Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII may well have been a turning point for Square Enix, the moment at which its developers suddenly realized they'd mastered the PSP hardware, and should set about milking their success for all it's worth. It was an impressive piece of work -- not just for its technical prowess, but also for how perfectly it worked as both a portable game and a spin-off of a blockbuster hit. So the fact that Kingdom Hearts' first PSP venture (subtitled "Birth By Sleep") evokes the feel of Crisis Core should be regarded as a very good thing.
Obviously, the two games share a very similar visual style, both being based on the porcelain pretty-boy characters of Square's workhorse designer Tetsuya Nomura. Birth By Sleep is probably the more attractive game, though; the slightly desaturated blue-tinged visuals of Crisis Core feel rather dull next to the vibrant colors of the Disney canon. That's right: While Sleep has nothing to do with series mainstay Sora and his friends (at least not that 1UP has seen), it's still Kingdom Hearts. And that means Disneyana everywhere.