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TGS07: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep impressions

Remember this? This is the original Birth by Sleep trailer that was hidden at the end of the Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix. But this is not Kingdom Hearts III for PS3. No, it's not what you were expecting at all.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, revealed at Tokyo Game Show today, is a brand new PSP game that expands the story of the franchise not by looking forward, but by looking back. This prequel stars a character that strongly resembles (but is not) Zack from Final Fantasy VII (and most recently, Crisis Core). In addition, we see a character that appears to be a clone of Roxas -- but that's impossible, considering the massive time difference between Birth by Sleep and the original console games. Certainly, there's a lot of mysteries surrounding this upcoming title.

As this preview video shows, the game features a much darker and sinister feel than the console predecessors. The character designs feature a rougher look, especially the main villains, featured above. The new hero, being of a much older age than the previous heroes, also adds a much more mature feel to the overall presentation. The new keyblade also feels much more menacing, being able to shoot projectiles rather quickly. From the little we got to see at Tokyo Game Show, it seems as though the gameplay of Birth by Sleep will most closely follow the PS2 originals of the new Kingdom Hearts games announced today.

This is easily the most technologically impressive Kingdom Hearts game announced today, and although it's not a next-gen sequel, this PSP iteration looks to satiate the needs of the Kingdom Hearts gamers everywhere.

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