Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Practice: RPG Meets Rhythm Game


Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is the latest entry in a series that tends to do its own thing, confusing fan expectations as it goes. Instead of the appropriate next installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, Melody of Memory is a rhythm game that revisits some of the best music from Square Enix’s long-running Disney mashup. While your enjoyment of the game depends almost entirely on your appreciation of the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack, there’s no denying that Melody of Memory is doing exactly what it set out to do.

I played a Kingdom Hearts: Memory of Melody demo, which will be available for free on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in the coming days. (The full game will debut on November 13 and retail for $ 60). The demo is pretty straightforward, with just a few songs and no actual story mode. However, it gave me a good idea of ​​what to expect from the gameplay, with three selectable difficulties and a look at how character creation works.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory impressions

If you’ve played a rhythm game before, the basics of Memory of Melody should be pretty straightforward. You take control of the usual Kingdom Hearts protagonists – Sora, Donald, and Goofy – as they automatically advance through three lanes of enemies and rolling obstacles. Your job is to synchronize the button presses with the music for the three heroes to attack, jump, hover, and use special abilities.

Like many rhythm games, the gameplay is simple in theory and complex in practice. On the PS4 controller, you use the L1, X, and R1 buttons to attack, the circle button to jump and hover, and the triangle button to activate special abilities. On Beginner difficulty, when enemies arrive one by one in each lane, the power-ups have a lot of lead time and most enemies drop in one hit, all you have to do is pay attention to the pace. and remind you which buttons to press.

Move the difficulty to Standard level, however, and multiple enemies clutter up the three protagonists, while miniboss that take multiple hits to defeat will jump from lane to lane. Keeping track of three heroes, dozens of enemies and trying to find jump points and bonuses under everything can feel like an extremely chaotic game of Simon. Proud mode further increases the difficulty.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory RPG Elements

What sets Melody of Memory apart from other rhythm games is that it isn’t purely skill-based. As you complete the levels, Sora, Donald and Goofy will gain experience and level up. This increases their health, attack, defense, and more, which means enemies fall a bit more easily and missed signals aren’t as disastrous. While I doubt you could brutally force the whole game this way, it’s at least a way to keep the sausage fingers among us engaged.

The big question, however, is whether you enjoy the music from the Kingdom Hearts series enough to play a rhythm game based on its music. (Remember – with three difficulty levels, you’ll likely listen to each track at least three times.) Every KH fan knows “Simple and Clean,” the show’s theme song, but how many individual level tracks can it be? do you carelessly hum? Playing on level tracks like Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I found the music recognizable. But playing through it didn’t respond to any sort of musical fantasy, as Guitar Hero or Fuser might.

Memory of Melody might not be what Kingdom Hearts fans expected, but like most KH spinoffs, it will likely move the story forward in a small but meaningful way. For now, I can say that the game is fun to play and has the potential for some depth, but you have to really like the music that comes in.


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