It’s been a while but here we are again with a Nintendo Switch review, and boy, is it an interesting one! You’re probably familiar with the Kingdom Hearts franchise, right? Well, instead of releasing their usual RPGs, they’re surprising us with a rhythm game called Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory. I have never played a KH game before partly because I don’t own an Xbox or PlayStation myself. However, I’ve always been interested in the franchise for sure. Seeing a release for the Switch got me excited, even though it’s an entirely different game than what we’re used to from the series. Let me share my thoughts about this game with you.
We played Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory for 9 hours on the Nintendo Switch
What we liked!
- A lot of content: This special Kingdom Hearts game offers quite a lot of content that you can play. The biggest piece is the World Tour. You clear different planets and collect various stars in order to advance. I really loved this. You can either clear or complete planets. Clearing means playing and finishing all the songs while completing means collecting all three stars in every song on that planet. These stars are objectives, like scoring 6 million points or clearing a level with 60% or more excellent scores. Besides this amazing World Tour, there’s also Track Selection where you can play any song you’ve unlocked. Yes, I can hear you thinking you can also do this in the World Tour, but it’s a lot easier to find a track you’re looking for in Track Selection, let me tell you. There’s also VS Battles where you can compete with other players or COM opponents. And of course, there is also a co-op mode to play with friends! Lastly, there’s a Museum where you can see everything you collected, going from your Collector’s Cards and Bonuses to the Story Archives and your records. Here you can also just listen to the music on the Jukebox, so that’s cute.
- Gameplay: The overall gameplay is so simple and easy to understand, it makes this game very accessible. There are only a few buttons you need to remember: A, L, and R for attacking, B for jumping, X for ability crystals (which make your character perform a special attack), and of course your joystick for going left and right (even though you only need this when you’re gliding and hitting floating musical notes. During a song, you try to hit enemies the best you can (go for that special Excellent hit in rainbow colours!) as well as hit crates. You also try to build up your chain, meaning you try to not miss anything for as long as you can. Then there are the special abilities I just mentioned and the floating. Your goal is to complete a song before your health runs out and you’re defeated. There are also a few boss fights, but these are essentially the same, but the scenario looks different. Oh, by the way, there are also items you can obtain during a song and then use for future songs. Items can restore HP when it goes beneath a certain percentage, double the amount of XP you earn, and so on. I barely used these so far, since I’m trying to complete the World Tour first, and I’ll probably need those items when trying to complete every world.
- Statistics: After every song you finish, there’s a screen full of statistics. I found this overwhelming and confusing at first, but after taking a second look at it, I loved it. So there’s your overall score, which will also tell you if you got a new record for a specific song. There’s also a chain score, which indicates the maximum length of not missing targets you got in this song. It also says how often you got a rainbow excellent, an ordinary excellent, how many good’s and how many targets you missed. Then you also get a rank, which is indicated by a letter. Of course, you’re aiming for that A or even better! There’s also an excellent bar that makes for a nice statistic. Of course, there’s also your overall level and how many XP you earned during the song.
- Repetitive: Basically, you’re doing the same thing over and over again. And since there is a limited amount of buttons, there’s not that much variation. This will cause the gameplay to start feeling repetitive for some people. For me personally, this wasn’t the case. I could easily get lost in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory for hours at a time and not get bored in the slightest. I think if you’re a big music fan like me, this will also be the case for you. However, be warned, you might play a few songs and then put the game away for a while.
- More Disney: Of course, most of the songs were from previous Kingdom Hearts games. This is really nice for people familiar with the franchise. Even I, who hasn’t played a single game from it before, enjoyed the music, but I just didn’t get nostalgic or whatever. There are also a few Disney songs you’ll encounter. I absolutely LOVED this, since I’m a huge Disney fan. For example, I got overly excited when This Is Halloween got unlocked. There are also songs from The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and so on. I would have loved more Disney songs though. Maybe that’s just my personal opinion because of my love for all things Disney related, but I’m sure the game would benefit from more Disney related music!
- No lyrics: Okay, so I don’t always remember all the lyrics so I wanted to sing along sometimes, but I couldn’t, like with Under The Sea. By the way, I don’t always recommend trying to sing along because it might just take your focus of hitting the right buttons at the right times, you know. Anyway, I would have enjoyed the game even more if the songs weren’t just instrumental, but actually had the lyrics to them.
What we disliked
- There wasn’t anything I really disliked about this game, honestly!
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂