Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Review

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Finally, die-hard Kingdom Hearts fans received the long-awaited musical love letter to their beloved series. Drawing inspiration from Theatrhythm’s musical spinoff, Melody of Memory takes your hand and happily walks you through some of the most heartfelt moments from the long-running Kingdom Hearts series, which is now spread across 14 games (if you include entries as well. minor like Re: Coded and Kingdom Hearts 0.2). One of the best things about this rhythm-based game is that you don’t have to be a huge Kingdom Hearts fan to go and enjoy bite-sized tracks thanks to the plethora of music. iconic Disney design and easy-to-learn gameplay. However, it ends up feeling superficial after a good several hours of play. Considering its simple controls and on-rail levels, very few things seem remarkable or unique in practice compared to other rhythm games, and you may find yourself browsing it without thinking.

Make no mistake: this isn’t a new Kingdom Hearts role-playing game, or an in-depth rundown of the franchise, and while part of the story is touched on, only the most wide are covered. In fact, not much is added – except for a section at the very end that explicitly tells us where developer Square Enix plans to set the next Kingdom Hearts game and includes a bit of interesting knowledge about Kairi, but not much else. It’s a story clearly centered around reliving those nostalgic moments rather than establishing many new ones. If I hadn’t had the context in mind, the soundtracks alone wouldn’t have provided as much appeal to continue.

It doesn’t do much to bring new people into the show’s elaborate history, but longtime Kingdom Hearts fans looking for a nostalgia fix will be delighted to find that Melody of Memory is channeling them. series roots better than even Kingdom Hearts 3, warts (and Keyblades) aside. It brings back characters and levels from movies like Aladdin, Tangled, Peter Pan and more from the series, while generously handing out collectibles and artwork that pay a delicate homage to the respective games that inspired them. .

The main attraction here is the World Tour campaign.

Featuring the same stylized, vividly colored graphics and controls of the PS2 era that mimics exactly what it felt like slapping a Heartless with Sora’s Keyblade in 2005, Melody of Memory does its best to make you feel sentimental and that’s absolutely its best strength. The main attraction here is the World Tour campaign, which allows you to collect stars and progress on a world map that represents almost every soundtrack in the entire series. I skipped a few, but overall the build felt robust. Either way, it’s a wonderful trip down memory lane, set to the beat of the music from Kingdom Hearts 1 through to Kingdom Hearts 3 last year. A single game won’t take more than five to 10 hours, depending on how much you have. choose to explore.

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If you do, you’ll find some substance here: you can earn and craft items like healing potions that can prevent you from failing a level if you miss too many ratings, and you still gain experience points and improve a team. In fact, there’s even a synthesis system that’s stylishly reminiscent of the one fans will remember from Kingdom Hearts 2. It’s unfortunate that items often feel unnecessary and unnecessary at this point, and as such, the crafting system can be skipped altogether or end up as little more than window dressing. Unless you’re really struggling with the core rhythmic gameplay, nothing you do or prepare here really matters, even during the most difficult boss battles. This does not mean that the synthesis is totally useless. The best section of the overview menu is where you can access special levels and collectibles, which are definitely worth it if you want to see it all.

There is a synthesis system that is elegantly reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts 2.

You progress through the World Tour system by earning enough stars to unlock the doors that contain the next set of levels. Luckily, it’s pretty straightforward, and you do it by completing challenges like “Finish level with over 50% health” or “Break every barrel and crate,” and these can also unlock new treasures and even new playable characters. This reward loop is good when you’re on a roll, but there were times I felt like I was walking on water when I needed to go back and challenge again until so that I can earn enough stars to move on to the next sequence of levels. You can often choose which route to take (there are usually at least two) and there are also a few side roads to follow if you want to spend more time digging deeper, but the path to the end is quite enough. simple and clean.Everyone is there for the ride. You can play with Sora, Riku, Roxas and even Kairi. And you can also bring in iconic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse or other supporting characters to join you along the way, though it’s disappointing that there isn’t much of an impact on the gameplay in the game. depending on the characters on your team. Speaking of which, you gradually improve your squads and there are stats like Strength and Defense in play. However, I haven’t noticed an impact from those either.

Everyone is there for the ride.

In addition to regular tracks, Melody of Memory offers boss fights and Memory Drives. The latter shows iconic scenes from previous Kingdom Hearts games, including the boss fight with Ansem and even classic Disney tracks like Toy Story and “Let It Go” from Frozen. The only problem here is that Melody of Memory has too much going on at the same time, forcing you to focus on hitting the notes at the right time while the scene sort of unfolds in your peripheral view, causing it to be hitting notes at the right time. makes it hard to appreciate.

The good news is that there are a plethora of ways to enjoy the wealth of Kingdom Hearts memorabilia included in Melody of Memory, including a Track Select mode and a Museum mode that lets you return to those special scenes and play. live them as you wish. The story theater is the best part of this, as it allows you to go back and catch up with the most important parts of the story without being inundated with the gameplay.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Screenshots

If you want to tweak things like latency, volume, and other options, there is a Music Stage menu that gives you a decent level of precision on those items. That said, I couldn’t find an option to turn down the often blaring soundtrack inside the menu screen, which would have annoyed me if I tried to stream with Melody of Memory backwards- plan. Accessibility isn’t too much of an issue here, as you can just turn on Demo mode and let entire levels play out for you if you just want to watch. Or you can play with the One Button style mode if you still want a little challenge but not too much. It’s also great that the Proud difficulty mode and the very demanding Performer-style mode exist for those looking for a more difficult challenge, although these last two modes are really Melody of Memory’s dream for a special controller like Guitar Hero’s.

For the first time in a Kingdom Hearts console game, there is a multiplayer element to share with your friends. You can jump into a split-screen co-op multiplayer and experience it all with a friend on the same couch, or you can go online and participate in the VS Battles mode. Battles are fun but whimsical; two people compete against each other and use tricks, like blurring the other player’s vision to trip them up while you secure your own victory by passing them. It’s great that they included it here, especially since we haven’t really seen a lot of Kingdom Hearts multiplayer before.


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