It will be no news to anyone who follows me on Twitter that I’ve rapidly become a big fan of the Kingdom Hearts games since first starting the series last May. Enough so that I’ve been playing through all of them in readiness for the now imminent launch of Kingdom Hearts 3.
For me, that’s even meant opting to play the games that are included in the 1.5, 2.5 and 2.8 collections as cinematic films. So, in that vein, I thought I would opt to play Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross] on iOS, rather than just watching Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover (which is part of the 2.8 HD Final Chapter Prologue collection). If I’m honest, I wish I hadn’t.
I enjoy the occasional mobile game. But I completely understand why they get a bad rap. Far too many of them lack compelling gameplay. And unfortunately Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross] fell firmly into this category for me.
The gameplay mostly consists of tapping and swiping. You work your way through levels, mindlessly taking out enemies. And every few levels there will be a cut scene, that may be used to advance the story, but is almost certainly entirely pointless.
Underpinning it all is a system of medals, that felt way too complicated. I spent a lot of time on Google trying to work out exactly how to upgrade medals beyond a certain point to make them more powerful, but just gave up. The fact that I could ‘borrow’ a medal from a friend in my party meant that I could just keep borrowing one ridiculous over powered medal (in comparison to mine) and use that to get through every level.
That inevitably removed the challenge for me, and just made things even duller, to the extent that the game felt like a chore that I had to finish for completions sake rather than one I derived any real enjoyment from. Ultimately, given that the relevant bits of the story/lore can be distilled down into a one hour movie in Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, I think it’s probably just worth giving the game a skip and watching that instead.