Sayonara Wild Hearts is one of the best video games I have ever played and it has fundamentally changed my perception of the future of games.
Sayonara Wild Hearts is a multimedia expression of love and feeling inside of a video game music album. At about an hour in length you should play it in one sitting to get the full effect of its beauty. It’s as replayable as your favorite album. The album and the game are intrinsically tied together - singles make up mini-bosses at the end of thematically grouped together levels, instrumental interludes make up shorter introductory levels, and the final level is the longest song in the game ingeniously introducing a kind of boss/final song concept.
Like many songs, the story is simple and relatable - a woman has some kind of heartbreak in her life and learns to love again through fighting for herself. The final level of the game is a beautiful flip of the violence of the rest of the game (I won’t spoil it for you, go see it!) that made me tear up as I played.
My only complaint about Sayonara Wild Hearts is that it’s too short. Many of the instrumental interludes left me desperately wanting longer tracks that I could listen to and play through. Or maybe this is just how the game is meant to be? Or maybe music itself needs to change more to adapt to the gaming part of this new genre? These questions lend to the sense that the game is a demo for a future genre of gaming. The potential and brilliance oozing out of every corner is endless and I can state, right now, that any game that follows this structure with the same level of quality I would buy instantly, whether it be 1 game or 100.
When I say Sayonara Wild Hearts is a new genre...I’m still not even sure if I’m saying it’s a new genre of video games or a new genre of music. Either side of that equation shapes the opposite to the point where I honestly can’t tell. The game is so utterly, joyfully, true to itself - its purposeful, beautiful, purple and pink interdimensional story of self-love so dripping with emotion and audio visual style that it creates an innate sense of wonder and feeling in the player. Playing the game is akin to dancing and freeing yourself of inhibitions at a concert after a breakup.
Sayonara Wild Hearts is an exhilarating reminder that video games are still brand new and are just starting to grow out of their infancy. The feeling of playing it is so fundamentally different than so many other games that it’s hard to label. No backlog, no fall release schedule, should keep you from buying and experiencing it when you have a free hour because it’s not even really in the same category. It just feels...new. Whatever Sayonara Wild Hearts inspires in the development of video games, I am here for it one hundred percent.