User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 140 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 140

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  1. Sep 12, 2010
    Square Enix does a great job with this Kingdom Hearts title. Birth By Sleep has improved its battle system and did a great job to create something new. Soundtrack - - The music is excellent as usual with the talents of Yoko Shimomura reprising her role. Graphics - - For a PSP title you can't really complain about the graphics as it does look great for a portable title. Gameplay - - Gameplay is fun and exciting with probably the best battle scheme in the series, along with a few fun mini-games and multi-player options.
    Story - - An interesting past about characters from before the events of the first game and how it all started makes you want to more about what is happening as you progress (Unless you have read spoilers)

    Overall this game is one of the best PSP titles and one of the more Interesting KH titles.
    If you haven't played the series before this is probably a great start as it is a prequel to the original.
    If you're a Kingdom Hearts fan then you will definitely love this one.
  2. Sep 7, 2010
    Easily the best game in the series - so far.
    The battle system is great, the graphics are fantastic for the PSP, and it rarely has any slowdown.
    If you install data onto a memory card, load times are not a problem.
    This game is just amazing in general.
    If you're looking for something to keep you occupied for a while or are already familiar with the Kingdom Hearts franchise then stop
    reading this and go and buy it.
  3. Mar 1, 2011
    The game offers you three, Identical, scenarios in which you travel to Miniature versions of the previous Kingdom Hearts worlds. These worlds offer neither the amount of Game play nor the awesome Keyblades at the completion of the level. You can burn through a world with 100% completion in less time than the average Gummy ship Mini Game (Which there isn't in this game)

    The Kingdom
    hearts franchise is known for mixing the Magic of Disney with the Solid Game play of Final Fantasy. With the only Final Fantasy cameo coming from a terrible remake of Zach (Crisis Core and 7) its hard to even call this a prequal to the original.

    In short:

    Three Identicle scenarios

    Quick game, 45 hours 100% completion

    Not enough Key Blades

    One Final Fantasy Character

    No Gummy Ship

    No replay Value

    Does Not compare with other Kingdom Hearts
  4. Sep 8, 2010
    Definitely the best game in the entire series, and possibly one of the best ganes for the PSP EVER! The graphics are amazing for a PSP game, and the game has one of the best stories ever told in the entire franchise! Definitely a game you shouldn't pass on.
  5. Sep 9, 2010
    The battle system is completely amazing, best in the series so far.
    This is really the true Kingdom Hearts 3 we've been waiting for. graphics are excellent. very colorful and beautiful
    the story is incredible, if you're a huge kingdom hearts fan like myself then im sure you will cry at certain points just when the story elements come together and all the memories coming back
    4 years of
    wait for this game
    F***kin masterpiece Tetsuya Nomura!
  6. Sep 13, 2010
    Kingdom Hearts BBS is an amazing game, and shows just what a psp is capable of, however, i do not understand how people claim it to be the "best in the series."
    While it has a great storyline, and an amazingly easy to use but fun battle system, the small number of worlds and loss of many of the best KH characters causes BBS falls short of the PS2 Kingdom Hearts installments. A definite
    must have but definitely not the best in the series. Expand
  7. Mar 24, 2012
    Birth By Sleep has a reputation among the fanbase for being the game that "saved the series." While I find the idea that Kingdom Hearts would go away any time soon a bit silly, it is true that by all gameplay standards that Birth By Sleep is the best entry in the series. It addresses a ton of issues with the prior entries in the series and innovates at the same time. Also, it has the most replay value out of any game in the series, and is the first to have multiplayer. If you have a PSP, you should have this game. Expand
  8. Feb 9, 2013
    A worthy game in the series after a the misstep that was 358/2 days. The new characters introduced are all great, with the exception of Terra's wooden voice acting. The story is very cool and is tied around all three characters. The three characters playthroughs all have the meet up at the beginning, middle and end which isn't a problem but each character tackles the levels in the same order which makes the game feel a bit repetitive. The combat is ripped straight from KH 2 which makes it awesome and although the camera isn't the best it's certainly not as bad as KH 1 or 358/2 days. The game also introduces new locations finally but also keeps some of the ones that have been here since the original like the Hercules world which is a little tiring. The plot does further add to the already confusing mess but is definitely still enjoyable. Overall a fantastic Kingdom hearts game and one of my favorite psp games. Expand
  9. Sep 11, 2010
    For a PSP title, this a great effort Square Enix, with a much improved game-play and an awesome soundtrack this game seemed poised as the best game ever for the PSP... wrong, there's a huge flaw. My only problem in this game is that once again the characters lack depth, they have minimal interaction with the world they visit and I feel like the purpose of visiting those Disney world are just tor the sake of fan-service and a hint of nostalgia, I felt bored visiting those world and sometimes tempted to skip those scenes because they're not important at all... thank god for the enchanting soundtrack or I'm pissed to even touched it. There's some minor flaw, like despite the amazing solo action provided there are times where you're given teammates and... they're dumb as **** even worse that Goofy in KH2. Camera angles are still a problem, but the good overshadows most of the flaw. As I mention the this is the best battle system in the series due to the freedom of synthesis commands and slicker graphic, the soundtrack is just a reminder of my fuzzy Disney inner child which is great and mutliplayer is just a stroke of genius. This is a great game, but I wished that they take more consideration to being more hands on with plot and less focus on styling the gameplay. Expand
  10. Dec 3, 2010
    I love all the Kingdom Hearts games, but this game is my personal favorite. Awesome gameplay, engaging plot, and amazing graphics for a PSP game. Can't wait to see what happens next in this beautiful saga!
  11. Feb 10, 2011
    another successful role playing game for the psp. The graphics is just right and so is the gameplay. I played one kingdom hearts game prior to this one. If you never played kingdom hearts before play this one. This is the beginning of everything. In played the one for ds and i have to say this one is much better. One of psp best game. Kingdom hearts birth by sleep has an awesome story. I think this is a must have for your psp console. Expand
  12. Dec 5, 2010
    Load times are pretty bad. Once an area (like in the other KH games) is loaded, the whole thing is available, though. The start menu at any given time takes about three seconds to pop up. It pauses the action, but the actual menu doesn't come up for a while. I say three seconds, and it doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a start menu.... There are two cool options that should be on every game: colour bit-depth, and clock speed. You can change from 16 to 32 bit, and change the clock speed from 222 to 333mhz. The speed change is a little noticeable, and didn't drain the battery power too much. (I'm on my third hour and it's probably around 15%.) So far I can see no difference between the colour modes, but it's a psychological thing as well. You could probably get maybe 4 to 5 hours with the lower speed and colour settings.
    The battle system is awesome. I loved the one from the console games, and it's basically the exact same thing, with some minor changes with abilities and stuff. My only complaint is with magic and that the camera never really zooms out far enough to view a lot of enemies. It's always pretty close. Buttons were used awesomely and very economically. R-shoulder locks on, L-shoulder moves it behind the player, and L with the analogue stick moves it freely. Analogue stick moves, square is block and dodge roll, triangle uses abilities, and X attacks. The direction buttons do stuff like switching abilities and D-link.
    There's no MP. Instead you can select different things like Fire, or Strike Raid, and put them on a 'command deck'. It starts with 3, and grows as you progress up to 8. Then after you use it, there's a recharge time. Magic power is a stat, but there are the Fire, Firaga progressions as well. Triangle uses these abilities. You can also get passive abilities from these by fusing with rare-ish items.
    Remember mixing materia in Final Fantasy, and how some products had bonuses like HP +100% ? It's kind of similar. You can fuse abilities (which are treated as items) with one synthesis item to get things like Blizara with a Air Combo +. Once you max out the level of the ability (Blizara), you can remove it, and still have Air Combo +. Abilities have to be at a certain level to fuse. Personally I like this aspect.
    I don't know if it's borrowed, but even if it wasn't new, I like how it works.
    Sadly, there aren't any forms (or were they called drives?). Yes, they were cheap, but who didn't love floating around Master Form blowing the hell out of everything? There are two similar things, though, both of which aren't as powerful: D-links and Command Styles.
    D-links are formed with other characters. I think they replace summons, except they're more useful. Your command deck is changed with another character's, and you can use their abilities. It also completely heals you for some reason. Kind of cheap, but I'm doing proud mode, so I like it.
    Command Styles are more similar to drives. You can switch them out like abilities. After you button-mash enough enemies, and use a certain combination of attacks (like fire attacks), you automatically change command styles. They do different things; some give you elemental-physical attacks, one lets you fly around the battle.
    There are also two completely irrelevant things that shouldn't have been included at all because they are stupid, but turn out to be kind of fun regardless. One is a board game kind of like Monopoly. It's completely optional, but can give you new abilities and level up other ones. Another is this thing during battle where you press L+R and then target stuff, and then you shoot everything you targeted, or the same enemy multiple times. It charges up, so you can't spam it. The type of attack it is changes, like for command styles. You can buy, fuse, or find them, as with abilities and command style.
    Graphics aren't amazing, but they're all pretty-smooth 3D. Better than mediocre, and there are a lot of models. Cut-scenes look like in-game models, but have character voices. There are a lot of these as well. And just like KH, there are a lot of enemy models. Considering it's all 3D, and there's no slowdown, I was pretty impressed with how many enemies you could fight at the same time. Bosses look pretty cool. Landscapes are a little bare as far as models go (rocks, tables, whatever), but they're still original and colourful. Cut-off for graphics was great. You can see basically the entire area at one time; nothing magically appeared at a certain point. Oh, and each keyblade has its own model. I might have quit playing if it wasn't that way, so I'm glad someone thought to include it.
    Sound is also like KH. It's where the PSP just pwns the DS. Kingdom Hearts didn't have anything like a ground-breaking soundtrack, but anything Final Fantasy related is nice. The story sucks. But what else do you expect? It's fun enough to keep me entertained for at least 100 hours, probably more like 200 at the end.
  13. Dec 7, 2010
    Love this game so much!!!!!!!!!
  14. Dec 29, 2010
    My first three hours with this game were disappointing. The first three worlds were tiny and empty. And the boss battles were with faceless, nameless creations that just popped up. And where beating them felt completely empty emotionally. I was already going through my checklist of everything this title was doing wrong. And then just like that, the worlds got bigger. The level design better. The combat more interesting. And I started fighting villains that were actual characters. Truly, the combat is much better than Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2. The story pulled me in much more. And some of the level design (not all, but enough) was truly standout, with a special mention for the level of verticality - something this series has never really had much of before. On that note, you won't want to miss Pete's secret lair in Disney Town. It's a bit of a puzzle to open it, but once I did, I just marveled at what the PSP was capable of. I wouldn't normally give a game that started off this slow a 10, but really, I have to agree that overall, this is the best Kingdom Hearts I've played. And it's a long game to, easily clocking in at 30 hours for me. And it made me excited to see what they can do with the processing power of the PS3, and the Pixar and, hopefully, Marvel licenses as well. Expand
  15. Feb 11, 2011
    Now I never played any Kingdom Hearts game before, but when I heard this was a prequel, I thought I'd give it a try. And I gotta say, I LOVED IT! Now I regret never playing any of the other games before!
  16. Feb 11, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is definitely the best kh as far as combat gameplay goes,but other than that the whole kh series story blows real bad.The characters are all pretty stupid and the story never really feels like it's going anywhere good,way too much anime/manga gayness makes the game feel meaningless it doesn't feel like FF or Disney.Square needs to go back and find out what people like about each FF the worst thing they did was to go back and change a bunch of characters everyone already liked and put them all in one world where all these cool epic stories never happened.It would have been totally awesome to go to each FF world and have the kh characters involved in the story changing certain events.The combat feels much more fluid and like it finally matters which buttons you push like an action/RPG/fighting game but for a game like this I was expecting huge open worlds with alot of hidden stuff.Disney should get some of the writers from pixar or even warner bros not the characters just the writers they could help make the game alot more memorable.I still don't know why the nightmare before christmas is even in this game at all the movie is way lame and misleadingly dark I like pirates of the carribean way more as long as they don't let it get out of hand characters like mickey mouse seem bent around the story their entire purpose is to come in every once in awhile and explain a story that doesn't make any friggin sense because of it's anime **** which try and force you to care about and believe stuff they made up rather than just have a basic story that you can pay attention to.Read some charles dickens,H.G.Wells,J.D.Salinger books and look into some Ghandi for christ's sake.FF 7 was way more realistic being set in a 1984-style world mired in despotism.It never feels like the enemies/bosses are trying to wipe me out.The reaction commands should be plentiful and frantic and you should have to reduce a boss's HP to zero before you can use a reaction command and kill it.I actually wouldn't mind if they went back and changed entire things about the story.So that's it fix the story mix the command deck and recoded's sphere matrix leveling up system and with some control tweaks kh3 might be a pretty great game. Expand
  17. Feb 12, 2011
    Very good game! Answered many questions, and has me pumped for the next chapter in the series, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance.
  18. Apr 9, 2011
    Anyone who says this game is just some Kingdom Hearts spinoff is so wrong! This game is probably the most important of the Kingdom Hearts games, as it ties the whole saga, and gives us a hint of what Sora needs to do in the future!
  19. dz9
    Jul 23, 2011
    The Good: The game has improved its gameplay, has great graphics for a psp game, decent enough voice acting, and a passable story. The bad: The only bad thing I would be able to think of is the fact that the board game side quest is awful. No one really truly enjoyed the gummy ship sequences---they're gone...GOOD BYE!! However, the gummy ship sequences were good enough to endure, and the game never punished you for not going out of your way to complete them 100%. However, on "Birth by Sleep," The board game side quests are WORSE than the gummy ship but it would still be passable enough if the game never really forced you to play it. However, most of the important items in the game are only obtainable through this horrid side quests. You still don't have to truly play it, but if you're a gamer who must obtain everything in the game to get 100% completion, this will be more than an annoyance for you. The story, however not as compelling as the main series, it is still interesting enough to keep you playing. The game does its job in giving fans their fix of KH, while hyping everyone up for KH3... This game is a definite recommendation for RPG fans and KH fans that have a PSP.. Expand
  20. Oct 23, 2011
    KH:BBS is a great game. The combat in the game is great and for the PSP, the graphics are really good. The loading screens are a bit long (especially when you haven't installed some of the game data to the PSP), but I didn't mind at all. The story was a bit lost on me with all of the hearts stuff and all of the "I'll do this for my friends" talk, but overall with the great combat, fun mini games and able to play 3 different characters and 3 different story lines, I had a lot of fun. Collapse
  21. Nov 18, 2011
    Squareenix creates another instant classic with Kingdom hearts Birth By Sleep. Fans will now know more of the origin of the series' storyline in this game. The game features 3 playable characters any of which storyline can be played at any time. In the end it leads to one ultimate storyline and conclusion. Players will be sent through different worlds far different from any Kingdom Hearts game, the storyline is a bit more darker, along with that, many fans who like Star Wars might love this game as the storyline has the same direction. Considering the fact its a prequel, one can say this game is the best game to start the series with, but it doesnt matter as it answers questions for those who played the previous games and creates questions which will be answered if they play the sequels. Regardless, possibly the best game in the series to be released since Kingdom Hearts 2. Expand
  22. Nov 18, 2011
    This game is pronominal. it brings gamers the answers and more of an understanding of the kingdom hearts story things missed in games before it was cleared up and it came together perfectly with perfect explanations.
    I personally enjoyed the attacks and being able to fuse them together to create an even stronger attack
    This game is amazing and I can't wait for the next one.
  23. Sep 20, 2012
    This game is amazing. I personally love kingdom hearts,even the **** ones like re:coded,yea i actually enjoyed that game. In this game you play as three characters Ventus,Terra,and Aqua. Three kids who long to be keyblade masters. You could compare these characters to Sora,Riku,and Kairi but the truth is they have absoulutley nothing in common. I go to say that ventus has more simmilarities to Roxas because of how much they look alike. In this game you choose whose eyes you want to see the through,and to actually beat the game u have to do all three,which isnt a problem because each story line is different its like your playing three different kingdom hearts titles in one. I played as Ventus first because he looks more like a roxas or sora. The combat is a bit different now you can equip what magic you want to use and do it in real time. If you pull off enough one of one kind of spell you go into this sort of command style like if you cast a few fire spells you'll go into fire storm which lets you pull off a sweet ass finisher. Over all this game is very good with tons to do and hours upon hours of fun. Buy it Expand
  24. Jun 18, 2012
    Though playing as all 3 characters is basically just playing through the same game 3 times, its fun. The characters themselves are each unique and fun to play as. However, I felt that Aqua was a challenge to play as due to her constant magic use. The story is good and the game looks great. The multiplayer additions seem pretty good except for the Kart racing game. Still, Birth by Sleep is one of the best PSP games. Expand
  25. Oct 28, 2012
    "Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep" is a very fun and interesting game. The only problem is the levels get harder and harder. But other than that I just love Kingdom Hearts! :D
  26. Feb 2, 2013
    Really awesome graphics, twisted plot (but we're used to that) and soundtrack. Being a psp title, it's the installment that resembles the most the first two games in terms of gameplay, and that is a good thing. Great choice of attacks and abilities and the opportunity to play 3 different characters and 3 different stories. I particularly hate the rumble racing minigame, but that's just me.
  27. Feb 15, 2012
    This game is good the storyline is great but not as good as kingdom hearts 2. The battle system is not even close to as good as the one in kingdom hearts 2 although its the most diverse battle system, its poorly executed. and the game storyline while fun you dont really feel like going through the game more then once unless you are a super hardcore fan
  28. Jul 31, 2012
    The best game in the series - so far. The battle system, graphics, music, voiceacting and story are great. Also one of the PSP games out there. Amazing title that every KH fan must play.
  29. Aug 30, 2013
    Still, the best Kingdom Hearts handheld game to date. While it can be tedious to play through three different stories, it remains the ideal Kingdom Hearts game on the go. The gameplay is solid, and the story adds a very compelling back story to the franchise.
  30. Nov 3, 2014
    Three different characters, one destiny. This prequel has stunning graphics, long story, wonderful gameplay and memorable cast of characters. Inside a handheld that's pretty amazing.

    45+ hours, optional superbosses, lots and lots of skills and techniques to collect that will make you come back for more (they're also fast and colorful), mini games, and many more.
  31. Oct 23, 2011
    KH:BBS is a great game. The combat in the game is great and for the PSP, the graphics are really good. The loading screens are a bit long (especially when you haven't installed some of the game data to the PSP), but I didn't mind at all. The story was a bit lost on me with all of the hearts stuff and all of the "I'll do this for my friends" talk, but overall with the great combat, fun mini games and able to play 3 different characters and 3 different story lines, I had a lot of fun. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Jan 13, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep isn't just a spin-off; it's an evolution of the series that makes helpful tweaks to combat and introduces interesting new worlds.
  2. Jan 13, 2011
    "Quotation Forthcoming"
  3. Jan 13, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a fun game that was almost brought down by questionable control issues and a repetitive story. If players can get past a few minor problems, they'll discover that this prequel offers a surprising amount of great content, beautiful graphics and even some fun multiplayer modes!