The year is absolutely zooming past and it is now just over a month until Kingdom Hearts fans can get their hands on the excellent new instalment, Birth by Sleep so I decided to have a hunt for the best preorder deal for those itching to catch up with the bizarre Squeenix/Disney mash up.
The Hut are offering the best deal by quite a decent margin, with a price of just £17.93; this compares very favourably, to the tune of nearly £5, to the next best offer of £22.85 from Shop To.
BBS is the tale of Ventus and his two pals, Aqua and Terra who live in the Land of Departure and all share the dream of becoming Keyblade Masters. On the day that Aqua and Terra take their Mark of Mastery exams and the mysterious Master Xehanort visits the land to appraise them, their Master is warned of strange happenings across the Lanes Between and in the other Worlds that surround their own. As usual with Kingdom Hearts games, the story is surprisingly complex (at odd with the cartoony presentation) and occasionally baffling, but told well enough to keep your interest and attention.
This new Kingdom Hearts title is a beautiful and bright game, boasting some of the best and most charming graphics on the handheld console, with the Disney characters in particular brought to life beautifully. The sound is of similarly high quality with some fantastic voice acting (bar Aqua's appalling wooden monotone) from a host of famous faces and an excellent score that may well transport you straight back to a Disney loving childhood.
The combat is extremely enjoyable. Instantly accessible but hard to master and highly customisable with a huge range of abilities, both magical and physical, to collect and develop. If you play on Easy then you can happily get away with some button mashing but the higher difficulties pose a genuine challenge and require some real consideration into strategy, and skill in execution.
BBS is a game with real longevity; not only are there three separate (but interconnected) stories to tackle, each lasting around 20-30 hours but there are also a number of mini games to sink your teeth into, plenty of collectibles and secrets and a number of different multi player modes. If you get bored of grinding, you can even play a special board game style mode to level up your abilities instead, against the characters you meet in the story or online against your friends.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a beautiful and high quality game that answers a number of questions from the KH universe, as well as posing some new ones of its own. I personally believe this is one of the best games on the PSP, if not the very best. Kingdom Hearts fans ought to be very satisfied and even those sceptical about the franchise may well find that they have a great time with this game if they give it a try.