Kingdom Hearts is one of the hardest series to follow. The story has spanned over numerous games with side games being integral to a full understanding of the story, and to be honest I do not have that full understanding. Despite this I have always enjoyed the games for what they present to me, silly fun action JRPGs with Disney and Square characters.
So with the idea of a rhythm game that acts as a highlight of the series, I was so down for Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory.
First up, if you are hoping to get your head around the Kingdom Hearts story through this game, it unfortunately doesn’t do this. I was hoping it would act as a great synopsis of the series but instead it winds up being more of a celebration of the series showing highlights. For better and worse it does a good job of this.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a rhythm game with a twist. As you play through a song your team of three runs along a road in three lanes. Instead of a classic game where you press the corresponding button as it appears on the ground, you instead use the buttons to attack enemies that pop up.
So for the most part the gameplay is the same as most rhythm games, but the presentation makes it feel new, for the first hour at least. The problem is with the exception of variety like jumping, flying and a few different attacks. It doesn’t take long before it begins to feel like a generic rhythm game resulting in repetitiveness.
The one hook that kept me playing is the excellent music. From Kingdom Hearts tracks to classic Disney jams like ‘Let It Go’ and ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’, it has a long and excellent soundtrack, so the game is certainly a fun blast through those songs. In some ways the repetitive gameplay helps you enjoy the music, in others it gets tedious in too long a session.
In some ways Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory was what I wanted from the game, in others not so much. If you play the game for too long then it will get boring even if the music isn’t. It is definitely best in short bursts, but I wish the whole tracklist was unlocked from the start in an Arcade mode so I could dive in and enjoy my jams without chipping away in too long of a session.
Still if you are a long time Kingdom Hearts fan then it’s a fun walk through memory lane, if you aren’t I wouldn’t start with this one.
Released: November 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Bandai Namco