I love Hello Kitty and all her friends over at Sanrio. So, what better way to live out my dream of a world filled with fluffy clouds and super-deformed animals than becoming a resident of Hello Kitty Online. This new MMO allows players to interact with their favorite Sanrio characters while completing quests, honing trade skills, collecting a variety of costumes, and falling in love with the ever addicting flash minigames.
The big question: Why does the happy world of Sanrioland need adventurers? It turns out that Kitty is missing and all of her friends have been forced into a deep sleep. Players are summoned to the land in order to find keys to wake up Kitty’s friends. The opening sequence features storybook illustrations and a cute rhyme reminiscent of “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house/ Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” After the opening, players find themselves listening to the soothing cadences of a very male voice as he explains what to do with your interface.
“This is a chatbox,” he says. “You can choose different channels for map, trade, and even send IMs.”
“Really?” I say. “I never would have guessed.”
The initial character customization screen was lackluster at best. Players are able to choose from a handful of hairstyles, skin colors, and eyes. I logged in to find that just about every player looked just like me. It was a bit like that scene in The Matrix Reloaded where Neo kicks the shit out of millions of Agent Smiths. According to the website, players are able to complete many different quests and visit shopping malls in order to further customize their avatars’ appearances. I only got as far as exchanging my skimpy white undershirt and shorts for a set of the same outfit in green and a pair of funky sunglasses.
Overall, the game comes across as a combination of Webkinz, GaiaOnline, and various stylus controlled DS games. Quests, at least at the beginning stages of the game, are painfully repetitive. Malvina, once bloodthirsty World of Warcraft rogue, was reduced to point at various resources to gather them for quest givers. That isn’t to say the game is completely without its share of fighting. Players use unconventional weapons–in my case, a wand– to bludgeon adorable, starry-eyed monsters into a state of dizziness. Did I go after the same helpless starfish a dozen times until he gave me the slime I needed? Maybe. Unfortunately, abusing these super cute monsters does not give any sort of experience.
What does it come down to? Well, if you like to kill things Hello Kitty Online is not that game. On the other hand, HKO is perfect if you are looking for a free to play game that allows you to build houses, hone skills like cooking and farming, and collect costumes. I have yet to uninstall the game, so that must say something about it.
So, if you have an hour or two to spend some leisurely time playing games get off Facebook and send me a message. =^-^=
Warning: Playing this game causes insatiable urges to head to the local Sanrio store and drop loads of money of various articles of Sanrio loot.