The word which perfectly describes the Sayonara Wild Hearts is “Stylish.” The game combines gorgeous setpieces, unique art design and a perfect music-synced storyline all packed in a world full of hearts and motorcycles.
At times the game made me feel at ease as I tried one death-defying stunt after the other, its one-touch gameplay left me yearning for more control over the character and slightly better camera angles at times.
This is a review of Sayonara Wild Hearts developed by the game developer Simogo and published by Annapurna Interactive.
Sayonara Wild Hearts Review
Sayonara Wild Hearts is set in a fantasy world ruled by powerful deities However, several mysterious dark entities take over the universe. Meanwhile, our protagonist is suffering from a personal issue that ends up breaking her heart. Not long after, she is chosen as the “Heroin” which will mend broken hearts across the universe and defeat the dark entities ones and for all.
The story is good enough and it is presented in a way that oozes style. From the introduction of each game level to the art design of the various bosses everything easily belongs on a fashion ramp.
What adds up to the game’s visual appeal is its ever-present soundtrack. From the starting menu of the game to the moment you’re jumping, flying, and leaping off of motorcycles the music is downright amazing. It helps that the soundtrack syncs almost perfectly with the gameplay because without music I doubt that the one-touch gameplay of Sayonara Wild Hearts would be as fun.
Another game that syncs the current in-game scenario astutely with the background score is the 2016 DOOM developed by Id Software.
The changing perspective of Sayonara Wild Hearts also deserves a round of mention. One moment you’re controlling the Heroin from upside down in a Temple Run, kind of perspective, and in another, you’ll be fixed in a Mortal Kombat inspired 2-d fighting scene.
The bosses in the game have a good variety as well.
The main variation in boss fights arises from the song being played. For example, around 1.5 hours in the game you’ll encounter two antagonists who will change the physical surrounding around by snapping their fingers. They do so on a musical beat thus by syncing your player’s movement with their snapping fingers.
It was these moments that made me appreciate the cleverly crafted nature of Sayonara Wild Hearts.
The gameplay of Sayonara Wild Hearts can be described as fast-paced and unpredictable. The ever-changing camera system sometimes makes it difficult to decide whether the current scene is a part of the gameplay or not.
For instance, I was once confused about whether the things happening in front of me are a part of the loading screen or the actual gameplay.
Lighting fast gameplay makes it a little tough to steer the character to avoid any obstacles. However, it is no way groundbreakingly difficult. Also, since the game mostly consists of quick-time events, this could be one of the ways to ramp up the difficulty as you climb levels.
The core control functions mainly consist of swiping, tapping and aggressively tapping. You can use both of your fingers to swipe quickly to reach far placed platforms.
I played the game on an iPhone Xs and personally I felt satisfied with the amount of screen size. I’d rather skip playing this on an iPad as swiping quickly might be a little difficult while you’re holding a big screen.
You can play the game using a controller. I have a PS4 controller that I connected using Bluetooth with my iPhone Xs. And immediately the gameplay experience was much improved.
Despite its vastly changing levels, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a joyous ride. The continuous racing, flying, and fighting demands my full attention. A swipe too late and I will be sent down a pit or crashing into a wall.
Sayonara Wild Hearts has its moments as well. On one level when I am given control of a muscle car using which I have to drift across the desert with music blasting through my ears is my most memorable one in the game. I was surprised by how a game was about collecting rings and jumping off of buildings has so enjoyable drifting mechanics.
You can easily complete the entire game in 2 hours, however, I did so in a span of two days. I have also unlocked a new mode called Album Arcade which allows me to play the entire game without any score calculation turning the game into a long pop album.
Sayonara Wild Hearts Review: Verdict
When I first saw the gameplay of Sayonara Wild Hearts during Apple’s iPhone Keynote event, I immediately knew it’d be a single touch button gameplay. However, game developer Simogo has still managed to make this a solid experience. Aside from a few control issues and camera angles, the Sayonara Wild Hearts deliver an exciting and fun-to-play Arcade experience.