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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.