RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by sleep

Kingdom Hearts has always been a questionable franchise at first sight. Final Fantasy meets Disney? Isn't that a rather awkward and strange match up? You'd think so, until you got your hands on a copy and realize it's a masterpiece. Square-Enix have developed a unique and wildly addictive combat system that fused action into the genre. It pushed the RPG industry into a new intuitive and more engaging era.

Terra and Aqua.

Genre: JRPG
Release Date: 9th January, 2010
Platforms: PSP
Score: 8/10
Similar Titles: Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Dissidia
Worth Playing: Birth by sleep was very fun, the story was pretty memorable and the combat was excellent.

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep review

After the initial Kingdom Hearts I and II featured on the PS2, there have numerous spin off games on handheld consoles including both the Nintendo DS and the PSP. Instead of being an episodic franchise with an overhauled setting, world, and plot like Final Fantasy- Kingdom Hearts is all a continuation of the same story.

There are many worlds spread throughout the universe, each one a different fairytale courtesy of Disney. Lands from films like Hercules, Peter Pan, even Lilo and Stitch. The Keyblades are mighty weapons designed to travel between these worlds and to quell darkness which keeps the light in balance. The plot isn't bad for a JPRG.

Ventus is a fast character, but the other two are very similar.

Birth by sleep is a prequel set a few years before the original Kingdom Hearts. Three young Keyblade wielders, Terra, Ventus and Aqua are forced to leave their world and search for a missing Keyblade master. The Unversed, mindless beings of darkness are causing trouble and it's up to the trio of heroes to stop them. Unlike other games in the franchise, Birth by sleep follows the stories of each character individually. So essentially, you can play the campaign three times experiencing the story of a different hero each playthrough.

For a PSP game this edition of Kingdom Hearts has fantastic graphics. It's crisp, cut, and very colorful. The Disney characters you meet are brought to life. That being said, even if it looks pretty the level design is still simple at best. The animations are very fluid, which adds flair to combat. As for the music, it's the same as featured in 358/2 Days, another handheld Kingdom Hearts title. Overall the atmosphere is enticing.

Ventus, Terra, and Aqua are all friends.

I find the game can get a little repetitive from the start. Despite this, there is a lot of content to last until you get bored. With lots of spells to unlock and explore using the command melding system; you will always be mastering and testing out new abilities. D-Links are a new mechanic that allow you to temporarily harness the powers of a famous Disney character to take down your foes. Add the extensive amount of finishing moves and power styles you can unleash on top of that; you have a lot of potential to create a unique and terrifying build.

Each fight typically consists of packs of Unversed spawning to attack you. After stomping them with your key you will explore through short areas. It's never difficult to navigate your way, and the puzzles are basic. Although each world is frustratingly short, there is plenty to do with the Mirage Arena and side quests. It's essentially like every other Kingdom Hearts game, with added benefits and streamlined UI. It's a brilliant experience, even if you're not a fan of the franchise. My main gripe is everything is despairingly simple. Even on proud mode, the hardest difficulty. If you abuse the dodge mechanic it's a very easy game.

Mirage arena guide if you're stuck.

Check out the top 5 PSP RPG titles here!

Terra is slow but has a lot of damage.

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