Kingdom Hearts Rhythm Game and Mobile Game Both Releasing This Year
Kingdom Hearts is on a roll for Square Enix. With Kingdom Hearts 3 done and out, and its Re:Mind DLC setting the stage for what's to come, it's safe to say the series is entering a new era. Square Enix feels the same way, calling the current state of KH its '2nd Phase'. As a part of this lineup, the company is planning to put out a couple of new spinoff games for the series over the course of this year. One of them, which will be available soon, is the mobile game Dark Road that's been discussed previously. In an announcement trailer put out on their Japanese YouTube channel, an entirely new game was revealed as well. Going by the name Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, the spinoff is a rhythm game. But wait... there's more!
First off, let's take a look at what's going on in each of these games. The story behind Kingdom Hearts has grown to gargantuan proportions by this point, so a little de-tangling would help. We'll start with Dark Road. This mobile title was hit by an unfortunate delay, but thanks to the aforementioned trailer, we now know it's releasing as soon as next week. Dark Road is a prequel to the rest of the series in the same way the current mobile game, Union X, is. Taking place just after the events of Union X, Dark Road puts us in the role of a very young Xehanort, the primary antagonist of the overall series. Over the course of the game, we'll likely get to see what changes Xehanort from the friendly young boy he once was to the evil mastermind he becomes. Alongside him is a young Eraqus, as well as an entirely new cast of characters. The art style is the same as Union X, but the gameplay this time around focuses on a card-based battle system (which isn't a first for the series, as it used this in Chain of Memories).
Melody of Memory, meanwhile, is an entirely different beast. While the story taking place in Dark Road is entirely canon, Melody of Memory is meant more as a hands-off spinoff that has no bearing on the overall series timeline or plot (as far as we know). Gameplay works as you'd expect with most rhythm games, such as Guitar Hero and Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. You'll play as Sora and a variety of other series cast as you journey across several Disney worlds, slaying Heartless with the power of music. The game will feature over 140 tracks from the series, all of which composed by the talented Yoko Shimomura. Considering how big of a series KH is, it has plenty of quality tracks to choose from. Interestingly enough, the game will also host a multiplayer mode alongside its singleplayer. Not much is known about this mode yet aside from the fact that you'll be duking it out musically against other people.
Now for the finer details: Release dates! You can get your hands on Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road on June 22nd, and it will be available on both iOS and Android devices. Melody of Memory, meanwhile, is scheduled to release sometime before the year is up. We'll get to play that on either PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch (making this the first KH game to hit Nintendo's new console). You can check out gameplay and footage of both titles in the announcement trailer, though it's all in Japanese for the time being (hopefully we'll have some English ones soon). Weirdly enough, the trailer also hints mysteriously at a couple of other Kingdom Hearts titles that Square has yet to say anything about. As part of the 2nd Phase for KH, Re:Mind, Dark Road, and Melody all comprise the first three parts of this new phase. What the other mystery titles are is up for speculation; they could be ports of past games to new platforms, or maybe even entirely new mainline games. Whatever the case may be, Kingdom Hearts shows no signs of slowing down, and RPG fans everywhere are very okay with that.