Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Game Poster Image
Popular series rhythm game is repetitive fan service.

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

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

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.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The game is a spinoff game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, which brings together numerous popular characters from Disney, Pixar, and Square Enix. It also references the events of previous games, encouraging new players to pick up and play those chapters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

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Teen, 17 years old Written bycatlover18 January 9, 2021

Great crossover game between Disney and Anime

I love it! I’ve never played any of the games in the Kingdom Hearts series but I’ve been wanting to try this out. The game is not too complicated and the music... Continue reading

What's it about?

Return once more to the world of Kingdom Hearts in KINGDOM HEARTS: MELODY OF MEMORY, a musical journey through the events of the entire fantastic odyssey. You'll board your Gummi Ship and revisit prior adventures on classic worlds, while also teaming up with some of your favorite Disney, Pixar, and Square Enix characters as you travel down memory road to the tune of over 140 songs and arrangements from the Kingdom Hearts' soundtrack. Players will follow onscreen prompts and keep to the beat of the music in order to fend off Heartless foes with a combination of melee and magic attacks. You'll have to dodge enemy attacks and obstacles, and take flight to collect even more musical memories, while also fighting back against the darkness in huge Boss Battle matches. You can take on the challenge alone or bring your friends along on the adventure in competitive Battle Mode or work together as a team in Co-op play. Will you discover the hidden secrets that lie deep within the melodies of memories?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about music and music appreciation. How can games help to get kids interested in music? What can games teach kids about things like the rhythm, composition, and structure of music?

  • How do games like the Kingdom Hearts series benefit from the recognition of iconic characters in the game? Do these games change the way kids look at the characters? How can they create an ad-like effect, encouraging kids to seek out more related merchandise outside of the games?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

Themes & Topics

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