Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

Kingdom Hearts is a favorite because of his iconic characters, amazing sense of imagination and melodramatic storytelling, but none of this greatness would be possible without the musical styles that support him.

Yoko Shimomura has managed the franchise as a composer for almost two decades, and her work is implanted in the minds of millions. Even a few selected chordsSimple and Clean or Dearly Beloved will bring even the most die-hard fans to tears, and that only speaks to the power that Kingdom Hearts has and why it is so dear to many.

We are one of those people, with a franchise that occupies a special place in our heart that has not wavered over the years. Kingdom Hearts can be utterly absurd in many ways, but he presents himself with so much emotional conviction that it’s impossible not to be swept into his wondrous mix of cute anime boys and over-inflated Disney cameos.

Now Square Enix plans to celebrate the legacy of the series with Melody of Memory. This is a rhythmic game developed by Indieszero, it aims to retell the events of Sora’s journey so far, at the same time moving to new pastures that have yet to be realized. It’s a passionate love letter of whimsical brilliance that knows how to pamper fans, whether it’s extended editions of classic songs or a multitude of collectibles that need to be revealed.

Melody of Memory is such a nice surprise and it goes smoothly after the delirious schedule of big releases. Think of it as a soft warm blanket that you will sink into, just make sure you don’t mind sharing it with a bunch of anime characters with spiky hair.

GamePlayAs I mentioned earlier, Melody of Memory takes on a huge task to retell the whole story of Kingdom Hearts, albeit in a much more concise way. This was done from a Kairi perspective. The underappreciated lady in trouble acts as a narrator, appearing after certain stages to shed some of the exposure along with video packages of interludes from past games. It is well executed, although it omits many important details.

For newcomers, it’s an introduction to the procedure on the surface, but we feel that Melody of Memory is designed around existing Kingdom Hearts fans, hence why it’s a little more than a light summary before you dive into new territory in the middle of the campaign. We’re not going to spoil any of that here, and there’s a lot more we haven’t discovered yet, but don’t expect Tetsuya Nomura to hold back when the franchise needs to be pushed into the absurd once again.

GamePlay RaceWe loved rethinking the myriad narrative arches from a new perspective, of which Kairi was absent when they originally spoke. The crimson-haired heroine is often transferred to a lady waiting to be rescued, rarely having the opportunity to shine for more than a few special moments. Because of this, it was great to see her in the spotlight, even to welcome new opportunities to make Cairo shine. With a little luck, a future franchise title will do just that.

As a rhythm experience, Melody of Memory is incredibly easy to learn, but this simplicity quickly develops into some extremely challenging stages, refusing to hold your hand even on standard difficulties. All phases are performed using two shoulder buttons and one face button, which are used to control all three members of your group. From time to time, you will need to jump into the air and soar into the strings of notes, at the same time ensuring that those on the ground are not deterred from sending incoming swarms of Heartless.

GamePlay RaceThe phases are divided into three categories – Field, Boss and Memory. Field is easily the most common, taking most of the Melody of Memory campaign as you travel the worlds reliving the events of each game. In them, you automatically run forward with three characters who solve the notes in rhythm. Most worlds consist of two of three songs, each of which has goals that you will have to fulfill in order to progress in the story.

They are never too scary and we only repeated the songs once or twice to make progress. Memory Stages are longer jobs and are unlocked during the campaign as a generous reward, or you can make them yourself. These stages include full versions of Simple and Clean, Sanctuary and other classic vocal tracks from the entire series, and we love them so much. We may not have unlocked it yet, but versions of these songs with Japanese vocals would be a cherry on top.

Melody of MemoryBoss fights are the weakest out of the crowd, because the look makes it difficult to read the upcoming notes and focus on any action that takes place behind them. Fortunately, these phases are few and often come at the end of every campaign milestone. Because of this, it was easy enough to push them through and never look back. That is, until the finalist woke up in us and we needed all the bonus goals.

The characters gain experience with each passing phase, which results in a greater variety of spells that are used in conjunction with decent health points. The first is honestly an aesthetic difference more than anything, but it gives each level a greater sense of the script spectacle. You will unlock new groups of heroes through Melody of Memory.

Melody of MemoryThey are called from Birth By Sleep, 358/2 Days and other classic titles, and it’s wonderful to take control of them while enjoying their songs. Small RPG elements like this serve to give Melody of Memory a finer level of substance, making you feel like your team is growing along with you when chasing high scores and collecting. Speaking of which, this is a game filled to the brim with things to unlock.

Completing the songs will reward you with character cards, story art, bonus stages and more – with many of the aforementioned add-ons also having their single-layer rarities with multiple versions to make money. That amazed us, and as keen followers of all the things of Kingdom Hearts, we desperately wanted to unlock each one individually. The short and sweet nature of most of the songs, along with the rewarding nature of their difficulties, means that the hours will pass in mere moments, which is a recognition that we can reward only with the brightest sparks.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a great rhythm game and a worthy homage to the unique series to which it belongs. Although its basic gameplay has been simplified, the growing challenge and the huge amount of content on offer has helped alleviate most of the complaints we have been able to collect.

As someone who has loved this series since their childhood, this proved to be an enchanting journey through the memory lane, and at the same time doubled as a bold look into the future of the franchise. If you have a hint of nostalgia for Kingdom Hearts, this is a fun trip worth taking.

Good:

  • An absurd amount of songs from almost every game in the series
  • He respects the legacy of the series for both fans and newcomers
  • It feels accessible, but also challenging to the same extent, regardless of the fashion
  • So much to collect and secrets to reveal

Bad:

  • Boss battles can be a bit confusing
  • The simplified nature of the input system could exclude some

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Source: ITNetwork by www.itnetwork.rs.

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