Developer: SquareSoft & Disney Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Director: Tetsuya Nomura
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Genre: Action / RPG
Official Site: http://www.square-enix.co.jp/kingdom/bbs/
Japanese Release Date: January 9, 2010
American/European release date: Summer 2010
It is said that Sora is chosen by the Keyblade, and from this choice will be born the adventures known through the episodes released on Playstation and GBA. But we can ask ourselves several questions. We know that there were other Keyblade, as Riku and Mickey are wielding one. In this case, how many of them exist? Who are the other potential carriers? And more importantly, hat happened before Sora's adventures? We know that the final boss of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 are Ansem and Xemnas, respectively Heartless and Nobodies of a man called Xehanort.
A report from the real Ansem tells us that Xehanort was found amnesiac. Who is really Xehanort? Why has he lost his memory? These are questions that Birth By Sleep will answer, thanks to three new and very intriguing characters ...
The story is divided in three parts: One for each character. The scenario is based about the events that took place ten years before the first installment of the saga. The last unknown princesses of heart are presented, at the same time than Sora, Riku and Kairi in their respective worlds, aged around four years old. even if each scenario is different, they are connected, and complementary, until the three of them are reunited, by the runion of the three characters : Terra, Ven and Aqua.
In each scenario, we control one of these three masters of the keyblade and progress in their life, learning more about them and what happened 10 years before Kingdom hearts I . As Tetsuya Nomura said, Birth By Sleep is "three games in one" ...
A new type of enemy:
Birth By Sleep will allow us to fight a brand new enemy, the Unversed, meaning "those who were not well-versed in their own existences". The Unversed possess some sort of connection to the Heartless and the Nobodies of the main series and are, in essence, "the opposite of human life". They are also known to "grow off of negative emotions". They are extensions of Vanitas and part of Master Xehanort's master plan. The Unversed symbol also appears on the Vanitas's Sentiment's helmet.
A new battle system:
This is also one of the challenges fixed by Square Enix: to make a brand new gameplay, which have to remain interesting to both new and habituated players.
This opus brings many changes compared to the rest of the series, with a very rich gameplay. It will be based on the powers defined before the battles and used with triangle while the circle button ( X button in the Western versions) is assigned to the normal attacks. When a particular sequence of skill is used, the player can change his fighting style. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep will delight those who don't like to keep pushing the same button, with the presence of contextual actions, more developed than in Kingdom Hearts II, this time using the various buttons of the console. Other new feature are the Multiplayer mode, and the Command Board , which looks like a board game in which Disney characters can help you, or penalize you. This new Kingdom Hearts will also be an opportunity to learn another new system replacing the invocations: D-Link. The D-Link can use some friends who will lend their skills to the heroes for a short amount of time. Using the Focus gauge, the Shoot Lock will also be available to lock several enemies at once and launch a devastating attack to all of them.
About the design:
The design of Birth By Sleep is absolutely great for a console like the PSP. The style is in all aspects similar to the one of previous titles for Playstation, keeping the quality and the atmosphere. A delight for the fans.
And the worlds?
Who says Kingdom Hearts, say different worlds to visit. Several are the worlds of the princesses of heart, the Radiant Garden, the Isle of Destiny will be present, like the desert that we discovered in the secret ending featuring Terra, Ven and Aqua. This place should have a major importance, since many conflicts take place there. In total, 15 worlds will be present, including the Mirage Arena.
Of the three new Kingdom Hearts, Birth By Sleep is probably the most awaited. Its darker and more mature story should delight many players, although some will miss the magic of KH1. The introduction of such innovations, as level screenplay, characters or game play, are in fact an essential point in the Kingdom Hearts series.