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The Kingdom Hearts franchise enters the world of MMORPGS with Kingdom Hearts X (Chi)

The Kingdom Hearts franchise enters the world of MMORPGS with Kingdom Hearts X (Chi)

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Massively multiplayer online role playing games are an asset often left untouched by video game companies. Think World of Warcraft or Disney's old try at it with VMK (Virtual Magic Kingdom). Often, it's just too much effort to tackle. You have to build worlds that keep players exploring, make interesting combat that hooks the player in, and -- of course -- find a way to turn a profit.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

So when I saw that Kingdom Hearts was going the MMORPG route, I have to admit that I was pretty surprised. Kingdom Hearts is a really focused, character-driven story. You play the Keyblade wielder. It 's you who's the big, special, 'Look at this guy, ain't he great?' main character. It seemed awkward and somewhat stilted to try & cram this story into an online game.

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

I was, at least, partially wrong.

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

Kingdom Hearts X (pronounced Kingdom Hearts Chi) It's a long story, but basically in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep there was a revelation that the Keyblade (i.e., he titular weapon from the series) stemmed from a weapon named the Chi-blade. If you want to picture it, imagine two Keyblades awkwardly hot-glued together. And then imagine the Final Fantasy-esque characters holding this giant, clumsy thing, as they discuss very important plot matters.

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

This game takes place during the Keyblade Wars, another callback to Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep . (Turns out literally anyone could get a keyblade back in the day. There's this enormous 'Keyblade Graveyard' with literally thousands of them that shows up in the main Kingdom Hearts games). From what I can understand, your character joins factions within the war, and based on who they choose, has different mentors, and is grouped with other players for raids (i.e., Giant Boss fights that require multiple players, if not an army of players, to defeat said boss).

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

The gameplay style is familiar to those who got through Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (And then, later, the remake 'RE: Chain of Memories '. The Kingdom Hearts series is notorious for redos and remakes. Not that the original games aren't good enough. But -- rather -- to squeeze in extra content that couldn't make it. It's actually pretty cool. Speaking of, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix is in the works, set to be released this year) card-based combat.

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

Personally, I don't love the card-based combat in any Kingdom Hearts game, but this looks... Well, not intriguing.But it's different? Basically, instead of being built off a traditional deck system, you're given cards based on characters (Example: King Mickey) and you level up these cards by sacrificing other cards to these cards  (So offer up a Goofy, Daisy, and Donald, and you can then make all tremble before the might of you King Mickey card).  You can also pay micro-transactions to get rarer cards.

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

In the world of the game, you use a storybook to travel between 'worlds'- Such as Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, or Aladdin. You get rewards for progressing through the story, and fighting off Heartless and helping characters. So, typical for a Kingdom Hearts game, there's some new, adorable Heartless in the mix. Such as a living gem bag in the Snow White world that throws its gems at you.

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

All in all, Kingdom Hearts X looks interesting. There was an open beta for a while. But as of July 18th of last year, this game's at full launch. The controls seem a little wonky from what videos I've seen (EX: Having to click something five times for your character to be able to properly examine it, in a click-based control scheme) but given that video was pretty old, who knows how this has changed?

Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

If you'd like to check out the site for Kingdom Hearts X for yourself, here's a link.

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