Simple, but visually great!

The game also introduced new ranged weapons, and the story felt compelling just then.
‘Trek to Yomi’ has some stunning visuals in black and white, and the game plays like a top-tier samurai movie from a century past.
‘Trek to Yomi’ has some stunning visuals in black and white, and the game plays like a top-tier samurai movie from a century past.

BENGALURU: There’s nothing unpredictable about video game beginnings, it’s always something dramatically sad. It’s the important precursor to a very cool adventure, and if it’s not campy and cliché, it’s not right. This one begins with aspirational samurai Hiroki: as a young ‘un, we watch him witness the tragic death of his master. The scene cuts to several years past, where older Hiroki finally embarks on his revenge quest. There are some stunning visuals in black and white, and the game plays like a top-tier samurai movie from a century past. But an hour into the game, I felt like ‘Trek to Yomi’ was missing something.

I didn’t press on with the issue right then. I was still hooked with its combat sequences with different-sized bandits. I liked that I unlocked combat combos by clicking buttons the wrong way. The game also introduced new ranged weapons, and the story felt compelling just then. A burning village, unlimited bandit villains, and village members thanking me for my help? Bring it on! More than anything, I liked how it looked: while the game is a simple side scroller, in that it moves from one “room” to another, it also takes the interesting isometric perspective.

Imagine a CCTV camera that had access to all the roads in this tiny feudal-Japanese town. It captures every katana slash in excruciating detail, but tastefully adds that aesthetic grain to the scenery. There was that lurch of curiosity that pushed me from one combat sequence to another, because something more interesting could lie ahead.

On hitting chapter 3 of the game, I realised that I could ignore it no longer. I was halfway through Trek to Yomi, and I saw no signs of my newly acquired skills and new weapons coming of any use. Unless you are daring enough to play the game in the one-hit-kill mode, the game feels as complex as a jigsaw puzzle with just one giant piece.

It’s simple, it teases you with the idea that it gets challenging and varied, but it doesn’t. Somehow, this issue was not harsh enough for it to discourage finishing the game. Trek to Yomi is only five hours long anyway. The game released for the Nintendo Switch a few weeks back, and is also available to play on the PlayStation, Windows, and Xbox.

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