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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The 3rd Birthday on PSP Impression

Aya finally returns but this is not your father’s Parasite Eve

Remember Parasite Eve? No, no problem because the third game in the franchise, The 3rd Birthday on PSP, stands very well on its own two feet with plenty of background for those that care but more important solid gameplay.

Gameplay – Third-person action meets stat building and leveling up pulled from an RPG. Gamers assume the role of Aya as a member of the Counter Twisted Investigation (CTI) group. She is the only person capable of using the Overdive system, a system which allows Aya to travel back in time, take control of people there to interact with and change the past. Think of the agents in The Matrix and the jumping around piece makes sense. Aya is trying to recover her memory while fighting monsters called the Twisted. Gamers run and gun, throw grenades, take cover and blow up enemies but good from a third-person perspective. Aya can upgrade via a sphere/DNA grid and she must also manage weapons which will break. Overdive is how she jumps into the past and takes control of people there and Liberation is her bullet time, slow down, effect name. Throw in some vehicular segments and PSP owners get one meaty adventure.

Graphics – Square Enix knows how to do video and the story sequences are truly spectacular. In-game the action looks great with excellent detail and environment detail. Action does not get blurry as seen in titles such as Dissidia. Effects, characters, monsters and environments all look great and show off what the PSP and a dedicated developer can really do.

Sound – The soundtrack is solid and falls into the category below the very memorable tracks Square Enix has produced. Voice work is well done with proper emotion delivered but with all games involving time travel and monsters, it can be funny to ‘really’ at times.

Design – The Overdive system, jumping around from character to character, keeping them alive, using them as bait to jumping into enemies for an Overdive Kill, it’s all well done and easy to jump into. Bringing a title, franchise, like Parasite Eve back into the world of the living is not always easy and props to the development team for creating a much more action focused title with plenty of detail in the DNA (abilities) sphere and equipment menus and customization. Action and RPG merge very well.

Miscellaneous – The legacy of Parasite Eve. From the 1997 mitochondrial creature Eve to the 2000 Neo-Mitochondrial creatures appearance to current events. The story is there to be learned but not necessarily needed to truly enjoy the game.

Overall The 3rd Birthday on PSP is great. Can’t put it simpler than that as the leveling up, graphics, gameplay and controls (for PSP) are all top level. Own a PSP, get The 3rd Birthday.

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