So wait, what the hell is a "dream trigger" exactly?
I don't really understand the title… Dream Trigger 3D
? I understand the 3D part, but I don't really get the trigger part. Most games give an indication of what they are in their title: Dragon Quest
, Gitaroo Man
. On the other hand, I know nothing
about triggering dreams to shoot ever-changing enemies in 3D. Maybe it's just me.
But hell, I suppose like any good shooter, the title might not have to make sense. I don't know what a Parodius is (or after all these years, a Galaga for that matter). So what is it then? It's a sort of classic, high-score-seeking gaming missile, that's what (maybe that's
what they meant by the trigger).
The actual game is like mixing Rez
: A bar slides across the screen in time to the music, and if a space is touched by the stylus, it will light up along with the spaces immediately around it. Enemies will usually show up as balls of light on the top screen, but others will only appear as different-colored dots on the bottom screen. They can only be defeated by touching them on the screen when the musical bar slides across and then, using the energy picked up from uncovering those baddies, you can blast them out of the sky… so long as you have enough stored-up energy to attack.
The main goal, according to the tutorial, is to get back to the basics. So… those are
the basics. Though you'll get a handle on the game once you've figured them out, it's frustrating from the outset with a short and not particular clear tutorial. Controlling two screens at once is a painful concept in the literal sense; I couldn't stop my hand from cramping up.
Thankfully, the 3D effect here is about as fitting and natural as the 3DS has had so far. It doesn't add much to the gameplay, but it does help to set the scene beautifully; since the on-screen avatars are both sprites and polygonal models, the feeling of depth makes both styles pop in beautiful fashion. It's among the first 3D effects on the system that doesn't pander to those of us looking for a game simply to take advantage of the system… it's genuinely nice. It doesn't even cause eye strain!
Dream Trigger is
pretty short, though, with 55 levels and only a few minutes for each stage. It might sound like a lot, and many levels will have to be played again to unlock challenges and new stages. Sadly, a lot of stages carry over the same patterns too often. These is some multiplayer, but it's one-on-one in the same way you would fight a boss here, so it's basic and straightforward.
If it's a classic you're looking for, I don't know if this will completely fit the bill, but the feel is definitely there. If Dream Trigger
didn't feel so awkward to play (and painful on the hands after a short while), it would have been graded higher. But as it stands, it's a nice, little distraction, and marks one of the first times that 3D on the system that doesn't feel tacked on.