Watching samurai flicks from Akira Kurosawa is synonymous with having fun with John Wayne westerns, Jean-Luc Godard French cinema, or Alfred Hitchcock horror—reveling in an artwork type of yesteryear. Whereas rigorously trying to find one thing just like satiate the thirst for these classics, it’s all the time a pleasing shock to search out somebody who simply will get it, particularly when given in a special medium. Trek to Yomi is one such instance, the place the loving artwork fashion and aesthetic simply splashes all the pieces Kurosawa imagined throughout the display, however this time, permitting the participant to make their means by way of the story first-hand. Whereas the builders nailed the identical vibe because the supply materials, the gameplay can go away quite a bit to be desired, and the Nintendo Change {hardware} struggles to maintain up with the gorgeous visuals.

As a younger boy, Hiroki remains to be studying underneath his grasp on the dojo. However when marauders assault his hometown, his grasp loses his life, and Hiroki vows to guard the village from right here on out. Alongside together with his grasp’s daughter, Hiroki grows up, continues his coaching, and turns into a lone samurai towards whoever stands at odds with this nice hamlet. Reuniting in battle together with his grasp’s killer, the journey of revenge begins throughout the countryside, the place Hiroki should save the city, shield the lady, and search vengeance towards the bandits who’ve mercilessly killed so many. Whereas Trek to Yomi doesn’t attempt to break the mildew with out-of-left-field storytelling, it succeeds in all the pieces it tries to do.

The cinematic nature of Trek to Yomi is compounded by its storytelling, however it’s the visuals that actually make it one thing price seeing. Using a mode harking back to the unique Resident Evil video games, the place the digicam is about at sometimes-odd angles with a purpose to actually painting a cinematic high quality, Trek to Yomi does all the pieces it might to make the participant consider they’re in a film, sticking largely to a side-scrolling viewpoint. Although this could trigger some wonkiness with the controls and the space set can often be detrimental to performing some gameplay capabilities, the sport sacrifices in these areas to immerse the participant absolutely into its meant visible fashion.

Moreover, the black-and-white tone and cutscenes take issues even additional, the place each second from starting to finish feels repeatedly just like the participant is melting into the place of Hiroki. The superb sound design and soundtrack hold the richness going and the right Japanese voice appearing is a should.

That is the place issues take slightly little bit of a flip, nonetheless, as Trek to Yomi’s Nintendo Change port leaves quite a bit to be desired. Whereas framerate and efficiency sustain with the combo-filled gameplay, the visuals themselves fall quick with the highly-detailed environments. The shifts in lighting from very brilliant to fairly darkish are noticeably arduous to play by way of on the Change, whereas plantlife and objects get a tough edge to them that isn’t discovered on different {hardware}.

Whereas the visuals take a knock on the Nintendo Change, particularly, the gameplay is monotonous whatever the system you play it on. Very similar to different combo-based titles, Trek to Yomi has a fight system headlined by assaults, dodges, parries, and blocks. By means of these, combos could be realized and used to make every encounter simpler, however on the finish of the day, merely hacking and slashing by way of the essential enemies will often get the job performed. This turns into much more evident when the range-based weapons are introduced into the fold, with shurikens and a bow-and-arrow at your disposal. These assaults take ammunition that you will need to discover all over the world, however so long as you’re taking the time to go searching, it’s fairly plentiful. Boss fights are far more fascinating when it comes to the fights themselves, in addition to the backing from the story, however all in all, Trek to Yomi is right here to allow you to play in a samurai film, not wow you with its methods.

Following that line of pondering, the world itself is stuffed with extra story factors to be discovered, however apart from that, it’s largely a straight-forward, linear trek from level A to level B. Collectibles can be found to be found with both a brand new combo to be realized or some gadgets to be discovered. Traps could be discovered with a purpose to make upcoming fights simpler, comparable to a dangling log that may be dropped on unsuspecting enemies. In any other case, the participant’s foremost objective is to search out the following shrine, which capabilities as a save spot, à la Darkish Souls’ bonfires.

Trek to Yomi is a love letter to basic Japanese cinema. Followers of the style will likely be absolutely immersed and giddy about with the ability to expertise one thing like this, and it’s one thing to behold visually even for many who don’t include prior data. Sadly, these visuals are greatest skilled on methods apart from the Nintendo Change, which solely makes the monotonous gameplay extra evident. Unbelievable storytelling, although cliché, boosts Trek to Yomi in direction of one thing price experiencing, particularly when the sport could be crushed in a day.

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