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 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

VGJ Quickie: Resistance: Fall of Man

Resistance: Fall of Man

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Release – JP: November 11, 2006

Release – NA: November 17, 2006

Release – EU: March 23, 2007

This was Insomniac’s first game for the PS3. This FPS takes place in an alternate history 1951, with the US and UK allied against a new enemy: the alien Chimera.

The main character is American Army Ranger Sergeant Nathan Hale. He had a resistance to the virus spread by Chimeras that usually forced the infected to undergo mutation.

Nathan gained the ability to heal quickly, as well as enhanced strength and reflexes. Cosmetically, the color of his irises changed to gold, just like most Chimera.

Continue reading VGJ Quickie: Resistance: Fall of Man

Heavy Rain: Final Thoughts

May 19th, 2010: One of the last chapters takes place from the viewpoint of a young boy who fled their house with his brother on a rainy day. Their father was abusive, and the boys did not want to deal with another one of his drunken episodes, so they decided to have an adventure at a construction site. But their adventure turned to tragedy when one of the boys, John, fell into a damaged pipe, which trapped his leg. The rain threatened to fill the pipe with water and drown John, so his brother fled back home to get help from their father, but he was too drunk to help.

John’s brother returned to the pipe. Before he drowned, John begged his brother, Scotty, to remember him.

He did. In one of the worst ways possible. Continue reading Heavy Rain: Final Thoughts

Heavy Rain Part Two

March 29th, 2010: Continuation of “The Bear” chapter. It was the most intense chapter yet.

The Bear was the first of the five trials that Ethan undertook to save Shaun.

Ethan found an origami figure of a bear with a message inside of it: “ARE YOU PREPARED TO SHOW YOUR COURAGE IN ORDER TO SAVE YOUR SON?” Continue reading Heavy Rain Part Two

Heavy Rain Part One

From left to right: Norman Jayden, Madison Paige, Ethan Mars, and Scott Shelby

Heavy Rain

Developer: Quantic Dream

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Released: February 23rd, 2010

The first thing I ever saw of HR didn’t actually have much to do with the game, though I didn’t know it at the time. The E3 2006 “trailer” was really an audition for a female character. She played the role of an angry wife who overreacts to her husband’s infidelity by threatening him with a gun in the kitchen with the sound of heavy rain just outside the window. Once the audition is over, the casting directors (?) give the actress a noncommittal “we’ll get in touch with you” answer, but once she leaves, one of the directors says that she’s too old for the part. Hmph!

HR was eventually revealed as an action-adventure game about a city being terrorized by the Origami Killer. The game tells its story with four main characters… and their choices affect the plot’s outcome.

Continue reading Heavy Rain Part One

Resident Evil Director’s Cut – Final Thoughts and Trivia

That was kind of fun, but also kind of difficult. The game is so tight with supplies that it emphasizes the survival aspect of survival horror. The backtracking got a little tedious. I can see why this game blew peoples’ minds back then, but I prefer Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis for the PS1 era of the series.

The voice actors apparently used pseudonyms.

One of the Tyrant’s attacks looked like the Shoryuken/Dragon Uppercut from Street Fighter.

I thought I would get graded on my playthrough, like in later RE games. I was expecting a terrible grade for saving so much. I used up almost every ink ribbon. Continue reading Resident Evil Director’s Cut – Final Thoughts and Trivia

Resident Evil Director’s Cut Part Three: Shame Though What They Made

October 17th, 2014: Eyes of the Tiger

I got the Colt Python magnum by fetching the Red Jewel and putting it in the tiger statue in that little room on the Mansion 1F west wing.

I mentioned it because I think this is an optional side quest.

All of the backtracking in the Mansion was getting boring.

Continue reading Resident Evil Director’s Cut Part Three: Shame Though What They Made

Resident Evil Director’s Cut Part Two

 

August 24th, 2014: Your path through the mansion takes you out of the mansion and into… the Guard House on the mansion grounds.

I hate this place because I think I know what the game wants to do. So why doesn’t it just do it already?!

Brad called over the radio, but he could not hear Jill trying to respond to him.

The Guardhouse is full of weirdness like Plant 42, giant wasps, and sharks. When you drain the water in the rooms around the shark tank, the medium-sized shark and the two baby sharks just sort of flop around helplessly. Ha! Land animals, bitch. Continue reading Resident Evil Director’s Cut Part Two