Before I begin, I’m going to preface this review by stating that I have not played Melody of Memory to full completion. Quite frankly, there’s not much you’re missing by doing so, but that will be mentioned later on. Also I will not be covering the slice of story that’s found there. Which, by the way, is an extension from the ending of KH3. I would recommend playing KH3 before Melody of Memory if you want context. You have been warned.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is the newest addition to the Kingdom Hearts franchise. And just like side games of the series’ past, Melody of Memories is completely canon. On top of that, it’s… a rhythm game? On console? Yes, Melody of Memory is indeed a rhythm game (courtesy of Indie Zero), dedicated to the music of the entire series thus far. Beginning from the first Kingdom Hearts, leading all the way to the music of Kingdom Hearts 3.
In this game, you’re playing through past memories of the Kingdom Hearts series while playing to the beat of every song. Doing this, there are… a LOT of collectibles that you earn through playing the series music. Concept art of characters and Keyblades, bits and pieces from the story archive, profile icons for when you want to play against someone online, and what are known as “Memory Dives.” Essentially, musical cinematics of your favorite characters and moments. In Melody of Memory, there are objectives to complete in order to reach a required amount of completed objectives to unlock more worlds from the series. The objectives range from being able to hit a certain amount of certain enemies, to reaching a total amount of hits. The latter of which, requires you to play a song multiple times. And as far as completing these objectives go, unlocking collectibles and possibly more songs, not quite worth it.
Now, an interesting bit… there are boss battles. In the few boss stages, you will witness Sora, Donald and Goofy (or another team you can unlock) going toe-to-toe with a particular villain. These stages can make matching the beat difficult if you have a problem holding your attention. Not to mention, there are moments where I almost couldn’t see the note because of the spectacle going on in the background. How well you do in matching the rhythm will reflect how well the party dodges incoming attacks.
There are some song omissions that were made, for reasons unexplained. First off, there are no songs from the Pirates of the Carribbean worlds, from KH2 or KH3. The same could be said for the Symphony of Sorcery world, from Dream Drop Distance. Then, there’s missing representation from Winnie the Pooh, and Tarzan. Again, very odd, but could possibly be chalked up to future DLC. Beyond that, the variety of music is wide and plentiful. However, as a game, Melody of Memory is a rhythm game specifically tailored to Kingdom Hearts fans, and Kingdom Hearts fans alone. If you really want to give this game a go, I would heavily suggest waiting for a price drop. And, getting context. Kingdom Hearts is a rabbit hole of confusing storylines.
However, I would like to end this review on a good note. For the Kingdom Hearts fans (including myself), this is a nice love letter to those who have followed the series for so long. If you love music, Kingdom Hearts, and the music of Kingdom Hearts, then you’ll have a fun time with this title.
Again, I would still suggest waiting for a price drop.
- Vast library of Kingdom Hearts music
- Fine presentation
- Fun to play if you're a fan
- Too high of a price
- Missing songs and worlds
- Additional story could have been added to KH3