The Ride of A Lifetime
Shooting among the stars, speeding down highways and racing on motorbikes. Sayonara Wild Hearts is unlike anything I’ve ever played before. A combination of an endless runner, Wario Ware and a rhythm game make the new title from Simogo a journey that has put this game at the top of my most wanted list of games for 2019.
Instead of a narrative heavy title, Sayonara tells its story in a more visually abstract way. You play as a girl called The Fool and follow her as you race down an never-ending looping road that feels straight out of a 3D Sonic the Hedgehog title. As you speed by, you try to collect hearts to improve your score and increase your speed. The story is seemingly based on tarot cards, but at first glance it’s definitely the visuals that steal the show.
Sayonara’s unique style sets it apart from many other rhythm games. Using a combination of neon pink colors and short visual effects it almost feels dreamlike to collect hearts while racing down the highway. The creators call Sayonara Wild Hearts a pop album video game. And they couldn’t be more on the nose. Each track is uniquely created for each level and complements the action perfectly. The music made me almost forget I was playing the game at a busy demo booth. Stylistically, the music felt like a combination of the floating vocal tracks from last year’s Tetris Effect, blended with the ambience of The World Ends With You turned up to eleven.
While atmospherically I’m fully on board with Sayonara Wild Hearts, the verdict is still out on how long all these elements will keep me engaged. Collecting hearts for a higher rank is fun, but on longer levels the turns, tricks and jumps do start to merge together. The boss fight in this specific demo, a fight against a rival biker gang called The Dancing Devils, reused a lot of the same moves and level layouts for the battle. Defeating the opponents by chasing them down and defeating them in a simple game where you time your button presses. However, judging by the first trailer, there will be a lot more to the bosses and gameplay in the full release.
Sayonara Wild Hearts captivated me unlike anything else I played at Gamescom this year. Stylish, immersive, and just fun to play, I cannot wait to see the other tricks that this title has up its sleeve.
The article is written by Willem Hilhorst. Follow him on Twitter right HERE!