The 3rd Birthday Final Thoughts: Dead End

The 3rd Birthday is a game that is best enjoyed for its gameplay. Ultimately, this is a game that is held back by the limitations of its platform, and its questionable concept.

The plot is a mess. It’s a monument to all of Square Enix’s worst sins and excesses in creating complicated plots. Every time I think that I understand it, my brain thinks up something else that doesn’t make sense, just to question it.

It didn’t need to be a mess. The original Parasite Eve games had epic scales and conflicts, but they did not descend into supernatural time travel mumbo-jumbo.

Several took issue with Aya’s meeker characterization. It is justified in-game with the revelation that it’s actually Eve in Aya’s body (since Aya is currently soul-challenged at the moment, and apparently exists in a limbo state). However, to be blunt, no one played a PE game to play as anyone but Aya Brea.

Some compare Aya’s characterization negatively to Samus’ characterization in Metroid: Other M. Both games were released in 2011.

Probably the best moment in the story is Eve and Aya’s reunion at the end. Continue reading The 3rd Birthday Final Thoughts: Dead End

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The 3rd Birthday Part Three: Aya’s Counterattack

June 5, 2011: There are varying degrees of mutation. It ranges from A (normal), to B (Benign), to C and D (Malignant). You can splice the malignancy out of corrupted OE chips…

On the field, I discovered something useful: If you activate Liberation just as you suffer a fatal blow, it will restore your health to full after the meter’s dried up!

June 6, 2011: Operation Red Fog! I finally got past the subway train section. Beyond that? Scratchers. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

I don’t really have a plan for my OE Boards. I definitely want to keep Odds Up on them. 😛

June 7, 2011: Once again, Aya’s attempt to enter the past altered the present. Thelonius vanished from the timeline. Blank realized what was happening and ran to Thelonius as he vanished, only to completely forget why he went to the rooftop in the first place.

Aya remembered seeing Kyle dressed as a groom at the altar, only to be shot offscreen. Kyle appeared before her at the Twisted nest again, and she begged him to protect Eve. He pledged his guardianship over “our little princess”.

Episode 4: The Moment of Truth

October 1, 2011: Chipping away at Operation Blue Hail. Let’s find Kyle Madigan. Continue reading The 3rd Birthday Part Three: Aya’s Counterattack

The 3rd Birthday Part Two: Aya Getting Married

April 2, 2011: A battle with tough Twisted in T3B.

If you don’t set the OE Board correctly, Aya could wind up with a disease spliced into her DNA!

I feel bad about my guys dying due to my carelessness. What will I do when they’re not around? You just know that Aya is going to go in alone at some point.

I wasted time trying to fight a Twisted that does too much damage; is hard to hurt; regenerates health; and creates small cyclones?!

I guess the manual says to just shoot at Twisted until they’re stunned, but this particular Twisted becomes a lot more dangerous once you nail it with an Overdive Kill for the first time. It also says to heal your guys by OD’ing and hiding behind cover. SIGH

T3B‘s voice acting is better than a trailer led me to assume.

April 4, 2011: I learned how to overlay chips on the OE Board for greater effectiveness, AND I defeated the Emily Jefferson Twisted. Protip: Exploit Aya’s Liberation ability. Any time it’s full. Every time. I also took my magnum into battle.

Aya encountered Emily in Club Sacrifice. The young lady reminded Aya of someone who looked similar to her. Continue reading The 3rd Birthday Part Two: Aya Getting Married

The 3rd Birthday Part One: CTI Training Manual

April 1, 2011: Episode 0: Sacrifice

December 2012 – New York. Strange roots burst out of the city streets. These sentient beings are called the Twisted. Their nexus is known as the Babel.

December 2013: The Counter Twisted Investigation Team sends agent Aya Brea into the past with Overdive technology. This technology utilizes Aya’s strange powers to dive into the bodies of others in the past to investigate the Twisted. With the power of Overdive, Aya heads to Club Sacrifice in Manhattan, which is under siege by Twisted.

Overdive is also featured in gameplay. It lets Aya dive into the bodies of other soldiers and occasionally civilians. This can yield unexpected benefits like new weaponry and DNA chips, and the opportunity to trigger the skills on Aya’s DNA Board. Aya can also Overdive into enemies when they have been critically wounded (indicated by a triangular symbol over the creature) to deal devastating damage. Hitting the enemy’s weak point with a sniper rifle makes it easier to OD into them.

With Overdive, Aya can dive into the body of a healthier soldier when the one she is currently inhabiting is dying. However, losing too many soldiers in an Episode will negatively affect your final ranking. Also, there are some situations where you may run out of soldiers and have to hold out until more enter the battlefield. There are some situations where Aya has to kill a boss alone.

In the opening cutscene, you are introduced to a flurry of new characters, such as Hyde Bohr, Thelonious Cray, and the young Dr. Blank.

Aya was found on December 24, 2010 in New York in a wedding dress near St. Thomas Cathedral. She lost her memories.

Finding Maeda’s bio in the manual gave me feels.

Continue reading The 3rd Birthday Part One: CTI Training Manual

The 3rd Birthday: Introduction — What Came Before

Trigger Warning: This article discusses rape.

The 3rd Birthday

Developer: Square Enix/HexaDrive

Publisher: Square Enix

Format: PlayStation Portable

Released (Japan): December 22, 2010

Released (NA): March 29, 2011

Released (EU): April 1, 2011

Knowing plot details about the earlier installments in the Parasite Eve franchise is not necessary for enjoying The 3rd Birthday, but it does help, even though the games are not really direct sequels to the original novel. It’s… complicated.

Continue reading The 3rd Birthday: Introduction — What Came Before

The DISSIDIA Saga Final Thoughts and Stats: Too Much of a Good Thing?

DISSIDIA is a good looking game. The PSP’s fantastic screen helps.

In terms of audio, it’s a treat as well. The game features remixes of many of the most famous themes from Final Fantasy games. I kind of partially used the game as an FF jukebox. There is also some good original music, such as “Cosmos”.

However, some of the voice acting was a bit off. JD Cullum, the voice actor for Kuja, addressed this in YouTube comments. The voice direction for the original game was spotty. The voice acting for 012 is generally regarded as superior, but the cutscenes for the original story mode were not redubbed, creating a discrepancy in the overall quality of the voice acting. Continue reading The DISSIDIA Saga Final Thoughts and Stats: Too Much of a Good Thing?

The DISSIDIA Saga Part Eight

April 16th, 2015: Morou has this to say: “If you’re going to play that way… What kind of horror story would you like to hear, kupo? Give me an example, kupo! Yeah! How about you tell me one, kupo? I want you to try to scare me, kupo!”

I’ll show you scary.

I’m actually a ghost.

>>I like to eat moogles.

You don’t really exist.

I thought that answer would get the funniest reaction. Mwahahaha!

The third one seemed the scariest…

Continue reading The DISSIDIA Saga Part Eight

The DISSIDIA Saga Part Seven

 

April 10th, 2015: The Astromog said that my ideal partner is… Galuf?! “His unique meanderings will keep you distracted before you realize you just saved the world!”

This one moogle is weird! It says, “EXECUTING MISSION RECEIVE kp GIVE MERCHANDISE”. It only flies in straight lines.

Zidane: “What? Do I need a reason to help someone?” Continue reading The DISSIDIA Saga Part Seven

The DISSIDIA Saga Part Six

January 13th, 2015: In this game, Tidus sounds younger than he did in Final Fantasy X.

Tidus’ voice actor, James Arnold Taylor, has come a long way since FFX.

March 19th, 2015: Tidus keeps interrupting Firion when he talks and it’s funny. He actually asks Tidus if he enjoys interrupting him.

It’s great to see such contrasting, but still friendly, personalities.

Continue reading The DISSIDIA Saga Part Six

The DISSIDIA Saga Part Five

June 17th, 2011: I’m pleased as punch that there are two new characters to unlock here.

Bartz doesn’t just imitate other characters’ moves, he imitates the way that they call them out.

Prishe is so cute! She has great fashion sense.

Prishe in her default and alternate costumes

Her EX Burst is very complicated. Auto EX Burst, here I come!

Auto EX Burst was an ability that let the computer input EX Burst commands for you.

Continue reading The DISSIDIA Saga Part Five