Game focuses on a cinematic experience that honors the legacy of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa

Trek to Yomi: is it worth it?

There aren’t many games on the market that highlight the history of the samurai. Ghost of Tsushima , Nioh and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are the most recent in this theme, the last two not being concerned with narrating the moral of ” bushido “.

Trek to Yomi , on the other hand, arrives with this aim: to artistically demonstrate Japanese culture and the way of the samurai. Its story is quite simple, but it reveals the nuances of a journey of honor and overcoming. Although its gameplay is very repetitive, the artistic construction of the scenarios and enemies contribute to a Trek to Yom

The title created by Leonard Menchiari and published by Devolver Digital is a trip to the cinema productions of the 50’s and 60’s. It’s as if the game was produced by filmmaker Akira Kurosawa himself, the main name in the creation of samurai films.

Honor and pain go together

In Trek to Yomi, players follow the life of Hiroki, a young samurai who does everything he can to protect the people he loves, but faces cruel enemies who take them away from him. Driven by revenge and pain, the samurai learns how the path of bushido requires overcoming, individual transformation and singular self-control.

Don’t expect a plot with twists or moments to tear your breath away. The title presents a very predictable story and there is no character development. The entire universe is already established and there are no details of the origin of Hiroki’s enemies, the stages of his growth or how he fell in love with his beloved Aiko.

Trek to Yomi: is it worth it?
Hiroki’s childhood is briefly shown in the game. Source: Raphael Batista.

During the game, collectibles assist in the process of deepening the game’s lore. However, this element reveals one of the general flaws of Trek to Yomi: it is quite superficial if the player is not interested in seeking platinum or completing the highest difficulties.

simple and repetitive

The title’s gameplay reproduces a faithful combat of the samurai. By pressing triangle or square sequences, it is possible to perform specific combos with different attributes. Repeatedly and quickly pressing the square will result in quick attacks, but mixing it with the triangle allows for special moves.

The mechanics are easy to learn and, throughout the game, the protagonist collects new attacks and even some quick-to-use accessories for combat. However, while there is a wide variety of moves, they are not necessary for victory. During the testing period, a single combo was used from start to finish of the game: square, square and triangle, performing a deadly final execution.

Trek to Yomi: is it worth it?
The combat mechanics are very simple in the game. Source: Raphael Batista.

It turns out that Trek to Yomi offers combos, accessories, and new moves, but little encourages their use. It’s not like Ghost of Tsushima when it was necessary to change the stance of the katana when seeing an enemy carrying a spear. In Devolver’s game, it is possible to win all challenges using the same attacks, denouncing the superficiality of combat.

In addition, the low variety of enemies also contributes to the grueling feeling of repetition. Basically, players will encounter three types of opponents (equipped with a katana, or a ranged weapon, or a spear). Although their designs undergo some level of change during the game, they follow the same pattern until the end.

Trek to Yomi: is it worth it?
Except for bosses, all enemies have pretty standard behaviors. Source: screenshot.

Unattractive for those who don’t want to platinum

Trek to Yomi has only its main story, unfolding in a linear fashion from start to finish. In each level, the player goes through basic enemies until reaching the only final boss in the area. The procedure remains the same throughout the six chapters, and the game has very few puzzles and no side missions. Therefore, the title may not be attractive to those who are only looking to complete the narrative, as this will take a maximum of six hours .

On the other hand, the game’s trophies encourage the player to face higher difficulty levels and main bosses without taking any damage. These are legal objectives to be fulfilled that will grant additional hours to those who seek to value the investment of R$ 104.90 . In addition, in this way, it is possible to know the three different conclusions, based on choices made at specific moments in the adventure.

Trek to Yomi: is it worth it?
The game offers little variety throughout the story. Source: Raphael Batista.

movie worthy

The highlight of Trek to Yomi is its cinematic experience with a very stylish black and white look. Fixed cameras allow the creator to select the panorama that the player will enjoy and the protagonist’s control through the scenarios is very intuitive. It is common, in transitions between environments, to take a little time to look at the landscape and admire the beauty of the details.

The play of lights and shadows, photography, close-ups and camera mounts, all these features work together with the gameplay, giving the player a feel worthy of the cinemas. Often times, combat levels up drastically just by the framing made to absorb the scenery and the battlefield.

The game’s visuals are amazing. Source: Raphael Batista.

In fact, the title seems to have been created with the intention of reproducing the same sensations of Kurosawa’s films. It’s not just about the black and white aesthetic, but it shows the drama of samurai and how they are surrounded by the pain of loss, and it also puts players in a passive position where gameplay doesn’t matter as much. What really shines are the eyes when faced with the very well thought out and formed artistic structure.

It is worth a note about the very accurate soundtrack. The use of typical Japanese instruments and music that reflects the tension of combat is a very strong ally in the artistic construction of the game!

The artistic composition along with the soundtrack highlight the strengths of the game. Source: Raphael Batista.

Trek to Yomi: is it worth it?

The title seems more concerned with presenting a cinematic experience or time travel than delivering a game. Although its artistic composition is of a high level, elaborated and well produced, the game errs in the repetition and superficiality of the mechanics.

The story would be better enjoyed if the gameplay was sharp, but the few hours in length make it difficult for the player to engage with the project. The end of the game can extract a “but is it over?”, leaving that “I want more” taste.

Trek to Yomi is not one of the best samurai games, however, its essence represents the classic works very well and the simplicity of its mechanics can please everyone who ventures on the path of bushido.

Verdict

Trek to Yomi

System: PlayStation 4 | PlayStation 5

Developer: Flying Wild Hog

Players: 1buy on amazon

70Overall ranking of 100

Benefits
  • artistic composition
  • Immersive soundtrack
Disadvantages
  • Very repetitive gameplay
  • low duration
  • Unattractive for those who don’t want to platinum

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