The magic kingdom
KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep mixes the beautiful worlds of Disney and Square Enix into a well presented game. Using the previous KINGDOM HEARTS titles as a springboard, Birth by Sleep welcomes you with a spectacular display of visuals which are crisp, clearly defined and wonderfully animated. Well known characters such as Disney's Mickey Mouse and Snow White are instantly recognisable, while the main cast of Terra, Ventus and Aqua are nicely designed and charismatic.
Set in and around classic Disney environments such as Mysterious Tower from Fantasia,
Olympus Coliseum from Hercules and Neverland from Peter Pan, the areas of exploration and battle are gorgeously captured. Lively and colourful, they look amazing on the high quality PSP screen - as do the dazzling animated intro and interludes which are very watchable in their own right.
Complementing this impressive visual array is an enchanting soundtrack that heightens the drama and action, and includes recognisable musical themes from the relevant Disney movies. It's a treat for both Disney fans and anyone who likes orchestral and atmospheric music.
Destiny is never left to chance
Set before the other KINGDOM HEARTS titles, Birth by Sleep introduces several characters which have only, at most, had fleeting cameos before now. Terra is a powerful warrior struggling with an internal darkness threatening to overwhelm him, while his companion, Aqua, offers a more level-headed balance to his inner rage. Completing the trio of brave apprentice Keyblade wielders is Ventus, a young and impetuous lad with a dark secret not even he is truly aware of...
Brilliantly, these three adventurers are slotted into some of Disney's most popular fairy tales, adding a fresh spin to the timeless stories. For example, during Terra's quest he's given the task of slaying Snow White by the evil Queen who is jealous of her beauty. Does he achieve such a dastardly deed? You'll also have the chance to interact, battle and accompany many other well known Disney characters along the way, including Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, the Magic Mirror, Donald Duck and the evil sorceress Maleficent.
What will you do when you encounter your favourite Disney character?
Fighting with your heart
Journeying through the amazing world of KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is a joy, even if you're not familiar with the popular series. The Square Enix role-playing game (RPG) delivers an epic quest where exploration and battles are key to your survival. Embarking on three separate missions as the main characters of Terra, Ventus and Aqua, your actions further their stories as they take on the shadowy Unversed and other formidable monsters.
Our heroes are well equipped to handle the task, with a diverse range of physical and magical assaults. Armed with their mystical and powerful Keyblades, you can bash enemies into submission with combination attacks or mix it up with powerful elemental strikes. Each weapon and command you wield can be upgraded, while you can customise your character's abilities for easy access to them during battle.
If you find yourself in a fix because your range of abilities isn't quite diverse enough, you can rely on the Dimension Link (D-Link) to summon an ally's powers and attacks. A well chosen D-Link is the difference between success and failure in some of the more difficult confrontations as the enemies get progressively tougher and more imaginative.
Make no mistake, this is one action RPG where you can't rely on button mashing to win. Strategy is essential to triumph, and the deep fighting system makes the battles a joy. You also enjoy extra variation with missions such as safely escorting a civilian to a location while fending off enemies, or taking on a boss with the aid of some companions.
Playable and rewarding, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is a game that engages you with a wealth of thoughtful gameplay from the very beginning.
Share your keys to the kingdom
The massive single player adventure of KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep isn't the only bit of gameplay magic you can enjoy. By using the Ad Hoc Mode there is also the chance to jump into some Wireless multiplayer fun for up to six players in the exhilarating Mirage Arena. There are four main modes to enjoy: Versus, where it's a free-for-all battle; Arena, which is a co-operative team fight against waves of enemies; Rumble Racing pits you in a competitive battle laden race; and Command Board which is a strategic board game.
Between the four modes there is plenty of variation to keep you busy and engaged, whether you like to team up with friends or just prefer to take them down. There's always an incentive to play in the Mirage Arena, as setting records can earn you medals which can be exchanged for rare bonuses and items in single player mode.
Arm up your Keyblade and get battling everywhere you go.