The 3rd Birthday

The Third Birthday Is Worthy Of Celebration

Nail biting action and unique gameplay make this a happy birthday!
Author: Andy Curtiss
Published: April 11, 2011
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Those of you who have read my reviews before know that I am not into shooters. Action games in general are a genre that I donít get into very much. Donít misunderstand Ė I donít dislike them! Iíve simply preferred to play other genres instead. So when our fearless leader here at TPS asked me to take care of The 3rd Birthday, the newest entry in the Parasite Eve saga, I was a tad skeptical. I had heard from a fanatical friend that The 3rd Birthday was nothing short of amazing and it deserved an 11 out of 10 rating. But I find it hard to trust Canadians who donít understand fractionsÖ so I set off to form my own opinion of The 3rd Birthday (3BD from here on out).

I played through the first Parasite Eve game back in 1998 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Considering the game market at that point in time, Parasite Eve was unique in the way that it combined survival horror gameplay with RPG elements. When the sequel came out in 2000 I only had a fleeting encounter playing the first hour or so. So upon getting my copy of 3BD I was a little surprised. The game had abandoned its survival horror + RPG feel and embraced the shooting and action aspects. Skepticism clouding over. But with the emphasis on shooting and action came some new features enhancing the new style of gameplay, including the Overdive system weíll talk about in detail in a moment. Skepticism breaking, letting through rays of careful optimism! Then throw in a story whose concept is interesting, cut scenes that are PS2 quality (and better) and customization options and weíve suddenly got a very nice birthday on our hands!

Letís start with the story. The opening cut-scene depicts the utter destruction and ruination of New York City by a creature that could only be described as a tentacle beast out of the worst nightmares of some little Japanese girl. The cut-scene depicting this death and destruction is stunning in general - let alone considering that you're watching it on a PSP. This is the stuff that you expect to see from Square Enix. As the cut-scene ends you discover that our old friend Aya Brea (lead character from PE1 and PE2) is up to her old tricks. Only she seems to be having some issues remembering who she is and what's happened to her. She is part of an elite group know as CTI - Counter Twisted Investigation (Twisted being the terrible creatures that seem to spawn from the Babel). The members of CTI have developed a device called the Overdive System. This system allows Aya, with her unique genetic makeup, to project herself into the past. The CTI believes that it may be possible to use this Overdive System to go back in time and fight the Babel and its creatures and perhaps defeat it before the events that transpire that destroy New York City.
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