Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep User Review
I'm just gunna jump into the details. In Birth by Sleep, you play through three seperate scenarios. The characters you play as are Terra, Ventus, and Aqua. These three stories are designed to answer questions such as: Why can Riku wield the Keyblade? Who is the Lingering Sentiment in KH2: Final Mix? Why does Ventus look like Roxas? The game does a good job of answering the first two, not so much the last. Don't worry, this review is 100% spoiler free. Anyway, the game both presents and answers a lot of questions, along with setting up the entire beginning oh KH1. You will meet some very familiar faces and hear some familiar dialogue from previous games.
Terra is the brute force kinda guy who only wants to become a Keyblade Master. Unfortunately he has trouble quelling the darkness within him and his entire story revolves around him not knowing how to deal with it, all while trying to save his friends. While is voice actor isn't very well suited for him and his costume design is a bit lacking, he's a very good character and my personal favorite.
Ventus is a good balance between strength and maic. His story revolves around trying to find Terra due to a tip from one of the villains that once Terra leaves he'll never be the same again. Ven (his nickname) spends his time chasing after Terra but is constantly told by Aqua and Terra to go home because it's dangerous.
Aqua is the magic based character and by far the most mature of the trio. She's trying to get Ven home while keeping an eye on Terra to make sure his darkness doesn't overtake him.
Graphics-wise, this game is probably in between KH1 and KH2 quality, which is impressive for the PSP. Kingdom Hearts games are always very colorful and vibrant with well defined worlds and characters. This game is no different.
I believe this game has the best music in the series. Most of the tracks are excellently written and sound amazing. Every keyblade has a different hit sound to it, so that just adds to the depth. Some of the voice acting is a bit lackluster, but you get past it very easily. Also Leonard Nimoy plays Xehanort.
The combat mechanics in this game are probably equal to or greater than KH2. The command decks allow for excellent strategizng against certain bosses, and the shotlock commands and command styles add a certain flair to the fighting that can really turn the tides in your favor. My only grievence is the lock on and camera controls, which can be iffy due to there being only two shoulder buttons, rather than four and a second analog stick. You can also combine your commands to make new ones with all sorts of abilities.
There are plenty of mini-games present n Birth By Sleep. Consisting of the Command Board, Rumble Racing, some rhythm based ice gream game, fruit ball, and the mirage arena. The command board is a monopoly-esque mario party that allows you to power up your commands and gain new ones by playing through a round and letting them gain experience. Rumble racing is a pretty basic kart racing game with nothing overly special to mention. The rhythm game is nothing but mashing X in time with Huey Dewey and Louie clapping and thrashing about a stage. Fruit ball is basically soccer with minimal running room. The mirage arena basically allows you to play Command Board, Rumble Racing, Arena, or Versus online or offline (Versus can only be played online). Arena pits you against tons of enemies and bosses just as a way to test you.
As far as replayability goes, I think along with the other KH games, you can only play them every so often because the story doesn't change and every character visits the same worlds. Different things hapen with each character of course, but seeing the same world over and over aain does get tedious. Unless you're going for more of a challenge, replaying this probably isn't high on your priority list.
In conslusion, other than some control and voice grievences, Birth By Sleep is an amazing game that does nothing but add to the Kingdom Hearts legacy of amazing games. I definitely recommend this to anyone who owns a PSP and likes Kingdom Hearts.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.