Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory: demo impressions of rhythm game lovers – Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory

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the Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory The playable demo is now available to play worldwide!

Released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on November 11 in Japan and November 13 in the world, Mum (as fans affectionately call it) is the very first rhythmic action game in the series, featuring over 140 tracks from its stunning soundtrack. Our expectations for the demo were high, being fans of the rhythm game genre and highly regarded series composer Yoko Shimomura, and knowing that the game was developed in collaboration with the same studio behind the game. Final Fantasy Rhythm Theater series and Dragon Quest Thearhythmia. The idea of ​​a “Kingdom Hearts Theater” was first offered in 2012, and eventually materialized under a different name.

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“Obviously, at the end of Kingdom Hearts III we’ve kind of reached the end of a particular story arc in the Kingdom Hearts series, so I think it’s a really good opportunity for fans and people who have played the games before to look back on that time, or for new players to really come in and take that as a good look. “

–Masanobu Suzui, co-director of Mum

the Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory playable demo was quick to meet our expectations of a high quality musical experience with unforgettable tracks to tickle our nostalgia. It was an extremely enriching and engaging experience that made us dismiss any doubts we had about purchasing the full game, which turned out to be more fun than it looks.

the Mum the demo contains 4 solo songs and 2 co-op songs, with 3 difficulties (Beginner, Standard and Proud) and 3 playing styles (Basic, One Button and Performer), giving players something to eat. It also doesn’t contain any spoilers for the history of the series, so it’s safe to play if you still haven’t caught up with the most recent entries!

This title is certainly different from normal rhythm games in its gameplay, but easily one of the most satisfying games of the genre we’ve played. With our previous experiences with Rhythm and a handful of other games such as Guitar hero, Muse dash, Groove Coaster, Drive zero, and Cytus, we were interested to see how our beloved Kingdom Hearts music would result in a game like this. Kingdom Hearts has always been known for their amazing music, especially those boss themes that make your heart beat faster and complement the difficulty of the battle and the rising tension. But it can be hard to imagine these pieces being done justice in a rhythm game, especially the world and terrain themes, which aren’t the fastest and can rob your metal fingers of a chance to shine. when you want a demanding level.

And that’s how the demo came about and boy oh boy this game is more fun than it looks. it mixes Kingdom Hearts– combat style and rhythmic timing surprisingly well, and only by playing it will you understand how masterfully this combination works. As demonstrated in the ad trailer, you play as Sora, Donald and Goofy, or a combination of other main characters and Disney, as they travel a path through different worlds, with different tracks resembling sheet music. The songs available in the demo are Welcome to Wonderland, Hand in Hand, The Rustling Forest (from the Enchanted Dominion world) and Wave of Darkness I; you can filter the tracks based on the game they appear in, the challenge level and even by marking your favorites. As the game unfolds and the track unfolds, the group of characters encounter different enemies that they have to attack depending on the beat of the song and the crystals they have to use to perform a skill or skill. special magic. It takes a while to get used to the controls; the game has been designed in such a way that it feels like playing one of the RPG titles (Circle to jump, Cross to attack, Triangle for special attacks, Hold Circle to hover, etc.). The sound effects also blend effectively with the track without being boring and instead encourage the player if they have timed their reactions well. (And in case they annoy you, you can adjust SFX and Voice Volume in in-game settings.)

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Lovers of rhythm games can rejoice in knowing that the game will offer a fun and stimulating experience – at least, according to the demo. The game seemed quite difficult even on Beginner and Standard difficulty, especially when it requires you to perform combo moves. Enemies are not static; they have a range of motion that can confuse you by reacting too slowly or too quickly, or by taking too much of your attention so that you don’t notice the next enemies sneaking up on you! Mum is a rhythm game at its core, but it incorporates the RPG elements we already know, such as a variety of incoming enemies (heartless, strangers, people …), which have their own dynamic range of movements, with which you must react by attacking, casting spells, hovering, changing direction, jumping, avoiding and using a combination of these, while respecting the rhythm and timing of the song. We’ve grown to love the system as a whole, like you do when you score well on a song; the satisfaction of seeing the full channel icon appear and the Excellent Bar filling up is incredibly rewarding and can add hours to your day, making you wonder where the time has gone … that’s exactly what happened to us last week!

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Co-op mode brings another layer of fun and challenge to the game. The demo tracks for co-op are the super playful All for One and the stylish Sinister Shadows battle theme. It’s a fun way to spend time playing with your friends, whether they are Kingdom Hearts fans or not, and may also present a level of challenge as you will have to coordinate your actions with those of someone else.

We recommend that all players, regardless of skill level, take the time to practice the easiest songs to get used to the song flow (doubles, triples, multi-tap and changes of direction, with a or several fingers, depending on the time). We also recommend definitely try the demo first – although we found the demo extremely enjoyable, it did not work for some of our employees for whom the rhythm playing genre was not their cup of tea. For those gamers, One Button Mode could be a good place to start. If you’re really up for a challenge, we dare you to try Performer Mode, which requires you to respond by pressing extra and extra buttons than in Standard Mode. We tried it, and … let’s just say Mum seems to respond to a range of difficulties, inviting novices as well as experts who can prepare absurd coordinated ninja moves!

Graphically, this title is modest and unimpressive for modern material; it’s almost a time capsule from the PlayStation 2 days. It can be a drag for potential gamers, but we find the lack of focus on graphics fidelity to be a strength. This makes the title’s performance almost flawless, and the game’s mechanics aren’t held back by lavish visuals. These visuals are also quite nostalgic for a long time Kingdom Hearts fans and add to the title’s thematic intent.

We have become aware of some issues, which have also been reported by many fans. There is an odd input buffer; when you overwrite X, you will notice that there is a noticeable delay between each entry and exit action. In a rhythm game this can be synonymous with disappointment as it will cause players to miss more notes than expected, through no fault of the player’s timing. In a song like Wave of Darkness I or others with a lot of notes, you might miss 3-5 notes because the entry has not yet finished buffering. Also, in the heat of the moment, you won’t think about pressing L1 / R1 to hit notes next to X. A missed or poorly timed note can really prevent you from getting subsequent notes, which can be quite frustrating if you’re aiming for a full channel or playing on Proud. You can configure the music sync in the music scene settings to account for the lag, but that doesn’t seem to completely solve the problem.

Second, the overall timing of some notes is a bit odd. Fortunately, enemies have a circle that closes so you can execute on perfect timing, but the way enemy positions change (like during the last section of Wave of Darkness I) makes it difficult for you to see exactly what order the enemies are in. notes are coming. in. You can read ahead and see 2 Shadow Heartless in a row, only for a random double tap to come instead. Of course, this element of challenge pushes you to learn the track and get better scores the second, third, fourth time around.

Finally, the jumps. They don’t have a circle to indicate timing, but rather the arrows move upward to indicate a jump. This means that different songs can have different timings to jump depending on their speed, and often times you may find yourself reacting to a jump signal visually like you would in an RPG, and not to the beat of the song. Again, this is about learning the movements and their timings with practice, especially whether you are aiming for full strings or all great.

Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory has a lot to offer, and we have no doubt that it is rich in content to justify the price. With the full version offering over 140 tracks, we can easily see ourselves and many others devoting hours to this game, learning and mastering its mechanics while recalling the memories in the melodies. 140 songs, multiple attempts at Full Chain, All Excellent, or both, at least 3 different modes, Online VS and Multiplayer, over 20 playable characters, scoring and leveling, completing missions in the World Tour … All this on top of the story and collectibles we’ve seen in the trailers so far? We can’t wait to get our hands on the full experience.

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This review was written by Orpheus Joshua, Gold drummer73, PowerJusho_KH13, and Aquamarine. Orpheus Joshua played the demo on PlayStation 4, while the others experienced it on Nintendo Switch.

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