Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Brings the Franchise's Music to Life

A demo for Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is officially set to release tomorrow, October 15th, and ahead of that had the opportunity to give the demo a go for hands-on impressions. The demo is fairly limited in scope but provides a good overview of what to expect when the full video game launches next month on November 13th. If you’re looking to really find out how the new video game fits into the rest of the franchise, you’ll need to keep waiting, but if you’re wondering how the actual rhythm game sections play out, it should provide everything you need.

The basic premise, if you’re not already familiar, sees Kingdom Hearts characters like Sora, Donald, and Goofy running through tracks featuring songs from the franchise. Players need to attack, use skills, jump, and generally just press the right buttons in the right order. If these are missed, it drains from the player’s health, and once that’s depleted, the song is essentially failed.

As with practically all rhythm games in existence, I found the lowest difficulty setting to actually be difficult of a different kind. If you have any sense of timing at all, it’s probable that it will actually be too slow and cause missed beats all on its own. Once you understand how to actually play, and what the various enemies and button prompts want from you, I’d recommend sticking with the standard difficulty level unless you really want a challenge. (There are also some accessibility options that really expand on what you can do without necessarily being a pro or having the ability to hit all the buttons traditionally required.)

Though it’s only just a taste of what’s to come, it does seem like it will appeal to both franchise fans as well as those that enjoy rhythm games in general. It might take a little getting used to for both parties, but the Kingdom Hearts series has some incredible music and the gameplay itself isn’t so steeped in the lore as to be nonsensical. Depending on how it handles the other modes, it might actually be a preferable experience for some folks rather than actually trying to work their way through the mainline games.

kingdom hearts melody of memory screenshot 1
(Photo: Square Enix)

As noted above, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is scheduled to release for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 13th. Our specific demo was with the PlayStation 4 version. The demo version should release tomorrow, October 15th. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title right here.

What do you think about what we have seen of Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory so far? Are you excited to check it out next month? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!