The 3rd Birthday Hands-On

The star from the Parasite Eve series returns in this action role-playing spin-off.

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While The 3rd Birthday may be the third game in the Parasite Eve series, this action game has been described as a spin-off, with significant enough changes from the previous games to garner a new title. At the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix released a new trailer and had a playable demo of The 3rd Birthday, where we could step into the shoes of Aya Brea (and others) to get a feel for how the game plays.

The protagonist, Aya, is a CTI special agent in New York City who has the unique ability to use a system called "overdrive," which allows her to inhabit the body of someone else. The demo set us up in Episode One: The Past, where Aya is at a dance club right before an attack. It is December 24, 2012, and the enemy is known as the Twisted, an organic life-form that seems to spawn out of portals and come up from underground. Once the club cleared out, we were thrust into what seemed like a boss battle with one of the grotesque creatures from the trailer. At a glance, it looked like an overgrown piranha, but with long tentacles and a huge mouth that shoots harmful, spiked explosives.

Thankfully, there are well-placed barricades in front of the stage during the fight, which you can press up against to shield yourself from harm. The cover system works automatically, and you can leap over barriers with the X button. Aya heals over time, so seeking out shelter gives you time to regenerate before jumping out again. By holding the R button, you'll automatically lock on to any enemy in the room. No aiming is required as you dump your ammunition rounds with the square button. You're equipped with grenades and four weapons, which you can switch between using the L button and the face buttons to select.

The controls are easy once you realize which buttons to press (our instructions were in Japanese). With the lock-on, it's pretty hard to miss the target, unless you have something in your way. On top of the cover system, Aya is extremely agile; she has the ability to flip and dodge gracefully out of the way with the X button. After defeating the hideous monster, we headed toward the backstage area and had to clear out more misshapen creatures. We weren't alone, however. There were soldiers with us that looked like they were part of the National Guard. When we reached the hotel lobby, we regrouped with more soldiers and pressed on. Not all of them made it though, and one thing to note about the enemy is that it spits some kind of strange acid that burns and eats away at your flesh until you explode. The creatures themselves also burst into a gooey mess once you take them down, so we made a point to keep our distance.

That's right, she is now Horace Royle.

We didn't have a lot of time before we were ushered out of the demo, but we did get a chance to play with the linkage system, which lets Aya transport herself into the body of a nearby teammate and use that person's weapons. This is convenient when you're low on health or ammo, and we're sure that this will be used a lot more often later in the game. Based on what we gathered from the trailer, cutscenes, and gameplay, it looks like there is a much deeper story surrounding Aya than just a CTI agent looking to save the world from complete destruction. A young girl who could be a sister was shown in the trailer as well as in our demo. We couldn't make out the conversation, but the girl seems to be a part of Aya's dream or imagination.

We're curious to find out exactly what's happening beneath the city streets of NYC, so look for more updates on the game soon. The game is set to come out on December 22 in Japan, but no date has been announced for North America.

Discussion

95 comments
whitejackel
whitejackel

@DarthChristian yeah i got it the day i saw it put up, im in the prosess of beating it as well and hope they bring the 2nd one of both the games to the psn soon and am looking forward to 3rd birth day as well.

DarthChristian
DarthChristian

@Gelugon_baat i caught the name to, it is pretty genius. just heightens my anticipation for this game. one more week!!!!!!!

DarthChristian
DarthChristian

@whitejackel PE 1 is on PSN i'm replaying it now. I guess PE 2 will be coming sometime soon.

DarthChristian
DarthChristian

this looks and sound pretty good. i wonder if i should bother playing through parasite eve 1&2 before playing this. it seems like a radically different take on the story

pepz19
pepz19

is this an iso sir???

knifey
knifey

I'm hoping this regenerates parasite eve and they make a parasite eve 3 that would be so awesome

Nintenddo
Nintenddo

Is the Parasite Eve games in PSN? id it is i might get it

nevershoutnevea
nevershoutnevea

i think the story it will be emotional ...love good stories :D

emperorwolffang
emperorwolffang

i love this games series and its about damn time they released a third game they had me worried there for a while

Crazyholic
Crazyholic

GAWD!!!! FINALLY!!! I've been depraved of Parasite Eve for far too long, I just hope the folks as SQ-E don't turn it into a whiny sh!tstorm like oh, say . . . FF XIII

supertostadas
supertostadas

we dont have exclusive resident evil on PSP, but we're gonna have 3rd Birthday on PSP..so.... F*CK YOU RE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

whitejackel
whitejackel

we need PE 1 and 2 and Dino crissis 2 on the psn!!

djwood84
djwood84

Cool... but nothing can ever compare to the first playthrough of Parasite Eve. Truly a massively underappreciated game!

lilynipper
lilynipper

I hope she has the same footstep sound effects, clop clop clop clop clop clop, loved it, classic

lilynipper
lilynipper

THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANKKS. Can't wait for this one.

regix416_basic
regix416_basic

PLEASE let them bring this over. PSN is also needs PE 1 and 2... so if you're listening SE, we need them ASAP. Thanks! ^_^

gaminghot
gaminghot

great hidden-hentai there, SE.

Osashimaru
Osashimaru

I love the look and feel of 3rd Birthday, this is deffinitely something to look forward to in my book :) I thought the Parasite Eve series was great, I know this one will be too.

cheolho
cheolho

She looks totally hot, but I would have preferred a real PE game instead of this action shooter.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

I hope we can try a demo before it goes on sale.

meconate
meconate

I'm loving my PSP! And games like this only make it more awesome.

renji4eva
renji4eva

looks good il get this after i get birth by sleep

AvsDx
AvsDx

and ps3 version??? where???? oooh man.... :(

menamege
menamege

I hate horror related movies/games... But at first sight, I knew this was a game I HAVE to buy...

Dualmask
Dualmask

Not sure how I feel about the whole body-jumping thing...it seems less and less like a Parasite Eve game and more like a new game hoping to capitalize off of PE nostalgia by use of the names. However, that won't matter if the gameplay is good, so I'll be following this. Good PSP games are few and far between, and since it's my handheld of choice, I'll follow anything that has a moderate chance to turn out well.

dimospot
dimospot

هیف که ما پی اس پی مونو فروختیم خوب بازی ایه

DarknautXXX
DarknautXXX

Hopfully they'll bring back some of the rpg elements

kamuijr
kamuijr

Hmm no U.S release date I see...........may have to import ;)

SteelTiger360
SteelTiger360

Awesome, I always found the P# series underrated its high-time they brought this back

j2zon2591
j2zon2591

The devs already said that if it gets a good reception then they will make an HD version with Aya in it Didn't the devs already say that the English version is set on 2011?

Stormuser
Stormuser

I'm stunned, For the Handheld the graphics are amazing!

kamuijr
kamuijr

Must buy ;) Aya Brea is so HOT!

skillz191
skillz191

what no ps3 version i mean come on u skipped over the ps2 what the hell. Parasite Eve 3, urm i mean The 3rd Birthday deserves to be on the PS3 as well. But it does not seem like to inherit anything from the PE series from back in the day, where's the horror\rpg aesthetic, it seems like a total action

FusionRain
FusionRain

I remember seeing this game some years back. Can't wait for this.

chaos269
chaos269

can't wait for more reviews for this game and gameplay, its been a while since the last PE, will be a game to remember.

Di3oxide
Di3oxide

What the hell was that BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

mannymaru
mannymaru

oohhh man y is it not on a ps3. it will look 10x better

Nintenddo
Nintenddo

It looks awsome and i heard it was a sequel of another game if that is true what game it that?

zafarsher
zafarsher

oh this is on psp.......i got excited may be its coming on ps3 or 360,,,,man i loved the first two parts...they were too long...took me almost six month for each part....back in 2000 aya bera was my fantasy girl...i was 16 at that time...

Visa004
Visa004

They're making every game that they made, which is supposed(?) to be cool, go down hill...

Osashimaru
Osashimaru

3rd Birthday looks very promising :)

Osashimaru
Osashimaru

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

I'll support this game, i own the other 2 and they always used lock on aiming but it's sad that they dumbed down the powers to just body jacking. But, if the game sells well perhaps we'll get a PS3 PE game, or at least another PSP game out of them.