Monday, April 18, 2011

The 3rd Birthday Review on

Mitochondria quite frankly are considered to be the factories of biological cells that create energy within that cell. Suppose if you will that mitochondria which are inherited through females, in mass, form a type of consciousness that is just waiting for the right moment in our evolution to take over and allow a human child to be born that would have the ability to form and control it's own genetic code. Wow, didn’t mean to blow your mind there but that is the initial idea behind a book, Parasite Eve, authored by Japanese writer Hideaki Sena. This science fiction novel was made into a Japanese movie and then adapted into two Playstation games Parasite Eve and PE2 back in 1998 and 1999. Parasite Eve the video games on Playstation One served as sequels of a sort for the original novel. These games were an amazing achievement for Square Soft back at the turn of the century and have always been revered as classic action RPG’s with incredible signature cinemas that Square is so well known for. The hero Aya Brea Was a New York cop that waged turn-based RPG battles against mitochondrial creatures in an attempt to save Manhattan. It’s hard to believe that over 10 years have gone by and no sequels have emerged until now. I hereby give you The 3rd Birthday for the Sony PSP.

The 3rd Birthday is now the third installment in the Parasite Eve video gaming franchise and for those of you who don’t remember the first two games (Which are available for download on the PSN Network) don’t worry too much as it seems our heroine does not seem to remember them either. The game starts out with an incredibly gorgeous cinema of Manhattan being overrun by the mutant mitochondrial presence known as the Twisted. Then one year later a means has been created to fight the invasion in the past. Aya’s role as being a member of the (wait for it..) “Counter Twisted Investigation Team” is to go back in time and destroy the mutant infestation. She then is made to use a device known as the OverDive. Think of it as part Total Recall meets Avatar as her consciousness is sent to the past where she can possess military soldiers at will to fight the menace on the front lines. She is later introduced to a varying list of super abilities such as being able to transfer her psyche into the enemy to attempt to blow it to pieces from the inside out. AWESOME!

The game progresses onward through many incredibly detailed cinemas that seem to suggest a rather metaphysical sci-fi narrative. Like many of Square Enix’s past endeavors it seems you will get bits and pieces of the story and all in all will have to put them together in your head at the end to fully understand the overall plot. Not bad, but it can get frustrating and confusing at times. The gameplay is one of accepting various missions to the past to eliminate the mutant threat in between upgrading your weapons and outfits. At times I could of sworn I was playing Final Fantasy Crisis Core but with guns instead. The story fleshes out between the missions and will really have you scratching your head till the end.

Your control of Aya is from a third person point of view as you run and look for cover while locking on and shooting the mutants of that particular level. If you start getting low on health then OverDive into another soldier to keep up the fight which will lead you to a rather long and difficult boss battle. Those of you who decide to take on this mission please take my advice and play on the easy setting because trust me it’s anything but easy. The gameplay is solid and will keep you coming back for more and though there are only six chapters to this game those chapters seem quite long at times since each seems to help Aya recover more and more of her past and understand just what is happening to her.

I must say that The 3rd Birthday is a beautiful piece of work well worthy of its predecessor’s legacy. I recommend this title whole heartedly because PSP titles rarely exhibit this high level of production value. I hope to see future releases of this franchise for the upcoming Sony NGP, heck Square Enix could develop this for Playstation 3 and I am sure it would find a new generation of fans there or on any platform. I hereby give The 3rd Birthday 7 out of 10. Thank you Square Enix for not abandoning us PSP fans and giving us yet another fantastic release. I look forward to the next PSP Release of Final Fantasy 4, which includes the after years story expansion.

Zircon now goes off to review the next great release. In closing I would like to leave you with a quote. Always remember that every person you meet, each soul you encounter, creates a reflection in your own life...till then the Z man has left the Blog.

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