It's not long now until the next instalment in the Disney/Squeenix crossover series is finally released over here. I've already posted the best deal for the normal edition but there's also a Special Edition available too. If you are after this fancy schmancy version of the game and want to be sure that you get it as soon as possible then the best place to head to is The Hut who are currently offering it for just £28.93.
- Click here to preorder the Special Edition of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for £28.93 from The Hut now
As well as a copy of the game itself, the Special Edition also includes two art prints of scenes from the game and a 48 page hardback book: "The Art of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep". Nice extras for sure but I will leave it up to you whether it's worth spending an extra £10 for them.
Birth by Sleep is a prequel to the adventures of Sora, Kairi and Roxas etc which made up the existing titles in the Kingdom Hearts series. It tells the story of a young boy named Ventus who lives in the Land of Departure with his two close friends Aqua and Terra. The three of them all train with the Keyblade together and dream of becoming Keyblade Masters. However when it comes to the day of the Mark of Mastery exam which will determine their futures, things go disastrously awry and each of them finds themselves flung into a journey that will change each of their lives and the fate of their world.
In typical Square fashion, the story is more than a tad impenetrable and for those who have not played other games in the series potentially quite baffling. I've played some of the previous titles but not all but managed to work out what was going on after some consultation with other players. The narrative spans three separate stories, one for each playable character, which combine to create the complete tale. It's a daft but entertaining enough story, brought to life by some great voice acting (bar the unfortunately monotone Aqua), provided by some surprisingly famous faces. The score helps to set the tone, recreating famous locations with classic Disney songs.
While it's lovely that the Birth By Sleep has great graphics and an entertaining story, what is really great is the quality of the combat. It is instantly accessible and the basics are very easy to pick up but to master it is pleasingly challenging. If you pick the Easy difficulty setting then you can probably cruise through the game with some clever button bashing but I have seen friends nearly tearing their hair out trying to complete it on the hardest setting.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a very good looking game that has clearly received a lot of care and attention in production. If you are a fan of the series you will be pleased to find that it answers a number of questions from the Kingdom Hearts universe, but in typical fashion it also poses some of its own. Whether you are a fan of the series or a newcomer who just wants an enjoyable romp on their PSP, this title is well worth investigating.
Look out for our review later this afternoon!