Title: Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
Genre: Music, Action
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: November 2020
It is hard to imagine that a game which pairs Final Fantasy and Disney would harmonize so well. Beloved for its iconic characters, emotional storylines, and a world bigger than the imagination, the Kingdom Hearts series synergizes two very different franchises flawlessly.
For 20 years the Kingdom Hearts franchise has captivated fans with its melodramatic plotline that tugs at the heart strings. Players have become so invested in the staple characters Sora, Kairi and Riku that they have become icons for the series. Alongside the main playable characters, the series features many familiar and favourite Disney characters each with their own storyline mixed into the games.
Yoko Shimomura work, the franchise’s composer for almost 2 decades, is well known by fans and beloved by millions. Incorporating over 140 tracks to relive with classics from the franchise such as ‘Simple and Clean’ to ‘Sanctuary’, and a mix of Disney favourites like ‘Under the Sea’, there is a song for everyone to love.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory pays homage to the long history of the series. It is a game that will envelop dedicated fans in nostalgia while also allowing newcomers to enjoy the series rich storyline without feeling lost. Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory retells the events of Sora’s journey spanning over multiple games in the series while also prepping the player for possible future content. With the recent releases of the franchise being largely story-based games, this was a nice surprise for fans to relax and enjoy in between the grind of the usual genre.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is a fun rhythm game with a combat feature that adds a layer of complexity to keep fans playing along to the beat. The combat was one of my favourite parts of the game (besides the fantastic music of course) as it kept the stages new and challenging. With lots of songs to play through I also enjoyed all the collectable items and various play modes that offered more novelty and variety in the gameplay.
Travel through worlds that consist of two to three stages or songs, each with objectives that you are required to complete in order to progress in the story. Stages of the game are split into three categories: Field, Memory, and Boss. Field, which much of the gameplay consists of features a trio of characters that run along a track fighting Heartless and enemies to the beat of the music. Memory stages are much longer, and this is where new characters are unlocked. Players can watch the most memorable cutscenes of the series here. Boss battles offer a challenge to the laid-back rhythm gameplay where players need to focus on hitting notes more carefully to throw attacks or special abilities.
Overall, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory was a surprisingly different game than the series usual RPG. The enchanting music and lovable characters make the game easy to pick up, and joy to play alongside the music.