Since its 2002 debut, the Kingdom Hearts sequence has taken gamers on an unpredictable trip, containing the whole lot from human replicas to time journey. One factor has remained fixed, although: Stellar music. Whether it’s the poignant character themes or heart-pumping battle tracks, composer Yoko Shimomura has stayed on the prime of her sport, creating preparations which have change into core to the sequence’ identification. Rhythm sport Melody of Memory is the last word tribute to this musical expertise, providing an enormous catalog of over 140 tracks to relive. The finish result’s proof that transferring the highlight onto this element wasn’t unwarranted. While not with out its faults, Melody of Memory is a refreshing strategy to look again at Kingdom Hearts’ lengthy journey to date, and even provides followers simply sufficient breadcrumbs to anticipate what’s subsequent.
Melody of Memory has no scarcity of songs, and I’m impressed by how a lot content material Square Enix has packed in. Expect traditional tracks which were integral to the sequence’ identification (like “Destiny Islands” and “Hand in Hand”) alongside widespread Disney standbys (like “Let It Go” and “Under the Sea”). Even theme songs like Utada Hikaru’s “Simple and Clean” and “Sanctuary” can be found. A rhythm sport is barely as robust as its library, and Melody of Memory delivers in that division, offering an amazing tracklist that immediately transports you to sure moments in time. I can’t play “Lazy Afternoons” with out excited about Roxas’ summer season trip, or “Go for It!” with out reliving all of the loopy tournaments I took on at Olympus Coliseum.
Don’t go into Melody of Memory anticipating gameplay mirroring Square Enix’s widespread Theatrhythm sequence. While there’s some inspiration and nods to its artstyle within the loading screens, Melody of Memory is a 3D expertise that makes an attempt to duplicate Kingdom Hearts’ trendy motion fight in a rhythm sport shell. To execute assaults, you faucet and maintain buttons in time with the on-screen animations, chaining them for an excellent increased rating. It sounds fundamental, however the addition of a leap button to hit airborne enemies or keep away from incoming assaults provides extra frenzy. You see your assaults join in actual time with the enemies on display screen, which suggests the lanes are cluttered, generally making it arduous to arrange forward of time or see prompts. I preferred the extent of element within the enemy design, particularly having their aesthetic match up with the world’s, however so much is all the time occurring.
The most important mode, World Tour, is one of the best ways to unlock the bulk of the songs. As you full sure targets to unlock new worlds, Kairi narrates pivotal moments in every sport, explaining the massive takeaways from the primary entry all the best way as much as Kingdom Hearts III’s latest Re Mind DLC. I used to be disenchanted that Melody of Memory doesn’t have many new scenes till the very finish, however as quickly as I noticed the ultimate moments, I had a brand new pleasure for the sequence. Similar to the tip of Dream Drop Distance, the finale gives clues and context, and it additionally units up the place issues are going sooner or later. It seems like reward for happening reminiscence lane.
The different bonus with World Tour is boss battles, which have been my favourite half of the mode as they take a extra conventional setup, clearing the onslaught of enemies on display screen and difficult you with extra holds and a number of button presses that decide the ability of your hits and should you dodge incoming assaults. The small quantity of these boss battles is a giant letdown, particularly since they’ve all the time been an enormous half of the sequence. Memory Dives operate equally, however as an alternative of intense battle sequences, you faucet to the beat over scenes from particular worlds, however the busy CGI could make it troublesome to comply with prompts. For some motive, all of the Kingdom Hearts III ranges are like this, which is disappointing, as it could have been cool to see battles play out with the newer Heartless designs.
Even after finishing the primary World Tour mode (which took me round eight hours), I’m nonetheless unlocking songs, chasing hi-scores, and discovering new methods to expertise them by the sofa co-op and on-line versus mode. The solely downside with co-op is each gamers want to pick the identical ability stage, so in case your accomplice isn’t on the identical stage, one of you is left wanting.
For these involved about issue, not solely is Melody of Memory one of the simpler rhythm video games I’ve performed, but it surely additionally has lots of choices to tailor the expertise to your ability stage. In reality, if there’s something to knock at it, it could be that extra superior gamers could not discover a lot of a problem, even in Proud mode. For these gamers, there may be a web-based versus mode to face off towards the very best gamers, and it additionally provides further challenges, like permitting you and different gamers to make use of methods that vanish enemies or put pretend prompts in your opponent’s display screen that they have to ignore.
I didn’t notice how a lot Kingdom Hearts’ soundtrack has impacted me till I performed Melody of Memory. As a fan of the sequence, I’ve all the time praised the rating, however one thing about really going again by numerous tracks and tapping to the beats on acquainted backdrops showcased simply how highly effective these songs have been. Melody of Memory delivers nice music and tons of unlockables to maintain you listening.