By Alexandra Burlacu | May 14, 2012 02:24 PM EDT
Augmented reality seems to become an increasingly bigger part of the handheld games consoles ecosystem, and the nascent technology is rapidly becoming a popular trend. Games such as Kid Icarus Uprising have sparked interest in augmented reality technology, and now Square Enix is joining the party.
Promotional AR Cards
Square Enix has decided to incorporate augmented reality in its latest 3DS title - Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Using the 3DS' camera, players will be able to scan in special cards and unlock features within the game, and early adopters are in for a treat. Aiming to entice people into pre-ordering the game, Square Enix has announced that early adopters will receive three promotional augmented reality (AR) cards "while supplies last."
"Using these cards will allow players to unlock rare Dream Eaters and a 360 viewing stand that allows players to take a closer look at their Dream Eaters from all angles," said the company. "One AR card will randomly unlock one of the three rare Dream Eaters: Ursa Circus, Sudo Neku and Meowjesty," Square Enix further explained. "The second AR card unlocks R&R Seal Dream Eater, and the last AR card unlocks the 360 viewing stand."
Kingdom Hearts has sparked a lot of interest due to its addictive combination of classic, innocent and sweet Disney characters and dark overtones, with intensive combat scenes. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance will come as the seventh game in the series, and follows PSP iteration Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, which was launched last year.
The latest iteration will showcase a number of the game's popular characters, set in the familiar location of Traverse Town. It will follow lead characters Sora and Riku throughout their adventure, as they travel across the Sleeping Worlds in order to become true Keyblade masters, but it will also include new gameplay elements. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance will include the ability to recruit over 50 types of Dream Eaters spirits to help Sora and Riku in battle, as well as other cool new features. Players will discover new worlds based on Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tron: Legacy.
The game quality is "at the level of a console game," said director Tetsuya Nomura, as cited by Digital Spy. According to the director, the 3DS release will feature the "flashiest motion of the series thus far." Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance will be exclusive to the 3DS, and will be available from July 20 in the UK and a week later in the U.S., on July 31.
(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Dave Clark)