Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday Review

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Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday launched on the PSP in 2011 on the PSP. The series took another step away from the beloved model it had created with the original. Would this new action shooter live up to the franchise name or would it suffer an unchangeable mistake? We’re jumping through timelines in the Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review!

Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday Plot:

Oh boy, are you ready for this? Starting on Christmas Eve, 2010. Aya and Kyle are set to be married in New York. For a full recap of Parasite Eve and Parasite Eve II please read my reviews on them. Ruining their wedding are these giant monsters who have invaded New York and the government calls these creatures the “Twisted”. During the chaos, Aya loses her memories, and Kyle and Eve disappear and are erased from existence. Already, off to a wild start in this Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review, eh?

Well, two years later the U.S. government formed the CTI (Counter Twisted Investigation) to help combat the Twisted and try and save Earth. New York City remains a mess (just like real life!) as it’s been completely destroyed by the Twisted which uses a mammoth tower that arose from the ground as their headquarters. All humans have left New York or have been killed by the Twisted.

Ready for more bizarre elements? So the CTI determines that Aya is the only viable option for their new machine that can take over the conscience of others in the past. Aya is able to control people in the past and through this, hopefully, change the events that happened when the Twisted attacked New York. Through these means, Aya can control different soldiers and help them fight off the invasion.

Now the entire plot of Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday is extremely convoluted. I will do my best to recap it but this is the bare-bones version because it is wild. Here we go.

Aya is being held semi-captive by the CTI with the man in charge named Hyde. He directs Aya on various missions to defeat the Twisted, alter time, and rescue key figures in the CTI. Aya continuously alters timelines and seems to be traveling through many different ones. She slowly regains memories of her wedding day when the Twisted invaded and Hyde continues to instruct her on missions.

She alters enough timelines where Kyle exists again but she remembers shooting Eve at her wedding. It is revealed that Hyde wants the Twisted to succeed and that Eve was the “mother” of the Twisted. Aya and Hyde face off as they continue to travel between timelines back to her wedding day. Aya and Kyle are able to defeat Hyde but Aya knows that Eve’s body still needs to be destroyed so the Twisted not to invade. She forces her soul and Eve’s soul to swap with each other so Eve is in Aya’s body, and Aya is in Eve’s body. “Eve” then shoots “Aya” killing Eve’s body along with Aya’s soul. Before disappearing, Aya has some comforting words for Eve.

Kyle realizes at the wedding that Aya is no longer herself but in fact, Eve and says that she needs to be her own person. (Probably for the best since Eve is 13 and was about to marry a full-grown man). Kyle then decides he is going to look for “eternity” and find Aya. He encourages Eve again before leaving. Eve is seen walking by herself at the end and living her life when a woman who looks like “Aya” walks by and wishes her a happy birthday before disappearing.

I assure you the story is much more complex but man, I don’t have time to divulge it all because I get confused myself. Lots of timelines, lots of chaos, lots of “is she dead” etc.

Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday Gameplay:

My Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review kicked off with a stellar opening video. I miss when video games had incredible openings, and almost feel that it is a lost art now. Despite being less than enthused with Parasite Eve being part of the plot, I loved the intro. It sucked me into New York again, which is where the original Parasite Eve takes place.

New York is back, and so is the Christmas theme! The first takes place on Christmas, and the third game follows. It was a fun throwback to the series but that’s about all as far as resemblance goes between the original and my Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review. In the original, Parasite Eve was more of a JRPG with combat. The sequel was more of an action RPG, and the third transforms into a third-person shooter.

Don’t get me wrong, this was wildly fun. The combat is very satisfying and you’ll take on tons of enemies as you blast them out of the sky, hallways, and buildings. Aiming was easy, and changing between targets was smooth. You’ll be able to build up a meter for a massive attack too.

Death has an interesting twist in my Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review. Aya’s essence will take control of a soldier and as long as there’s a soldier standing on the battlefield, you’ll be okay. You can transfer your spirit between them if your health is running low. If you die before switching bodies, it’s game over, so it’s opportunistic to change around soldiers during battles. There were only a few times when I died.

Ammo is all around you, but there were times when I ran out of the good stuff and had to switch to my minor guns. When this happens I struggled. It’s important not to waste your powerful ammo or weapons on meager enemies and save them for bosses or huge encounters. You’ll be carrying machine guns, pistols, and some launchers. All of them have different damage and rates of fire. You can upgrade the weapons between missions at the control hub with the experience that you earn in battles along with a DNA board that acts as the superpowers that Aya has.

Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday has some of that old-school video game feel to it. I LOVED this, but what exactly do I mean? Well, Aya’s clothes get torn up and ripped off when she’s damaged. You may see some cheek or side-boob when after a battle. Nothing wrong with that. One of the characters (Maeda) is a HUGE perv. The stuff he says and the way he says it made me laugh just because of the sheer ridiculous nature of it. I miss when video games didn’t take themselves so seriously or when games could make a joke without offending Twitter. Just take a look at the cover of the manual if you want to be offended. Man, I miss manuals!

The dialogue during my Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review was incredibly hilarious. At one of the most important sections for wrapping up the plot, Kyle wishes everyone a “Merry Christmas”, and Aya a “Happy Birthday” before saying he is going to “Find Eternity”. One of the bonus “perks” to beating the game is unlocking new costumes for Aya to wear during her playthrough including some scantily clad ones that are revealing as well as unlocking a new “view” mode.

Memories:
I bought this from an ex-marine who sold me a ton of PSP games from his collection. He told me he played these while in Iraq to pass the time and he gave me a hell of a deal on them. I was so EXCITED to get all of them in my collection. He told me he was selling his PSP collection to get his Thai girlfriend to America and wanted to cover the costs. He seemed like a good guy, but I remember buying this game more than my actual experience with it.

When I did play it, it took me about a week to beat. I remember being shocked at how fun I was having while being equally disgusted at what Parasite Eve had become. I kept thinking, just make this a new IP and it would be a smash hit. Parasite Eve needs no involvement in this. Oh well, it was a good time.

Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday Review Score:

During my Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review on my PSP, I loved the gameplay and combat. The levels were well-paced and kept my interest with near-perfect length. Unfortunately, you can’t stick a legendary IP like Parasite Eve and completely change the gameplay and expect fans of the series to be receptive. It’s like making Final Fantasy a first-person shooter. Fans don’t want that or expect it. Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday never had a chance due to the severe change in the direction of the gameplay compared to the first two titles. The series is now dead, congrats. It’s too bad because this is a fun game, but you can’t put Parasite Eve with it. Make it an entirely new IP, and you’ll have a hit. Instead, we have a dead franchise.

Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday scores a 6 out of 10.

What would you write in your Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday review? What other series completely flamed out that you loved? How do you feel about the direction that Parasite Eve went? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday. I’d love to read them.

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