Indieszero and Square Enix offer a perfect title for these turbulent times, a rhythmic adventure that successfully reviews one hundred and a half songs that make up the musical identity of the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
In a terrible year like this 2020, video games can serve as an escape valve from the real world; vivid scenarios, full of detail, impossible fantasies, memorable characters that help us pass the hours and numerous game systems designed by and for the enjoyment of the player. A few days after the launch of PlayStation 5, with Xbox Series X already on the market and Cyberpunk 2077 showing its paw, it is clear that we are going through an intense moment in the community. And it was precisely this context that Square Enix decided to take advantage of to launch a simple, jovial and carefree title on the market; a tribute to one of the best composers in the history of video games: Yoko Shimomura.
Because Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory does not work as much as an expansion in musical-rhythmic format of the franchise created by Tetsuya Nomura as it does as a celebration of the masterpieces composed by Shimomura for almost two decades, with the Kingdom Hearts saga fulfilling its 18th anniversary in Europe in these precise days (remember that it arrived on November 15, 2020 to our territory) seems the ideal moment to dive into magic, the ‘elf’ of this composer’s work, so what we find is, said ‘simple and clean’, a monument to unforgettable melodies that have accompanied us a lot
Designed together with Square Enix by the Japanese company Indieszero, Melody of Memory (MoM from now on) proposes a regression to the past and a leap to the future of the series in musical format. It’s an idea that the company had previously explored in the wonderful Theatrhythm Final Fantasy saga, and even in a Dragon Quest-themed version released on Nintendo 3DS and that sadly stayed exclusively in Japan. But understanding that each franchise has its peculiarities and hallmarks, they have not limited themselves to taking the basis of the above and changing the characters and the soundtrack. In that sense, MoM is a breath of fresh air to a formula that worked perfectly but required a little change of scenery for a proper celebration.
The old friends, reunited
The concept being the same (accompanying the melody by triggering several notes) has changed its visual presentation. Sora, Donald and Goofy (or any of the other three groups of characters that we will unlock in the story) advance through a stage that simulates a pentagram while multiple enemies appear on the screen that we have to annihilate in our path. From the simple heartless like shadows to the big ones, disembodied or shady, depending on the point or world in which we find ourselves. There are some that require two hits, others that we will have to hit by pressing two buttons or even three at the same time, also using jumps or planning to collect notes.