Hello Kitty Online
Hello Kitty Online Overview
Hello Kitty Online is one of the few client based MMORPGs specifically designed for a younger audience. The entire game takes place in a mysterious location in the Hello Kitty universe. Fans of the television series should certainly enjoy their experience with Hello Kitty Online, as the game’s world is scattered with familiar characters like Badtz-Maru and Keroppi. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Hello Kitty Online is its emphasis on resource collecting and crafting. Players can progress in the game without ever needing to actually ‘fight’ monsters, instead they can collect and craft items. The level cap in the game is set at 35, but players have eight skills which can all level up on their own as well.
Skills - Planting, Gathering, Woodcutting, Mining, Forging, Carpentry, Cooking, Tailoring
Hello Kitty Online Screenshots
Hello Kitty Online Featured Video
Hello Kitty Online Review
By Erhan Altay
Hello Kitty Online first appeared on the MMORPG radar back in February 2008 when the closed beta was announced. At that time, players had to register on a website called SanrioTown to download the client and login. Fast-forward to November 2009 and Aeria Games is now publishing the North American version of the game. Or at least was. As of June 2010 the game is being published globally on the HelloKittyOnline.com website. As the name suggests, Hello Kitty Online is based on the popular anime franchise aimed at young kids. HKO is uniquely geared towards children, it emphasizes crafting, mini-games, and socializing over traditional combat-oriented gameplay. If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in, read on!
The developers intended HKO to be a social experience outside the game; the original site had some rudimentary blogging and social networking features to facilitate this interaction. In practice, all this system has accomplished is to add another layer of inconvenience. The client size clocks in at 3.4 GB, which is surprising given the 2D graphics. After installation and patching, players are greeted with a disappointing character creation process. The limited appearance options include several hair and face styles, along with gender selection. Some of the face styles look downright ridiculous and the male character models are far too emasculate even for an anime-styled game. Players cannot change their starting clothes but, oddly, can choose their blood type. After completing the character creation process, a short intro cinematic plays that explains the game’s backstory. The voice acted intro movie is well animated and is styled as a nursery rhyme. It explains that you (the player) have entered a dream world where Hello Kitty’s friends have all been put under a deep slumber and she needs your help to rescue them. With this mysterious plot, the game begins.
New players start their adventures in Sanrio Harbor, where several NPCs offer simple quests that serve as the game’s tutorial. Hello Kitty Online has a simple interface with the mouse controlling movement. The left mouse button is used to move and the right one is used to chat with NPCs, attack monsters, gather resources, and generally interact with the environment. Movement is smooth but the speed seems to fluctuate. I found myself moving at a constant rate, then speeding up momentarily before settling back at the default rate. Whether this is part of the game or caused by network latency, I’m not sure. The graphical quality leaves a lot to be desired. The animations are cute and brightly colored, but there are far too few video settings. The only supported resolutions are 800×600 and 1024×768, though players can choose windowed or fullscreen mode. HKO bills itself as a ‘2.5D’ game, but in reality the graphics just look dated. The graphical quality is somewhere in-between Angels Online and Trickster Online, two other brightly colored anime-inspired 2D MMORPGs.
One important distinction that sets HKO apart from most MMORPGs is its emphasis on non-combat related activities. To prove this point, the first few quests in the game involve collecting shamrocks from nearby plants. Plant gathering is one of the eight skills in Hello Kitty and levels up with continued use. When players gather plants or work on any of their other skills, the activity also contributes experience to their overall level which is currently capped at ~35. While it is theoretically possible to achieve the max level without ever fighting, this is hardly advised. Assuming players follow the early quest line, they’ll be battling starfish on the shore within a few minutes. Combat has been made as child friendly as possible, with little in the way of battle animations, and a feature where monsters simply fall asleep when their life is depleted rather than die as in most games. I found combat extremely dull with no sense of involvement. Players simply right-click their target and watch their character and opponent take turns swinging. Oddly, monsters in HKO hit hard, which makes combat much more difficult than most MMORPGs. Players will actually need to stop and rest after fighting a few creatures near their level. Consumables are available from the start and include things like milk and chocolate, but the amount they heal is so low that they’re not worth using for that purpose. The reason for this is because they have another use, as reagents for the cooking skill.
Bake, Make, and Cultivate
Cooking is another important aspect of Hello Kitty Online and some of the first quests deal with this skill. A special production menu is available on the right hand toolbar, which can be brought up either by clicking it or by hitting ‘p.’ In order to produce anything, whether it be by cooking, forging, or carpentry, players must first learn the recipe. Recipes can be purchased from various merchants, as well as acquired as quest rewards or as loot off monsters. By right-clicking on a recipe in their inventory, players will commit it to memory and have it vanish. From that point on, the ingredients required for that product will be listed in the production menu, and if all reagents are present, players will be able to craft the item. Players can either craft items one at a time or click the ‘produce all’ to simply craft as many of that particular item as the number of ingredients permits. Most of the lower tier ingredients are available in the general store but more complicated recipes require food that is grown on player owned farms. All players start the game with a small farm, which can crow crops. Farms are the main source of income in Hello Kitty Online and can be upgraded to accommodate more crops or simply to improve its appearance. Many of the cash shop items in the game are farm related, but free players can still enjoy the feature as well.
A Man’s Castle & Best Friend
Other prominent features in HKO includes player housing, which is tied in with the farming system. Players have a special spot on their farms that can accommodate a house, though a special ‘land certificate’ is required to place one. This item can be purchased from an NPC or received as a quest reward. Once obtained, construction on the house can begin, though it requires plenty of resources gathered from such skills as mining and wood cutting. Houses can be decorated with various wallpapers, furniture, appliances, and floorboards. A simple pet feature is also in place, which allows players to own up to three pets, though only one can be active at any time. All monsters in Hello Kitty Online have a small chance of dropping a pet card when defeated. This isn’t the most compelling pet system, but serves its purpose. Finally, Hello Kitty tries to incorporate simple mini-games similar to those found on sites like Neopets. The first of these player will encounter is surfing game activated by talking to Kappi on the beach in Sanrio Harbor. All the mini games available in the game are also available on the official site where players can compare high-scores and interact using the social networking features discussed earlier.
It’s difficult sharing my experience with Hello Kitty Online since an adult male is obviously not the game’s target audience. But I do know that any child capable of stumbling across HKO and managing to download, install, and register for it on their own is equally capable of playing any free MMORPG they like with or without their parent’s permission. With that said, there are plenty of better games out there for players looking for an engaging MMORPG experience. There are also plenty of great sites that mix social networking with gaming, such as Neopets, OMGPOP, and Club Penguin. As a client-based game that tries to mix these two elements, Hello Kitty Online still has a long way to go to prove itself. After over a year in closed beta and with in open beta testing, the game hasn’t attracted a large audience. There is currently only one live server supporting a single channel. Fans of the popular franchise should definitely check it out while the rest of us watch and wait for signs of improvement.
Final Verdict: Fair
Hello Kitty Online is an easy to learn MMORPG aimed at a young audience. It centers on crafting, resource gathering and socializing rather than traditional combat. Player housing and farming are great features that help the game stand out, but with dated graphics and gameplay, it is difficult to recommend HKO to a general audience.
Hello Kitty Online Videos
Hello Kitty Online Cinematic Trailer
Hello Kitty Online Character Creation
Hello Kitty Online Beginner Video
Hello Kitty Online Gameplay Footage
Hello Kitty Online Gameplay Trailer
Hello Kitty Online System Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 2000
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 3.0 GB
Graphics Card: Any DirectX 8.0c Complaint Graphics Card
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 2000
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.5 Ghz
RAM: 1024 MB
HDD: 3.0 GB
Graphics Card: Any DirectX 8.0c Complaint Graphics Card