Saturday, May 7, 2016

Video Game Review: Kingdom hearts unchained X: war never changes.

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 Before I say anything else, know this, I do not like micro transactions. When it's for games that cost nothing like this one they're fine because it's supporting a good product that you play for nothing. They piss me off however when the micro transactions are the only way to progress in the game or when they're put in games that already has a selling price. The worst offenders being the Assassins Creed games, Destiny, Dead Space 3 and any other game I forgot to mention that has them. Now I could go into more detail but I'll instead point you in the direction of the voice of reason in a house of maniacs so he can tell you all exactly why micro transactions in $60 games is horrible and why nobody should support those practices. Also #FucKonami

 Back on track to positivity while yes unchained X does have micro transactions it already has a decent way for those who have more patience and self-control to enjoy ourselves without having to shell out $60 for Monopoly money. First and foremost as a Kingdom Hearts fan I am well aware that the lore of this game and continuity of the series is almost as confusing as Bioshock infinite and the Zelda timeline but it is still far less convoluted and terrifying then making sense of the Tommy Westphall universe. But fear not this game has nothing to do with the current story of Sora, Riku, Kairi and everything else, this is in fact a prequel taking place before the war of light that separated the KH world into what it is, this is the story told by Kairi's grandmother when she was a kid, so continuity is not a problem here.

 You play as an original character of your creation who has awoken as a Keyblade wielder and is taken to a world called Daybreak Town where you train as a Keyblade wielder under one of five guilds called unions, which are mostly just for aesthetics. 
There's the Bear union Ursas, the Fox union Vulpeus, the Unicorn union Unicornis, the Leopard union Leopardos, and last is the Snake union (my Union BTW) Anguis. 

 Each Union is trying to gather Lux, crystallized fragments of light to keep them safe from the forces of darkness and to that end players travel to different worlds and slay Heartless to collect Lux and preserve the worlds. Now those who are more familiar with the lore will ask. "Why are we going to these worlds and seeing King Mickey, Donald, Goofy and all the other characters if they aren't supposed to exist yet?" A legitimate question which isn't answered at this time. I do know the answer however, remember during the events of Coded when Maleficent mentioned a book of prophecies? 

 The theory is that the five Union heads are using the worlds depicted in the book to generate Heartless and thus Lux for their members to collect. Players can also use the power of the book to enhance their Keyblades with medals of characters that grant special attacks. Speaking of medals they're upgradeable and are split into three groups, power, speed and technique. The medal groups form a Rock Paper Scissors dynamic with certain Heartless being grouped into these groups and can take more damage from one group and take less damage from the group they're strong against.
As clearly demonstrated in this picture.
 As you progress through the missions and complete the optional objectives you'll receive tokens that you can use to purchase upgrades such as more ap, hp and cost capacity for your Keyblades and also more customization options for your character. But here's a free tip. Unless you really want the item or if the items are blocking stat boosts don't bother getting them, they'll only waste metals and chances to get stronger, and in later missions where the Heartless get stronger you're going to need every advantage you can get, trust me on this.

 Speaking of advantages you can purchase new metals from the in game store, but not with Munny no no no no. That's for fusing metals which I'll get to later. You use Jewels to purchase metals, you can get Jewels from one of three ways, one earning them from completing certian quests (which only give the jewels once so no farming.) Logging in every day to get a cumulative bonus, or purchase them with real world cash. Now to be fair you do earn new combat metals as you progress and the ones you get can carry you through the game as long as you upgrade so Jewels are not an issue unless you have no self control and want that super cool Cloud or Auron metal.

 Since the game launched in April it has been updating with events, coliseum ranking tournaments and new story missions about a month or so. But as of now they've announced that story missions will be released more frequently. Now on to upgrading your metals, you can upgrade them by fusing with other metals to increase their exp. Once they're at their maximum you can upgrade them to their next tier by fusing them with certain metals, Cheshire Cat to upgrade from level 1, Merlin to upgrade from level 2, The Fairy Godmother for level 3, Yen Sid and one of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty (depending on their color of course) to upgrade from level 4 and last Sorcerer Mickey and the level 5 equivalent fairy to get to the highest tier metal level 6. Level 6 may be the highest grade of Metal but they are the highest costing metal to hold in your Keyblade, you can lower their cost by fusing them with Sid Metals but those are hard to come by so level 6 might not be as good as it sounds. Especially since you can augment your metals with Chip and Dale metals increasing the metals attack and defense respectively. But nonetheless each fusion requires Munny and more to fuse depending on how high the level your metal is so save and be careful.

 Another trick to learn is metal upgrades, once your metals reach level 3 you'll notice a new section on your metal counter. By fusing metals of the same level and character you can increase the special  damage percentage of your metal. It starts at one counter for level 3 metals and increase as the metal ranks up reaching a total of 5 when it reaches level 6. However you can only unlock this skill when you beat level 200 so just keep that tidbit in mind when saving up metals.

 So my thoughts so far on Unchained X. It's an enjoyable little time waster. So far its importance to the mythos is negligible as Square Enix is just going to pack all the important cut scenes in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 so you really don't even need to play this game. But hey it's free, fun and you don't even really need to put down a whole lot of cash to get ahead. Just a little bit of patience and diligence and you should be good to go. So hey if you have some free time on the bus this is a good way to kill some time.

Kingdom Hearts is owned by Square Enix, Disney Interactive Studios, Tetsuya Nomura, and Shinji Hashimoto.