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The 3rd Birthday Staff Interviewed

Director Hajime Tabata and art director Isamu Kamikokuryou talk up PSP's Parasite Eve not-sequel.

The 3rd Birthday main character Aya Brea. See Famitsu.com for more images.

We've been waiting almost two years for official gameplay footage of The 3rd Birthday. That footage arrived today during Sony's E3 press conference.

But Square Enix went beyond just a trailer. It also opened up the game's development staff to interviews. Here's a bit of what director Hajime Tabata and art director Isamu Kamikokuryou had to say about the game when quizzed by Famitsu.com.

The interview started with the basics. The site asked Tabata if The 3rd Birthday is a sequel in the Parasite Eve series. Tabata's answer may be surprising. "It carries over some elements from the Parasite Eve and Parasite Eve 2 game settings, but it's not a sequel. We'd like you to think of it as a new title that features Aya Brea."

Tabata made note of some similarities to past Parasite Eve titles, though. Asked to describe the game content of The 3rd Birthday, he said "Parasite Eve is a game where you use guns, so this is game where you also use guns, and at the same time you can enjoy true action. It's not the type of shooting where you aim a targeting reticule at the enemy, but lock-on action where you lock on to the enemy with a lock-on button."

Action is a major element of the game, explained Tabata. This lead him to a discussion of the game's new "Overdive" system, which he said is intertwined throughout the entirety of game.

As detailed by Tabata, Overdive is an ability that lets you take over the consciousness of others. Using the skill, you can freely control other people. The basics of The 3rd Birthday's gameplay has you change your currently controlled character in realtime, intermixed with your combat actions.

Kamikokuryou fielded some questions about the game's world view and visual elements. The game is set in New York and has such visual elements as "expression of destruction" and "fantasy elements." Visually, one effect the art staff is using is increased contrast.

"We're aiming for the highest level of PSP graphics," he said.

Regarding Aya Brea, Famitsu noted that the character has a sexy image going all the way back to Parasite Eve, which showed her in a shower scene. The staff is paying a lot of attention to the character's sexy image, said Kamikokuryou. They hope to better convey her reality and charm thanks to the more advanced technology they have at their disposal.

Tabata had some bad news here, though: "At present, there's no shower scene in the scenario." Famitsu did plead with them to consider adding one.

The 3rd Birthday may be a portable game, but it looks like we can expect a console class experience from it. "We're not really keeping in mind that it's for the PSP," said Tabata. "The game setting is at the level where it could be played on a console. It's the feeling of we've somehow managed to fit that onto PSP."

Kamikokuryou noted that Final Fantasy XIII staff members became core members of The 3rd Birthday's development staff once the RPG's development ended. "The creation of resources is PS3 class," he said. "On this point, we feel we may be able to offer something that crosses a barrier."

Closing off, Tabata said, "We're making a game that won't be defeated by foreign games. Please be on the lookout for it." Kamikokuryou said, "We're putting our full efforts in the graphics as well. We're confident it's a game that will pierce your heart, so please look forward to it."

In case you missed it, here's The 3rd Birthday's E3 trailer:

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