Gaming Review of the Nintendo 3DS 'Dream Trigger 3D' by JHardin1112
'Bring light where there is only darkness. Unleash a torrent of joy into the deepest, saddest depths of your consciousness. Turn every unending nightmare into a lucid landscape of bliss.'
Game - Dream Trigger 3D
Version - 3DS
Time Spent Playing - 4+ hours
Obtained - Review Copy courtesy of D3 Publisher
"Bring light where there is only darkness. Unleash a torrent of joy into the deepest, saddest depths of your consciousness. Turn every unending nightmare into a lucid landscape of bliss. You are the fixer of dreams."
The quote above is straight from the PR package sent to me by D3 Publisher with my review copy of Dream Trigger 3D. You can call me a fixer of dreams. Call me a spaceship, an aiming reticule. I don't really care. The truth is, it doesn't matter. While it would be nice to have more of a plot to coincide with the game, in the end all that matters is that Dream Trigger 3D is frenetic and fun.
Gameplay and Controls
This game is definitely not short on content. There are four modes of gameplay available.
The game starts off with a tutorial that holds your hand and shows you exactly how to play the game. Don't let that fool you though. As soon as I entered the first level, everything was not what I expected it to be. I died within seconds. After my 3rd or 4th try, I got the hang of things, and so will you.
- World Map Mode - Comprised of 50+ levels with over 100 challenges to beat and achievements to obtain. The world map looks very similar to a skills tree - I'm thinking along the lines of Final Fantasy 10. In order to navigate the world map, you must stock up on Dream Points (DP). You collect DP for every level you complete. For every node you cross on the map, you consume 1 DP. After surviving through the onslaught of enemies, you face off against a mini-boss at the end of each level. The scoreboard tracks the top 10 highest scores for each level.
- Free Play Mode - You can choose to play any level that you have unlocked in World Map Mode and play it. From here, you can practice your skills and aim for the top spot on the scoreboard.
- Time Attack Mode - Choose any level you have unlocked and see how quickly you can beat it. The top 10 fastest times will be saved.
- Versus Mode - Choose a level and go head to head with a friend over local wireless. Not only will you compete for points, but if you hit your opponent with a sonar ping, they become the hunted. This means they will be stunned and unable to score for a brief time, giving you the upper hand.
The game makes use of the top and bottom screens of the 3DS simultaneously. Be prepared to shift your focus often. The top screen displays your playable character as the environment comes rushing at you. Enemies appear on the top screen, unable to be targeted, unless and until you hit them with sonar bombs. Thankfully, you become invincible as you fire your weapon. Invincibility will only protect you temporarily as your shooting meter depletes. In order to replenish the meter, you must reveal enemies. On the bottom screen, enemies show up as purple squares scattered across the grid. In order to make the enemies visible, and to be able to destroy them, you must place sonar pings with your stylus across the bottom screen. You are limited to 16 at a time. A white rhythm bar flows across both screens along with the music. As the bar crosses your sonar bombs, it pings, it causes a ripple and refills your sonar bombs. If enemies are caught in the ripple, they become visible on the top screen, which allows you to shoot them, and your shooting meter partly refills.
Until you get the hang of it, controls might be a bit off-putting. You control your character using the circle pad, place sonar bombs on the touchscreen with your stylus, and fire using the trigger buttons. It only took about 5 or 10 minutes to get used to the controls and become quite comfortable with playing the game.
Visuals and Sound
Awesome. Yep, that's it. Oh, what? Now you want me to explain myself? While the visuals are a sight to behold, what really sets the game apart is the use of 3D. Not only does the 3D effect help you to gauge when an item/power-up/health is floating from the background into the foreground for you to snag, but the depth is nearly mesmerizing. It was so enjoyable for me to crank up the slider and take in the visuals between blasting baddies. I also consider it a plus that every level has its own theme in which the backgrounds, enemies, and your reticule all correspond. For instance, in a water based level the enemies look like jellyfish, and your reticule is a dolphin. To top it all off, there are 10 different environments to view as you progress through the game.
Moving on from one high note to the next, I couldn't get enough of the music. The songs are techno styled remixes from classical music composers such as Mozart and Wagner. A nice bonus feature is that you can access all the music and sounds from the menu. From there, you are able to play the music tracks in their entirety as well as set the individual volume for each track.
Concluding Overall Impressions
While the single player campaign doesn't seem as though it will take much longer to complete, a total of approximately 6 hours, the experience is rather enjoyable throughout. Once you finish shooting the heck out of everything in the 50+ stages, you can still go back and try to unlock all 100+ achievements. That coupled with the fact that players can compete in head to head battles over Local Play, players will be busy well after they defeat the final boss. The only things I wish the game would offer are online leaderboards and wifi multiplayer. Overall, Dream Trigger 3d is a solid game worth adding to your collection.
Final Score: 4 out of 5
Another great review by our Maxconsole reviewer 'JHardin1112'