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Trek to Yomi is the vision of indie developer Leonard Menchiari. Thanks to Polish studio Flying Wild Hog and publisher Devolver Digital, the action title is now available on the Nintendo Switch, and it is time to see how this port fairs on the hybrid console.
Does this samurai experience entertain throughout? Or does that rogue warrior need a little more time training their skills? Let’s find out in the Trek to Yomi Switch review!
Diving into Trek to Yomi
Trek to Yomi is a love letter of sorts to old Japanese cinema, particularly in the classic samurai genre. Inspiration comes strongly from films like Yojimbo, Rashomon, and Harakiri, just to name a few, and the way the story is told is compelling in all of the right ways.
You start off as a young samurai named Hiroki proving yourself to your master. Bandits invade, and despite your master’s instructions, you decide to see what’s going on yourself and help.
Your efforts are appreciated, but tragedy still falls, as your master dies defending the village and passes the baton of leadership to you.
The story continues as we see the master’s daughter, Aiko, and Hiroki united as leaders of the village, and it is up to them to keep the people safe, including those in the surrounding areas.
It is a solid story filled with great character development and engaging interactions, and the Japanese voice acting that is spoken throughout is incredible.
Gameplay and combat
Trek to Yomi fails a bit in the gameplay department, mostly due to clunky controls and awkward timing regarding parrying and striking.
Enemies rarely have similar attack patterns, making the action sequences a little tiresome and annoying throughout the short excursion, especially on higher difficulties.
The game uses a fixed camera, which caters to the cinematic look and feel, and for the most part, this works incredibly for the game.
Since there are secret passageways throughout, looking around the screen for openings or opportunities gives more to the experience. The way Hiroki interacts with survivors, too, adds both to the gameplay and the story.
Since gameplay does not move too far away from the norm, things do get stale rather quickly. You do learn new combos and obtain new items along the way, but rarely do they mix things up too much.
Most of the time, you will stick to blocking/parrying, followed by a light or heavy attack to relinquish your foe, including bosses.
The art and sound
Trek to Yomi‘s greatest achievement is in its visual presentation.
This is a stunning title that again borrows heavily from classic Japanese samurai movies, and the black-and-white look truly complements this. There is so much attention to detail, and this has a lot to do with the fixed camera.
Unfortunately, compared to its PC counterpart, the Switch version suffers at multiple points, especially when there is a lot going on in the background or many enemies are present. Thankfully this doesn’t diminish the artwork too much, but it does affect the performance.
Another area of excellence is in the sound department. As I already mentioned, the Japanese voice acting is fantastic, and each performance is believable, sincere, and heavy.
In addition to the voices, the soundtrack is simple yet effective, and every sound throughout Trek to Yomi is purposefully placed and serves an amazing purpose.
Verdict on Trek to Yomi
Trek to Yomi accomplishes a lot in its short trek. The way it is “filmed” is brilliant and reminds me so much of the classic Kurosawa movies, and the voice acting and soundtrack that compliments it are absolutely satisfying.
It is unfortunate that Trek to Yomi‘s gameplay is lackluster, and the relatively short experience may leave some wanting more, especially for the price.
All in all, Trek to Yomi on Nintendo Switch is a solid experience. Graphically, the PC version is superior, but if you are a Switch-only gamer, you will still receive a solid experience here (for the most part) striking your enemies down for a bloody good time.
Games like Trek to Yomi
If you are a fan of Trek to Yomi or want to play something similar, there are actually a lot of titles that can satisfy your thirst for action.
Of course, on PC (thanks to Steam), the number of titles is seemingly limitless, but for Switch fans, here are a couple that you should check out:
Both Aragami: Shadow Edition and Aragami 2 are available on the hybrid console, and both titles put you in the role of the Aragami, a powerful deity, as they maintain balance in a dark world. Both titles are heavy on content and will entertain throughout.
The other is The Messenger, an excellent indie action game where you play as a young ninja venturing through a cursed world attempting to save their clan. This is a light Metroidvania with some solid action and tight controls.
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A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review. It did not affect how we reviewed or rated the game.