PSP Previews: Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Preview

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Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA

Publisher:

Square-Enix

Developer:

Square-Enix

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action/RPG

As much as I’d like to be writing an in-depth preview for Kingdom Heats 3 on the PlayStation 3 right now, I suppose I can live with checking out Birth by Sleep for the PSP. The hardcore fans still await this beloved franchise’s return to Sony’s flagship console but in the meantime, they can look forward to this portable entry, which is looking better than ever after putting smiles on the faces of many Tokyo Game Show attendees. The latest demo they had running at the show, according to those who sampled it, is both crisp and fluid and not surprisingly, the visuals are downright stunning for a handheld title. As for the rest of the details, I’m gonna fill you in right now; you can’t remain in the dark, despite the fact that we still don’t have a US release date for this one. For those of you who fell in love with the colorful action/RPG style that debuted in the original Kingdom Hearts back on the PS2, you’ll be happy to know that such smooth, stylish combat will indeed make its triumphant return.

The game will feature two modes – the Story Mode and Arena Mode – plus several different main characters who will tackle a variety of missions throughout the adventure. The most familiar character is Terra, as he has appeared in most of the media and demos we’ve seen; he returned in the TGS presentation, wielding a specially modified keyblade and blasting through legions of Heartless. One of the other characters is Aquas, who actually participates in a quest involving Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is a new fairytale setting for the series. But regardless of where you are, Story or Battle, the controls should let players gain a firm handle on the battle system: because we’re dealing with the PSP, Square-Enix has mapped movement to the analog nub and camera control to the L and R triggers. You use the d-pad for switching between your available skills, X jumps, Square attacks, and Triangle unleashes that particular character’s special power ability. Oh, and you can tap L and R together to lock on to enemies, and here’s where things start to get interesting…

If you tap and hold the two aforementioned buttons, you will quickly move into a first-person view and then use the analog nub to manually aim your slashing attacks. This is a new feature that is designed to make combat that much more dynamic, and to add to the fun is the special charge meter that will let you launch a sudden flurry of massive attacks. If you stick around a particular enemy long enough (a boss, we’re thinking), the Charge meter will start to fill. You can press the Circle button at any time to start the slaughter but the longer you wait, the more devastating it will be; if you wait until the meter is maxed, you’ll get the most powerful assault of all. Terra, for instance, fires a stream of projectiles at the enemy while Ventus transforms into a roving ball of energy and zips around the screen, mauling anything in his path. If you executed the full-power special move, you’ll even get the benefit of one final attack after the volley of insanity is over, so it behooves you to be as patient as possible. Our only concern with the lock-on is that L and R are also attached to camera control, so…

But perhaps that charge meter is for special situations; the Triangle button will also execute a special skill, and you can use this more often. Once used, you’ll have to wait a bit for it to become available again, but you’ll be able to fill it by simply landing strikes against foes. This meter is also multi-functional as it becomes a specific bonus at a certain time during the gameplay, although I’m not sure if this applies to each character or if it’s team-related. I do know that each fighter will have his or her own set of combos, which should definitely add to the overall flavor of the combat. You’ll just have to keep a close eye on absolutely everything that’s happening on the screen, as you won’t want to miss the kick-ass opportunities as they arrive. As for the rest, you can expect the Story Mode to be similar to campaigns you’ve embarked upon in the past, and we’ll be interested to see how many new areas will be on tap. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs must mean we battle the wicked queen at some point, right?

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is supposed to launch in Japan before the year is out, and if it does, here’s hoping it won’t take much longer to reach American shores. At this point, we’d like to think it could arrive as early as March but…well, we’ve got several other massive titles that are currently scheduled to drop in that month, so how’s about a little sooner, Square-Enix?

9/29/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (27 posts)

Banky A
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:07:39 PM
Reply

Saweeeet tomato juice!

I reaaaaaaaaally (cubed) need a new KH on a Sony device.
It's been a long time coming. But a change gonna' come.

BTW the weird thing that will hurt my memories for the franchise is that they made 'X' jump here instead of 'O'.
Boooo lol

Last edited by Banky A on 9/29/2009 10:11:10 PM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:37:57 PM

Well you gotta remember all japanese games have that O and X swap thing going on when it comes to the US, so maybe it'll be X for attack and O for jump when it comes to the US

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bebestorm
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:07:56 PM
Reply

Nice preview!! I can't wait to get it. I hope the video at the end of the game is about KH3. I'd like to play 358/2 days but I don't have a ds.

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Kiwi of DOOM
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:15:05 PM
Reply

So excited for this. I still play KH I and II for the PS2 and (though i'm not sure why) the Chain of memories port. I'd love for some KH III news but Birth By Sleep and the new DS title 358/2 days ought to stave me off.

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Banky A
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 10:32:39 PM

Me too.
Some weeks ago I started a new game on both and chose the Wand each time and did everything I could to remove Strength.

It's so fun to do combos without obliterating enemies before you finish =D

Sadly enough it's only my 3rd time on KHII, 2nd time on Proud but it's still fun as hell.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:38:43 PM
Reply

Sigh, there won't be a KH3 for quite a while, depressing. But maybe when the team finishes FFv13 they can start on KH3

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laxpro2001
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:55:57 PM

yea that sucks... i mean come on, wasn't there anyone who could have been working on some parts over these past 4 years?

Honestly I'll be living on my own working in the real world (or pretty close to it ):) by the time they announce KHIII.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 1:55:09 PM

Maybe the delay will work out to our benefit. If Squeenix can see a solid increase in PS3 sales over time maybe that will increase then likelyhood of KH3 remaining Sony exclusive. Sony should just buy Square and Kojima Productions. :)

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NightHawk17
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:38:54 PM
Reply

i want this so bad:D

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Oyashiro
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 10:59:04 PM
Reply

Looking forward to playing this. 358/2 Day was very disappointing to me with its repetitive worlds, iffy controls, and bad camera. Hopefully Birth by Sleep will be good.

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Riku994
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 11:44:10 PM
Reply

Ben you called Terra a girl. Twice.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 11:49:16 PM

Yeah, I just fixed it.

Sorry...FFVI and all.

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Banky A
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 10:29:39 PM

Excuses ;)

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therabbitkinge
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 12:16:42 AM
Reply

Well I'd be hardpressed to find to much wrong with just this preview... hopefully more news on how this entry ties into the series cannon so I can gain some clarity ^_^

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Ultimate_Balla
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 1:49:25 AM
Reply

Errrr, am i the only chap that absolutely loved the FFVII: CC Controls?

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Bardock617
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 1:24:46 PM

CC had good controls. i played the game 3 times xD.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 1:51:31 PM

I liked Crisis Core's contols too. I prefer turn based RPG's myself but for an action/rpg such as this and Crisis Core I think they worked great.

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Bo0mKiiD
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 6:59:54 AM
Reply

I heard wolverine is in this one.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 1:52:23 PM

Too funny. I forgot Disney bought out Marvel. We may see some Marvel characters in KH3.

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Bardock617
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 1:26:04 PM
Reply

i'm definitely importing this. FFXIII, i don't know yet. its not the price that bothers me its that its a really epic RPG and i just dont want to be playing through a WHOLE game thats like that where i don't understand whats going on in the menu and what skills are what.

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Metallisnake
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 10:48:46 PM
Reply

This is great news ill be picking this up day 1 in american shores and jawknee man sooo dam true about the disney thing in 4 or 5 years kingdom hearts will have the epic sora vs hulk vs cloud vs sepiroth battle and by the way that's not roxas in that picture its a look alike related to roxas and sora and terra in kH2 was a monster I saw the final mix vids on youtube like man he will give it to sepiroth

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Bo0mKiiD
Thursday, October 01, 2009 @ 12:13:22 AM

To...

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Metallisnake
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 10:48:59 PM
Reply

This is great news ill be picking this up day 1 in american shores and jawknee man sooo dam true about the disney thing in 4 or 5 years kingdom hearts will have the epic sora vs hulk vs cloud vs sepiroth battle and by the way that's not roxas in that picture its a look alike related to roxas and sora and terra in kH2 was a monster I saw the final mix vids on youtube like man he will give it to sepiroth

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Bo0mKiiD
Thursday, October 01, 2009 @ 12:13:33 AM

...many...

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Metallisnake
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 10:49:03 PM
Reply

This is great news ill be picking this up day 1 in american shores and jawknee man sooo dam true about the disney thing in 4 or 5 years kingdom hearts will have the epic sora vs hulk vs cloud vs sepiroth battle and by the way that's not roxas in that picture its a look alike related to roxas and sora and terra in kH2 was a monster I saw the final mix vids on youtube like man he will give it to sepiroth

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Bo0mKiiD
Thursday, October 01, 2009 @ 12:13:48 AM

...POSTS!...

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Metallisnake
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 10:49:22 PM
Reply

This is great news ill be picking this up day 1 in american shores and jawknee man sooo dam true about the disney thing in 4 or 5 years kingdom hearts will have the epic sora vs hulk vs cloud vs sepiroth battle and by the way that's not roxas in that picture its a look alike related to roxas and sora and terra in kH2 was a monster I saw the final mix vids on youtube like man he will give it to sepiroth

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