The music from the Kingdom Hearts games by Square Enix are one of the many highlights of the series and fans can play their way through the most memorable songs in the new game Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory. This new game arrives on November 13th for PS4 and is also the first Kingdom Hearts game for the Nintendo Switch, which is how I experienced it. With different skill levels that players can set, this game can be fun for any Kingdom Hearts or Disney fan, regardless of age.
The game features over 140 songs, some of which are Disney. As the title suggests, Melody of Memory is like a clipshow of story elements from the games. Players absorb video clips edited together from past games before playing through worlds on a moving track. The game also promises a brand-new scene that players who have experienced the previous games will find new and exciting.
If you’ve ever played a game like Guitar Hero, you’ll have no problem picking up Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory. In essence, you’re doing the same thing: pushing buttons at a designated time to score points. Where this game shakes things up is the moving track is full of enemies that must be defeated and items you need to pick up. The controls are also not as simple as pressing green, red or blue buttons. The game uses symbols, but they don’t match the controller buttons so you have to rely on your memory and think fast. For example, a typical attack can be done with L, R and A (and sometimes combos are needed). An up arrow means jump, which is B (and sometimes an attack is needed with a jump) and activating a power on the track is X, but the symbol is a green triangle.
Each world features multiple missions and defeating them unlock more worlds that you can travel to in your Gummi Ship. Each mission has three components that must be satisfied to complete it. For example, you might need to achieve a total score greater than a certain threshold, have above a certain accuracy percentage, and defeat all of the flying enemies that you pass to complete that mission.
You always have three members on your team at a time and players can play the main story in co-op mode if they want. On some worlds, you lose Goofy or Donald for a special friend, such as Ariel in Atlantica or Hercules on Olympus. Some of the Disney songs I played through while reviewing the game included “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid and “This Is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
When you’re not focused on the missions, the game is actually very relaxing. For big fans of the Kingdom Hearts music, a “Track Selection” is available from the main menu where you can easily jump right to a song you want to play through. You can even mark your favorites to make them easier to find the next time you want to enjoy the music and play along that track. Another item you can unlock are character collector cards and more story videos, which you’ll be able to view once you unlock the museum, where you can also just listen to the music.
There’s another version of the gameplay that gets unlocked at a certain point called “Vs Battles,” an online mode where you not only play against other players around the world, but also get to store up energy to unleash tricks on them. I didn’t play through this experience personally since I was playing before launch, but it sounds like another fun way to extend your gameplay outside of the main story mode.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is a fun way for fans of the series to relive the music and worlds they love over and over again in a musical game. Since it’s not an RPG, this version of the experience is likely more accessible to an even wider audience than the standard games. So whether Melody of Memory is your introduction to the series or a way to celebrate the games you know and love, you’re sure to have a great time playing.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.