How does Kingdom Hearts look in 3D? Pretty good!
Kingdom Hearts is a game I've always wanted to get into but somehow never did, so I'm looking at this with no previous knowledge of the series at all, other than it blends Square Enix role playing with Disney characters.
The main guy, Sora, runs about with the circle pad and has quite a large array of face-button attacks at his disposal. He has several melee, magic and sidekick attacks that can be unleashed at any time as long as the corresponding bar is charged up. Attacks can be cycled through with the D-Pad—a little clumsy, but when a move has depleted its power, it automatically moves onto the next one on the list, so you're never stuck without an attack.
The publisher told me that a lot of focus has been put on making battles as smooth as possible, and I did see that philosophy in action during my playtime. Sora would finish a move and immediately swing into the next one, sometimes spinning his key sword around like a helicopter into a wall, where he would jump off and go straight into another move. If he hit a lamppost he'd spin around it and fly off in a new direction too—very stylish.
The only problem I found with that is often he'd fly toward or very near the camera, causing some clipping and other unintentional graphical craziness. The camera can be reset by holding R, however it takes more than four seconds for it to spin around to face the enemy. A more immediate solution I happened upon by accident was if I pressed L and R simultaneously, the camera would lock onto the nearest enemy, even if it was quite far away. The problem there is the locked view only lasts as long as you keep holding the buttons; let go and it would fly off back to a less convenient position.
After beating up some regular enemies I reached the boss fight, which took place on a glass rooftop. I used all my magic attacks, including some amazing arial acrobatic moves and an ice attack. I could also bring in my animal friends, who'd been following me around throughout the stage, to partner up with Sora for some devastating moves. The panda would join hands with Sora, then start to spin around with some kind of death dance, wiping out anyone in their path. It has a limited affect on the boss but was cool nonetheless. The other animal was used like a space hopper, bouncing up and down; while still controllable, this only did a bit of damage. However, it did break the rooftop, causing us all to drop to the lower level and continue the fight there.
After dying once, I realized I needed to learn how to heal myself; after reading the spells more carefully, I saw there was a healing spell, so on my second attempt I defeated the boss with ease.The graphical presentation was very nice—extremely colorful and bright—despite being quite low in polygons; I guess that choice was made to give it a silky smooth frame rate, which could have easily taken a hit considering all the crazy effects going on at once.
As a fan of more action-oriented RPGs, this could convince me to take my first plunge into the series. I just hope the camera and small control issues are ironed out before release.