The Kingdom Hearts portable iterations and I don’t really get along too well. I wasn’t really a fan of Chain of Memories, and 358/2 was really just fan-service, and the fact that it didn’t have any new worlds really ticked me off.
All of that changed when I picked up Birth By Sleep for the first time.
I’m going to come right out of the gate and say Birth By Sleep looks absolutely GORGEOUS. I don’t know if it was partially the intensity of the showfloor, but the game just looked super sleek, shiny, and extremely polished – it was very much a PS2 quality game.
There are two new mechanics in Birth By Sleep that essentially let you build your own playstyle – Command Deck and Dimension Link. The command deck lets you create your own stable of moves like dashes and slides – think Devil May Cry 3‘s “styles”. Dimension Links are a lot more unique, and subsequently, more awesome. They allow you to channel the moves of two other people in your party, in order to basically become a synthesized version of yourself, and your partner – very cool.
I only had time to play in on stage: Hercules’ dome. Although it is a re-used area, it did feature a younger Hercules, which is a series first, and had some new enemies to fight, called the Universed. Playing as Terra, I was introduced to the game’s easy to use controls, and had no problems locking on to enemies with L+R, wailing away with X, using my special moves with Square and Triangle, and jumping with Circle. A variety of flying, heavy, and light enemies came my way in waves, and I was able to quickly dispatch them with my wide variety of spells and dash attacks, many of which that were new to the series.
You’ll have three characters to play as in all as you trek through this prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts. I was told by a demonstrator that you could revisit different areas as each of the three characters and see them in an entirely new perspective – I’m really enjoying the more serious feel of the three human protagonists more than the constant ham-fest that is Goofy and Donald.
Take note Kingdom Hearts fans: this was the first time I’ve been really excited about the series since 2. I might even be ready to call Birth By Sleep by it’s real name: Kingdom Hearts 3.