Previews// The 3rd Birthday

Posted 14 Feb 2011 09:00 by
Even though the Parasite Eve series only contained two PlayStation games, it was an interesting one.

It was not only because of its tough, clothed and feminine protagonist but also because of its change in genre. The first game was more of an action RPG, levelling Aya Brea up in her Parasite Energy powers.

The second followed more of a classic survival horror style, much like Dino Crisis or Resident Evil. So it?s no surprise to see that The 3rd Birthday changes the gameplay style up again, this time becoming a third-person shooter.

Many people are probably wondering where Parasite Eve 3 has gone. Speaking with the director, Hajime Tabata, I was told that the Parasite Eve series concluded in the second there and that there was no need for them to try push out another story.

The switch from mobile game to PSP was a welcome one. The extra power looks to have come in handy as The 3rd Birthday is probably one of the most beautiful PSP games I have ever set eyes on. While CG from Square Enix always looks fantastic, it?s the cut-scenes that got me. With wonderfully crafted character models, flowing animation and believable lip sync, The 3rd Birthday is really pushing what the PSP hardware can cope with.

It seems that people?s opinion will only be divided when they see the changes to Aya and gameplay. For those who liked the more horror themed story of the last games, there will be some major disappointment. The 3rd Birthday is an action game after all, ditching any scares for suspense.

Or maybe the change in Aya will be the bigger divider. While Tabata-san was convinced that Aya?s new found sexiness was purely coincidental, including yet another shower scene seems to be milking an already over-sexualised character. The tougher the battle, the more war-torn Aya becomes as layers of her skinny fit jeans and tank top are ripped from her body.

At her most vulnerable, you can enjoy the view of Aya?s behind swaying as she runs, with her arse actually hanging out. Her chest is barely covered on the front but there is just enough covering both sides to stop it from being obscene. It?s still odd all the same. Tabata-san continues to tell me that it?s all about Aya, her strengths and weaknesses and how she can overcome the Twisted and hopefully save New York City. That her character might seem weak initially but there is reason for that and to play the story to find out. All I can say is that I hope he is right.

So what should we expect? Well, the game is set in New York City, a city which has been taken over by the Twisted. The phenomenon is to be explained during the course of the story but Aya must travel back in time and stop it before it?s too late. Time travel? Well, more like soul travel. The 3rd Birthday's main feature is that Aya can travel between bodies on the battlefield, which has been dubbed the Overdive system. This allows you to gain tactical advantage over whatever enemy you are fighting, change your weapon set or even save Aya's life.
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DoctorDee 2 Feb 2011 09:53
I loved the second game, never played the first. And I was looking forward to this new episode... but not sure about it as a shooter, and don't have a PSP, so this one might pass me by. Shame really...
Fungo 2 Feb 2011 13:38
Big fan of the original, not so much the second one, but I did get a chance to play The 3rd Birthday as an import and it is amazing game. Probably the most fun I've had on a PSP. Still feels like Parasite Eve, especially because they got the original designer and musician to work on this title.
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