I'll give some quick updates about this upcoming prequel to the Kingdom Hearts series, entitled "Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep." This will be released for the Playstation Portable platform.
The game's plot occurs ten years before the very events of the first Kingdom Hearts game, focusing on the first three apprentices who wielded the power of the Keyblade before Sora himself- Terra, Ven and Aqua. It will feature three separate scenarios for the main characters, in order for the player to explore deeply each character's motives and pathways. The game also has a connection to the unlockable trailers on KH:2 and KH:2 Final Mix. The game will take place in various Disney-themed worlds both new and old, and will partially reflect the time difference between this game and the previous Kingdom Hearts games; for example, a younger Hercules at the Olympus Coliseum. The story revolves around three Keyblade apprentices in search of a missing Keyblade master, Master Xehanort, and his apprentice. Maleficent is believed to be the main antagonist; she causes a great disaster which results in Master Xehanort and his apprentice's disappearance.
Created for the PlayStation Portable, Birth by Sleep is being directed by Tetsuya Nomura and co-directed by Tai Yasue. In 2007, Nomura mentioned a desire to create a spin-off Kingdom Hearts game on a mobile platform and for it to feature gameplay slightly different than other titles in the series. It was announced alongside Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts coded at the Tokyo Game Show on September 20, 2007, where a trailer was shown in a photo-prohibited theater. New trailers were shown at the 2008 Jump Festa in December 2007 and the DKΣ3713 Private party in August 2008—a playable demo was also available at DKΣ3713.
Birth by Sleep is being developed by the same team behind Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, and will use the same graphical engine as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. Development of the game began before the release of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+. The plot was completed, but development was halted due to development of Re:Chain of Memories. Birth by Sleep is named after the unlockable trailer at the end of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. The development team plans to make use of the PSP's functions and is considering either co-operative or competitive multiplayer gameplay. Of the three new games announced, Birth by Sleep was the first one to begin development, though Nomura speculates it will be the last one released.
So there you go. We'll have to wait till' 2009's final quarter in order to place our hands on this game. As usual, expect me to give you a definitive review after its release.
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