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Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ

Developer / Publisher: Square Enix
09 January 2010
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep [キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ] - cover art
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3.44 / 5.0
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326 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#1,219 All-time
#51 for 2010
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2010 Square Enix  
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JP 4 988601 006361 ULJM 05600
2010 Square Enix  
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XNA 6 62248 91008 6 ULUS-10505
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XEU 5 021290 041547 ULES-01441
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2012 Square Enix  
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Title
putting a rubber band on my controller's analog stick overnight with exp walker on in the save point area in front of the radiant garden castle gates
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SkeepTieel 2021-06-28T20:59:07Z
2021-06-28T20:59:07Z
4.5
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Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep was a prequel following 3 intersecting storylines and distinct playstyles. Surprisingly enough, combat is the real winner here - a less frantic but more engaging battle system favoring customization and its fluid revolving ability mechanic over monotony. While not exactly deep, the skill melding system enables a good amount of build potential, and keeps fights fairly fresh as abilities frequently get combined and altered. In some ways, it's also a return to form for gameplay variety, which went missing in the past few portable titles. Even if the plot gets more and more trivial, dialogue remains as laughably corny as ever, and character design continues to prove that Nomura is out of ideas - the gameplay is possibly the series' most polished yet.
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Blah_Blee 2021-06-28T13:45:45Z
2021-06-28T13:45:45Z
6.5 /10
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Largely considered to be the last good original game of the franchise, I would go as far to say that the sophisticated levelling system and more cohesive art direction makes this a sure contender for the best game of the entire series.

By far the area this game excels past the others in the franchise is the levelling system. Special attacks are called "commands", a list of moves to the left of the screen activated during combat to unleash either a special physical attack or magic based attack. These commands can be levelled not only making them stronger but also at a certain level most commands can be melded with a variety of different commands, producing an entirely new and more powerful attack. During the melding process a crystal can be attached to the newly crafted move which produces a random "ability" from a list specific to that crystal. Abilities are passive upgrades, improving health, reload times for commands, expanding upon combos, etc. So while the standard RPG levelling of killing enemies to fill a gauge that will eventually see your character progress up numerical levels is still present, a vital part of progressing your character (especially at higher difficulties) is unlocking abilities through the melding system. This can be quite a lot to take in initially but what it ultimately means is that Birth By Sleep features one of very few good meritorical levelling systems of any action RPG, wherein the commands you use are levelled which in turn allows you to upgrade that attack, a process which has the potential to unlock more passive abilities for your character. It certainly is possible to play the game for a long period with the same command loadout all the time but that will certainly result in your character stagnating, therefore the game's command system forces the player to constantly experiment with special moves and change up their play style. It's a system that is really on par with the genius of Final Fantasy X's sphere grip, obviously nowhere near as sophisticated but as intuitive and as customisable in such a way that makes no two playthroughs the same.

The combat and the graphical quality seems essentially on par with the PS2 counterpart. For the most part the PSP feels on-par with the Playstation 1, a large portion of the portable console's library consists of ports of PS1 games, so the fact that this can even be compared to a PS2 game is quite outstanding, Birth By Sleep is a true standout amongst other games in the PSP library and it's just unbelievable the old machine can run something that looks this good. And as stated more vitally the game plays as well as the earlier instalments, in fact the command system offers a variety that the notorious "button-mashing" PS2 games seems to lack. However this comes to a major flaw of the game, the controls. The PSP is a weirdly lopsided machine, only one analogue stick just below the d-pad on the left side. The character is moved with the analogue stick and the command menu is navigated with the d-pad, an inherently flawed button layout that results in your character being stationary while the player is selected a move from the command menu. A minor issue at first made entirely unmanageable by the end of the game when the player had unlocked 8 total command slots, any concept of having a specific command to combat a specific enemy is out the window. To an extent this results in a degree of tactical gameplay, knowing where to put the healing spell in your command deck so that it heals your character just when he gets low enough on health where it's warranted, but this feels unintentional as the navigation of the command menu just feels clunky and poorly designed.

There are some more minor flaws in the game:
-Grinding isn't necessary whatsoever at lower levels but a necessity at higher levels.
-XP seems to favour quantity over quality, that is to say it is more time effective to grind at low level worlds with a high traffic of enemies rather than high level worlds where enemies are less frequent.
-Many enemies, even the lowest level standard enemies, have moves with invisibility that you simply have to avoid or block, whereas the player can be knocked out of most commands. The most aggravating example of which being any variant of cure during an intense boss fight, the player will dodge away to heal, press triangle only to be hit out of the command during it's start-up animation. As a command counts as "used" as soon as it's pressed, you now have to wait until cure has reloaded until you can attempt again.
-The default button layout is bizarre, pressed L+R to lock on, when the alternate is significantly easier. Unfortunately these are the only two button configurations.

Ultimately this is a very nice side-story from the core Kingdom Hearts narrative with the most successful deviation from the franchise's core gameplay mechanics. Its not as spectacular in presentation nor as balanced and its odd quirks and combat that is difficult to grapple with initially may be alienating to newcomers, especially those coming from previous entries, however having played every game of the franchise Birth By Sleep offers a level of depth and challenge unmatched in the series.

Additional: The platinum trophy is unpleasant as it involves playing ostensibly the same game and literally the same mini-games three times over, however doing this wasn't enough to make me dislike the game, whereas getting the platinum for the original Kingdom Hearts made me stop my marathon of the franchise, it was that bad. Though a rule of thumb from my experience is that this is a really bad series to 100% and I would not recommend it.
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I didn't play this until I rented the Kingdom Hears II remaster, and well I can see why this is often a mixed bag for Kingdom Hearts fan. I'm a fan of the first two games and played them not long after they first came out. This game I remember being a PSP exclusive which I didn't own at the time and had no intention of ever buying. Then these awesome remasters came giving us fans the games we would never play because of not owning handheld consoles. Upon playing this, I could instantly tell it was a PSP game, it controlled pretty basic and the controls were a bit odd. But overall it plays somewhat similar to the first game, you have abilities in this that help aid your combat and some of them are pretty damn overpowered. Later in the game I actually was able to spam my best abilities on the bosses and they made me practically invincible. The story of this is odd, it sort of tries to explain the backstory of Kingdom Hearts and the origin of keyblades but it ends up leaving a lot of questions and it just feels weird visiting these Disney Worlds without having Donald or Goofy there. Some of the Worlds are okay, it was cool seeing new places like the Cinderella World and Lilo and Stich (Which I actually surprisingly found the most fun World in the game), but then there are places reused from the other games which weren't so good. The combat wasn't as satisfying feeling as the previous games and something just felt odd for some reason.

The story was pretty bland, I just didn't care for the new characters that much, and the game feels like it just adds unnecessary backstory to a universe that already is somewhat convoluted and complex to casual fans. But judging this from a gameplay perspective its not bad, its pretty average but it was cool visiting some of the Worlds and some of the boss fights are pretty fun, even if there are an equal amount of annoying and frustrating bosses. If you just sort of ignore the story and characters the game isn't bad, but I still don't consider this anywhere near as good as the console Kingdom Hearts games.
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jweber14 2017-07-21T22:15:05Z
2017-07-21T22:15:05Z
3.5
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Unfortunately KH Birth by Sleep does not live up to the hype of being one of the best PSP RPG's. Granted I've only completed the Terra scenario, but I don't really feel the urge to play as the other 2 characters as the battle system is not very exciting and I can't really see myself playing 10-15 more hours for each of the other characters as I feel that I've pretty much seen everything this game can do.

Generally I prefer turn based rpg's over the action ones, and I think this is a very good example of why I do. I don't feel that there is much strategy into this game, the battles against generic enemies mostly consist of pressing the X button repeatedly and perhaps throwing a triangle special attack here and there. Within less than an hour, you've pretty much done all that's possible to do in the battles as they get repetitive very quickly. The boss battles on the other hand are super annoying. The gap of difficulty between normal battles and the boss battles is just insane, and I regretted many times having picked the "normal" difficulty level as it required me to grind 5-6 levels many times just to be able to compete with the bosses. I generally don't mind grinding in JRPG's but I don't feel that is was very fun to do here, especially in multiple occasions and that the battles aren't very fun to begin with.

Some other annoyances in the game are mostly with the controls and the camera system. See you can't look up or down, you can only move the camera left or right... but there are flying enemies in this! So you have to hope that it "locks" on the right enemy, and half the game you are fighting against the camera where you can't even see your enemy, unless you want to waste your time turning the camera over and over again (you are busy pressing X repeatedly anyway) . The square button offers Block and Slide, but I found that most of the time it didn't do the one I wanted, which is particularly annoying in boss battles.

The Command system in the game is based on abilities that you find and equip and you can level them up. After being maxed out, you can meld some together to create more powerfuls ones, and as you advance in the game you get to equip more of them. Unfortunately there isn't much strategy to this, the only worthwhile one is Cura (and upgraded to Curaga) and the rest are a bunch of offensive ones that do some damage, but which one you pick is mostly irrelevant as they are mostly similar. Picking the right command in battle can be hard, as the d-pad let's you switch between them, but literally have to stop moving/dodging to use the d-pad for selection. Again this is action elements taking away from the game, I don't think this selection system really works very well in this game.

What I enjoyed the most in the game was the story and the cutscenes, although it's not an amazing storyline, it's still the most enjoyable part of the game and makes you interested in seeing what happens next. The game is mostly linear, even if you have a map to choose your area, there's never more than 1 or 2 that opens at a time so you pretty have much have no freedom. Well you can always go back to previous areas to collect missing treasures, but I found that most of them were irrelevant and had no impact on my progress.

Square is my favorite company of all-time (mostly for the Square years) and I will always check out their RPG's, but I feel that this one is very flawed and has many things that it could improve on. Actually I feel that another Square Enix game does this style better, and it's Final Fantasy Type-O. That one has a good amount of flaws too, but generally it does everything this game tries to do but in a better way. I haven't played the main KH games yet, but it's not looking good for the series if this is considered one of the best.
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diction 2016-06-06T12:12:00Z
2016-06-06T12:12:00Z
3.0
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Catalog

cloudydonut キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-08-15T14:00:18Z
2022-08-15T14:00:18Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
crapballa キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-08-13T06:39:08Z
2022-08-13T06:39:08Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Naero キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-08-11T02:28:06Z
2022-08-11T02:28:06Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
joiner キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-08-08T21:23:10Z
2022-08-08T21:23:10Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
invaderLER Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep 2022-08-04T01:35:18Z
PSP • XNA
2022-08-04T01:35:18Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dimpapalias Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 2022-08-03T20:52:04Z
PSP • XEU
2022-08-03T20:52:04Z
3.6
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jakefewx キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-08-02T18:34:00Z
2022-08-02T18:34:00Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
polifck キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-07-28T06:56:12Z
2022-07-28T06:56:12Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kasz556 Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 2022-07-25T11:41:13Z
PSP • XEU
2022-07-25T11:41:13Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
brianhassler キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-07-22T07:21:33Z
2022-07-22T07:21:33Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MegaDriveGirl Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep 2022-07-22T03:14:34Z
PSP • XNA
2022-07-22T03:14:34Z
10.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Slilisk キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ 2022-07-16T17:25:17Z
2022-07-16T17:25:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: A
Player modes
1-6 players
Media
1x Disc
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative , Deathmatch / FFA
Franchises
Also known as
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • warioman96 2017-10-12 01:05:37.264817+00
    too much backtracking in this for it to get higher than a 7/10 for me
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2018-06-23 12:33:59.542795+00
    So glad I played this in 2.5 remix. It's one of the 3 KH games I'd consider essential before playing KH3.
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  • BlazingWaters 2018-11-13 03:13:48.198566+00
    This has become one of the most conflicting games I think I have ever experienced.
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  • slib 2020-12-05 01:59:23.281134+00
    the Mysterious Figure secret boss is the most bullshit in the entire series. Even Julius from DDD without using Balloon spells is more fun.
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  • LSDawson 2021-06-03 22:39:55.457955+00
    There's a lot about this game that I really love but it honestly might have the worst boss design I've ever seen in a video game. No exaggeration.
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  • EnnisDelMar 2022-01-06 17:19:43.081222+00
    I'm playing for the first time in 2.5 remix (I've already seen plot spoilers/cutscenes) and it's fun, but I'm finding the backtracking meh and worlds lackluster/too short... maybe I should have played it before
    reply
    • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-04-17 06:03:41.287862+00
      idk how many playthroughs you're on, but the worlds were made to be experienced differently through all 3 routes, and you see different pieces of each world on each playthrough
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