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Sayonara Wild Hearts is an electrifying ride through a world made of pop culture

Sayonara Wild Hearts — новая великая игра о попсе

Просто сделайте погромче и сядьте поближе к экрану.

Музыка умеет манипулировать настроением — возьмите, например, тот самый момент из фильма «Сияние» и замените потусторонние скрипки на звуки из «Сайнфелда», как в этом видео. Совершенно другие ощущения.

Музыка коварна — даже её отсутствие заставляет чувствовать себя иначе. Вспомните сцену из Blade Runner 2049, где Райан Гослинг ищет в заброшенном отеле старого Харрисона Форда. Скорее всего, вас тамошняя тишина не на шутку напрягала, так ведь?

Но не только музыка может менять ощущения от знакомых обстоятельств — обстоятельства точно так же влияют на музыку.

«Melody to hail. Symphony to dick», — зачитывает в микрофон раздетый по пояс темнокожий мужчина с нечесаной бородой. Это MC Ride из великой группы Death Grips, он знает толк в лирике. От него как обычно веет угрозой и нездоровьем. Сотни людей под сценой отвечают тем, что перестают быть людьми и обращаются все вместе как будто бы в жидкость. «Asteroid to midnight powder This like genocide, just louder!».

Но вот это поворот: на том концерте случилась самая добрая мясорубка в которой я когда-либо застревал. Если кто-то из жидких людей падал (или ронял котомку с паспортом), вокруг него, не сговариваясь, выстраивали непробиваемый шалаш из рук, чтобы обеспечить его выживание.

«It goes, it goes, it goes, it goes. »

И всё же я продержался там полчаса.

«. it goes GUILLOTI-I-I-INE! YUH!»

Когда выбрался, скользкий, грязный и не до конца вменяемый от физического и душевного потрясения, я увидел прекрасное: девушки в платьях и дождевиках, светясь от счастья, водили хороводы вокруг дуба. А звуки продолжались:

«Let my blood flow, make my blood flow through you mane!»

Сложилось бы всё так, если бы не интернет, благодаря которому некомфортная, тревожная музыка Death Grips породила дегенератские, но довольно-таки смешные мемы? Были бы люди в мясорубке такими солнечными лапочками, если бы не заряжающая толпу народная noided-мифология?

Другой интересный момент: когда музыка звучит в нужное время и в нужном месте, её «качество» или «новизна» перестают быть важны.

В городе, откуда я родом, есть целый музыкальный андерграунд, звучание которого проще всего описывать словами типа «вторичный», «эпигонский» и другими синонимами, удобными для плохого критика. Но если посмотреть на сложившуюся вокруг этой музыки локальную тусовку, вдруг обнаружится, что как ты эту музыку ни описывай, а жизни она всё-таки меняет.

А страшнее всего выходит, когда обоюдное влияние музыки и контекста замыкаются друг на друге. Начинается эскалация: музыка усиливает контекст, контекст усиливает музыку.

Вот как раз это, кажется, и происходит в Sayonara Wild Hearts.

По версии разработчиков, Sayonara — это «игра-поп-альбом». Определение меткое, но только с одним условием: «игру» и «альбом» критически важно не разделять.

Стоит убрать «игру», как останется только мечтательный сахарный поп. Что-то похожее уже много раз пели CHVRCHES, Purity Ring или, например, Карли Рэй-Джепсен. Это приятная, подвижная, крайне безобидная музыка — больше ничего и не скажешь.

Но если убрать «поп-альбом»? Останутся только маленькие экспериментальные зарисовки, почти каждая из которых строится на новой мини-механике — студия Simogo увлеклась таким подходом ещё в Year Walk и здесь не прекращает.

Например, в одной из миниатюр героиня едет по шоссе в кабриолете (почти как в Outrun, только без трафика). Длится поездка чуть дольше минуты, из нюансов в ней есть что-то вроде заносов на поворотах — но, как и другие механики, эта попросту не успевает развиться во что-то хоть сколько-нибудь состоятельное.

В общем, это явно не та игра, мастерство в которой вы будете оттачивать, и вряд ли тот альбом, который станете переслушивать. Sayonara работает только в комплексе.

Игра, арт и музыка проникают друг в друга так, что реакцию на результат очень трудно осознать и объяснить, а уж сопротивляться ей невозможно и подавно. Музыка усиливает игру, игра усиливает музыку. Даже минималистичной сценой в стиле Asteroids, которая сперва кажется жуткой халтурой, Sayonara умудряется привести в исступление.

Если по роликам вы не можете понять, как в это играть, всё в порядке: Sayonara по очереди представляется то раннером, то шутером вроде REZ, то музыкальной игрой, где нужно нажимать кнопки в такт. Она свободно тасует жанры в пределах уровня, подстраиваясь под играющую фоном музыку.

Хотя тут вернее будет сказать, что на фоне все-таки геймплей, а музыка гордится собой на переднем плане, самом близком к игроку. Sayonara при этом совсем не ритм-игра, чувствовать ритм в ней не так важно, как просто радоваться ему. Бывает, что получается пройти уровень почти не трогая кнопок — но задуматься об этом попросту не успеваешь.

Секрет простой. Когда смотришь, например, долгий двадцатипятиминутный клип Тома Йорка на альбом Anima, можно отвлечься, уснуть, отойти — а клип всё равно доиграет себя до конца. У Sayonara же есть геймплей — простой, но требующий хотя бы минимального внимания. На деле этого минимума достаточно, чтобы погрузиться в происходящее до самого конца.

В конце каждого уровня Sayonara сообщает, насколько качественно вы его прошли (причем, разумеется, делает это не как попало, а голосом хип-хоп дивы Квин Латифы). Эта деталь — один из немногих чисто видеоигровых штрихов во всей Sayonara, — обычно играет роль будильника: «Очнись! Оглянись! Ты в игре!».

Очень кстати: кроме этого момента пробуждения вся Sayonara выстроена так, чтобы ничего не выводило из состояния потока. Цена столкновения с препятствием — практически ноль: всего лишь сброс счётчика комбо и откат назад до предыдущей фразы в композиции. Очки же вместе с рангами не имеют особого значения: как и геймплей, эти показатели успешности — такой же «минимально достаточный стимул», только уже не чтобы погружаться, а чтобы возвращаться и перепроходить (переслушивать?) уровни.

Проходится (прослушивается?) Sayonara за час, как стандартный музыкальный альбом, а каждый уровень-композиция длится где-то от минуты до трех. Длина песен, кажется, тоже неспроста такая: в Spotify и Apple Music исполнителям платят за количество прослушиваний, а не их длительность, поэтому треки во многих поп-альбомах в последние годы становятся всё короче, а типы вроде Дрейка вообще не заморачиваются и просто делают двойные альбомы, где очень много песен.

Но как обычно, любые попытки дать какой-то мудрый комментарий о состоянии поп-музыки на примере Sayonara бьются вдребезги о её простодушное упоение своими (крайне доступными) представлениями о красоте. Вот куплет готовится перетечь в припев, билд, брейк — сейчас накроет. Резко меняется перспектива: вы только что мчали на мотоцикле, но. накрыло! Бросаешь его и перепрыгиваешь на призрачного оленя, скачешь, красота, катарсис, любовь, любовь, всем любви.

. в финале героиня по очереди целует в щёку своих оппонентов. Что это было? Прощение? Смирение? Насмешка? Да какая разница!

Нет, Sayonara вполне поддается анализу — если поискать, за ней можно найти много интересного. Через что проходит героиня? Как это связано с её (би)сексуальностью, имеет ли она вообще значение? Что символизируют уровень с оленем? А уровень с грибами? Почему авторы взяли именно субкультуру тедди-гёлз как основу для костюмов? Насколько существенна лирика песен? При чём здесь карты таро, виноваты ли во всем опять Юнг с Фрейдом?

Задавать вопросы можно долго, и хотя ответы на них ничуть не менее интересны, чем всё, о чем мы говорили выше, но к ним хочется вернуться уже где-нибудь в другом тексте. А сейчас важнее другое: Sayonara Wild Hearts использует весь свой потенциал как игры, чтобы показать, какой может быть поп-музыка: заразительной, громкой и обманчиво легкомысленной — и в принципе довольно-таки классной! В этом её главная заслуга.

Мой канал в Телеграме: @mjjaso

Автор настолько растекся мыслью по древу что я только под конец понял в чем, собственно, смысл игры-то

Спасибо, что дочитали!

Автор хорош. Крутое разгоняющее вступление пропусти которое, и дочитать до конца было бы невозможно.

Одна из пасхалок игры

Комментарий удален по просьбе пользователя

пропустил одно из важнейших кинособытий этого десятилетия

Даже близко не важнейшее. Фильм стильный, но совершенно пустой с абсолютно слабым сюжетом. 3 часа ходьбы с вялым экшеном без какого либо посыла.

Как вас вообще земля носит?

Молча. Ну реально, в фильме огромное количество логических дыр и неудобных вопросов о которых просто забывают. Взять хотя бы тот факт, что репликанты не живут дольше 10 лет из-за заложенной генетической бомбы. Или тот факт, что репликов специально создавали сразу взрослыми для тяжелых работ и из-за нехватки рабочих рук, а главгад 2049 хочет начать размножать репликантов как людей с теми же 15-16 годами недееспособности. Охуенно логично. И таких вопросов вагон и маленькая тележка.

Ну а картинка — да. Вильнёв молодец.

Взять хотя бы тот факт, что репликанты не живут дольше 10 лет из-за заложенной генетической бомбы.

Почему вы так решили? Репликанты Nexus 6 из оригинального фильма имели ограничение продолжительности жизни в четыре года. Nexus 8 и последующие модели выпускались без искусственных ограничений продолжительности жизни, о чем сообщается буквально во вступлении к фильму: https://youtu.be/UTDQnOqUe-Q

Или тот факт, что репликов специально создавали сразу взрослыми для тяжелых работ и из-за нехватки рабочих рук

В оригинальном фильме их создавали для рабского труда в колониях, вполне логично делать репликантов сразу способными к труду, если уже к четырем годам они переставали быть достаточно покладистыми для рабов.

главгад 2049 хочет начать размножать репликантов как людей с теми же 15-16 годами недееспособности.

Так ведь он сам говорит, зачем ему это: «Нам нужно больше репликантов, чем мы способны создать. Миллионы породят миллиарды».

о чем сообщается буквально во вступлении к фильму

Но не объясняется для чего это было сделано. В оригинальном фильме и в повести, ограничение жизни было реализовано как мера контроля. Сбежавший репликант долго не проживёт и сильно набедокурить не успеет. Собственно, из-за продолжительности жизни и появилось подполье репликантов 🙂

Миллионы породят миллиарды

Но по 15-16 лет будут не способны ни к какому труду. Их надо будет кормить, поить, обхаживать и где-то им жить, чтобы до дееспособности они не подохли. Помимо прочего, в отличии от искусственных мозгов, эти будут уже есстественными. Их надо будет обучать. А это снова школы, занятия, обучающий персонал. Что-то я не видел, чтобы воспоминания живым людям внедрялись. Или если они знают как растить младенцев быстрее и давать им навыки, то проще набрать по приютам детей — и размножать их как захочется. Зачем ебаться с нерешаемой проблемой?

Но не объясняется для чего это было сделано. В оригинальном фильме и в повести, ограничение жизни было реализовано как мера контроля.

Потому что контроль продолжительности жизни стал избыточной мерой при наличии у репликанта имплантированных воспоминаний.
Вот как Брайант в оригинальном фильме объясняет существование ограничения: «Nexus 6 — точная копия человека. У них есть эмоции, но через несколько лет могут появиться свои личные реакции — ненависть, страх, злость, поэтому разработчики установили предел их жизни». То есть необходимость контроля происходила из особенностей эмоционального развития репликантов.

Еще тогда Тайрелл рассматривал эксперименты с имплантацией воспоминаний как решение проблемы эмоциональной стабильности: «Они эмоционально неопытны и у них лишь несколько лет для накопления того, что мы воспринимаем как данность. Если дать им прошлое, это будет аммортизатором для их эмоций, и мы сможем лучше их контролировать».

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Собственно, из-за продолжительности жизни и появилось подполье репликантов

Не совсем так. Nexus 8 оказались вне закона уже через два года после выхода из-за возросшего социального напряжения и утраты регистрационных баз данных. Nexus 9 являются потенциально скомпрометированными эмоционально из-за воспоминания Стеллин. А уже факт существования ребенка, рожденного репликантом, в свою очередь объединяет их в организованное подпольное движение.

Но по 15-16 лет будут не способны ни к какому труду. Их надо будет кормить, поить, обхаживать и где-то им жить, чтобы до дееспособности они не подохли.

Так кажется, потому что мы живем в мире, где существуют Конвенции о правах ребёнка и о минимальном возрасте для приема на работу. Например, Cotton Mills and Factories Act в 1819 году запретил прием на работу детей до 9 лет на территории Англии. Elementary Education Act в 1870 году установил рамки школьного обучения всех детей в возрасте от 5 до 12 лет из-за необходимости просвещения граждан, недавно получивших право голоса в соответствии с Reform Act 1867 года. Впрочем, даже сейчас детский труд и вовлечение детей в боевые действия это не только исторический факт.

Что уж говорить о мире фильма, в котором существует практика детского труда как в эпизоде с приютом Коттона, а репликанты все так же бесправны и заняты преимущественно трудом неквалифицированным, опасным для жизни или унижающим достоинство. С учетом потенциально большей физической силы, выносливости и стойкости к экстремальным условиям среды пяти-шестилетние дети репликантов могут представлять не меньшую экономическую ценность, чем их реальные сверстники из XIX века.

Meta Filter

“People who like Rez don’t just like Rez, they love Rez, the 2001 game which blended electronic music and on-rails shooting. It’s a game likened to a religious experience that opens one’s eyes to the possible. And while I’ve always had an intellectual respect for Rez, my repeated attempts to make it past the first few areas failed for a pretty important reason: I cannot stand the music. Electronic music does less than nothing for me, I actively dislike it. Without that, Rez falls apart. But pop music? Pop music has always been, and continues to be, a genre that speaks deeply to me I love its deceptive simplicity—and its bubblegum formulaic construction. I love the way it can make you nod your head and tap your feet—and curse a catchy chorus that refuses to leave your head. Most importantly, it makes me happy. Sayonara Wild Hearts, the latest from the visionaries behind Year Walk and Device 6, is my Rez. It’s an interactive pop album, a fusion of game and music, a shooter and a rhythm game. It’s an experience that’s Carly Rae Jepsen by way of Anamanaguchi, an infectious album of music that, on its own, would be excellent, but the journey of flying through its pulsing beats and wavy vocals is inexorably enhanced through play.”

“At the outset of Sayonara Wild Hears, a narrator — voiced by Queen Latifah — describes a world governed by three powerful arcana, and a new heroine who has emerged from the shard of a broken heart. That girl then appears, riding a skateboard across an astral highway, chasing an ethereal butterfly. Once she captures the creature, the heroine transforms into a masked superhero and sets off on a journey through a pink-and-purple fantasy realm where she chases biker gangs, rides a deer through a mystical forest, and explores a retrofuturistic VR realm. Things only get stranger after that. The entire game is structured like an album, with distinct stages that last just a few minutes. The game isn’t shy about its influences.” In fact, Swedish developer Simogo posted them all on its website, and it’s an extensive list:

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a soup made of pop-culture. It’s OutRun, the “teddy girls” sub-culture, Carly Rae Jepsen, Rez, cafe racers, WarioWare, Blümchen, the 1950s, modern dance, Akira, F-Zero, Space Harrier, Sia, Gradius, the 1980s, Charli XCX, Sailor Moon, Ouendan, Tron, Rhythm Tengoku, Punch Out, and a good portion of ourselves, strangeness, and mysticism stuffed into a blender

“The variety of ways that Sayonara Wild Hearts experiments with its two basic inputs is straight up magic. One minute the game is an on-rails runner that has you narrowly avoiding obstacles, the next, it’s Rez, throwing enemies and projectiles at you that you need to highlight with a cursor and shoot. Sayonara Wild Hearts keeps you guessing. That constant shakeup teaches you how to play and how to navigate new obstacles, but more importantly, it allows you to experience something that is equal parts fun and meaningful. Each level of the game is a beautiful and almost hypnotizing parable about fighting internal demons and overcoming mental hurdles. [. ] Some games invite you in and ask you to like them. Sayonara Wild Hearts is different. It’s unapologetically confident. Sayonara Wild Hearts wears shades while she blows bubblegum bubbles, not even looking in your direction. It’s undeniably cool, and if it’s not your thing, then Sayonara Wild Hearts is like, whatever. It wants to take whoever does love it and ride off into the neon sunset with them.”

People who like Rez don’t just like Rez, they love Rez, the 2001 game which blended electronic music and on-rails shooting. It’s a game likened to a religious experience that opens one’s eyes to the possible.

Can confirm. I don’t even experience synaesthesia, and rhythm isn’t really that important an element to success in the game — but something about Rez fuses the senses in a deeply satisfying way. I didn’t love all the music styles in Rez, because «electronic music» is not some monolithic thing like this author seems to say — but it works very well in context.

A lot of pop music turns me right off, but I am willing to try SWH anyway because it sure looks pretty and I love the concept.
posted by Foosnark at 7:56 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Full disclosure: I worked on ancillary services related to Apple Arcade.

Article doesn’t actually mention it, but this game is part of Apple Arcade, and is the only way to play it besides the Switch. We used it as one of the launch titles during our fall keynote a couple weeks ago.

So if you signed up for Apple Arcade you have the game so check it out.
posted by sideshow at 9:01 AM on September 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I played half of it (so far) on Switch on a big screen with decent stereo and it’s great!
I have a penchant for games that foreground music in any shape or form, so I’m biased, but so far the game delivers on the promises of the reviews.

I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much in handheld or a similar smaller screen, but if you’re dipping into Apple Arcade by all means give it a try! (And doubly so if you have a big screen option.)

In either case, the Waypoint crew mentioned in their latest podcast that the game is best experienced by not reading too much about it to avoid spoilers about some gameplay stuff (and one narrative reveal), so just a heads up.
posted by bigendian at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2019

should give a shoutout to how good that Waypoint podcast is

Small aside, check out Kotaku’s Splitscreen as well. It is also just as wonderfully entertaining and informative.
posted by Fizz at 9:51 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

My first play of this on Saturday gave me tingles up and down my spine. It’s that good. Admittedly one of those tingles may have been my brain cracking open the set of memories laid down all those years ago when I managed to get the Butterfly Ending on Rez at the point when SWH says «hello I would like to pay tribute to Rez now».

I did not get those again when I did the «play all the levels in sequence» mode the other day. I should go back and start figuring out how to get a gold rank on each level; the first couple are easy but once you get the first motorcycle level, even a perfect runthrough of the Obvious Path is nowhere near enough for that. Something to pick at over time, though I’m sure there’s someone on Youtube who has already done it. And someone who’s figured out all twenty-four of its hidden Zodiac-themed secrets. Me, I’ll take my time.

Also: I have a small mental list of Books That May Also Be Magical Initiations, and this game just plopped itself on this list and is staring at me, daring me to say it doesn’t belong.

Short and sweet and pretty awesome and I wish I still had things set up with a 70″ projection sprawled across my closet door, my new place is better in many ways than the last one but lacks big uninterrupted expanses of wall.
posted by egypturnash at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2019

I liked Anna Anthropy’s take:

if rez is, as jeff minter called it, «panzer dragoon with its trance trousers on,» then sayonara wild hearts is rez in an extremely queer blazer with a book about astrology. and a sword.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:02 PM on September 25, 2019 [8 favorites]

I’m thinking of getting it for the Switch so I can use a proper controller.

FWIW, iOS 13 supports PS4 and Xbox One controllers (so I’m told—I haven’t tried it myself).
posted by box at 1:40 PM on September 25, 2019

I should only really buy this or the goose game. I’m almost physically in pain with the choice.

Can confirm that goose game is absolutely fantastic but I’m seriously considering also nabbing this. Good indie games are all worth supporting imo
posted by RobertFrost at 10:31 AM on September 26, 2019

I just finished doing the Album Mode for the second time after spending some time working on figuring out and executing the gold-rank path through a few more levels. Right now I’ve got gold up to the fight with the Howling Moons (minus the level before it, I need to try a few more things), and the level near the end where it suddenly turns into Rez because when I got there the first time I just kinda. went away and was replaced by a machine for playing Rez. It’s good stuff.

If you want spoilers on the first few levels, or don’t care to play it yourself, I’ve been posting each gold-rank run on Youtube.
posted by egypturnash at 8:19 PM on September 27, 2019

I played through this last night and GOD, what a gorgeous game! This lines up with so many of my interests it’s comical, and executed so well too.

I really appreciated the feature where, when you fail a section too many times, ‘The Magician’ offers to skip you past it. A bit of compassionate anti-frustration game design in a medium that too often puts high difficulty on a pedestal.

Time to replay on Album Mode, absorb the story a bit more, and then have a crack at some of the Zodiac secrets.
posted by Glier’s Goetta at 1:49 AM on October 1, 2019

Читать еще:  Victory is at your fingertips

This game is amazing and beautiful and I want the pin they made and at least one of the t-shirts they made and possibly a workout class themed to the aesthetic?

Also I am BAD at it. Getting a gold run on, like, the second level near killed me.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:01 AM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

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Sayonara Wild Hearts is an electrifying ride through a world made of pop culture

From the creators of Year Walk and Device 6

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At the outset of Sayonara Wild Hears, a narrator — voiced by Queen Latifah — describes a world governed by three powerful arcana, and a new heroine who has emerged from the shard of a broken heart. That girl then appears, riding a skateboard across an astral highway, chasing an ethereal butterfly. Once she captures the creature, the heroine transforms into a masked superhero and sets off on a journey through a pink-and-purple fantasy realm where she chases biker gangs, rides a deer through a mystical forest, and explores a retrofuturistic VR realm. Things only get stranger after that.

The entire game is structured like an album, with distinct stages that last just a few minutes. The game isn’t shy about its influences. In fact, Swedish developer Simogo posted them all on its website, and it’s an extensive list:

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a soup made of pop-culture. It’s OutRun, the “teddy girls” sub-culture, Carly Rae Jepsen, Rez, cafe racers, WarioWare, Blümchen, the 1950s, modern dance, Akira, F-Zero, Space Harrier, Sia, Gradius, the 1980s, Charli XCX, Sailor Moon, Ouendan, Tron, Rhythm Tengoku, Punch Out, and a good portion of ourselves, strangeness, and mysticism stuffed into a blender

Where do you even start with a list like that? For Simogo, it began with a single drawing. Simon Flesser, one half of the small Swedish studio, had been researching “teddy girls,” a particularly British fashion subculture from the 1950s, that was both flamboyant and working class simultaneously. Flesser loved the look and started doodling different characters, including one wearing a bunny mask and smoking a cigarette. Around the same time, his co-creator Magnus “Gordon” Gardebäck, had picked up a new motorcycle, and Flesser was listening to a lot of American folk band Lord Huron. “I guess all of that just blended, and I started to imagine a game about a masked, motorcycle-riding avenger,” he explains.

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Sayonara Wild Hearts took around four years to develop, and Flesser says that for around six months, that simply involved experimenting with different prototypes to figure out how to put all of those myriad influences into one coherent project. The game wasn’t always so bright and exciting. “It started out with a much darker and more mysterious feeling, and we played around with ideas of combining surf rock and taiko drums and Ethiopian influences as well,” he explains. “We’ve been through a lot of iterations.” One early version of the game was even entirely motion-controlled.

The final game — which is available on PS4, the Nintendo Switch, and Apple Arcade — is a tight, arcade-styled fever dream that is almost unrelenting when it comes to surprising you with new ideas. One minute, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a side-scrolling shooter; the next, it’s a rhythm game where bikers battle through dance. There are massive boss fights and roller coaster-like trips through surreal locations. But it’s all tied together with a slick, minimal art style and frantic pop music soundtrack.

That pop influence also extends beyond the music and into the structure of the game. Each stage in Sayonara Wild Hearts is brief and distinct, and after you finish the game, you can play through them in any order, as if you were picking a song from a CD. “I think it has the same philosophy as an album,” says Flesser, “in that all levels are self-contained parts with their own little ideas and twists, but together they form a bigger concept. We also didn’t want to use the same ideas over and over, every level needed to feel like they presented their own little tricks — just like a song on an album.”

Sayonara Wild Hearts continues a tradition of unexpected releases from Simogo. The studio’s past work is eclectic, to say the least: there’s Year Walk, a haunting adventure game through Swedish folklore; Device 6, an interactive spy novel; SPL-T, a minimalist mobile puzzle game; and The Sailor’s Dream, a serene experience that’s sort of like a mixed media concept album. And that’s just to name a few.

But Sayonara isn’t just a departure in style or tone. It’s also a much bigger project than Simogo’s past work. It took four years to make — Device 6, in comparison, took six months — and the team had to expand in size to realize the concept. The studio also worked with a publisher, Annapurna Interactive, for funding and additional support. (Flesser says that when Annapurna joined midway through, “the project really was in dire need of some deadlines and accountability.”)

This does raise the question of what, exactly, a Simogo game is. If the studio’s output is all so varied, is there a unifying theme or philosophy holding it all together? Flesser says that there is, but it’s not “an outspoken mission statement that we have to adhere to,” but rather something a bit harder to define.

“I don’t think there is an intentional ruleset we play by, but I think there is definitely a subconscious feeling of needing to stay somewhat within the expectations of what Simogo project is,” he explains. “And I feel it is sort of our responsibility to challenge that, without alienating people who have come to love our previous games. So it’s like a silent promise to the audience.”

Simogo

Sayonara Wild Hearts

We’ve been working on Project Nightroad for what feels like a slice of eternity. But now, we’re happy, and to be honest also kind of scared, to finally be able to show you what we’ve been doing during this long silence.

Our new game! Our new pop album! Our new everything!

Sayonara Wild Hearts is pop album video game about being awesome, riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts at 200 mph.

…With the more market-y stuff out of the way, we’d like to talk a little more personal about what Sayonara Wild Hearts is, and how it came to be.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a soup made of pop-culture. It’s OutRun, the teddygirls sub-culture, Carly Rae Jepsen, Rez, cafe racers, WarioWare, Blümchen, the 1950s, modern dance, Akira, F-zero, Space Harrier, Sia, Gradius, the 1980s, Charli XCX, Sailor Moon, Ouendan, Tron, Rhythm Tengoku, Punch Out and a good portion of ourselves, strangeness and mysticism stuffed into a blender.

It all started with a drawing of a woman wearing a mask and a couple of thoughts that had been bubbling for a while. After making three slow and thinky games, it was time to make something that had a swift soul. Something that was more gut than brain. Something that’d be thrilling, and fill you with euphoria, like a good pop song. And, we wanted to make a video game that was unashamed of being a video game.

We wanted to explore how to design a 3D action game that felt as spectacular and cinematic as a modern blockbuster game, but with the simplicity and nimbleness of the games we grew up with: the arcade games which never needed more than one button and four directions to feel amazing in your hands.

Because, honestly, video games have become scary and uninviting. And that’s a big shame.

We think video games is the coolest thing in the world. Why are we actively pushing people out of this amazing thing we love? Why can’t there be amazing looking 3D games that aren’t operated by 12 buttons and 2 sticks simultaneously? Why can’t there be awesome action games without convoluted systems? And, most importantly: Why do we keep on putting the same type of characters (dudes dudes dudes and more dudes) in them?

We realised that what we wanted to make was an action game that felt inviting, without compromising what makes an action game good: the thrill. A game that could be enjoyed equally by people who play videogames all the time and people who have no interest, or are even scared to play video games. We wanted that game to constantly throw new surprises at you, without having to explain new control schemes, mechanics or systems.

So. We started to make a prototype, featuring masked biker gangs based on tarot cards. One day while playing the prototype, a playlist with energetic electric pop music was on in the background, and somehow, what was happening on the screen married perfectly to what was happening from the speakers in the room.
It can’t have taken more than one day, until we asked Jonathan (who made the music for The Sailor’s Dream) to start writing pop songs about heartbreak, and Daniel (who made the music for Year Walk and DEVICE 6) to arrange them with a vibrant electric production.
A year earlier, we (admittedly somewhat starstruck) approached artist Linnea Olsson after a record store gig here in town, and told her that she should get in touch if she ever wanted to make music for a game. A year later, with an almost unbelievable amount of star alignment, an email popped up from her, just as we were looking for a singer for the first song of the game. And so, it seemed that we were suddenly creating a pop band, and the work of their first album–the soundtrack of this game–was starting.

It’s been a long ride. At times not entirely smooth, to tell the truth.
As the project went on, we started to realise that we needed a bigger team and some help with publishy stuff, to make Sayonara Wild Hearts into what it deserved to be. So, after more than a year of emails from Annapurna Interactive, we showed them one level of the game in 2016. And it didn’t take a long time until a partnership happened: we’re pleased and happy that Annapurna Interactive is publishing and supporting Sayonara Wild Hearts, which has made it possible for us to work with a team of two extra programmers (Magnus! Björn!) a 2D/UI artist (Åsa!) and an animator/tech-artist (Carl!) to tame this beast of a game.

That’s more or less the story of how this game came to be. The story of the game itself however, is a simple interdimensional road movie cartoon. To be frank, after having made three very story heavy games, it feels refreshing to do something that tells a fun story with almost no text. Characters express themselves with dancelike gestures, and the backstory can be summed up in this short paragraph:

As the heart of a young woman breaks, the balance of the universe is disturbed. A diamond butterfly appears in her dreams and leads her through a highway in the sky, where she finds her other self: the masked biker called The Fool.

We’re getting close to completion, and we’re very pleased that Sayonara Wild Hearts is coming to Nintendo Switch and other platforms in 2019. We’ll talk more about those other platforms next year. Stay tuned.

Oh, and the title?

We knew that it was going to be a difficult game to make. We knew that if this turns out to be the last game we make, then the title should say it all.

Sayonara Wild Hearts Review — An Enchanting Visual Album Full of Hits

Short, sweet, and simple, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a package of positivity, with music and visuals that will sure to win anyone over.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Reviewed On
Also On

Action, Adventure, Arcade, Rhythm

Review copy provided by the publisher

Once everyone begins talking about Sayonara Wild Hearts in their own gaming social spaces, each person will undoubtedly be comparing it to different pieces of media that they like. It could be another video game, a favorite movie they have, or more likely, a music album that they adore. Regardless of what points of comparison people make, they’ll all be right in some way, whether Simogo intended the similarities or not. What’s important is that this “pop album game” will surely remind players of something that they personally love, which goes to show how strong this experience can resonate with players.

When I saw it at PAX East earlier this year, word of mouth on the floor had compared it to Sailor Moon, but having never seen that anime, I instead drew comparisons to Elite Beat Agents, Tron, and Tetris Effect. But perhaps it also helps to describe what Sayonara is the polar opposite of—back then, I thought of the film Heavy Metal, which contained similar stories of ordinary outsiders chosen to save another world. While that 1981 animated film was crude, cruel, and cynical, Sayonara is bright, optimistic, and wholesome. A colleague of mine helped me to realize that Sayonara Wild Hearts may, in fact, be the antithesis to Thumper, an intense “rhythm violence” game. If “Happy Thumper” sounds more your speed, this game could be for you.

Well, assuming you also love pop music.

“…this ‘pop album game’ will surely remind players of something that they personally love…”

Our story begins with an ordinary woman who has recently experienced heartbreak, thrown out of her regular routine and implied to be suffering from depression. As told by a special celebrity star narrator, she is pulled into a strange and magical universe based on tarot cards, with gangs of women that represent the Major Arcana having cursed this universe and created discord. Representing “The Fool” tarot card, the player character goes on a journey to ward off these evil-doers, all while inspirational pop music plays. Lovers of tarot readings, astrology, the occult, and the cosmic are sure to love this premise.

The core gameplay is simple, but not at all a leisurely walk in the park. The player will mostly be riding vehicles, whether it be a skateboard, a motorcycle, a car, or perhaps a flying giant tarot card. You’ll be moving forward automatically while moving the Fool left and right, collecting three tiers of hearts—small hearts, large heart rings, and hearts on square cards, each giving the player more points than the previous one. At the end of each level, which could be between a minute to five minutes, you will either have ranked bronze, silver, or gold depending on how many hearts you’ve collected. Fail states are possible, usually from hitting obstacles, but checkpoints are quick and you’re brought back into the action after not even a split second.

Sayonara Wild Hearts peppers variety into levels fairly quickly, though—you’ll constantly be doing quick time events, which is where part of the Elite Beat Agents comparison comes from. Some levels have shooting segments, with the Fool’s bike automatically firing ahead, or with the player aiming with the control stick for the Fool to automatically shoot. The gang girl bosses provide some fun gimmicks, like a highway that shifts dimensions and changes to the beat, or one who traps you in a VR headset. Whatever the case, the challenge begins to start when the player must juggle some combination of these gameplay styles of controlling movement, reacting to QTEs, and shooting obstacles, all while collecting hearts.

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“…the challenge begins to start when the player must juggle some combination of these gameplay styles…”

Despite some later challenges, I found Sayonara Wild Hearts easier to handle when I approached it more like a rhythm game and less like an endless runner. Remember that boss level I mentioned with the dimension-shifting highway? That was the first point where I found myself stuck in the game (the narrator offered me to skip the level, which while I respectfully declined, appreciated that accessible route), but once I figured out the solution, I felt like I had figured the entire game.

I was approaching the level more like Celeste and less like Guitar Hero—I told myself to not focus too much on minute and deliberate movements for my bike to avoid obstacles, and instead sway my bike back and forth to the beat of the song. The results were nothing short of graceful and glamorous.

Based on that, it shouldn’t be surprising to you that I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat through Spotify ever since completing Sayonara. It’s mostly comprised of poppy and fun instrumentals, with “boss” levels punctuated with songs containing vocals and lyrics. I’ve had so many friends in the lead up to this game’s release recommend me Carly Rae Jepsen, Lorde, CHVRCHES, and other similar acts, and this soundtrack is right at home with them (all of those recommendations are on a massive Spotify playlist of mine, by the way).

Honestly, I’m now a bit surprised that musicians haven’t utilized the medium of video games for visual albums. With artists like Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe deploying their music through film (my personal favorite being Interstella 5555 based on Daft Punk’s “Discovery”), perhaps Sayonara could mark a beginning for artists to create interactive visual albums. And the vibrant visuals on this album game perfectly mesh with the positive vibes of the music, with neon pinks, purples, and blues. Finding each boss and motorcycle gang was thoroughly entertaining, with each having their fun and unique over-the-top visual gimmicks.

“…it shouldn’t be surprising to you that I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat through Spotify ever since completing Sayonara.”

It took me around two hours to complete the full story, making Sayonara to be a nice, compact experience. That isn’t to say that there isn’t anything to do afterward—one extra mode that allows players to go through all levels uninterrupted is unlockable by completing every level in the main game, while another mode is unlockable by getting gold ranks in every level. And no, of course I haven’t been able to unlock that yet.

I rarely go back to short games, but I feel more incentivized to go back and replay many of the levels to get those gold ranks (I only got one gold rank, and three more from replaying the first couple of levels). It gets to the point where replaying the levels for a higher score is less about learning and increasing your own skill, and more about memorizing where those square heart cards are—still, it’s hard to complain when it’s a good excuse to listen to that music and watch those fantastic visuals yet again. Additionally, achievements are in the form of Zodiac Riddles, with each zodiac sign having two different accomplishments that are described rather vaguely—as hard as it is to get these achievements, it might be just as hard to figure out exactly what they want you to do.

My only warning to some people is that when I say this game is fast, that means it’s really fast. The frame rate is smooth and the graphics are crisp, but with everything happening so quickly, with the player zooming past everything, there is a lot of visual input to take in. While I personally didn’t have a problem with it, it is entirely possible that some may find the game to be visually overstimulating. It recalled for me the first time I ever saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on the big screen: a visual treat, but in the back of my head, I kept thinking about how that movie would probably hurt my parents’ eyeballs.

“While I personally didn’t have a problem with it, it is entirely possible that some people may find the game to be visually overstimulating.”

I have to go back to the Tetris Effect comparison because I feel the need to make an important distinction between that and Sayonara. Both have lovely sound and sights and they speak a very similar language in permeating positivity—where the two diverge is where the inspiration is targeted. Tetris Effect is a humanist experience that celebrates the might of the collective human spirit and how far we’ve come as a people, while Sayonara Wild Hearts is about how the individual can pick themselves back up despite personal struggles. It is a message that can reach anyone, no matter what you’ve gone through.

It recalls other games that focus on fighting your own inner demons—Celeste or Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, being a couple of examples. Not to knock on those games (I love Celeste in its own way, and honestly haven’t gotten to Hellblade yet), but the shorter and more abstract Sayonara may be more palatable to a wider audience. This game has brevity and subtlety as major advantages. And for myself and for a number of peers and friends I’ve talked to who have finished the game, it came at just the right time in our lives.

But as more people discover the wonders of Sayonara Wild Hearts, I look forward to having those conversations about it with them. I want to hear what the game reminded them of, as I imagine I’ll hear different answers from different people. Every game can be compared to other games, but Sayonara covers a wider spectrum across different forms of media. Regardless of what pieces of media people may compare it to, I bet all of those pieces are ones that made them feel happy inside. And one day in the future, something else will come up to lift our spirits, and I’ll say, “you know, this really reminds me of Sayonara Wild Hearts.”

Источники:

http://dtf.ru/games/71470-sayonara-wild-hearts-novaya-velikaya-igra-o-popse

http://www.metafilter.com/183302/Like-if-Rainbow-Road-was-refracted-through-Cardcaptor-Sakura

http://www.theverge.com/2019/9/25/20882183/sayonara-wild-hearts-interview-switch-ps4-apple-arcade-simogo

Sayonara Wild Hearts

http://www.dualshockers.com/sayonara-wild-hearts-switch-review/

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