Parents' Guide to

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Popular series rhythm game is repetitive fan service.

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The two things this series is known for are its complex, hard to follow plot and its beautifully orchestrated musical score. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory brings both of these together in this interesting rhythm-based action game that revisits the entirety of the saga to the tune of a catchy beat. There's an original story here involving Kairi's search for Sora after the events of Kingdom Hearts III, but by and large, the game simply serves as a recap of key moments from the franchise via recycled cutscenes. For fans, this can feel a lot like déjà vu, whether it's due to following the story over the past eighteen years or from any number of other recaps including in numerous other games. It never quite explains things thoroughly enough for newcomers either. But for those that have enjoyed the music of the games, the 140+ song library insures there's plenty to offer in that department.

Gameplay in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is an odd hybrid of classic rhythm games and an endless runner. Like most rhythm games, players must tap certain buttons at key moments in time with the music. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite feel as intuitive as those games. Eventually, though, as players start to get used to the controls, that's when the repetition sets in. Outside of some fun background and character changes, and an ever-changing soundtrack, the gameplay never really varies. It's not long before the single-player experience gets stale. Thankfully, the game's multiplayer components, both co-op and competitive, help to mix things up a bit. Working with or competing against others adds that little something extra that saves the experience from falling into the same monotony of the single player campaign.

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