So it would seem that The 3rd Birthday finds itself in a bit of an identity crisis, struggling to appeal to the old fans from a franchise that hasn't been touched in well over 10 years, but still inviting enough to new players on a new platform. The end result is a breathtakingly gorgeous handheld experience that has a chance to shine on its own in a barren drought of PSP releases. The 3rd Birthday, without a doubt, looks incredible. Production standards are always set high when Square-Enix is involved and this long gestating experiment definitely has the visual chops to compete with the very best the handheld has to offer. It was a pleasant treat for my weary eyes to see giant, gnarly monsters tear through bumping nightclubs while main character, Aya Brea, flees in the recreated streets of Manhattan. The flash of explosions and slick Menu interface is definitely a clean look for The 3rd Birthday and it goes a long way in making the portable story feel like a grown-up console release.
The voice acting is solid. Aya and company seem to have a decent hold of the situation and convey the proper drama accordingly, but the dialogue and writing can get a bit hairy in spots. Given that the subject matter is about genetic mutations and DNA splicing, it can all get a little heady, and frankly, makes the story hard to follow. If you are able to follow the body-jumping genetic horror story, you are in for a good ride.