Trek to Yomi Review – Beauty in Death.

i have a confession to make i’ve never
seen a kurosawa film i know i know i’m
awful i plan to fix this soon so let me
know in the comments down below what
film i should start with what the best
one is and where i can find it otherwise
the first place i’ll start looking is
your mom’s house have you never seen the
films that’s so heavily inspired the
aesthetic of trektiomi you would think
that that might remove some of my
enjoyment from the game and fair enough
you might be right about that i probably
would have enjoyed this indie title from
flying wild hog even more if i had the
pre-existing knowledge of akira
kurosawa’s distinctive films lacking
that context i will still give you my
opinion of track to yomi which is
overall it’s
yeah it’s it’s it’s it’s pretty good
chuck naomi is an action adventure 2.5 d
title a 2d light perspective
2d ish if you will the title is set in
feudal japan and please for the love of
god do not ask me what era or year or
anything like that i don’t know it’s the

with the samurais yes i am ignorant
none of that’s the point the game
follows hiroki a talented young samurai
lad through his boyhood life and beyond
roki goes through a number of tragic and
fantastic experiences through the course
of trek to yomi’s 6-ish hour run time
the game is presented in monochromatic
blacks whites and the gray shades
between a fully black and white game may
sound like something that would take
away from the experience but on the
contrary the game does masterful work
with shading the use of shadow and light
and perspective to create depth and
amazing visuals most of the game makes
use of stationary shots and fixed camera
angles with lush environmental detailing
to the foreground and background alike
with the occasional segment of lateral
camera movement to track progression
through the densely detailed environment
of a bustling town and the shadowy
underbrush of a dense forest i’ve now
surpassed my quota for the use of the
word dense for this script but i’m
probably going to use it several more
times i’m sorry visual presentation and
eye-catching camera work and virtual
cinematography are certainly strong
points of the game with many shots
taking on all the qualities of a master
cinematographer using skillfully applied
camera work to tell a story via the
environments trek taomi at least until
later segments of the game remains
fairly grounded in its art direction and
aesthetic rooting its design in a
recreation of japanese towns and simple
folk and all the struggles they face
before eventually wandering into more
fantastic visuals as the tale progresses
let’s throw a fat spoiler warning out
here i’m not gonna delve into every
detail of the plot but by necessity some
context of events has to be mentioned to
properly discuss the aesthetic changes
the game goes through and i think these
parts of the game especially are best
experienced first hand if you have any
intention of giving trek to yomi a
playthrough of your own give it a play
through check it out and then come back
for the review
his share of personal tragedy and then
some throughout the course of track to
yomi and unfortunately much of it comes
about through his own hubris hunger for
glory and misjudgment of the threats him
and his people have unfolding around
tangled with as a child returns to his
homeland to exact revenge and to pillage
and reeve hiroki’s town the young
samurai acts in haste pursuing the enemy
out of his town and into the surrounding
foothills and villages his brash actions
partially fueled by duty and partially
his own desire to prove himself as a
superior samurai leave his hometown open
to further attack in his absence the
sound design on this is haunting by the
the unsettling ambiance in the beleaguer
town with all its dying people echoing
all around is much more direct and
pressing than the battleground sounds
you often find in most games i found
myself more than once taken aback by how
intense the sounds of suffering were in
my ears taking on an urgency that i
can’t recall experiencing in many games
voice acting for the japanese voiceovers
was well done and compelling despite the
language barrier
but whenever i remember the sound design
for trek tiomi it will always be for the
screams and whales of the dying and
that’s chilling in all the right ways
asaroki makes his way through his
burning hometown to find his lover aiko
he finds he’s too late not only to stop
kagiro but also to save aiko hiroki
attacks kagiro in grief and rage and is
promptly [ __ ] bodied like an amateur
super sad the game takes a turn for the
weird when a very dead hiroki wakes up
and seems to be completely unaware of
just how laid out to death he is he’s
promptly haunted by a vision of aiko an
ethio glimpse of the woman slowly
retreating away from town in further
defiance of how dead he is heroku
pursues her following her through the
surrounding forest and eventually coming
to the titular titular titialer yomi
known as the land of the dead up until
this point the game has been firmly
grounded in a realistic depiction of
feudal era japan but upon entering yomi
the entire aesthetic and vibe of the
game takes on a firm shift toward the
supernatural hiroki descends into the
underworld and confronts creatures and
sights out of japanese mythology and
folklore the game never goes completely
off the rails into reality breaking
impossibilities of high fantasy but we
know without question we are no longer
in kansas kansas japan i mean it’s a
place trust me google it but the
grounded and fantastic aspects of track
to yomi are excellent presented with
irreverent care for style substance and
having a mostly fixed camera means that
every shot every screen is presented
just so for maximum effect the lighting
and shadow work the angle of arrangement
of the environment perfectly capturing
the moment and maximizing the beauty and
serenity of the natural world the
tension and dread of the underworld and
the sorrow and devastation of a burning
town while there are dialogue and story
segments attract yomi and they are well
done and emotionally poignant in the
right ways it’s the environment and
visual presentation that really do the
heavy lifting in both storytelling and
setting the mood for the game and
without such a strong focus on
aesthetics and artful visual
presentation a massive piece of track to
yomi’s successful puzzle would be
missing it’s a good thing these elements
occupy so much space in the game because
honestly the gameplay is one of the
weakest links the gameplay isn’t
horrible i never during my playthrough
thought to myself this is awful i want
to stop playing this i cannot stand
playing through this game but i
certainly did find myself around the
midway point of the game thinking i’d
already seen everything the game had to
offer in terms of gameplay and that it
wasn’t going to go anywhere further from
there and sadly i was right combat is
pretty much the total encompassing
feature in gameplay of trektoyomi aside
from wandering the environments which
while gorgeous functionally speaking
isn’t much more than pressing left or
right toward your objective and
occasionally checking a side path or
room for consumable items combat is
simple at best and outright broken at
worst it’s your usual light attack heavy
attack parry dodge block formula that
you see in most post dark souls action
adventure games these days and now i
will not miss an opportunity to mention
dark souls leave me alone i can stop
whenever i want in what i rationalize as
a nod to the ghost of realism it only
takes a few successful katana cuts to
score a kill and track to me especially
on your enemies less realistic is the
sheer number of bandits and otherworldly
enemies you’ll cut down during the
course of the game but come on do we
really want realism or do we want fun
that’s what i thought combat is decent
for the early parts of the game but
honestly by halfway through it begins to
stale mostly because although there’s a
number of combos and sword strikes both
immediately available and unlockable and
a few ranged combat options once you
unlock one or two specific combos every
single enemy in the game will be
immediately destroyed although not
particularly challenging except for one
heinous endgame spike in difficulty but
holy [ __ ] are we gonna talk about that
later combat becomes a game of if there
are enough enemies being thrown at you
to catch you between combos and parries
or otherwise engaged with another enemy
to start overwhelming you the frequency
of getting overwhelmed and taken off
guard is artificially and rather poorly
inflated by the game’s awkward singular
direction controls for reasons i cannot
fathom trektiomi has the outdated
tank-like control scheme of old fixed
camera games like resident evil where
when you face to the right pressing the
stick to the left makes you take a step
backwards instead of turning you around
you cannot block or perry when you’re
being attacked from behind which
combined with the awkward controls that
force an unnatural extra button press to
turn around just make for unnecessary
mechanical difficulty when engaged
against multiple enemies coming from
both sides in fairness there does seem
to be a deliberate design choice on
developer wild flying hogs part to
punish players for allowing enemies to
get to their back for an attack in one
of the earlier cutscenes we see hiroki
learning from his master who
specifically lectures him about
presenting his back to an enemy
this idea that a warrior should never
show his enemy his back and thus give
his an opponent an advantage is fine by
me but we could be penalized in a myriad
ways such as increasing the damage you
receive or getting stun locked or
getting knocked off your feet or many
other vulnerabilities any of these
options would be preferable over the
outdated and clunky control style of
being unable to simply turn around in a
smooth natural way it’s also absolutely
possible that i am entirely talking out
of my ass on all the above speculation
and that’s just the way they programmed
the controls for no overarching reason
at all in which case yeah can we please
just not that would be great okay my
only other real complaint about the game
is the sudden difficulty spike on the
last boss that comes from so far out of
left field it might as well be in a
different county
let’s be clear about this the boss being
difficult is not a big deal i don’t mind
difficult games at all anyone checking
out my content beyond a passing glance
will know that i’m fine with games
making me grind my teeth a little hence
my compulsive dark souls references the
game lives rent free in my head the boss
isn’t even that crazy difficult it’s
certainly not the most difficult
encounter i’ve had in a game no it’s
just simply how very jarring it is maybe
this is just from my experience but i
went through almost the entirety of the
game with just a handful of deaths and
that was spread out across the entire
game i don’t think i had to repeat any
encounter more than one or maybe two
times and when i got to the last boss he
absolutely steamrolled me he hits you so
hard and so fast in such long aggressive
combos it’s a huge challenge to block or
parry them all and the shift in
intensity was so drastic that i really
had to put some effort into just not
getting clapped overall i don’t think
the last boss is bad it just felt
entirely out of place from a game that
does almost nothing to increase the
difficulty or challenge in any
meaningful way throughout the journey
right up until the very end where the
trek to yomi suddenly decides to brick
you in the face one last comment that i
have about the story and this may seem
pretty minor but it ends up giving you a
choice of paths and endings to choose
along your journey from the underworld
making it your purpose to either stay
with your love ico to defend and serve
your people or to seek vengeance upon
kagiro for the wrongs that he has done
to you and your people while i won’t say
these differences are deep and expansive
there is some interesting variance in
hiroki being plagued by doubts and
uncertainty with his choices and the
game even gives you chances to change
your path as you progress several times
before making a final decision this made
me feel like i could explore heroki’s
story more thoroughly giving him extra
depth as he grapples with where his
priorities and loyalties lie which i
don’t think we see nearly enough in
games when dealing with complex motives
and life-changing choices it left me
feeling like hiroki who was not exactly
the most innovative character to explore
had at least some interesting complexity
and relatability by letting him
second-guess himself and re-examining if
he had made the right choice
overall i enjoyed my time with trektiomi
i’d even hazard to say if you are the
type of gamer who measures your game
satisfaction purely by gameplay alone
and how that aspect stacks up trek to
yomi will likely be lacking for you but
if you enjoy things like aesthetic
unique atmosphere and tone creative in a
high quality artistic presentation
you’ll likely get a similar enjoyment
from the title that i did at six hours
the game is a short but sweet trek wink
through tragedy sorrow and the ethereal
japanese underworld all presented in
stunning shots and still scenery that
would i hope do kurosawa proud thanks
for checking out my video leave a
comment if you enjoyed trektiomi and let
me know if you’ve seen any kurosawa
films and if so which ones were your
favorite and which ones i should check
out first if you enjoyed this video you
should check out my review of ratchet
and clank rift apart and why i think
this series is starting to show its age
or you can check out my review of the
surge in the search too and see if these
two games that are very rough around the
edges actually happen to be a diamond
underneath all the rust until next time
stay salty nerds

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