Hot off the press of the latest issue of the Weekly Famitsu (Issue no. 1082, September 10, 2009, pp. 25-33), Square Enix breaks its silence regarding information on the much anticipated Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (KHBBS) for the Playstation Portable. The director of this new chapter in the Kingdom Hearts series, Testuya Nomura, confirmed that KHBBS would indeed be playable at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show and also feature a brand new trailer.
KHBBS is an action role-playing game that serves as a prequel set ten years prior to the first Kingdom Hearts game. Its battle system slightly resembles that of Re:Chain of Memories (Playstation 2) and allows players to customize their “deck” by choosing which techniques and abilities are displayed onscreen.
KHBBS‘s story is split into three separate scenarios, each focusing on one of the three characters’ efforts to locate Master Xehanort. Throughout various points in the game, they will cross paths but, for the duration of the game, each will be venturing alone. The three playable characters are Ventus, Terra and Aqua, each with his/her individual style when it comes to battle.
- Ventus: Known as “Ven”, his strongest aspect is his speed. While he’s a definite shoe-in as a doppelganger for KH2‘s Roxas, the resemblance is only skin deep. He shares an unexplained connection to both Roxas and Sora that has yet to be revealed, and like his predecessors, he too wields a keyblade, albeit without a keychain. Ven is apparently the young, bright-eyed one of the group.
- Terra: Specializing in power, Terra also wields keyblade without a keychain. Apparently, he’s somewhat the leader of the group and represents a brother-type figure to Ventus. As his personality is rather cool, he could be described as the strong and silent type.
- Aqua: The lone female of the bunch, Aqua’s specialty lies with magic. Like her companions, she too wields a keyblade without a keychain. She’s the most serious of the three but worries deeply about her friends when they’re in trouble.
The Castle of Dreams world is home to the lovely and enchanting story of Cinderella. Screen shots show Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, evil Stepmother and stepsisters as well as Lucifer, the demonic fat cat. The resident assistant of this world is Cinderella’s jacket and hat wearing mouse friend, Jaq (Aww, where’s Gus Gus, the chubby mouse?). Apparently, each of the three characters will play an integral and different part to ensure that Cinderella is able to thwart her Stepmother’s evil intentions and be able to live happily ever after with Prince Charming.
Judging from the screens, players will be able to relive certain scenes from the movie including where Cinderella’s Stepmother locks her in her bedroom so that she cannot claim to be the owner of the glass slipper. A shrunken Ven is shown cooperating with Jaq in order to obtain the key that can unlock Cinderella from her bedroom. A battle with Lucifer is also implemented into this world for all of you out there who always wanted to give this pompous cat a piece of your mind.
The Deep Space world is home to Experiment 626, better known as Stitch (from Lilo & Stitch), his creator, Dr. Jumba, Gantu, and Experiment 221 (also known as Sparky). It looks like the main objective of this world is to prevent Stitch from being captured and imprisoned because the screens show characters and Stitch battling together against Gantu as well as an enraged Sparky. However, the events of the story will play out differently depending on whether you choose to experience it with Ventus, Terra, or Aqua.
Kindgom Hearts Birth by Sleep is currently scheduled for a Winter 2009 release in Japan but, while a US release is inevitable, Square Enix hasn’t said anything regarding when it would be released stateside.