Sayonara Wild Hearts review

As a young woman gets heartbroken, it shatters the balance of the universe. A diamond butterfly appears in her dreams and leads her through a highway in the sky in order to find her other self: a masker biker called The Fool.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is an on-rail arcade game that mixes a bevy of gameplay mechanics such as riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords; among others. Each level has a target score that needs to be reached divided in Bronze, Silver and Gold. The way to earn points is by moving quickly and collecting as many hearts as possible.

While the game is an on-rail experience, meaning your movements are limited, you can move from left to right and jump. Moving left to right is vital as it allows you to pick up hearts but more importantly avoid any income obstacles.

Each level will include a mix of the aforementioned genres. One second you’ll be riding a bike and the next you’ll be jumping over large crevices. It’s an interesting gameplay design that keeps players on their toes and avoids repetitiveness. Level lengths vary greatly, as some might take about 3 minutes and others 10. This can be determined by the target score when the level begins: the higher the target score, the longer the level.

Additionally, the game will throw a “boss fight” through some levels here and there to mix it up. The boss fight are pretty simple and intuitive mostly requiring to avoid incoming attacks by performing a button press in a timely manner as the button prompt reaches a circle in the middle of the screen. The closer you hit it to the middle of the circle, the higher the score. It’s forgiving enough that if you hit a bit too quickly, you are rewarded; but with a lower score.

Despite the game being overall easy, even on Normal, if players encounter a particularly rough level, as the game can go pretty fast, after 3 times you hit an obstacle, the game will ask you if you want to skip the level. It’s a nice forgiving feature, which can be turned off, but can also push towards a more relaxing like gaming experience as you don’t have to beat yourself up through the same level over and over.

The presentation of Sayonara Wild Hearts is incredible. The visuals have a synthwave 80’s inspired look which is bright, colorful and happy. The synthwave look fits the game’s theme very well as it can be a bit reminiscent of the typical 80’s rom-com. You can’t help but smile while playing the game. The soundtrack is a huge aspect of the game as it sets and matches the tone of the game. The soundtrack is enticing, mesmerizing and rounds out the experience perfectly.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is an experience. While yes, it is a videogame, once you’re done with it, it feels more like an experience; as if you attended a concert. Sayonara Wild Hearts is a very simplistic, addictive game suited for any gamer. It’s a unique rhythmic gaming experience with simple gameplay easy to pick up and play. If you’re looking for a fun, relaxing, albeit a bit short, gaming experience, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a must play.

CX Score
  • 90%
    Overall - 90%
90%

Summary

Pros

  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • Beautiful visuals

Cons

  • Might overstay its welcome

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