdom Hearts IP, designed exclusively for Nintendo 3DS, it´s a must-have title for fans of the Square-Enix saga and action adventures alike.
  2. Jul 20, 2012
    Yes, taking care of your pokégotchis is superficial at best. And for ten years now Square is struggling with good camera positions in the fast-paced fights. But albeit all flaws this is a very entertaining action RPG with an engrossing and multilayered storyline. Oh yes: It looks great, too.
  3. 80
    Despite issues with the Drop System and a story that splashes merrily in the deep end of the Pool of Absurdity, Kingdom Hearts 3D is a genuinely fun game.
  4. Jul 18, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is the culmination of several trial ideas tested across various formats over the years since the release of Kingdom Hearts II and succeeds in being the strongest of the side-stories so far.
  5. Jul 31, 2012
    Dream Drop Distance does have its share of annoyances, but the game works well overall, and it's a nice addition to the franchise…even if it's not the one fans are waiting for.
  6. Jul 19, 2012
    The change in tone and tempo may well come as a jolt to long time fans, just as the lumpen opening sections may deter newcomers, but it's rare to see a decade-old franchise reinvent itself with this much vigour.
  7. Jul 25, 2012
    Another must-have title for Kingdom Hearts fans and action-RPG lovers, with enough juice to fill your summer thirst.
  8. Aug 11, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance is a game that surely will satisfy the owners of a 3DS looking for a Japanese RPG made by Square. It's not Kingdom Hearts III that many are waiting for and you will feel the limitations after developing a long term commitment (with added difficulties for beginners).
  9. Aug 10, 2012
    Doesn't quite live up to its own potential, and is ultimately bogged down by some poor gameplay decisions. It borrows and repurposes core gameplay ideas from previous games, adds a few new ideas into the mix – but the end result doesn't quite shine as brightly as it should. At worst, it feels like a hodge-podge of ill-suited ideas glued together in the most superficial ways. But the storyline delivers a good conclusion to the previous side tracks and builds up a lot of anticipation for the next main game.
  10. Jul 23, 2012
    Whether or not you're a fan of Nintendo's latest handheld console, if you love Kingdom Hearts, this is a must-have title that's filled with fantastic gameplay, an intriguing story, and beautiful visuals.
  11. Jul 17, 2012
    If you want to know the setup for the next big entry, you have to play this game to find out what's in store for the conclusion of the Xehanort arc. You could just watch some cutscenes online, but you'd be cheating yourself out of a lot of fun.
  12. Aug 1, 2012
    Bottom line: This is a great game on a system that needs more great games.
  13. Aug 9, 2012
    Dream Drop Distance favored new but underwhelming elements to the simplicity and multiple point of views of Birth by Sleep, and the result is somewhat annoying. Even though it remains the best episode to date on a Nintendo platform, Dream Drop Distance suffers from its forced alternance between its two main characters. On the bright side, the combat is fare more dynamic and enjoyable, and the worlds to explore absolutely gorgeous for a 3DS game.
  14. Jul 30, 2012
    By now the story has become so complex that only dedicated fans will understand what's going on. And it's them that will appreciate the new combat system that has come with Kingdom Hearts 3D.
  15. Aug 30, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts 3D has a really good game, perhaps even a great game, at its core. The slick central combat mechanics, sharp graphics, colourful neon-laced design, and childhood-baiting Disney properties all combine to present a game that is often a lot of charming, exciting fun. However, the adage still stands - less is more, and these positive attributes could be so much easier to enjoy if they weren't being broken up by bad writing, frustrating boss battles and a ludicrous excess of development.
  16. Aug 7, 2012
    All in all, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance might be my favorite game in the franchise. I'd have to replay Kingdom Hearts 2 to truly decide, but as it stands, the franchise's latest 3DS iteration is an excellent addition to the series.
  17. Oct 27, 2012
    With it's seventh main game, the Kingdom Hearts-franchise switches things up quite a bit, making room for some exciting new elements, like the flow motion and the including of characters from The World Ends With You. At the same time it manages to keep things like they have been for the past six games, with plenty of beautiful Disney-worlds, great characters and a good mix of action and roleplaying.
  18. 70
    Dream Drop Distance is a shining example of a good game that could have been great, if the developers had only taken the time to fix the mistakes and problems that have been plaguing it for years and years.
  19. Jul 24, 2012
    One of the most uneven games we've played. But fans of the series should love it.
  20. Aug 6, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts 3D is a no-brainer for fans, but those new to the series would be better served by playing almost any of the past titles or spin-offs.
  21. Games Master UK
    Jul 24, 2012
    Looks and plays great, in small bursts, but this convoluted mess is exhausting over the long run. [Sept 2012, p.104]
  22. Jul 22, 2012
    There's a mixture of novelty and intelligent ideas in Dream Drop Distance, that don't quite add up to an evolved form of what the series has shown us before. It's another sideways step for Kingdom Hearts, then, but undeniably a grandiose one.
  23. Nov 12, 2012
    A solid action RPG with tons of great mechanics. However, the mechanics have been over-combined, the game is very difficult and the controls should have been tuned up.
  24. Jul 27, 2012
    No, Disney isn't for everyone, but unless you're laden with a heart of stone, it's hard not to be taken in by Kingdom Hearts 3D's many charms.
  25. Aug 1, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts 3D doesn't revolutionize the franchise, and some of its experimental mechanics might not cater to your tastes. But despite any flaws it might possess, Dream Drop Distance still delivers splendidly in terms of unabashed fan service, and the kid in you will be ever gleeful tagging along with Sora and Riku for the ride.
  26. Jul 26, 2012
    Far from yet another filler installment to hold you over until Kingdom Hearts III, Dream Drop Distance is one of the better entries in the series and a solid RPG in its own right. It avoids the pitfalls some of the more recent entries have stumbled into and delivers some fresh new ideas to a series in danger of stagnating.
  27. Jul 27, 2012
    So it's certainly worth picking up, and I think most KH fans will fall in love with this entry. It certainly feels like one of the better entries in the series, and is also one of my favorite games on the 3DS right now.
  28. Aug 6, 2012
    A wonderful soundtrack, interesting cutscenes, fast fights full of action and the caring of the spirits entertain for quite a long time.
  29. Hyper Magazine
    Oct 8, 2012
    If you're down with the pet system, you'll find this game to be a highlight of the series. [Nov 2012, p.81]
  30. Jul 17, 2012
    An enjoyable experience with an engaging story and incredible characterization. Although the platforming is far from fluid and the story can feel convoluted at times, when KH3D soars, it soars high - capturing that KH magic that has propelled the series to great success for a decade now.
  31. Jul 30, 2012
    With lush graphics, engaging gameplay, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is a must have 3DS game, even if you have never played the previous games in the series.
  32. Aug 1, 2012
    Here's hoping Square Enix decides to perform some flaw-flushing open-heart surgery on the series before its next entry, because hiding the messy bits under arbitrary new systems clearly isn't doing it any favors.
  33. Aug 22, 2012
    The story can get confusing and nonsensical at times, and the camera gets caught up in some funky angles, but these are tiny flaws in an otherwise stellar RPG.
  34. Jul 23, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance is a good entry in the franchise, with some problems in terms of storyline and related with the camera. The Dream Eaters feature is well implemented and the mechanics still work, but unfortunatelly the game isnt as good as it should be.
  35. Jul 18, 2012
    The problem with the latest Kingdom Hearts is not a lack of new ideas but that almost all of them are awful, and that's before you even consider the script.
  36. Aug 2, 2012
    Yes, some things work better than others, but you'll learn to deal with the game's quirks in exchange for that old Disney magic, though if you're a big Kingdom Hearts fanatic, Square Enix already had your support.
  37. Jul 30, 2012
    We are still puzzled by a few gameplay and plot choices but Kingdom Hearts 3D is a surprisingly strong entry in the long living franchise with its excellent depth and technical achievements.
  38. Jul 21, 2012
    A beautiful, sporadically fun action RPG, and a great showcase for the power of the 3DS. Sit down and play it, however, and you're in for an infuriating game. [Aug 2012, p.89]
  39. Jul 18, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts 3D is a great looking, solid game, held back by a few design choices which stop it from being as enjoyable an experience as it should be. If you are new to the series and want to know what it's all about, then try Kingdom Hearts I or II before diving into this one. However, if you are a series veteran then step this way, as there is still a lot of fun to be had if you can overlook the small gameplay problems.
  40. Nintendo Power
    Aug 1, 2012
    In the end it's not the most coherent dream, but it's a pleasant one nonetheless. [Aug 2012, p.78]
  41. Aug 9, 2012
    An enticing action-RPG adventure that will take you on an eye-popping romp through classic Disney locales and have you swinging your keyblade to no end in its fantastic battling system. But for all it does right, it will still manage to leave a sour taste in your mouth at times.
  42. 90
    Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is both a great entry in the Kingdom Hearts series and a great 3DS game. The story flaws may distract some, but the remainder of the game is worthwhile.
  43. Jul 30, 2012
    Graphically the game looks to be on par with the PS2 titles, but what makes DDD shine above the rest is the 3D.
  44. Vibrant combat and lush Disney worlds atone for the dud dual-character idea. [Aug 2012, p.97]
  45. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 14, 2012
    Although the game is more an action-adventure than an RPG, this iteration of the Kingdom Hearts franchise is by far the best pocket adaptation yet. It ties all the loose ends, so that the Kingdom Hearts 3 can have a fresh start. [Sept 2012]
  46. Jul 25, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts continues to innovate in the RPG genre ten years on from the original release with [Dream Drop Distance], a generous and exciting addition to the series.
  47. Jul 27, 2012
    There's a failure to build investment in the story, the Dream Eater system trashes reliable and beloved AI companions for a convoluted Pokémon substitute, and some passable combat can't pick up the slack left by choppy pacing and the maddening Drop system.
  48. Jul 30, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance is everything gamers have come to expect from this series, for better or worse. I can't recommend it to newcomers in any way, but for those who have followed it this far, they'll find a flawed game that occasionally reaches some great highs.
  49. Aug 25, 2012
    I wasn't really sure what to expect from 3D, having never seriously partaken of this series before. The experience, with its annoying mechanics and impenetrable narrative, has soured me on trying any more. Fans of other Kingdom Hearts titles will probably have a completely different reaction as they have already learned to cope with the mechanics and have some clue what the hell is going on. Absent from this conditioning, I find I have no interest in learning what else this series has to offer.
  50. Aug 3, 2012
    Not an easy title to put a vote on, but definitely and high quality product, whose only weaknesses reside in the excessively convoluted story and the lack of truly innovative ideas.
  51. Aug 19, 2012
    Kingdom Hearts 3D is the pinnacle of the Kingdom Hearts portable formula, unifying everything that the series did right in the format and many new, smart ideas.
  52. Jul 26, 2012
    A good game directed to fans of the series, although it has some summaries of previous chapters for newcomers to get into the story. It has some great virtues, like an agile and fun combat system, an interesting story and good visual, but also some problems, like empty worlds or the repetition of scenarios. It is a recommended game if you can forgive its flaws.
  53. Jul 31, 2012
    Disney and Square Enix have done it again! The game presents itself very well and the Dream Eatersand the Flowmotion add a lot of depth. It's just a shame that the story line has lost its glory and that returning to the same worlds over and over again can get a bit annoying.
  54. Aug 2, 2012
    For Kingdom Hearts fans, you more than likely need to pick this game up. Even casual action RPG fans should give this game a shot. Just be ready to have some fun with the combat and some really nice aspects mixed with some questionable ones.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 280 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 59
  2. Negative: 5 out of 59
  1. Aug 1, 2012
    Have you been waiting for a good action RPG for the 3ds? if so this "may" be your game. The graphics are what you would expect from squareHave you been waiting for a good action RPG for the 3ds? if so this "may" be your game. The graphics are what you would expect from square nice and clean with fantastic cut scenes. Voice acting is for the most part solid but there are times where it can be hit or miss. The combat system is very responsive and mostly did what i wanted it to do sometimes i would attack nothing and get frustrated. The biggest flaw I would say would be the camera. I played without the Circle pad pro i don't know if this improves the camera at all i would say probably so. In summary it is not without its flaws but it is for sure a game you need to own if you are KH fan or if you did a little research on the story thus far you would be fine allbeit just as confused as KH vets because the story will become confusing. And a one last note about the "drop" system was annoying at first but you could always drop back to the Sora or Riku if it were something crucial you needed to do. In the end not perfect but 3ds owners should not overlook this game. Full Review »
  2. Jul 31, 2012
    This is the best 3DS game and the only reason i bought one. buy this game and stop complaining that its not KH3, cause it will come in theThis is the best 3DS game and the only reason i bought one. buy this game and stop complaining that its not KH3, cause it will come in the future and this is a great entry in my favorite series of all time!! Full Review »
  3. Aug 1, 2012
    Super awesome game! A MUST for Kingdom Hearts fans! The story, the music, the gameplay, the graphics, everything is just awesome! If you don'tSuper awesome game! A MUST for Kingdom Hearts fans! The story, the music, the gameplay, the graphics, everything is just awesome! If you don't have a 3DS, buy it! This game alone will be worth it! That's what I think at least. Full Review »