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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
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.
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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.
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.
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).
The gameplay style is familiar to those who got through
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
(And then, later, the remake 'RE: Chain of
'. 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)
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
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.
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?
If you'd like to check out the site for Kingdom Hearts X for
yourself, here's a link.
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