Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is the latest entry in the long-running Disney and Square Enix crossover that discards the fast-paced action RPG mechanics the series is known for in favour of a new rhythm-based game style.
Longtime fans of the recent games will definitely feel attached to the excellent soundtrack supplied by composer Yoko Shimamura, as well as the many theme songs written and sung by Japanese pop-star, Utada Hikaru.
Besides the addition of iconic tracks from Disney movies and the Final Fantasy series, music has always played a huge part of Kingdom Hearts.
Simple and Clean
The game basically has you exploring key moments in previous Kingdom Hearts games, with each level being based on a song. The demo includes ‘Hand in Hand’ and ‘Welcome to Wonderland’ from the first Kingdom Hearts, ‘Sinister Shadows’ from Kingdom Hearts II, the ‘Rustling Forest’ from Birth By Sleep, ‘All for One’ from Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage.
Each song features the corresponding stage assets from the original games, as well as the relevant enemy types for Sora, Donald, and Goofy to face off against. The trio will auto-run across the stage, with players having to press buttons in time with the music to defeat incoming enemies and get a high score.
One thing Square Enix implemented that definitely helps out with the accessibility of Melody of Memory is the styles of play in the game, which change the difficulty slightly. Basic style requires you to use a number of different buttons to hit in time with the music. One Button style, as the name suggests, allows you to use one button at a time and is perfect for rhythm game beginners.
Performer mode is definitely for veteran rhythm gamers and those who love the challenge that the usual Proud Mode in various Kingdom Hearts games offer. This has you performing way more extra commands and moves. There’s also a co-op mode, which is definitely the best way to play the game, especially with a partner who loves Kingdom Hearts as well.
Don’t Think Twice
Melody of Memory definitely has a niche market and is not for everyone. On one hand, it celebrates the music of Kingdom Hearts in the best way possible while still keeping some of the series’ hack-and-slash roots. On the other hand, it is another Kingdom Hearts game that reuses assets from previous games, only to push the narrative a little further hopefully.
Either way, the gameplay is pretty fun, especially in co-op mode. This demo will definitely tip you over if you’re on the fence, so try it out if you’re really curious. Square Enix posted a fun challenge for those who enjoyed the demo right here. Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory releases on November 13 for Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.