More Reviews
REVIEWS Call of Duty: Ghosts Devastation Review
I ain’t afraid of no ghosts, but you better be afraid of anyone who unlocks the predator in Call of Duty’s latest maps.

Skydive: Proximity Flight Review
Countless hours can be spent on the computer watching other people fly through the air in these winged suits. But now it’s time to zip up.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Watch Dogs Preview
​We got hands-on with four hours of playtime in Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world to discover more about the story and gameplay.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Release date: 04/29/14

Bound by Flame
Release date: 05/09/14

Wolfenstein: The New Order
Release date: 05/20/14

Drakengard 3
Release date: 05/21/14


LATEST FEATURES Bandai Namco's Global Gamers Day Showcase
In Las Vegas, Ryan Bates and I poured through Bandai Namco's full catalogue of titles and learn what the publisher has in store this year.

The Gaming Charities at PAX East 2014
Pause your game and make a difference. Gamers can go beyond player two by helping many others with these charities.
 
Coming Soon

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
So much more than war...
By shandog137
Posted on 04/18/14
The recent blog, Peace in the Era of Call of Duty  really made me think about war games that dig deeper than simply a kill streak reward. The first game that came to mind was Spec-Ops: The Line and although I haven’t played it, I began to wonder if it did the war genre as...

The 3rd Birthday Review

KevinS By:
KevinS
05/03/11
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action / FPS 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Square Enix Ltd. 
DEVELOPER HexaDrive 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
M Contains Blood, Partial Nudity, Strong Language and Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Aya Brea is pretty...


Back in 1999 (well, 1998 in Japan), the first Parasite Eve game was released. And it was a doozy; graphically, it was a step ahead for the PSOne, as it mixed in realistic locales with both classic turn-based gameplay reminiscent of Final Fantasy III/VI and some fun gun battles. It wasn't a shooter, but a horror-RPG with guns, and a damn cool one at that. And the main character Aya Brea - before characters like Jade from Beyond Good & Evil and Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2 - proved that a female protagonist in the gaming world could be strong and realistic instead of the original Lara Croft, whose back should probably have snapped like a twig from being so top-heavy.

click to enlargeAya Brea started her career life as a New York cop (and the only one not to burst into flames while fighting her evil sister), but here she's a part of a group known as CTI: the Counter Twisted Investigation Team. See, the world Aya marches into is filled with the Twisted, which are essentially a race of biological monsters roaming loose in different areas of a nearly-destroyed New York City. What she does to stop them is go back in time using her ability to Overdive, which essentially possesses someone in the time period she needs to inhabit and blows the hell out of 'em with the biggest guns she can collect.

The first thing to notice is obvious: This game is friggin' gorgeous. The cut-scenes are as sharp as the PSP has ever shown (even compared to Crisis Core), and everything in the environments feels as real as the hardware can pull off. The Twisted are vivid and clearly disgusting as they attack with mucous and other projectiles. Aya's clothing, when she takes enough damage, starts to fray and tear apart. For anybody looking for virtual skin, this might just be your thing. If it isn't, it's still a remarkable graphical touch. It doesn't hurt that she's pretty, too.

click to enlargeIf you've played Parasite Eve before, you might not notice anything except Aya and the mere mention of her sister Eve. It's not even an RPG this go around. Sure you can gain levels, but there aren't any personal stats; as a weapon is used, more guns can be unlocked and - with accumulated points - can be upgraded with increased ammo capacity and better aim. It's actually a straight-forward and easy process to grasp, unlike what else is unlocked throughout: new DNA strands. There are multiple "boards" that a DNA strain can be pieced together on, which can lead to upgrading and enhancing abilities such as healing, reloading, and how quickly you can build up your Liberation meter (which allows for a short burst of near-invincibility).

Actually playing it is simple enough. As a third-person shooter, Diving between people in your squad leads to some interesting strategic situations. While many tactical shooters might have a player commanding a troop to move and attack in certain spots, T3B has you actually control the characters directly and moving them completely. Sure, they'll do some attacking on their own, but it's your job to position them where it makes the most sense to you. Bouncing between both characters and weaponry is easy with some practice, and after a while anybody can be bouncing between soldiers like a Superball.

click to enlargeBut there is one glaring problem with T3B: the difficulty. It's not that it's too easy or too difficult, but that the difficulty is scattershot all over the game. Some areas are completely logical and fun, where it's easy to nail the baddies on the first attempt, while others are designed to overwhelm and overrun. It's not fun when one area of a mandatory mission feels like the final room in Doom… and not the giant cyber-demons, but the portal to Hell at the very end. It's annoying how some battles can be so difficult in the middle of a mission, then when the boss shows up (on the same difficulty level, mind you) the fight is almost… simple… by comparison.

When the main game is over, the only reason to go back in is to better your scores on the six missions and collect everything that takes time to unlock. New outfits, earning the rest of the guns and gun upgrades, that's all. There aren't new missions or anything, just playing through all of the same. It's not particularly long either, so it's not as if the game can hide too much from a player the first time around. But who doesn't want to play through an occasionally fist-clinching experience in a Chinese dress or a French maid's outfit?

If you can get past the difficulty swings, The 3rd Birthday is a surprisingly fun experience. It's pretty; it's easy to dive into (a pun!); and the story is told in such a way that it's easy to follow… especially for a Square-Enix game! As a continuation of the PE storyline it's all right, but looking at this as its own game, no baggage behind it - it doesn't really tie into the other two games anyway - it's a great shooter on a portable system.

Did I mention Aya's really pretty?
B+ Revolution report card
  • Gorgeous and not just by portable standards
  • Control makes perfect sense
  • Story is interesting, easy to follow
  • All of the sound is excellent
  • No real reason for most to play through again
  • Difficulty bounces too much in odd places
More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about The 3rd Birthday
Also known as: the,3rd,third,birthday


More On GameRevolution