Test – Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory: a spin-off that struggles to seduce

Since the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, fans of the Square-Enix franchise have been asking for more. After delivering a first DLC last January, the publisher delivers a strange spin-off, which takes the form of a musical game …

Let the fans of the series tell themselves: it will probably be necessary to be patient before we can finally get our hands on a new episode of the series. In the meantime, Square-Enix gives them a spin-off with an atypical concept since Melody of Memory is quite openly inspired by a Guitar hero in its concept. With the difference that you won’t have to make crazy riffs on the guitar since the game is played on the pad …

Many characters from the Disney universe will come and lend a hand.

In Melody of Memory, the player will have to browse a musical track in one of the many worlds of Disney, by tapping at the right time on the right button to defeat the opponents who rush on him. However, he will not be alone in this adventure since he will be accompanied by two companions in each mission. Each of the three characters is assigned a “track”. It will be possible to activate their attacks separately or together, using the two upper triggers and the A button (or X on PlayStation). When several enemies arrive simultaneously, it will be necessary to press the corresponding number of buttons, ideally with the perfect timing to obtain a “Perfect”. Some enemies will require a special attack to be defeated (Y button on Xbox, triangle on PS4), and it will also occasionally be necessary to make your character fly to recover musical notes or avoid a projectile. The whole concept of the game is based on the combinations of these different keys, which must be performed in rhythm with the melody. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you imagine – just press the right button as soon as the enemy gets to your character level. With depth of field, it is possible to anticipate what will happen. There is therefore a memory factor in addition to good reflexes …

We travel from one level to another in a spaceship in the adventure.

If the game is rather boring in easy, it is much more exciting in standard or hard mode, with button combinations that are perfectly matched to the melodies. Overall, the game is rather permissive. Very clearly, it is aimed at a fairly young audience due to its orientation. That being said, not sure that the little ones will cling to the very repetitive and ultimately not very exciting concept of Melody of Memory. In reality, the title should especially appeal to die-hard fans of the franchise with its pharaonic solo mode and its more than 150 musical tracks.

Very clearly, in difficult, with the use of the customizable crew and the various bonuses to be activated, for example to obtain more experience or recover life, Melody of Memory takes on a very different appearance, that of an extremely rhythmic game. nervous very clearly targeting the completists. As long as you are a fan, there is therefore something to enjoy, especially if you are fond of the compositions of Yoko Shimomura. For others, Melody of Memory will probably be neither more nor less than a small snack between two bigger games.

Aesthetically, the levels are often very poor.

What is unfortunate is that the game is billed at full price (€ 59.99). Melody of Memory clearly looks like a little arcade game that should have sold for 20 to 25 € at most. Yes, the content is very generous between the single player mode which offers several hundred challenges, the more than 150 musical tracks of the game, its local co-op and online duel mode, and a nice exclusive on Switch with the “every man for himself” mode which allows 8 players to compete locally, but the poor gameplay and the repetitiveness of the concept tend to lead us to think that the title should have been presented in the form of a simple DLC for Kingdom Hearts 3 or proposed at a much lower rate.

Especially since on the technical level, the report is not very bright. Visually, the game looks like a production that would have been released ten years ago. The environments are poor, the visual effects simplistic, and one finally comes to wonder how Square-Enix could have given the green light to such a project. We can tell, the game’s budget was minimalist too. On the narrative level, the first half of the adventure is only a reminder of the facts of the previous episodes, with cutscenes recovered on the right and on the left. The fans will have to take their troubles patiently to find out more about the plot, which did not seem very exciting to us.

Conclusion

Spin-off of the Square-Enix series, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory shares with its predecessors only its colorful universe and its beautiful cast. No role playing or adventure game here since it is a musical game in which the player’s reflexes will be strained. As in a Guitar Hero, it will be necessary to press in rhythm on the right buttons at the right time to defeat your opponents, all in rhythm on a band of more than 150 songs and with a nice selection of characters from Disney productions. The concept is very attractive and the gameplay works pretty well the first few hours … but struggles to renew itself. Despite a very generous content, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory has a hard time justifying its full price (€ 59.99). Visually, the game is very poor. Its gameplay lacks depth. The narration hardly makes it very exciting to follow either… At 20 €, why not. Beyond that, it’s hard to get excited about a spin-off that is ultimately neither more nor less than a musical mini-game that could very well have been offered in the form of a DLC.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

The +:

  • Generous content
  • Over 150 songs to play
  • Gameplay that works …

The – :

  • … but which does not renew itself and lacks depth
  • Cutscenes from another age
  • A very poor achievement
  • A price far too high (€ 59.99)


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