Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is an incredibly unique title for a reason that may not be so obvious to spectators of the series. Other than it being a genre the franchise has never tackled before, at least not in full scale like this; it is also the first Kingdom Hearts title to have a playable online mode in over ten years (not including the mobile titles) with Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep being the last to feature it.
Regardless of your feelings on this latest entry in the franchise, the inclusion of online play is an undeniably massive deal. The desire fans have to play Kingdom Hearts with one another has always remained steadfast and strong. While this is not a traditional Kingdom Hearts experience, its format makes it ideal for cooperative and versus mode play.
So with that said, there is one puzzling oddity that has stumped many other players, myself included, being the lack of any way to play against your friends online. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite there being a completely functional online mode, there is currently no way to play against friends or even find specific players to match with.
This is such a bizarre move on Square Enix’s part that I have trouble finding reasons for why this is the case. The only somewhat plausible conclusion that I have come to has to do with the online mode’s ranking system. The way online play works in Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is that you are randomly matched against an opponent who is of a similar skill level to you. Skill level is determined by a rank number that either increases or decreases when you win or lose matches, respectively.
With rankings being a factor in online play, I assume the concern Square would have with choosing specific players to play against would be that it would artificially ruin the ranking system. But I mean, the obvious fix to counteract that proposed dilemma would be to simply disable rankings when choosing to play against specific players.
Let’s be honest here, while online play is a key factor in this title for replayability, this is not meant to be a highly competitive, cutthroat mode. It’s simply meant for fun and not more than that. That can be easily interpreted from the super friendly messages you can send to players and the fact that you are still rewarded with a collectible card when you lose.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory desperately needs a patch to add in matchmaking with specific players if Square wants this title to be replayable at least until the next big title releases. As addicting and intoxicating as this title is with its immense variety of gameplay modes and music tracks, the prospect of being able to play against friends online is too gargantuan of a boon to ignore.
Considering the number of songs present in this title with being able to play against any of your friends across the globe will obviously result in a whole new synergetic gameplay experience that will help it feel fresh. I can’t stress enough how much of a no brainer this addition is. Appending in this element alone can easily add hundreds upon hundreds of hours of replayability for players in the years to come. Writing this, I’m still metaphorically scratching my head at why Melody of Memory still lacks this functionality.
So, here’s hoping Square Enix incorporates this functionality into Melody of Memory sooner rather than later. They have a goldmine of replayability, just remaining stagnant. With 2021 stated to be a silent year for the Kingdom Hearts series, adding in matchmaking with specific players would be a perfect way to keep fans entertained. Square Enix has the perfect opportunity to capitalize on a quite honestly blatant implementation that should have been in the game from the start,
In case you missed it, check out our review.