Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory was almost a game in the Theatrhythm franchise according to a newly-translated interview with the game's producer and directors.
A new interview with Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Director Tetsuya Nomura, Co-Director Masanobu Suzui, and Producer Ichiro Hazama reveals many of the upcoming details about this new game. Melody of Memory will feature very different gameplay than what fans of the franchise would expect, but it has a lot in common with another one of Square Enix's franchises: Theatrhythm.
Take a look at the Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Announcement Trailer to see how things have changed!
If you're not into rhythm games, you may require some context. Theatarhythm games feature side-scrolling battles where players have to push button combinations at the correct times. Simply put, this franchise mixes RPG combat with music rhythm elements.
However, Melody of Memory is going to be a fair bit different. It does have many similar themes and it almost became a game in Square Enix's rhythm music franchise, but the course of development led them down an entirely different path — and a much more ambitious final product.
How Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is Different from Theatrhythm
The Theatrhythm franchise has its fair share of fans and a Kingdom Hearts entry would have surely proven popular. Square Enix recognized this possibility, but Game Director Tetsuya Nomura expressed a preference for a slightly different style of gameplay — and a much different aesthetic.
"When we first talked to Nomura about making a Kingdom Hearts rhythm action game, he told us that he preferred we find a way to enjoy rhythm action with the Kingdom Heartsy 3D visuals," the game's Co-Director Masanobu Suzui said in a Famitsu interview translated by KH Insider. "Right around that time, we got a request to try making rhythm action style memorial music box visuals for the Kingdom Hearts series 15th anniversary site. From there, it led to the current gameplay where Sora, Donald and Goofy run and destroying enemies to the rhythm via Kingdom Hearts controls[.]"
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory will largely be told from Kairi's perspective. That means that we'll be seeing many scenes from past games, but with entirely different gameplay. Mind, the creative leads haven't entirely ruled out new content, but the vast bulk of the gameplay is going to be focused on iconic moments from the first three games. There are no plans for additional tracks DLC, either — what you see is what you get.
"There are only a few [new scenes]," said Melody of Memory's Director Tetsuya Nomura. "The plot of KH3 was finished with KH3 Remind, so the amount of sequel style content is limited."
When is the Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Release Date?
The Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory release date is set for November 13, 2020, on the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Japanese gamers will get it two days earlier on November 11, 2020.
Considering the epic story of Kingdom Hearts 3, one might wonder if this game would mark the end of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. There's nothing to worry about here — the Kingdom Hearts team is already hard at work on the next game.
"As for me, my mind has already switched to the next title, and the Kingdom Hearts team is already working on something new," Nomura said. "Melody of Memory was before we started work on the next title, so the main staff were able to help out. Everything I could announce next is something that would surprise you, so I hope you look forward to it."
Are you looking forward to playing Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory? What's your favorite game in the Theatrhythm franchise? Let us know in the comments below!