Square Enix announced today that the prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, is far enough along in its development cycle to give the game a release window: Summer 2010.
Birth by Sleep is launching exclusively for the PSP, and will allow players to take on any of three protagonists: Terra, Ventus, and Aqua – sounds like each character will have an earth, wind, and water characteristic.
The whole story of Birth by Sleep will not be told unless you play through the game with all three of these protagonists. Additionally, four multiplayer modes will be included – Versus, Arena, Command Board, and Rumble Racing – to extend the experience beyond just one go ‘round.
The following presser gives you more story background as well as the game’s key features.
March 16, 2010 – LOS ANGELES (March 16, 2010) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today that KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep will be released in North America this Summer. Coming exclusively to the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system, the game is a prequel that reveals the untold origins of the popular KINGDOM HEARTS franchise.
KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is the highly anticipated fifth installment in the beloved RPG series that has shipped over 14 million copies worldwide. Enjoy three unique gaming experiences through three main characters – Terra, Ventus and Aqua – in order to uncover the mysteries of the story. With a distinctive battle system and multiplayer mode, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep adds a new depth to the KINGDOM HEARTS franchise.
The game also introduces Disney worlds and characters that have never been seen in previous KINGDOM HEARTS titles, including Sleeping Beauty’s Enchanted Dominion, the Dwarf Woodlands from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Deep Space from Lilo and Stitch. In addition, all-new stages have been added to familiar worlds like Neverland from Peter Pan. Disney lovers will rejoice at seeing their favorite characters appear on the handheld arena.
Long before Sora was chosen by his Keyblade, the worlds’ safety lay in the hands of Keyblade Masters.
Three youths — Terra, Ventus, and Aqua — have been training long and hard under Master Eraqus to prove that they, too, exhibit the Mark of Mastery.
But they will soon find themselves in the middle of a crisis affecting worlds far beyond their own—just as another Keyblade Master, Xehanort, goes mysteriously missing.
Three friends, three destinies. Everything will link back to the beginning.
• An essential piece to the KINGDOM HEARTS series arrives on the PSP system: From world renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura comes the latest installment in the beloved KINGDOM HEARTS series. The vibrant and colorful KINGDOM HEARTS world comes to life through stunning graphics in 16:9 widescreen presentation, made possible by the PSP system hardware.
• Disney worlds and characters new to the KINGDOM HEARTS series: Disney worlds and characters never before seen in KINGDOM HEARTS, such as Enchanted Dominion (Sleeping Beauty) and Castle of Dreams (Cinderella) will make their first appearances in KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep.
• Three distinct gaming experiences through the eyes of three protagonists: Unravel the mystery surrounding the origin of the KINGDOM HEARTS saga through the tales of three unique characters – Terra, Ventus and Aqua. The whole story is revealed only after playing through with all three characters.
• An action-packed combat system with intuitive controls: The familiar action-packed experience that KINGDOM HEARTS fans have come to embrace returns with an enhanced battle system, with all new features such as Command Styles, Command Decks, Shotlocks and Dimension Links. KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is the most advanced KINGDOM HEARTS title to date.
• Four exciting multiplayer modes: Share the excitement and fun with your friends with four brand-new multiplayer modes: Versus, Arena, Command Board and Rumble Racing.
• New game features: The North American release will include a number of new features including Crown Stickers, an extra boss and additional multiplayer options.
KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older). Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings.
The official website can be found at http://na.square-enix.com/khbbs.