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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The 3rd Birthday

Here is a PSP game that I've been thinking of getting for awhile: The 3rd Birthday is released by Square Enix and created by Tetsuya Nomura (same as Dissidia and Final Fantasy!!). It is the third instalment of an early series called Parasite Eve (which I'd never played) but the biggest draw of this game for me is the main character called Aya Brea, who looks very, very similar to (the frustratingly sexy) Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII. However, I had my initial reservations: 1) the game is first released in Japanese (oh yes, I've learnt my lessons from the original versions of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia 012 Duocemin which, despite the Chinese instructions, are extremely hard to follow if you don't know the language); 2) it is, in essence, a shooter game, and I am TOTALLY CRAP AT shooter game. I think my brain is just not wired the same way most other gamers are, who can pick up a new set of controls in nano seconds. I think it took me several weeks to master the control for Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and still I didn't get past the first chapter; 3) it has very, very mixed reviews, though mainly from PE fans who whinge and moan about how it not being as good as the previous two instalments, and for its inconsistent plot, which, in my opinion, is actually quite interesting, but more on that later.

Aya Brea ... is she what she appears to be?

Anyway, so when the English version was recently released, I checked out the game again. Since I could just download it from PSN (for quite cheap) I decided to get it anyway. And, wow, I'm totally and completely addicted to it right now. Cannot put it down! Okay, I am STILL crap at shooting (and get slaughtered even in EASY mode) but I think I'm actually getting better at it. What I like most about The 3rd Birthday is its battle system. Aya Brea has this ability to leap from one body to another, meaning your chance of survival drasticallly increase, especially when there are many other characters (mainly soldiers) on the battlefield. And the graphics is just stunning (one would expect nothing less from Sqaure Enix). The control is also pretty easy and has auto-aiming/targeting. There is also plenty of accessorising going on, which means you can just keep upgrade Aya Brea's weapons and abilities.

I actually find the storyline quite interesting too. Okay, I have to admit it can get a bit confusing as it involves time-travelling (which is NEVER logical), but I like the way as you progress with the game, you also alter the story development (for instance, a couple of characters who were already dead in the 1st Chapter, come back to life in the 2nd because of the missions I've accomplished; while another character who appeared in the 1st Chapter is now missing). But what is the most intriguing of all is, as you progress the game, Aya Brea seems to be wearing less and less clothes (!!)

NO wonder, according to online forums, gamers just rush through this game. The fact that a Aya Brea "shower scene" can also be "unlocked" after completing the game, like, five times, means we have to do that not once but five times to get the "full reward".

It is, kinda, a little perverse but, then again, this IS a Japanese game... Anyway, no time to waste! Tra-la!  

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