Guilty Gear -Strive- Review: PC

Mankind knew they cannot change society. So, instead of reflecting on themselves, they blamed the Beasts. Heaven OR Hell. Duel 1… Let’s Rock!

Guilty Gear has been one of the staple fighting game franchises in the FGC since 1998, when Daisuke Ishiwatari and his team, Arc System Works, developed the very first Guilty Gear title for Playstation 1. The game was instantly a cult classic among fans, praised for its tight, fluid animation, excellent character design in the form of 2D sprite work, and a unique compressed heavy metal soundtrack that distinguished it from many fighting games of the era. It introduced such characters as Sol Badguy, our quintessential edgy-as-a-knife-face protagonist of the game with his spiky hair wrapped in a bandana, split leather jacket and tank top circa 90s Japanese biker gangs, and his bright red sword with a rectangular blade, Fireseal, nicknamed “Blazer” by Sol himself. Polar opposite to Sol, we have Ky Kisuke, our deuteragonist. A stoic, proud, steadfast religious warrior of the Sacred Order of Holy Knights, and Sol’s eternal rival. Clad in white and wielding a longsword on his hip known as Thunderseal. Ky is the Yin to Sol’s yang, and they and eight other unique, fun characters propelled Guilty Gear into the higher echelons of fighting games and throughout the years have been getting sequel after sequel, the most recent of which being the Xrd series and the last entry being Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2.

Of course, new times call for a new style of Guilty Gear. The FGC is bigger than ever and fighting game fans desire something deeper. A sequel to Xrd which looks stunning, and adds more layers than its predecessors, and that is exactly what Guilty Gear directors Daisuke Ishiwatari and Akira Katano claimed they have accomplished. Guilty Gear has always had many complex systems in place which can at first glance appear imposing to some new players, so, to put it into Katano’s words, “We wanted to change things and tweak the UI and oversimplify the concepts of Guilty Gear, to present an impression of simplicity, while in reality, offering a level of depth previously unseen in early Guilty Gear titles.”

So, that is what they strived (hah) to do. But the question is, did they succeed in making this the quintessential Guilty Gear game for people new to fighting games, while also developing something truly spectacular? Or did they drop the ball and create a game that dumbs down every mechanic and provides nothing old or new fans of the franchise could possibly enjoy? Well, take a ride with me, and I’ll go over and cover every aspect of this entry and we’ll reach the conclusion together. If you are new to fighting games, hopefully I can convince you by the end why you should give them a go and hopefully this will be the perfect place for you to start. Let’s dive right into the smell of the game.

Visuals

Guilty Gear -Strive- has taken a direction its art style that is undoubtedly for the better. Cel-shaded, sharp contrasting tones make it feel borderline comic book-esque, the color scheme has a large emphasis on blood reds and deep blues, clearly a nod to the two most popular characters in the roster. The particle effects and animation lines during fighting are also shaded in a way that they perfectly bleed into the color palettes. But while the color and the cel-shaded visuals are exceptional and enjoyable, the environments and backgrounds of stages are where the art style truly shines.

I do not exaggerate when I say that I have never seen stages in a fighting game look so animated and meld so seamlessly into the foreground with the fighters. I’ll use Original Times Square as my example, the default stage for my main. The random people walking on the street going to their 9 to 5 job or on their phone, the taxis whizzing by the street, the sound and pitter patter of rain drops on the sidewalk and street, and the florescent changing of traffic lights as this whole world goes on in the background of this one stage while two badass fighters beat the hell out of each other on the street. Then I rush down my opponent into the corner and beat them into the glass wall of the current stage; in a flash it shatters, and they fly into a new stage. My opponent lands on their back and I quickly follow. All of a sudden we are fighting in a new location, and I see in the background a woman starring in disbelief at us while tugging on her husband’s shirt to try and get his attention so he can turn around and see our brawl, but he’s too absorbed in the painting he’s staring at. All this attention to detail and effort put into this one stage, and there are many more, with four or so backgrounds to every stage, and ten stages in the game.

Everything oozes style, including the character designs. Sol and Ky’s look remain a sharp take on a great classic, but so many characters get new little takes to their designs. Potemkin gets full face iron and now properly looks a walking human tank, Ramlethal the cute, tan brigadier gets a few new designs to her cape, her massive swords, and a new proper military hat. The new characters like Giovanna, are equally sharp, her blouse and loose-fitting slacks so she can kick faster, the martial arts gloves she wears, and her stance akin to that of Bruce Lee being taken every time while idle. Stylishness is this game’s language and it is extremely fluent in it. Visuals and art design in Guilty Gear -Strive- are excellent and get full marks from me.

Sound Design and Music

Guilty Gear’s sound design has always been top notch but Strive takes it to a new level. Let’s start off with sound. Every impact, whoosh from a projectile, and slow down during a counter hit is punctuated perfectly, I got so used to hearing them while playing, the satisfaction of hearing them was so satisfying. It’s impressive when a fighting game makes you want to play it more and get better at match ups through audio cues alone, isn’t it? Every hit is distinct and defined well enough to be addicting to the ears. Even the menu sounds are gratifying, with little wavey chimes and page turning sounds when you go back to a previous option. But that’s sound design during matches, how does the music hold up?

This is goddamn Guilty Gear, how do you think the music holds up? No other fighting game series is better known for its metal soundtrack than the Guilty Gear games. But I am, let’s just say, beyond ecstatic, to report that Strive has the best soundtrack of any Guilty Gear game. Nary I say to you dear viewer, not even the best Guilty Gear soundtrack, but one of the best fighting game soundtracks I’ve ever heard in my life, right in line with Killer Instinct remake being helmed by the legendary Mick Gordon, and Skullgirls having the wonderfully talented Michiru Yamane. Guilty Gear -Strive- has Daisuke Ishiwatari. How one single man can be so good at melding so many different genres together confounds the hell out of me.

The main theme of the game is of course, the very first track released as promotional material for it, “Smell of the Game”. It plays ala instrumental during the character selection screen, but you can select the actual song during duels too. Sol’s theme is titled “Find Your One Way” – it has an almost early 90s, nasty crunch to it found in most Southern thrash metal, pinch harmonics squealing into the sky while simple chugging riffs in the background break for the verse’s lyrics. The riffs and guitar work itself is a remixed version of Sol’s older themes from previous Guilty Gear titles, as is Ky’s. Ky’s theme is called “The Roar of the Spark”, and I like it considerably more. From right out of the gate, it hits you with two power chords, followed by beautiful synthesizer organ style triplets straight out of a Castlevania game. Gothic power metal would be what I describe it as, and it literally soars through the air as you air dash with Ky into a beautiful combo. Then we look at May’s theme “The Disaster of Passion” and the game suddenly takes a sharp 180 degree turn into bouncy J-pop!? What the fuck, am I even playing the same game? Yet it’s incredible, consistently happy and catchy, making you want to dance, capturing the feeling of the opening of a slice of life anime, matching the bubbly, fish-controlling, anchor-wielding little pirate girl to a T.

That is not even scratching the surface of this game’s soundtrack either. My main and favorite character, Giovanna, her theme “Trigger” is pretty much a Beastie Boys and Faith No More crossover song. Millia Rage’sLove the Subhuman Self” is basically symphonic prog metal. Ramlethal’s theme “Necessary Discrepancy” is phenomenal, it’s like futuristic jazz fusion metal. The rhythms are complex and take off and come back into place, just like her fighting style of throwing massive energy swords she carries at her side. Potemkin’s theme “Society” hits like a tank, just like him, and is so massive, you can almost match up the kick drum to each one of his huge ground-shaking footsteps. I could go on but, basically you got the gist of how truly incredible this game’s music is. I could show this OST to someone as normal music and it’s highly likely it would floor them, especially if they were a musician. Sound design and score in Strive are masterfully done. Hunt for this soundtrack everywhere you can, it’s worth it.

 Gameplay

Now, the most quintessential part of any fighting game. How does it play? The meat of the whole package, how does it feel in the hand, on the pad, through the stick and buttons, and all that good jazz? Well let’s talk about movement first. You have your standard staples of most hyper six button fighters: forward and backward, forward dash and backward dashes. Aerial dashes and double dashes come into play too, every character moves very differently and have definite variations of all these movement staples. Potemkin moves extremely slow and heavily because he is a tank and he also has no dashes or aerial dashes. Instead, being the staple grappler of the game, he has dedicated anti air grabs. Other characters you can hold forward dash and they will run in a solid line across the stage. My girl Giovanna, you can’t hold dash down on ground but you can chain dashes in succession, which is very advantageous to the rushdown character playstyle she has.

Impacts and hits feel tight and heavy, especially when you get counters. Guilty Gear -Strive- has a heavy emphasis on counters and punishment moves, so much so that when you get land one, the screen shakes and slows down and the massive words COUNTER or PUNISH show up on screen with the announcer’s voice yelling them (since we fitegame boys can’t read, evidently). This fighting game more like any other before has the heaviest emphasis on teaching new players to learn how to read their opponent and react with the right move or mix up accordingly, actively encouraging and refining the fighting skills of those newer lads who this may be the first fighting game they’ve really wanted to put the time and effort into. Of course, you also have your supers and special moves for each character, a lot of which are activated through half circle or double quarter circle motions and a single button press.

Roman Cancels of various varieties are here on offer, too. For those not sure what those are, it’s a shockwave using the EX Burst Meter below your character’s health bar to either get out of a stun block chain, slow your opponent’s recovery time, increase your recovery time, and so on. Activated by three simultaneous button presses, each Roman Cancel has dedicated button sets and colors to differentiate it on screen. Also there is the Tension gauge, because what fighting game would be complete without a super meter? It fills as you fight and land hits or take hits, building faster with variety in moves, and has two bars. One bar is burned upon triggering a super, called an Overdrive in Guilty Gear because everything in this beautiful series has to be a reference to a motorcycle gang term.

May’s ridiculous Overdrive attack.

You can also perform a perfect guard and mitigate chip damage while blocking at the cost of burning meter as well, so you have to choose wisely and decide in what situation you want to use the Tension gauge. There’s also a side stage break mechanic I touched on in visuals earlier, allowing you to beat your opponent into the corner against a glass wall, eventually doing enough damage pushing them against it that it shatters, and they (or you) fly off the background and into a new background of the stage while dealing a decent chunk of damage. Nailing it at the end of an Overdrive combo is ridiculously satisfying and makes you want to fist pump in the air.

All in all, this game feels incredible to play. Ishiwatari and Katano have an intense passion for their series, and you can tell in the way the characters move and fight, the amount of polish is unreal, and they absolutely succeeded in their intention to make Strive simple to grasp and jump into for new players, being a deceptively simple, yet incredibly deep and multilayered fighter underneath its surface. If you are new to this series or playing these kind of games, this would be a perfect place to start and I am going to enjoy playing this for years at tourneys and on my own time. A quick addendum as well, I could not get much online time before launch since the servers were down the majority of the time for maintenance, but Strive has excellent, consistent online modes courtesy of a beautifully implemented rollback netcode system, which if you read my previous article about Rollback Netcode and its importance in the scene, which will definitely help Strive retain a consistent player base.

Story and Gameplay Modes

To say Guilty Gear has an over the top and unnecessarily deep amount of lore would be one of the biggest understatements I’ve ever spoken in my life. Thank God this game has a glossary and timeline of all the events of the series and every character and term from it, because if it did not, every new player would be more lost than a blind, mute child in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. I’ll gloss over the details of the series and story mode for you real quick. Basically, back in the 1900s, wars became out of hand to the point where half the world’s population was wiped out, and eventually a single individual among mankind discovered the existence of magic and used it as a limitless supply of energy for all mankind. Science and industry, sources of environmental pollution and weapons of mass destruction, were thus outlawed. But the outlawing of technology did little to soothe mankind’s suffering, bringing about the war to end all wars.

During this war, Gears were developed- ridiculously powerful biological weapons created by fusing human and animal DNA and then magic on top of it. The Gears were used as slaves by each military faction to wage war, destroy, and conquer lands until a single Gear by the name of Justice became self-aware. She gathered all hear Gear brethren and declared war on humanity, and the War of the Gears started, killing countless people. Humans eventually put aside their differences and ended their own wars and formed the Sacred Order of Holy Knights to combat the Gears, and the War of the Gears lasted a further hundred years. That is just the set up for the very first Guilty Gear title. There is a staggeringly large amount of lore during the game series as well, but I implore you to check it out yourself. An entire light novel series or anime could be made from all this shit, and it is ridiculously over the top, edgy, and stupid but in the best, most Japanese of ways. Strive of course has its own story mode as well, among many other game modes it presents. The English voices are also perfectly cast and they do an excellent job.

The Story mode is enjoyable to play and sit back and watch while you digest the insane plot Strive offers. Additionally you have your quintessential single player modes as well, 1v1 via local with CPU battles or other local players, a training mode, and an extremely in-depth Dojo with many, many missions that gradually teach the player the mechanics of the game while helping you get better at fighting games in general while steadily increasing in difficulty. There is also an online lobby with pixelated characters you play as where you can customize your little avatar, fish for new customization items, and duel other people. I can see what they were trying to go for since it is very similar to Dragon Ball FighterZ’s lobby modes, but it’s hit or miss and nowhere near as streamlined, honestly. This game is spectacular when you are in matches, and its just something quick and insignificant you sort of trip through to get into one. I do appreciate the effort to try and implement something different for online lobbies, though. Once you get into a match and enjoy that sweet, sweet Rollback though, its smooth sailing will bring a smile to the face.

Conclusion

I knew to at least expect a decent new entry into the Guilty Gear lineup with Strive, with unique artstyles and pretty solid gameplay. I certainly did not expect it to be one of the most solid 2D fighters I’ve ever played. Every movement and impact in every match feels tight and concise. The art is beyond gorgeous and every stage an immaculate world. The character designs are flooring, with attention to detail. The music is pure serotonin for the nerves and senses. It encapsulates everything a stylish Japanese 2D fighting game should be, and will go down as an incredible fighting game and be played for years to come inside the FGC scene and out. I am elated it turned out so well and will no doubt put it in the upper echelons of fighters, right along Third Strike, Skullgirls, UMVC3, and many more. I recommend wholeheartedly that if you’ve ever been interested in fighting games but just couldn’t find the right one to jump into, you pick up Strive and give it a go. It’s worth it ten times over. And if you don’t believe me… THAT IS BULLSHIT BLAZING, STILL MY HEART IS BLAZING. YOU ALREADY KNOW THE SMELL OF THE GAME~

So why should you play it?

  • You love fighting games.
  • Trying to get into them but don’t know a good place to start.
  • You are a fan of insane batshit crazy anime plots and characters.
  • You adore the feeling of satisfying feedback in a fight.
  • You’re a fan of radical character designs and cel-shaded graphics.
  • You have a pulse.

But why shouldn’t you play it?

  • You genuinely hate fighting games and have no desire to put the time in to get good at one.
  • Over-the-top Japanese shit doesn’t appeal to you and think it’s too dumb for you to deal with.
  • You can’t handle the tension of a clutch match in a fighting game because it stresses you out.

A review code for PC was provided for the purpose of this review.

Guilty Gear and the Importance of Rollback Netcode

Guilty Gear has seen many iterations throughout the years, most recently being the Xrd series, with each new title being a refinement of the last entry and a focus on tight, concise gameplay. Xrd and each of its new subreleases (Revelator, REV 2, and Sign) were most definitely great fighting games in their own right, that were a blast to play with a very striking art style. That being said, as much as I could laud over them for how many hours I spent labbing with every character (but mostly just Potemkin), they were missing something crucial that its sister title. Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R received from the outset that would have been vital to Xrd’s lifespan from the very beginning. Funnily enough, this is because XXAC+R started out as a fan project, but Arc System Works actually found out about the work the team behind the game were implementing and then immediately hired them to finish the project and Aksys would release it as an official Guilty Gear game, which is a story that deserves an article of its own. But what is this crucial element that XXAC+R received that Xrd did not? The excellent addition of Rollback Netcode implementation. For the readers who do not know, allow me to give a brief explanation of Rollback Netcode and why it is what I would consider to be a crucial component in the longevity, or one might even say survival, of fighting games in general.

The normal Netcode that most multiplayer and fighting games use that the average consumer is aware of is delay-based. It is the most well-known and widespread, but hang around those who have been in the Fighting Game Community for any length of consistent time and you will hear the hushed whispers of those who wish their favorite games ditched the dinosaur delay-based tyranny for smooth, tight Rollback. You see, fighting games are used to process both player inputs at the same time, however when your online opponent’s inputs are received they need to be sent over the network to be displayed to you on your side of the match, they will inevitably be delayed as a result. Thereby the game needs a method to deal with these late inputs to make it seem as close as possible that said opponent is playing locally right next to you, fitestick or pad in hand. Delay-based is the most common way to deal with this, so what does it do?

What is Delay-Based Netcode?

Simply put, Delay-Based Netcode delays the local player’s (in this case you) inputs by the necessary number of frames to match accordingly with their online opponent. It makes your inputs slower so the fight seems closer to local play. If you input a low punch that takes three animation frames offline, it would make that punch come out in six frames instead of three, that way the three extra frames could be used to process your opponent’s inputs and be sent to you via the network and would match accordingly. As a result of the delay, your input timing and reactions will drastically differ online, making the timing you have gotten so used to during the mix-ups and combos you have practiced near completely irrelevant. No match will feel the way you want it to, and that isn’t even counting internet spikes or connection issues. Consistency is the end all be all word us FGC freaks love. Consistency in how something feels, and how it plays. So, what exactly can we do to make consistent online matches to where you, the local player, aren’t being delayed by near DOUBLE your framedata to match your opponent?

What is Rollback Netcode?

Enter sweet baby Rollback. So what does it do since the frames can never perfectly match up for a local and online player since no matter how good your connection is, they are not right next to you? Simply put, it does not delay you at all. The local player’s inputs aren’t delayed whatsoever, and they are transmitted online as if they were being put in offline. Instead, it simply rolls back (hence the name) time itself ala King Crimson style your online opponent’s inputs to match their frames up consistently with yours. It fixes the mistakes of the frame delay by correcting the past on your screen. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. When those inputs are missing initially, the player will have gone through time when your player pressed that button or did that action, and the game you are playing would have shown a different result on screen, and the way Rollback fixes this, is it rewinds the simulation how it played out in the netcode’s head and fixes it, applying your opponent’s input and displaying it to you immediately. Your three-frame low punch we were talking about earlier that gets delayed to six frames to match? Instead, now your opponent’s input is being rolled back to reach three frames earlier. Simply put, it’s fucking Godlike consistency in comparison to Delay-Based.

So then the question becomes, why is Delay-Based Netcode still used? Honestly, the main reason is how much more effort it takes to implement proper Rollback for development teams, is not worth the effort and extra money and time publishers are willing to throw at it, and close to half of Japanese publishers do not know the difference between them. For fighting games as a whole, the big heads of the staple franchises like Capcom and SNK, are convinced that the fans will happily accept the worst delay-based they could possibly fit inside the game, and for the most part, they are right. SFV has sold roughly 4.5 million copies as of me writing this, and yet still the Netcode is still notoriously broken. How does all of this information relate to Strive? I’ll inform you of why. Arc System Works announced from day one that they were using Rollback for Strive, and when the beta was dropped, to say that there was hardly any downtime waiting for matches and every match was fantastic with no disconnects nor delay spikes would be an understatement.

The Hype Is Real

Guilty Gear Strive is not only a fantastic fighting game from what I have played of the Beta, but it is vitally important for fighting games and the future of Netcode. There has been an absolutely monumental roar from fans about how smooth it is and how much they want more of this same online experience for different future titles from other developers. So much so that Arc System Works has talked about going back and adding Rollback into previous Guilty Gear titles! Guilty Gear Strive still brings us the many characters fans have come to know and love throughout the years such as Sol Badguy, Ky Kisuke, Chipp, Baiken, Faust, May, and my boy, the armor clad of faith himself Potemkin. It also brings us an absolutely flooring OST released so far including Smell of the Game and Society, but most importantly, it will bring us, the players, the freedom of being uncaged by the prison of horrid online match-ups. I could go on and on about the new and old mechanics introduced to the game such as wall-breaks, Roman Cancels, and Faultless Defense, but there will be another time in the near future when that will happen, and I’ll have plenty to say then around June.

The hype for Strive is real, everyone, for anyone who loves fighting games or this community as much as I do, I can’t recommend you get on this quick enough. Feel the difference in online matchmaking and what it should be for a fighting game made by people who care about the experience of the people who play it and convey that passion for their work through every frame of animation and every pixel and particle effect off each character. As of June 11th, 2021, if you have a stick gathering dust in the peripheral closet, blow it off and break it out, because hundreds of thousands are going to collide, because they already know the Smell of the Game. I’ll catch you all in the lobbies.

Find out more about Guilty Gear Strive at the official website: https://www.guiltygear.com/ggst/en/

10 Iconic Love Songs From Videogames

You won’t belove number 7!

Valentine’s Day is here again, and I’d like to take this opportunity to explore some of my favourite songs from videogames that represent the theme of love. Whether it be a mother’s love for their children, romantic love between a couple, or even love that blooms on a battlefield, there has always been emotive music in games to emphasise these themes. If your favourite doesn’t make the list, please leave a comment below or reach out to me on social media! I’d LOVE to hear from you.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – “Romance in the Air”

Until Skyward Sword, Link and Zelda never really had much of a romantic relationship, it was only implied. That all changed when this theme played, which seeks to represent the connection between the two characters. The track has a light, airy, orchestral sound which is very fitting of the game. And the track says it all, romance really is in the air (on top of a flying Loftwing).

2. Mother 3 – “Love Theme”

This song in particular really represents the love between family members. If you’ve played Mother 3, you’ll know how much this song hurts; it really tugs the heartstrings. Just listening to it I can picture the scene in which it plays. Despite being a Gameboy Advance game, I think Mother 3 is truly one of the best games at conveying love in such an emotive way.

Honourable mention to the gorgeous Because I Love Youand Polyannafrom other games in the Mother series. Both absolutely gorgeous songs.

3. Yakuza Kiwami 2 – “Shiawase Nara ii Ya (As Long As You’re Happy)”

Goro Majima is an absolute psycho. There’s no denying that. But he’s got such a soft side, and this is highlighted during this Karaoke song from Yakuza Kiwami 2. He sings about his love and dedication to a character from Yakuza 0, and even though they cannot be together, all he wants is for her to be happy. The song is interesting because his style of singing is hardly romantic, but the lyrics and message behind the song are so heartwarming.

Honourable mentions to the song that became a meme: Baka Mitai, for being a love song that sings about the heartbreak and foolishness of love, and to 24 Hour Cinderella for being the funniest love song from a game.

4. Metal Gear Solid 4 – “Love Theme”

Metal Gear Solid has taught us that love CAN bloom on the battlefield. But when it does, it is often wilted by grief and sorrow. This love theme is incredibly emotive and bittersweet – with lyrics describing a woman’s loss of her loved one who has been taken by war. Originally sung in Hebrew, some of the lyrics translate to:

Wishing for the world that ran out of tears.
My heart is already dead.
The hope…
Missing you hurts so much.

Honourable mention to “Love Deterrence” from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, for being the most anime-sounding and upbeat love song from a videogame.

5. Final Fantasy IV – “Theme of Love”

Nobuo Uematsu has created many gorgeous pieces of music for the Final Fantasy series, and almost every game has its own “love theme”. Suteki Da Ne from FFX, Aria de Mezzo Carattere from FFVI, Tragic Love from FFIX, the list goes on! But in my opinion none come close to my favourite love song of all time: the Theme of Love from Final Fantasy IV.

My wife walked down the aisle to this song.
A moment of true love in my life that I will never forget.

6. Hades – “Lament of Orpheus”

Love is pain, and nobody knows that more than legendary musician and poet of the underworld, Orpheus. This song is his lament for his lost loved one, Eurydice, and has an incredibly melancholy sound as he mourns her through his melody. It’s a gorgeous piece of music made only more impressive by the fact that the voice of Orpheus is actually the composer himself, Darren Korb!

7. Persona 4 – “Heartbeat, Heartbreak”

Of course I had to sneak a Persona song onto the list! A game all about bonds and relationships, naturally there are going to be songs related to love. One of the catchiest songs from the entire series – this song plays while exploring the town of Inaba after school on cloudy days. Not your traditional love song by any means, but a seriously catchy melody and lyrics about heartbreak mean I can justify having it on this list.

8. NieR – “Song of the Ancients (Devola)”

Though this might not specifically be a love song, it is a song I associate with love – I learned to play this song years ago on guitar and it’s part of how I met my wife. The lyrics are written in an entirely fictional language that was created by the composer for the purpose of the music of NieR. The song is associated with the characters Devola and Popola, who are twin sisters and feature heavily in the original game. Perhaps the lyrics could relate to the love between siblings?

9. Fire Emblem: Three Houses – “A Place to Rest”

Building relationships between characters is a key part of modern Fire Emblem games, especially the most recent entry in the series: Three Houses. Throughout the game you have the opportunity to romance characters, and if you’re successful they’ll confess their love for you (cue the music). There are several songs like this in the series (mainly from Awakening onwards), but I think this track does the best at conveying a sense of commitment and deep affection.

10. Katamari Damacy – “Katamari of Love”

Love does not have to be for a single person, family or friend, or even a beloved pet. How about love for your planet? This is the message in Katamari of Love. Though the lyrics are in Japanese, the message of dedication to Mother Earth is clear, as we should love and look after her. Here’s a short excerpt of the lyrics translated to English:

Love. Connect with one another, then our hearts will beat as one.
Try. We want to roll everything in, Then we can all be together.
Don’t stop, let the love flow, then we will be together forever.

Thanks for sharing the love – I hope these songs filled your heart. Share them with a loved one too!
If your song didn’t make the list, please leave a comment below or reach out to me on social media.