Sora96's The 3rd Birthday Review

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Warrior of Light
Nov 12, 2014
The 3rd Birthday a third-person role-playing shooter co-developed by Square Enix and HexaDrive, and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. It is also available digitally and thus can also be played on PlayStation Vita & PlayStation TV.

It features an all-star development team: director Hajime Tabata (Director of FINAL FANTASY XV), creative producer Tetsuya Nomura (Co-creator of the KINGDOM HEARTS series and character designer for the original Parasite Eve games), art director Isamu Kamikokuryo (An art director for FINAL FANTASY XII, XIII series and XV), scenario director Motomu Toriyama (FINAL FANTASY X & XIII series director), composers Yoko Shimomura, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Mitsuto Suzuki and producer Yoshinori Kitase (director & producer of so many amazing games).

The game plays to their strengths as expected. The composers have put together a quality soundtrack, Kamikokuryo's art direction is shining through despite the PSP's smaller screen. Also as I expected, Toriyama's scenario direction has created a complex and high drama scenario. And as I also saw through FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD, Tabata is proven to be a worthy choice as director of FFXV.

Gameplay got a bit repetitive at times and unfortunately I was reminded of MINDJACK, which was a shocking game Square Enix published. Thankfully, the second half of the game changes things up with tanks & helicopters. The final episode was also very easy. There is three difficulty modes at the start with an additional two unlockable. There's also a variety of unlockable outfits including one based on Lightning from FINAL FANTASY XIII. No strange coincidence since they have the same Japanese voice actor, same character designer, and producer plus Toriyama was there to give the thumbs up. The overdive system, an idea of Nomura's reminded me of MINDJACK but thankfully it was much better.

Motomu Toriyama supplied the scenario direction to the games writers and his masterful storytelling shines through with a complex storyline with plenty of drama and memorable moments.

Isamu Kamikokuryo while used to the big screen for his art direction proved he's fully capable of art direction for smaller screens and made some memorable art.

Yoko Shimomura, Tsuyoshi Sekito and Mitsuto Suzuki as expected supplied a high quality score that suited the game perfectly.

The 3rd Birthday is a great game with a great story, fun gameplay, perfect length, great art direction, great music and more.

Likes: Crystal Power