Review by Godstriker8

"A KH game with an actually fun battle system."

As fans of the Kingdom Hearts series got more and more excited for the game's release, I was cautiously optimistic. After all, 358/2 days wasn't up to par with the series standards. Thankfully the game delivered a cinematic experience, with the best gameplay in the series to date.

The game takes a different approach for the series, by offering three different characters to play as. To unravel the truth of this tale, you must play as each of them (Ventus, Terra, and Aqua) each with their own unique battle styles. Ventus is a fast, but weak striker who feels similar to playing as Sora. Terra uses brute strength, and dark magic at the cost of speed. Aqua is a spellweaver mostly unfit for keyblade combat. Each character's story is unique enough to warrant playing as all of them, and the game does a great job of making each character's trek through the worlds, unique. I recommend playing on the Proud difficulty, as the game feels too easy on standard, while hard forces player to learn the gameplay mechanics.

The story itself is a darker tale than past games(Especially near the end), but it still has its cheesy moments talking about the power of heart. The voice acting for the characters themselves is excellent, with Leonard Nimoy acting as the villain of the game, and Mark Hammil as your master.

I also appreciate the fact that they use unique worlds for this game(I refuse to buy a game that forces me to go through Agraba and Halloween town again) and that there are new enemies in this game. Gone are the heartless, replaced by the "Unversed". Although the creatures resemble the Heartless(Alot) thankfully beating them up is different. This game's battle system does away with MP, and instead gives commands a "cooldown" period. You can level up commands, and also meld them together, adding alot of depth to the combat. In addition to that, there are "D-Links" that let you use the commands and abilities of people you meet through out the adventure. On top of that, there are "Shotlocks" which lets you use a super attack while invincible.

As you would expect from a Square game, the graphics are beautiful. The character models look great as do the enemies. And the real-time cutscenes really show the clarity of the graphics. Square has also done a fantastic job brining the different Disney worlds to life as environments are impressively detailed.

Another Square staple, is the soundtrack. Its great still with the Title screen music, and Simple and Clean. Although I think some new music is due for the series.

This game is worth purchasing a PSP for. Do not consider it a spinoff, but "Kingdom Hearts 0". It has alot of important plot points, and a sucessful new combat system. This game should not be missed.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/20/10

Game Release: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (US, 09/07/10)

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