Fine, Sure, Whatever, A Kingdom Hearts Rhythm Game is Coming

It's hardly the strangest thing to happen with this series.

After the title leaked earlier this month, Square-Enix has officially announced Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, and it’s a rhythm game coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch later this year.

From the looks of the first trailer (seen below), the game puts Sora, Donald, Goofy, and several other characters in the Disney/Final Fantasy crossover series on a track with enemies that symbolize beats in the music, and hitting the right notes at the right time lets the party pass through. There are backdrops of various settings in the Kingdom Hearts universe, including Disney worlds like Agrabah from Aladdin and Olympus from Hercules, but also a few of the series’ original settings are seen as well, including Destiny Islands and Twilight Town. It also appears that scenes from the games will also play in the background, as footage from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is seen at one point.

Check out the full trailer here:

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While the game may look like a fun little spin-off in premise, with Kingdom Hearts, it’s never that simple. Square-Enix always seems to find a way to make it important to the overarching plot. While the trailer that’s been released is in Japanese, it does end with a stinger that shows Kairi, who finally got her first playable moment in Kingdom Hearts III’s Re:Mind DLC, undergoing tests with Ansem and his lackeys, as well as confronting a hooded figure about her fate in the main game. While it’s not entirely clear how this is connected to the rhythm section of the game, it does use Kingdom Hearts III’s assets, as opposed to the rhythm stuff that seems to use old assets from previous games.

Whatever the full story is for Melody of Memory, it’s not out of the question that it will be used to expand the world in ways that have major ramifications in future games. While only three games in the Kingdom Hearts series have been numbered in the traditional sense, each game, even ones deemed “spin-offs,” has contained a significant piece of the puzzle for the overarching plot. So even if you’re a fan of the series but maybe not rhythmically inclined, it will likely still be worth looking into the game, even if it’s just watching a walkthrough on YouTube or a Let’s Play.

Melody of Memory isn’t the only Kingdom Hearts project in the works right now, as Square-Enix also announced that it will be releasing a new mobile game called Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road, which will be coming in the spring. All of these will likely culminate in Kingdom Hearts IV somewhere down the line, which, based on Kingdom Hearts III’s secret ending, will likely focus on the Master of Masters, an antagonist who has been working in the background of much of the series up to this point.

Hopefully by then Square-Enix has worked out new ways to portray Disney worlds, because the movies are starting to outgrow the way Kingdom Hearts has characterized good and evil.

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Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Georgia-based writer who still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.

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