A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game helps to give players an appreciation of musical structure and composition as they identify and react to the rhythm of the various tracks.
While the main game adds little to the Kingdom Hearts lore, it does recap the course of events throughout the saga to date, which in addresses things like friendship, loyalty, overcoming obstacles, and helping those in need.
Positive Role Models
While most of the heroes and heroines of the Kingdom Hearts story are honorable, caring, and friendly, this particular game doesn't add much character development, instead revisiting key moments in the characters' history together.
Ease of Play
While the main controls are relatively straightforward and easy to learn, the difficulty comes in actively stringing them together into combos all in time with the rhythm of the music. Doing this often requires quick reflexes and flexible fingers to hit all the right timing.
Violence & Scariness
Although this is a musical rhythm game, players are actively attacking and being attacked in time with the music. Players use a variety of melee weapons and magical abilities to fight enemies while dodging the enemies' attacks. Though violence is constant, defeated enemies simply disappear in a flash of light and smoke, occasionally leaving items behind.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a musical rhythm action game available for purchase on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch consoles. The game's a spinoff from the main Kingdom Hearts franchise, which features a wide range of characters from the libraries of Disney, Pixar, and Square Enix productions. It retells the events of the Kingdom Hearts saga through rhythmic action sequences. Here, players follow along musical obstacle courses set to arrangements from the various games in the series. Players attack, dodge, fly, and more with button commands in time with onscreen prompts. Violence is constant, from regular attacks by different minions to big boss battles, but there's no blood or graphic violence shown onscreen.
Is It Any Good?
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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