Review: Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Heart consists of some really cool and popular games! But, if there's one aspect of those games that stands out for many, it's the music. The soundtracks of Kingdom Heart deserve their own game for many, it's here now!

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory gives Sora, Donald, Goofy and a number of cameos the opportunity to embark on a Guitar Hero-esque adventure. The game was released on November 13 for the Playstation 4, among others. It is a spin-off of the Kingdom Hearts franchise that will offer fans just a little more content after the Dark Seeker Saga, which came to an end in the third installment.

An ode

Melody of Memory is like a rhythm game, where you go through the Dark Seeker Saga almost completely, in the form of a walking path with enemies to kill, particles to avoid and musical notes to fly through. You visit different worlds and come into contact with different soundtracks from the franchise. The library of Kingdom Hearts music is quite large, so plenty of content to run through! You won't play a full saga with all the details, of course, but you will play key moments from the Dark Seeker Saga. You still have a relatively large choice in which order you approach. You can see it as a sort of summary of the saga, opening it directly to newcomers to the franchise as well. For fans, it's more of an ode to Kingdom Hearts,which focuses not only on the music, but also on the storyline.

How does it play?

The gameplay mainly consists of correctly and well-timed executing certain movements to the rhythm of a soundtrack, which can be heard prominently in the background. The game starts quite chaotic right away and is due to all the different types of maneuverswhich you have to perform quite difficult at times. You have three characters, Sora, Goofy and Donald, who all have their own jobs. On your job you will encounter different kinds of challenges. So you control 3 characters and you also have to time what you do well. So you're basically multitasking. It took me a while to get into the game because you have to learn quite quickly to discern those challenges. You can jump and hover, attack light and heavy, dodge and switch lanes. Often you have to mix all of this together, which can quickly make things tricky.

The boss battles are often very cool, although the music does not always match well. This is due to weird ways of rhythm distribution, which sometimes makes it difficult to ace such a fight. You can use items that increase or recover health, double EXP, or call in cameo characters. This adds an extra layer to the game. What I had the most trouble with was timing. Sometimes the input versus the speed of the trails feels unmeasurable. I quickly lose the rhythm, and seeing depth can sometimes be difficult due to graphic irregularities. What does bring me back sometimes is listening to the rhythm of the soundtrack I'm playing. Yet this rhythm doesn't always match what you're playing.

Level designs are very cool and there are also more than enough levels to play. I love running through an Egyptian-looking desert where statues are everywhere and themed enemies running towards you. It's just a really nice tribute to the franchise. There are also an absurd amount of soundtracks to play, so there is no lack of content in this franchise. Quantity is great, but sometimes the quality deteriorates. Almost all the songs you can play are extremely good in terms of music level, but below average in terms of gameplay. Those songs simply don't fit in a rhythm game and sometimes have little rhythm to play with. It's mostly an addictive experience for fans, or so it seems to me. As one who himself has only played the third part,I can already imagine that it is a really addictive game.

After playing a song you can pick it up again via the Track Selection, here you can improve your score or try a higher difficulty. It's whatever you want! This can help you get more or better items to use in levels you're having trouble with.

Graphics & Sound

The art direction of Kingdom Hearts has always been very strong and you immediately notice which franchise it is about. The levels have super dynamic designs and always fit well within the theme. However, most of the imperfections are in the depth I mentioned earlier, which can sometimes make it difficult to time when you hit, dodge or pick something up. The accuracy also seems a bit off at times. The quality of the graphics is constantly getting better, really done for that nostalgia factor. The graphics therefore adapt to where you are in the story. Difficulty seeing depth is therefore a much smaller problem in the end. In terms of sound design, I don't really need to say much. Melody of Memory consists of more than 100 tracks that are all close to perfection. The mix of tracks is also well done.You feel the emotion of the storyline just that little bit more by hearing certain tracks and especially the vocals sometimes.

Verdict

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a game that works simple, plays harder and above all has a lot of content. The game has some graphic inconsistencies at times, but constantly proves to be part of a great franchise. He is therefore recommended to every fan. Fans of rhythm games also have enough fun to get out of the game, with a slightly fresher look at the genre. Are you a novice to Kingdom Hearts, but have you always been interested in the storyline? Then even you can get a lot of fun out of this. Yet the learning curve and the sometimes confusing story are not for everyone. It is not a full price game, which can be very attractive!

 

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