Adam Bloomfield

Kingdom Hearts Review: Birth By Sleep

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With so many mysteries and untold events in the Kingdom Hearts series, it’s only logical to go back to the beginning of how Sora and the others came to be who they are now; so here’s Birth By Sleep for the PSP in 2010.

The story is set ten years before the original Kingdom Hearts and focuses on three new Keyblade warriors; Terra, Ventus and Aqua. The three aspire to be Keyblade Masters when they learn mysterious creatures, known as the Unversed, are causing chaos among the worlds and an elderly Keyblade Master named Master Xehanort has gone missing. It’s up to the three heroes to find Xehanort and stop the Unversed.

However, Xehanort has a hidden agenda and it concerns the three heroes of light. In the end all three of them face a terrible fate, setting in motion the events for the rest of the series.

The story is considerably darker as Terra, Aqua and Ven all pay a terrible price in stopping the threat to the Realm of Light. It’s an emotional story as well concerning betrayal, sacrifice, friendship and even death. Things the future generation will eventually face as Kingdom Hearts III draws closer and closer.

The gameplay mechanics differ greatly from the rest of the series as the story isn’t exactly linear. Terra, Ven and Aqua’s stories are divided into three separate scenarios for each of them and all three have to be played to unlock the story’s hidden truths.

The Command Deck is a new feature is provides lists of attacks, magic and items plus you are able to combine attacks to form newer, more powerful ones. The Command Board is another new addition. It’s sort of like a game of Monolopy the player can use to upgrade their abilities or win new ones.

In the combat system, the Shotlock command is a cool feature, it allows the player to target a group of enemies and eliminate them at one with a powerful attack that can range from exploding bubbles, shooting stars, meteors and tornadoes.

I’d have to say this one is one of my favourite entries into the series because not only did it help clear up some of the mysteries, it affected me on an emotional level as I was saddened to watch the fates of Terra, Ven and Aqua unfold and where they are now.

Coming next week, we’re going digital with Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded