The 3rd Birthday

The3rdBirthday“Twisted” monsters take Manhattan as Parasite Eve Heroine Aya Brea, part of a special team trying to save humanity in this PlayStation Portable (PSP) exclusive from publisher Square Enix. Aya’s abilities still fall within the “special power” realm, but Parasite Eve II (2000) fans should not expect a straight sequel here.

Great cutscenes and familiar music will please veteran fans, but do not expect much continuation from previous games or easy explanations bridging Aya’s past into her current challenges.

This third person sci-fi shooter has auto-aim, boss fights, desirable unlockables, and tense action sequences with highly accessible content and strong cut scenes throughout the game. The special overdrive features lets players take over beings in the game, which can be great for misdirection moves against enemies.

OE chips provide special powers when combining with Aya’s DNA board. Aya gets some help from other characters, like a mild Crossfire feature where allies concentrate their firepower, but mastering her abilities always pack a more potent punch.

Players can resolve initial lagging camera issues in the sensitivity settings though boss fight sequences can limit and even block views at times. The customization options boost the replay value, which easily has a double-digit hour tally at the core.

The top-notch visual and production values makes PSP game an essential addition for fans and RPG/shooter players. The music composers Mitsuto Suzuki, Tsuyoshi Sekito, and Yoko Shimomura (Parasite Eve) set the moods perfectly and enhance this quality game to an even higher level as the surprise-filled plot adds extra excitement. Hard core players can beat the game twice for a special sequence after the ending credits (***1/2 out of four stars and rated M (mature).

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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