"The 3rd Birthday" is the third Parasite Eve game in the Series. It's not titled Parasite Eve 3 though. Comparing this game to the past Parasite Eve games is unfair. This is more of a reboot to the series.
Story The story for "The 3rd Birthday" is confusing too say the least. While time travel was a decent premise for a P.E story, it wasn't the best decision. A story about Aya saving Manhattan from the impending doom of the twisted without time travel, would have made just a good a story. The events that Aya change while time traveling aren't explained very well. How does saving one friends life in the past, keep a building from exploding in the future? The game never explains this. If you pay attention too the story and keep up to date on the journal they give you, it really helps you understand more of what's going on. I'm not saying the story is all bad though. It has its moments where I said "Wow...did that really just happen?" or "Why would you do that to me? You're a d***!". The ending was a big plot twist that really explained some of the questions I had about the story but also irritated me to no end. It was such an awkward plot twist that I started to think whoever wrote the story, really wanted too piss off P.E fans. If your a person who can't be shrouded in mystery and not know what is going on throughout the whole game stay away from this game.
The story is dashed with plot holes and doesn't explain itself very well til the very end. 2/5
Music/Sound effects Some of the music pleased the P.E fan in me. When I was in the middle of battles my ears were blessed by quick beats and pumping music. They had a nice sense of urgency to them, in the middle of battle the fast paced music would just pump you up for the next wave of twisted. Although some songs weren't as memorable. I have a hard time remembering if there even was music during some of the story events. Arise Within You (the Parasite Eve battle remix) was a blast from the past. It was great hearing a remix of the the original P.E. battle theme. You can tell the composer tried to make great and memorable songs, but it came up just short of memorable. The sound effects were great. They came out of my PSP clean, clear and I could understand everything that was said (or screamed). While your on the field of combat you hear fellow soldiers scream in agony as they die or yell a battle cry to rally other soldiers. Since this game revolves around gun based combat you would expect the guns to sound like guns. They do, for the most part. The different versions of guns sound a like. I don't mean a handgun sounds like a Shotgun. It's far from it. If there is a difference I can't hear it. It's not a big issue unless your a person who just has to have each gun sound different. It really won't matter once you get into battles. With so much going on, you're not gonna have time to worry about it.
A couple of the songs were great and heart pumping. The sound effects were clear and pleasing. 3/5
Battles Battles take a third person shooter look. You move around the battlefield while enemies appear from portals. You take cover behind the nearest object, while shooting the ever loving crap out of the twisted. Then you go around killing twisted after twisted until your objective is complete. when your start to get low on health you can overdive into a nearby soldier and replenish it. If there's nobody to overdive into and you run out of health, it's game over. You can only go into combat with four weapons. One is your standard pistol with infinite bullets. Two of them are your own selections from your weapons locker. The last gun belongs to the person you overdived into. At one point your going to want to change your weapon. This is done by holding the Square button and pressing whichever of the four direction corresponds to the weapon you want to use. You can find ammo and grenades littered around the battlefield. Even with ammo scattered around the battlefield, you will still run out on many occasions. That's virtually how a basic mission plays out. The missions can be fairly easy early on, but get to be ridiculously hard at later points. Starting a new game on normal difficulty felt like hard mode at times (there were some battles where I wanted to throw my PSP). However, after you realize what was suppose too be done and figure out each enemies weakness, the game gets a little easier.
There is so much going at times, you won't know what too kill first. The chaos really adds to the feeling that your in the middle of an all-out war. *Video at bottom of review has a short battle near the end* 4/5
Customizing Customizing your guns in this game is a must if you want to survive on the battlefield. Each gun has it's own set of customized equipment you can buy. You can customize them too increase the capacity, power or handling/accuracy. You use what the game calls BP too do this. Acquiring BP is a simple task; you kill the many twisted that are on the battlefield. Depending on the upgrade depends on your BP cost. Not all upgrades are beneficial though. You may buy an upgrade that increases your guns capacity, but it'll decrease the accuracy/handling or even the power of your firearm. With so much customizing possible you can be your own one man army. Costumes are obtained by beating the game on various difficulties or accomplishing specific task. They aren't just there too make Aya look pretty. These are essentially her armors. While some are pretty interesting (Santa outfit, maid outfit, and Lightnings (FF XIII) outfit) others suffer from graphical looks (Secretary and Chinese dress). If the graphics for the these costumes were better, they would have been great additions. One HUGE complaint I have is there was no references to the other P.E games. It would have been great to see Aya in her black dress or jean jacket from the first game and second game.
Gun customization is simple and fast. Costumes were a interesting add, but not entirely needed. 3/5
Pros: Battles can be chaotic, yet fun. Customizing is simple. Low learning curve. Music is entertaining.
Cons: Difficulty is pretty high at times. Battles can get to be repetitive. Story is filled with plot holes and makes no sense til near the end of the game.
*Japanese for your not spoiler-ing pleasure*
Overview: The 3rd Birthday can be a pretty enjoyable game as long as you don't take everything too seriously. With a story that is less than pleasing and its high difficulty at times, it can really be a turn off. However, if your looking for a good PSP shooter with great music then this might be for you.
If your looking for the next great Parasite Eve game, this isn't it. However, if you can overlook the games short comings and see that past all the flaws lies a pretty enjoyable game. I wouldn't recommend a buy for this game. A solid rent and you can enjoy all this game has to offer.
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About the reviewer
Dominic Peterson (TokenDP)
I'm Pretty laid back. Most people see sitting at home playing games all day a waste, I see it as a way to connect to people around the world. Recently I've taken a liking to doing … more
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Hideous creatures descend on Manhattan. Ground reports from the squad tasked with containing the pandemonium refer to these life forms as "the Twisted." An investigatory team known as the CTI is formed within the year. The Overdive system emerges as a means of opposition, but only one viable candidate exists - Aya Brea. A gift as she awakens from a lost past on this, the occasion of her third birth.