That a saga like Kingdom Hearts, with the OST behind it, didn’t have a musical set, was something not fully understood. No longer see the number of spinoffs that the saga has had since its origins, with card games, mobile games, etc. Now comes Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, the latest game in the franchise that pays homage to its main composer, Yoko Shimomura.
This is the first game in the saga to be released following the outcome of the Dark Seeker Saga, the story arc that concluded with Kingdom Hearts III. And it’s a game that builds bridges to what lies ahead in the future. Of course, in a fluid and discreet way, because while it includes new narrative elements, it is not the main object of the game.
Also, one of the things to keep in mind is that the story is quite lazy, remembering everything that has happened throughout the games. In this game we have Kairi as the narrator of the events, summarizing the most important moments of each match. Of course, there is one final section that serves to fill in some gaps in Kingdom Hearts III and that lays the groundwork for what might lie ahead in the future.
We had the opportunity to enjoy Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Melody on Xbox Series X. At the moment, the game doesn’t have an optimized version for next-gen consoles, but it doesn’t appear to be the one either. one of those that support Quick Resume. However, this is not a big handicap, because even starting the game from scratch it only takes a few seconds to be ready to take on a new level. Loading times are minimal at all times, with high loading speeds of different tracks or worlds.
Of course, the game can be fully enjoyed at 4K and 60fps, remaining stable at all times. During our playing hours, we did not encounter any graphics programs, image drops or bugs. Of course, it has to be said that when it comes to playing, there are times when the timing between when you press an action button and the action itself doesn’t match well and you miss out. blows that we shouldn’t.
Entering the graphics section, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory does not follow the line marked by the third numbered installment and which we saw last year on Xbox One. And in a way it makes sense. It doesn’t need that power and that graphical representation, but that doesn’t mean we’re up against a game with bad visuals. Nothing is further from reality, since the studio has decided to take a path similar to the one seen in the compilations of the first games in the series.
With this decision, Melody of Memory does not at all disagree with the current overall image of the saga, with a graphics section and a few models that could perfectly go through one of the games included in each of the compilations.
Of course, the great strength of the game is its OST. Unsurprisingly, we’re up against a franchise-driven musical game with impressive themes. And we’re not just talking about the classics (and not so classics) of Disney, like the themes of Tarzan, Nightmare before Christmas or Frozen. Otherwise, he also has songs that are just awesome. Environmental songs, of final boss battles, created by Hitaru Utada … It is rare to find one that is said to not like or give us goosebumps and takes us back to our childhood.
The gameplay of Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is straightforward, similar to other Square Enix musical games, such as Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. However, the title that concerns us today knows how to go its own way, with some of the most successful decisions.
The basis of the game is simple. We control three characters of the saga, where we can choose between four teams: Sora, Goofy and Donald, Xion, Axel and Roxas, Aqua, Ventus and Terra and Riku, Marramaguau and Vampiélago. We can choose who to play with at any time. The World Tour mode, which was to become the story mode of the game, we started with the original team of the saga and as we progress we will unlock the other three. Of course, in some modes we will have guest characters, such as Hercules, Simba or Aladdin, following the pattern of the original games.
Entering the game itself, we find the three protagonists running on a pentagram. Throughout each game different enemies and items that we need to destroy and eliminate will appear. Their position is not at all random, as Heartless, Nobodies, Boxes and Barrels serve as notes.
To eliminate us, we have three action buttons: A, RB and LB. However, unlike other musical games, in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory they are not associated with a single character, but we can press any of the three at any time. There will be times when we even have to tap two or all three at the same time to take out multiple enemies at the same time.
We will also have enemies that we will need to hit them multiple times to eliminate them, so we will have to be precise at all times. In addition to these basic attacks, we have the ability to cast magic to take out enemies that are outside of the pentagram, as well as the ability to jump to dodge enemy attacks and kill heartless flywheels. Finally, we have the possibility to plan after a jump in order to collect different musical notes.
All these elements are in place to bring us to the end of the track alive. This is the ultimate goal, to survive each song in the game. In addition, in each of them we will have three challenges, which will allow us to obtain paopu stars with which we can unlock the different worlds of the game and advance in the World Tour.
This is the story mode of the game, where we will also find battles against the most iconic bosses of the saga. These don’t differ much from the other levels, except that actions with the joystick are also included and in the background we can see our main trio fighting against Ansem, for example. This background sequence of action is present, but it is not predominant, since the action for us, the players, continues to be the pentagram through which appear the different actions that we have to perform. There is nothing to distract and that adds a plus to the title.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a game that is essentially not very long. Completing the story and each of the songs of each world and game will take us about 10 hours, although as always it will depend on our ability and the level of difficulty in which we want to play, where we can choose between three: easy, normal and expert.
However, it is a title that invites you to replay every level and every song. First of all, to get the best score possible, in addition to trying to complete each track at the maximum difficulty level. And secondly, because at each level we will have three challenges to overcome. It is true that in more than one of the levels we will do them the first time, but several of them will ask us to repeat the level several times, either to complete them in different difficulty levels, or to eliminate a certain number of them. enemies.
With all this, completing the game 100% will take us many more hours than the ones shown above. Completing all the challenges, all the collectibles (which we get as we complete levels and level up) and get the 1000G (be careful, all achievements are secret) can take us over twenty hours with ease.
Kingdom Hearts; Melody of Memory is, without a doubt, a good musical game. Whoever knows how to take full advantage of a license that has some of the most recognizable Disney themes under their belt, such as This is Halloween, and homegrown ones that are just plain awesome, like Simple and Clean.
This is why every fan of the Square Enix saga will find a title here to enjoy. Not too complex, but difficult. Plus, it serves as a good review of the entire saga. Yes, it’s not as deep as the compilations and there are topics that are too summarized, but it serves as a reminder of why we are in love with its story, its characters and its worlds.
It is true that we can blame him for not advancing the plot too much and that they drop us directly on it, without prior or final explanation. But it’s still a tribute to the composer of the saga, as a compilation of the entire franchise.
On the other hand, those who are perhaps not as fan of Kingdom Hearts but appreciate musical games will find in Melody of Memory a very complete title, with several different ideas of execution of the more classic formula. Plus, and we feel like we are heavy and authentic classics.
In summary, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a game that loyal Sora fans and those who are his first approach to the saga will appreciate but will appreciate the studio’s musical games.