The 3rd Birthday is a PSP exclusive action shooter by Square Enix. The game is meant to be a kind of sequel to Parasite Eve, but only having played the originals for brief periods when I was younger, I can''t really remember much about that.
This review will focus on the 3rd birthday in the same way as I played it, as a standalone game.
The game''s story focuses on the invasion of a sort of alien race known as "the twisted". These are viscous creatures that seek to do nothing more than purge the human race. Brea, the main character must use an over-dive ability to travel back into the past and try to change the future.
The gameplay in the 3rd Birthday is pretty amazing. I beat this game very recently and even though we have handhelds like the Vita and the 3DS I was still shocked at the feel of having such a console like experience in the palm of my hand.
The game is played in a 3rd person view and the objective is to usually destroy a certain target or to survive until help arrives. The Aliens are fierce and you will die.. a lot.
In this game as you traverse the fairly big levels and take down even bigger enemies you are actually re-living the past by controlling a soldier that fought in it. You are able to hop from soldier to soldier in order to escape certain death or even gain a vantage point over the enemy. This adds an incredible amount of depth to the game and keeps gameplay fresh throughout.
Mastering the over-dive skill to maximum effect will take a while, but once you do, you''ll find things get much easier. There are a myriad of different weapons to use throughout the game, some that require you to buy them and others to unlock. Some weapons even require you to complete the game to unlock them.
Control wise, the game compares most to the Gears of War series on the Xbox. Giving players the ability to fire from behind obstructions or go in guns blazing, it''s all very smooth, I didn''t experience any slowdown.
Because the game was released late in the PSPs life, it benefited from everything that Square Enix had learned about the console. As a result the game looks utterly fantastic, the controls a breeze and load times are great even from a UMD.
The music and CG in this game are both full of detail and very well suited; I wouldn''t mind owning the soundtrack.
My only issue with this game is how hard it is. Some missions seem borderline impossible, and even when you complete them, you just wonder how you ever managed it. The game requires you get every aspect down to a fine art, and although it is really hard, it can be very rewarding at the same time.