Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is the eighth installment in the long running Kingdom Hearts series and chronologically the first game in the story. Set 100 years before the events of the first Kingdom Hearts, Unchained X tells the story of the Foretellers and events leading up to the Keyblade War. The game is intended to fill in most of the background events to the overarching series story that is set to conclude in Kingdom Hearts III.
Kingdom Hearts X (chi) was previously released for Web Browser exclusive to Japan, Unchained X is the international remake of the game for mobile devices. The two games play a bit different but have the same story, so don’t worry if you haven’t played the original X (chi).
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is a gorgeous looking game with amazing art and certainly in the upper echelon of free to play games on mobile. The game is composed by series Composer Yoko Shimomura and the overall sound design being pretty impressive to say the least. The game oozes quality and feels like a typical Kingdom Hearts game.
The game is turn based unlike the action RPG mainline games, don’t worry though as the battle system works brilliantly on mobile. A bit basic at first, the battle system will require a lot of thinking and strategy later on. As the battle starts players have the choice between three types of attacks; a tap attack which strongly attacks a single target, a swipe attack that weakly attacks all enemies and finally a Medal Special Attack used by dragging the Medal from the bottom left corner. Attacking by using the swipe and tap attacks fill your Special Meter which is used by the much stronger Medal Attacks. These attacks can deal massive amounts of damage, heal you or increase your damage multipliers depending on the ability of the Medal used.
In Unchained X players will be using Medals to fight the heartless. Each medal has its own abilities and stats and are based on well known Kingdom Hearts and Disney characters. The medals are divided into three categories; Power, Speed and Magic.
Enemies each have their own type requiring players to use different types of medals to deal the most damage. In Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Power beats Speed, Speed beats Magic and Magic beats Power. The system works similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors are is simple to understand. Medals increase in stats by levelling them up using other medals. Medals can also be granted abilities like Poison and Sleep or Attack multipliers.
Players put the aforementioned medals on Keyblades, a handful of which are available in the game. Each Keyblade has different multipliers and favours different playstyles so players will have to use different Keyblades depending on the type of mission. For example the first Keyblade you get, Starlight, has slots for all three Medal types are won’t be that effective if you use it on a stage that has only one type of enemy.
Each mission will usually have four or five enemies which won’t take you more than a few seconds to clear. In the missions you’ll also find materials to upgrade your Keyblade and other Medals.
The game’s events are told over story missions which are added every week or so. Players can also challenge events and even participate in Coliseum matches.
Playing missions require AP or Action Points, these increase with each level or though the Avatar Board system. Without AP players are unable to start missions and will have to wait until their AP recovers which can take a while depending on the amount of AP you’re trying to recover. The Avatar Board uses Avatar Points gained by leveling up and clearing objectives in missions to increase stats like AP and HP and unlock wearables to use on your character. The Avatar Board works similar to Final Fantasy X’s sphere grid which allowed your character progress in the way you want.
Story wise the game can be a little slow to get going. The initial missions are mostly filler but the real story gets started after Mission 200. I’ve played through the web browser game which is far ahead in the story and can say that the story gets really good, so you definitely will want to keep coming back each week for new missions. The game’s story is structured in a way that new fans will have no trouble understanding what is going on, something that hardcore fans may be frustrated by, but trust me I can’t stress enough how important the story is to the overall scenario.
In the current state of the game players can easily enjoy the game without spending a cent. However the game can be grinded much more effectively and rarer medals can be gotten much easily if you decide to spend money. Luckily for F2P players Jewels, the currency to buy Medal Packs and other bonuses like inventory increasers, are very expensive so the disparity isn’t that huge. Jewels can be gained by playing missions too but they’re very slow to come around.
Community wise I was really impressed with the game. After clearing the prologue missions players can join a Clan. Members of the same Clan can share their best Medals with others during missions and battle Raid Bosses. There’s also a messaging system to discuss all things Kingdom Hearts with your fellow Clan members.
Overall I really enjoy playing Kingdom Hearts Unchained X and still play it daily. The game is a must play for fans and definitely worth a try for casual players as well.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained was published and developed by Square Enix with help from Success Corporation. The game is available on iOS and Android devices. This review covers the iOS version played on an iPad Air 2.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Review (iOS)
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is an additive Free to Play RPG that offers unlimited replay-ability and daily missions that will be keep you coming back for more every single day.