Well now, considering every game review on here is PS3/Xbox 360/PC/Wii, I thought I would put a spin on the consoles. If you have yourself a PSP (hacked or standard. PSP GO must be hacked) and preferably a memory stick over 2GB in size, I recommend you purchase (or borrow from a friend to back it up) Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.
The game is set before previously released games Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, and follows the footsteps of 3 new heroes: Terra, Ventus and Aqua. The three new protagonists set out on a quest to find a missing Keyblade Master by the name of Master Xehanort. Instead of the classic party of three style of play, each character takes their own path. After the initial start of the game, you pick the character you would like to begin your journey with. The recommended order of story play is Terra, Ventus and then Aqua. Any other order still ends the game the same, but the order of events makes it much easier to understand this way. With there being a different save file for each character, the stories are all considerably different. Each character has their own levels that only they visit. There are certain levels that all 3 characters visit at different times, but with certain areas locked off. The story writers have really gone all out with this game, as with every other Kingdom Hearts game I have played.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep follows your chosen character throughout many new Disney levels fighting a new hoard of enemies called the Unversed. They closely resemble the old Heartless and some Nobodies from previous games, with many behavioural movements, fighting moves and enemy designs derived from them, but with different colours and other variations. Some older enemies are strewn throughout the game making for some nostalgic boss fights, and if you make the effort to finish this game to its fullest extent some hidden movies of a flashback nature are revealed giving more in depth detail to the story line, and past events with our other Keyblade Masters Sora and Riku.
The new battle system is very different in comparison to Kingdom Hearts 2. Reaction commands are something you must learn to master if you want to show off your character to his/her fullest extent. There are some awesome new forms for each character, with successful combos allowing you to transform into a more powerful version of your character for a limited time. Magic and summons are still in the game, with each character having their own favoured style of magic (Terra=fire, Ventus=Lightning, Aqua=Ice) and their own summon characters.
There are also two types of mini games inside the story. As the Keyblade Masters can use their Keyblades to travel between worlds, they also use them to race on a certain Disney level. Beating races earns you items and Keyblades if you beat the harder levels. The other mini game is a turn based board game, taking use of your abilities to gain points off of other characters and be the first to reach the target score and finish. To explain the game in its entirety would take a long time, so go get the game and have a play yourself.
I recommend you have a memory stick above 2GB in size, as if you want the game to run faster and load quicker, you can actually save a cache of the game (I think around 1GB in size) which allows the UMD to load considerably faster. Without this cache, load times really take away from the fast paced gameplay.
If you are a fan of the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack, I highly recommend searching for a download link to the full Kingdom Hearts Discography. I have over 200 songs from all the KH games ever released, and I can’t get over a lot of them. There are the songs from boss fights, levels, piano renditions, rock remixes etc. If you are a hardcore fan I guarantee you will love the soundtrack.
With all this being said, the story line is absolutely incredible, and answers some questions left unanswered from Kingdom Hearts 2. I like the new gameplay style, though Kingdom Hearts 2 is still my favourite game in terms of abilities and customisation etc. As for the graphics, well its on a PSP. When I heard there was a PSP Kingdom Hearts I grew sceptical of how it would look. When the gameplay videos came out I was a bit more impressed. Once it is on your screen and in your hands, it is just under the standards of the PS2 games. Definitely went above my expectations. I am just keeping an eye out for a PS3 HD remastered version of the game.