Trek to Yomi | Review – Journey to hell and back – SpazioGames

Journey to hell and back: this is how the path of sacrifice, reconquest and honor of Hiroki, protagonist of that Trek to Yomi that already from the presentation e from the first test he had hinted that he could be a respectable indie.

Trek to Yomi

Platform:
PC, PS4, PS5, XONE, XSX
Type:
adventure, fighting game
Exit date:
May 5, 2022
Developer:
Leonard Menchiari, Flying Wild Hog
Distributor:
Devolver Digital

The myth of the samurai, the themes of righteousness, incorruptibility and redemption are at the center of the a project that for years has been in the mind of Leonard Menchiari, director of the project later given birth by Flying Wild Hog. The inspirations were clear right from the start: the Japanese films of the 50s and 60s, the master Kurosawa and the typical narration of the cinema of the time.

Perhaps a little one-dimensional, but certainly no less significant and granite, especially in reference to the cultural and historical contents that it has always wanted to convey. In that sense it is not surprising that too Trek to Yomi did not want to go out of the way, proposing a typical and at times stereotyped story, but in his own way able to leave until the last with the necessary curiosity to discover the outcomes of the characters’ destinies.

Trek to Yomi, the story

The story of Trek to Yomi immediately puts Hiroki and his mentor on stage, who will find himself enmeshed in spite of himself in a story with nefarious and not immediately clear contours. What is certain is that the village has found itself under brutal attack, with unscrupulous brigands ready to plunder, kill and leave a trail of destruction and pain all around. After the terrible tragedy that leads the way to sudden and terrible actions that will have serious consequences, Hiroki decides to make a promise that he intends to keep even at the cost of his own life.

The protagonist’s adventure begins here.
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Those nefarious acts will not go unpunished. Revenge will take place, what remains of the village will have to be protected and we will go to the bottom to find out what real reasons led to those results. Between the continuous search for truth and the burning thirst for revenge, the personal story of the protagonist comes to life in the background, also dependent to a large extent on the relationship with his beloved.

In the first part of the adventure the tones are those typical of films dedicated to the samurai (how does Ghost of Tsushimawhich you can buy on offer on Amazon). The rhythms are lively, the settings rather classic and the events that will follow one another, although they are well orchestrated, ultimately do not prove to be able to surprise.

If anything, it is in the second part that Trek to Yomi manages to change the cards on the table a little, partially abandoning the realism of the battles to lead to suggestions straddling the folkloric and the supernatural. He succeeds especially when he has to tell about Hiroki’s personal hell, blurring the clear conceptual distinctions between life and death and opening up to concepts linked to spiritualism, to the fantastic traditional of feudal Japan and to all that cultural substratum that is closely linked to spiritual beliefs and pre- and post-mortem out-of-body experiences.

The fights are always very evocative and choreographic.
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In the approximately five hours it will take you to see the credits, Trek to Yomi it offers two distinct sections that make up what we could undoubtedly define the typical hero’s journey. It strikes, both in the first part of the game and in the second, the directorial style adopted, which focuses on the details in the interior and during the fighting and then makes an overview of the places during the progress phases. Everything is in black and white, and certain choices can only recall some solutions already seen in Limbo, Inside and their inevitable followers.

Between long shots on lush rice fields, close-ups during indoor battles and a good focus on details in certain situations, to Trek to Yomi there is no lack of style and makes it clear how much the authors had very clear ideas right from the start. The journey towards the Yomi, which is the kingdom of the dead, excellently interpreted here, serves both as an interlocutory phase of the narrative, and to propose a change of register that mitigates a certain underlying flatness. It works quite well, and although the insights are latit, the contained nature of the project goes well with the idea of ​​the training trip summarized in a few hours.

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Gameplay

Reduced to a minimum, Trek to Yomi it’s basically a side scrolling fighting game. It boasts a 2.5D to leave room for progress along the scenarios, but there is also no collision in which the camera positions itself differently from a horizontal perspective. This is due precisely to the upstream choice adopted for the combat system, which does not include displacements on the vertical axis or clashes based on full three-dimensionality. In Trek to Yomi you can parry, roll away and perform combos with your sword: all this, while in the meantime the area is delimited leaving you in a fixed screen that does not allow escape in any way.

While all this is a limitation for the player’s choices, on the other it is essential to lead the user towards a gradual and well-managed learning path, which involves the progressive addition of new moves to be used to take out. the enemies who stand before you. Curious, in this sense, is the choice not to delegate the choice of skill development to the player.

On the contrary, these are unlocked progressively without the need to go through a skill tree to unlock them manually through points. It is simply the game that decides, at certain times, when to make new moves available to you. These depend on the game events and the opponents you will meet, effectively marking the key moments.

Preparing for some key clashes can be full of emphasis.
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For example, the first time you run into an armored enemy you will get the unlocking of particular thrusts with the blade; or again, when you meet an archer, you can fight him with ranged weapons. Hiroki will be able to use special throwing knives, a bow and even a vintage rifle, but the shots will always be few and you will have to look around the areas for the meager ammunition. Likewise, exploration is encouraged by the fact that you will be able to find some documents or even small votive temples where you can save your progress.

However, don’t expect that Trek to Yomi has large spaces within which to make you move, because in essence everything is rather linear and guided, with very few crossroads and only a few dead ends built just to insert extra objects. Returning to the core of the combat system, all the moves available to Hiroki are revealed to be excellently choreographed, who will soon have a wide variety of moves and blows designed to mortally wound the enemies.

However, especially in the second half, you will realize that some attacks will prove to be much more effective than others, even becoming “abusable” to always get the better of every situation.

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This also occurs at maximum difficulty, where the only tangible differences are related to the damage inflicted and suffered. For example, the turnaround with follow-up attack is always effective, as is the combo of sequential powerful attacks that stuns opponents. Inevitably, this leads to a style of play where the range of shots becomes less generous precisely for the need not to run into continuous departures, and you will realize this in particular when you will be surrounded by many enemies or during the few boss fights, which we judge as just average.

Trek to Yomibeyond some ingenuity, it manages to work from start to finish, has a very clear identity and is all in all a title capable of satisfying lovers of feudal Japan and samurai stories, above all thanks to its ability to give prestige to details that are not at all obvious and always adherent to the culture and folklore of the time. The work of Wild Flying Hog, moreover, will be hosted from the launch within the Game Pass (to which you can subscribe for three months thanks to this Amazon offer).

Version reviewed: PC

We wish to thank the author of this short article for this incredible content

Trek to Yomi | Review – Journey to hell and back – SpazioGames


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