Arcade Spotlight! Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memories (PS4)

I have been a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series since the first game back on the PS2 and been playing the various titles of the series since. The double-edge blade of the series is the willingness to try different style of games, but still have it be important to the main story of the game. Melody of Memories is no different, this rhythm action game will take you on a musical journey through the story of the series starting at Kingdom Hearts going all the way to the events after Kingdom Hearts 3. Let’s go through the Good, Bad and the Future of this game.

The Good:

First thing to note is if you are a fan of the music of the series, then this game is for you. They pulled some good tracks from each world and of course including Simple and Clean and Destati. The game contains over 140 tracks so hopefully your favorites had made it. I also enjoy the jazz style version of Dearly Beloved that plays at the title screen.

The next good point the game has going for it is game play is rather straight forward. You attack enemies along the music track until you reach the end of the level. Time the hit, jump dodge or jump attack just right to make it past the enemies without taking damage. Also, it isn’t just about scoring high enough to complete a challenge but sometimes need to make all the jump dodges or playing the level over and over to kill a certain number of enemies.

Lastly, the game doesn’t a descent job of recapping the major events of the series. It helps that it is told from the perspective of Kairi. It covers enough of the story to give a good idea of what went down but doesn’t overload you with of the more ‘confusing’ details. It provides a fun way to catch up on the series.

This is some of the good parts of the game, but what didn’t I like or care for?

The Bad:

The first thing that didn’t click with me was the track flow. I played a lot of Guitar Hero growing up so I am used to a straight track and making sure I press the correct button at the right time. In Melody of Memories the track will curve left, right up and down, which I got used to but I would still have issues with not being able to determine the distance to the enemy when coming off the curve which was a pain from time to time.  

The next thing was a missed opportunity with the different parties you can use. Now I may have missed something but I really didn’t see a reason to change off the team of Sora, Donald or Goofy, over than play through a series of levels with the corresponding time, i.e., play through the Birth by Sleep section with the team of Aqua, Terra and Ventus. Sure, the center character had different ability attacks but that was it. I know this would kind of mess with the game a bit but it would have been interesting to have a party that auto hits, barrels and wooden boxes or one that earns more points on multi-hit enemies. Other than that, it felt like it was a cosmetic option to have a cosmetic option.

The last ‘bad’ point I want to talk about is how the story was presented and I will try to do this as spoiler free as I can. The main issue I had was it felt like an info dumb at the end of the game of why and how Kairi was retelling the events of the series and, in my opinion, it would have been nice if there was a bit of explanation at the beginning or a few cut scenes along the way. It would have been a nice change of pace of going from level to level and getting recaps here and there rather than a 20-minute movie with a few playable levels before seeing the rolling credits.

The game, overall, was done very well with most of the issues being more of a personal preference issue.

The Future:

Honestly, the future part for this game is a bit hard to talk about as I really don’t see another rhythm action game being made, but I may be wrong. So, I will guess I can talk about what I would like to see from the series moving forward.

1st thing is hopefully we don’t have another game just to move the story along. The series of cutscenes at the end of the game basically will bring the end of Kingdom Hearts 3 to Kingdom Hearts 4. It is a nice change in pace, yes; do I need a series of games with mini-stories to keep it moving, now.

The 2nd thing is IF they do another game to just fill time until Kingdom Hearts 4 then I would like a game where Riku is the main character. Melody of Memories sets it up story wise pretty well to easily make the jump to the next game. Which will hopefully be more like the main games rather than a party game or racing game.

The last thing is I would like Kairi to get a bit more time in the spotlight. Yes, I am one of those KH fans. As much as I enjoyed the Kairi was the main character for this game, I would have preferred a game the is like the main series, but she did stand out a bit more in this game so I will mark it as a win.


As a fan of the series, Melody of Memories was a great but weird addition to the series. Luckily unlike other games like Chain of Memories or Coded, they didn’t make it available on multiply platforms right off the bat so you do have options if you want to check this game out. If you are a fan of the series or a fan of rhythm games, I would recommend this game. Since it is a recap of the entire series you will not have to worry about knowing anything about the series before jumping in. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memories is available on PS4, Switch, Xbox One (digitally) and Epic Game Store and you can find more info here. Thank you for taking the time to read this mess of words and until next time: Stay Safe, Be Kind and Game On!

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