Dream Trigger 3D (no relation to Chrono Trigger – sorry!) might be best explained as a rhythm shooter. Enemies attack players with an explosion of bullets, but they’re usually invisible. You have to swipe the touch screen with your finger to fire a sonar wave. When a music bar glides by the wave (think Lumines) the enemy ships become visible for players to shoot.
Notice the butterfly in the screenshot above? That’s you. You can move it with the slide mat and fire lasers that hit wherever the butterfly is standing. See, you are the trigger in Dream Trigger 3D. It took a round of dying for me to get used to because I had to float right on top of enemies instead of positioning the butterfly in front of them.
Enemies in the flower level entered in snake-like patterns reminiscent of Galaga, but filled the screen with bullets if you didn’t shoot them fast enough. Each enemy radiated three shots that moved out like a growing triangle. Return fire randomly you’ll drain your laser energy, which can be replenished by scanning enemies with sonar. The key to Dream Trigger 3D is to listen to the music while watching the flying patterns so you know when to swipe the sonar screen. When everything is in sync Dream Trigger 3D plays a melody on top of the music. While I understand the concept, I… didn’t get to that point in my hands-on.
You can’t tell from these screenshots, but Dream Trigger 3D has excellent 3D effects. Lasers pop out when you fire them at an enemy. The added depth in the background makes enemies feel like they’re further away and power-ups float towards to the player into another plane where you can’t reach them.
The boss fight was particularly neat because I was fighting a giant floating head (apparently, that’s the source of bad dreams) which fired 3D rocks at me. Thinking the fight was like Andross from the Star Fox games, I fired round after round at the floating head which wasn’t effective. I had to sonar the boss to drain its shields by tapping on the touch screen before blasting it with my lasers. After a few seconds the boss reverts back to its invisible form and regenerates its shields.
Dream Trigger 3D also has a versus mode where two players sonar and shoot waves of enemies to see who can get the highest score. Enemies don’t retaliate with waves of bullets, they are just around for points in versus mode. Players can shoot each other, though, by using sonar to make an opponent appear. Shoot the other player to stun them for a few seconds, which gives you a chance to take out targets without competition.
D3 Publisher’s first Nintendo 3DS game gives a nod to the Virtual Boy. Check out all of the red and black in this Dream Trigger 3D level.
Dream Trigger 3D was developed by Art Co. and slated for release during the Nintendo 3DS’ launch window.