My Year of Gaming: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
I purchased a Playstation 4 at the beginning of 2017 and it is the first time I have had a console since Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out on the Wii. Naturally, I have a lot of catching up to do and my backlog is incredibly massive. During the course of a year, I played my way through 23 games, and I figured I would take the time to share a little bit about each game. Perhaps you’ve played them and want to hear another opinion, or maybe you’ve been holding off on investing in a particular game. Either way, it’s never a bad time to spread your love of gaming.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (2010), which acts as a prequel to the first Kingdom Hearts game, introduces us to three new heroes: Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. The three are training to become keyblade masters, but they are interrupted by the arrival of Heartless. Tasked with figuring out what is happening to the worlds, their resolve and friendship is put to the ultimate test.
This might be a controversial statement, but Birth by Sleep is my favorite game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. I think the game did a great job of weaving the three stories together and it was cool to be able to control Terra, Aqua, and Ventus, who each have their own unique skill sets. The controls are the second best in the franchise (beat out by the next game in the series, Dream Drop Distance). What makes this game my favorite is the finale. There are so many revelations to be made that beautifully set up Kingdom Hearts.
Birth by Sleep featured some new locales from Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Lilo & Stitch, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Neverland made it’s return to the game and allowed you to actually explore the island. Since there are three different stories being told, the map changes depending upon who you are playing as. I think that was a good way to keep it fresh since you do play through each world three times.
In addition to Birth by Sleep, there was a release on the PS4 that was a “fragmentary passage” which continued the story of Aqua. A very short game, but definitely worth a play-through as it bumps right up into Kingdom Hearts. Birth by Sleep is bundled in the release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 while the Fragmentary Passage is included with the Kingdom Hearts 2.8 release. There hasn’t ever been a better time to be a Kingdom Hearts fan as every single game is available for the first time on the same platform. All of this gets me super hyped up for the (hopefully) 2018 release of Kingdom Hearts III.
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