- sensational design of the location and their great diversity;
- very pleasant audiovisual setting;
- a heavy dose of Japanese;
- satisfying skirmishes, enjoyable and brutal finishes – feel the power;
- fictional twist, choice, hidden ending;
- extensive combat system with a large number of different moves …
- …although not offering too many options initially;
- disruption of gameplay balance;
- a bit too short.
About the existence of the game Trek is Yomi the world learned in June last year, when COVID-19 was still the main topic in the mainstream media, and Poles spent their sleepless nights figuring out how many guests they could invite to a wedding. Of the four projects developed by the Flying Wild Hog studio at the time, this was the one that interested me the most, and I’m delighted that the team of forty people in Rzeszów managed to bring it to fruition. The game – which is clearly visible in the rating – I like it very much and it must be appreciated that it was created at all, taking into account the existing portfolio of the Warsaw company, filled to the brim with various types of shootings.
Sometimes by the hand, sometimes by the agony
Belonging to the genre of “Journey to Yomi” is not so easy to define. At first glance, we are dealing with a typical side-scroller here, but after spending a long time with the game, you can see its different face. We move to the side very often, but only during the combat sequence. When the main character – Hiroki – is not there, he has a little more freedom of movement and he can look into every corner of static but still open places. Exploration is primarily used to find items that increase health and stamina, as well as ammo and various artifacts that reference Japanese culture.
Sometimes you have to fight your way through, but the environmental puzzles are pretty straightforward.
Hiroki is a skilled samurai, so he uses the blade as befits a serious warrior. That doesn’t mean, however, that he has a rich combo suit from the start. These are unlocked as the story progresses, thanks to which we only become a versatile killing machine over time. The number of attacks is quite large, so players who like to use more sophisticated techniques have plenty of room to show off here. However, this does not change the fact that in fact the whole thing can be completed normally, using only a few available moves. A good example is fellow editorial Adam, who mastered a combo to perfection and basically used it over and over again, coming out of nearly every fight without losing his life energy.
Questionable balance is the biggest mystery to me Trek is Yomi. In fact, I can’t even say for sure if the game is easy or hard. Adam complained a lot about the fight until he got the idea to use the sequence over and over again, and I, in turn, went through the following opponents like a hot knife through a cube of butter, but sometimes I got knocked down by some of the easier mobs, and right after, encountered a theoretically more difficult boss that I didn’t get hit at all. It seems that everything is in our hands and if we are killed, it is only our fault, but all the time I had the impression that the level of difficulty the gameplay was very uneven. Something was clearly wrong here.
Bandits do not certify themselves. We’re looking at a lot of dead civilians in the game.
dance of death
The clashes themselves turn out to be fast and dynamic, but they are governed by simple patternsthat we absorb quickly. First, we must learn to recognize opponents and use certain move sequences against them. Will two quick slashes be enough or do you have to prepare a stunning combo to slit the throat of an armored opponent? We face such dilemmas here all the time, so common sense and reflexes are absolutely essential if we think of a successful end to an adventure. Hiroki also needs to be careful with his stamina level, as this bar shrinks quickly and being completely exhausted makes it impossible to even assume a normal defensive stance. Fortunately, there are so many boosters lying around here and there that this factor can be greatly increased, and thus you can survive longer on the battlefield. The same goes for health.
Stop for a moment and soak up the atmosphere.
In addition to the basic killing tool, namely the katana, our samurai also has several types of ranged weapons, unlocked – and how! – with time. It is worth using them, because there is no shortage of ammunition, and an accurately sent arrow immediately places the opponent. In addition to the bow, there are also shurikens and ozutsu, a manual cannon that deals high damage. Each of these weapons has a drawback (in the case of ozutsu it’s a long reload for example), but they are generally useful. Of course, you can also fight only with a katana, if someone does not accept such inventions, but you must remember that not all attacks can be blocked with a blade. Especially the remote ones.
Kurosawa would be proud
Trek is Yomi it is a relatively short adventure. The game can be played in just five hoursand considering that not all of the fancy killing techniques are immediately available, you may also feel like the fun is over too quickly. The plot works well, although it is modeled and, apart from an interesting procedural more or less in the middle of the campaign, it cannot surprise more. Without going into details, let me say that Hiroki is the biggest badass in the region and after his master’s death, he is in charge of defending the colony. During the bloody attack of the bandits, the mentioned twist occurs and – whether we like it or not – we begin to explore completely different areas of the universe created by the developers. This change has an added benefit, because…
Shadow fight. Imaginative.
…the locations of this game are the world championship. I’m truly in awe of the artists at Flying Wild Hog, how well they’ve managed to create some great spots. Sometimes it is worth stopping for a moment and looking around to appreciate the many details in the villages visited – there is almost always time to catch the eye. The developers also experimented with the arenas themselves. Thus, we fight not only on the compacted ground, but also on wooden bridges, wooden logs lying in water or inside burning buildings. Sometimes you can’t even see the characters themselves, only their shadows, like in one of the images used in the text. If I had to highlight one of the biggest advantages of this game, it would definitely be the design of the location, as the blacks and whites look great. Adding music appropriate to the era results in a small work of art that is not only good to look at, but also enjoyable to listen to. The game is clearly inspired by classic Akira Kurosawa films, although I’ve also heard opinions that it shouldn’t necessarily be treated like their virtual counterpart. I won’t make such comparisons myself, because a Japanese director’s samurai cinema has never been particularly close to me.
Trek is Yomi it’s also a whole lot of knowledge about Japanese culture as such. Although the artifacts collected in the game are typical collectibles, it is worth getting familiar with their descriptions, as they contain a lot of valuable information. The developers have hired Edo period scholar Aki Tabei Matsunaga to help, so you can be sure that everything you read in the game has been expert-approved. It should be added that this title also has a strong romance with the beliefs of the Shinto religion, so it also has a lot to offer in this area. The icing on the cake is that in the game, all lines of dialogue were recorded by Japanese actors. Flying Wild Hog has followed the same path as recent creators Ghostwire: Tokyo.
You have to appreciate the artistic talent of the graphic designers in the preparation of the place.
Samurai, you have the game to buy
Like I said, I like the game a lot. Certain things could definitely be tweaked, like the main character animations or the balance, so that it gives the feeling of an increasing challenge every minute, but in general, it is difficult to criticize anything here. Trek is Yomi the production is at least decent in almost every aspect, and even brilliant in some respects. I was struggling with my thoughts on the number to include all that I had been through, but in the end it came to 8.5. Considering the relatively low price, I would also be able to defend the new one. If you like this kind of games, if you want unusual experiences from the artistic path chosen by the creators and, above all, if you are tempted by the samurai atmosphere, then eight ten will not be a lost sum (this title can also be found in Game Passer). I hope Hogom and Devolver “Raise” will sell well – would like to see more.
Kristian Smoszna | GRYOnline.pl