At E3 2015, Square Enix announced that the mobile Kingdom Hearts game, Unchained χ, would be released in English. After that, no one heard much of anything about it, until earlier this week, when they announced it for April 7.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ (often written as Unchained X) is now available in North America for iOS and Android devices. However, it is not a spin-off, but another piece of the story. It will eventually tie in with the upcoming 2.8 HD collection, which will release later this year.
Unchained χ is a prequel set before the Keyblade War. You play a customizable protagonist and join one of five factions, known as unions, to gather shards of Light called Lux. Although the story unfolds slowly, since it has the format of an online mobile game, the Japanese release gradually progressed through new worlds and plot events.
While there was initially some confusion when Kingdom Hearts 2.8 was announced, the Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover cinematics are not the story of Unchained χ told in cutscene form. Rather, the two tell different sides of the same events. While Unchained χ is told from the perspective of a Keyblade wielder, Back Cover shows the perspective of their leaders, the Foretellers. The Foretellers are still somewhat mysterious.
Although Unchained χ must be played online, it isn’t quite a multiplayer game. There is some social interaction, such as parties and raid bosses, but multiplayer isn’t the game’s core focus. It also has microtransactions, but they are not intrusive and not necessary to enjoy the game.
Its combat system has some similarities to Chain of Memories, although Unchained χ is turn-based. Nomura has also compared it to The World Ends With You, saying that “if you’ve ever played The World Ends With You, you can expect a similar kind of enjoyment there as well.” Again, however, it is a turn-based combat system rather than action.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ is an unusual addition to the Kingdom Hearts series, but is a welcome one for fans who want to understand the full lore. Will you be playing it? Let us know your thoughts and impressions of Unchained χ in the comments.
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