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Birth by Sleep adding new gameplay to Kingdom Hearts universe

Perhaps the biggest surprise of Tokyo Game Show was the debut of three new Kingdom Hearts games from Square Enix. Of the three, the PSP title Birth by Sleep looks to most closely resemble the original PS2 games. In a recent issue of Famitsu, character designer and game director Testuya Nomura explained that although Birth by Sleep will play similarly to the original console games, fans should expect new gameplay in this PSP exclusive prequel.

The game has been in development for a long time, but Re: Chain of Memories took much more time than originally anticipated (this is the PS2 remake of the Game Boy Kingdom Hearts game). However, because the story was completed so long ago, the team has had plenty of time to work on the various scenarios in the game. IGN translates: "The game has three scenarios, each told from the perspective of one of the main characters. Yasue joked with the magazine that players may think the game was made by three different teams, as the play style is different for each character due to their varying personalities and abilities."

The character growth system will apparantly "shock" players and will encourage players to link up with others. However, don't expect multiplayer: that's reserved for the DS 358/2 Days. The game will feature brand new Disney worlds as well, such as Sleeping Beauty's Forest. Finally, although the game has been in development longer than either the DS or Mobile Kingdom Hearts games, it'll most likely be the last one to see release: it seems to be easily the most ambitious of the three new games.

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