Trek To Yomi | Vow
Title Trek to Yomi
Developer Leonard Menchiari, Flying Wild Hog
Publisher Devolver Digital
Release Date May 5th, 2022
Genre Action
Platform PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Age Rating Mature
Official Website

Last E3 I saw a game that really caught my attention. It was called Trek to Yomi, and it looked like the old black and white samurai movies I loved during my teenage years. I was very excited to play this amazing looking title when I got to preview it a little while ago, and now I’ve finally finished the full version of the game. Did this title meet my high expectations for it after the preview, or did it end things on a whimper? Let’s find out.

The game begins the same as every classic samurai movie does. A young man named Hiroki is training with his master to become a great samurai when their village is attacked by bandits. The master goes out to defend the village, and his young apprentice soon follows. He puts up a good fight with the bandit boss, but is outdone. His master saves him and defeats the man, but at a great cost. The fight has taken all of his strength. He asks Hiroki to vow to protect this village and all he loves from any threats. The boy takes this to heart and becomes a powerful samurai as the years pass, but a new threat to his village has just arrived. Time will tell what fate has in store for him and the ones he loves.

Trek To Yomi | Shrine

This story takes some predictable turns as you progress, but there was one thing that I was surprised to see. The game has multiple endings depending on some choices you make in latter stages. These choices present you with a moral dilemma about what would be the most important to you. This really helped me get into the story a lot more, and it added a ton of replay value here.

Trek To Yomi | Rain

At first glance you may think Trek to Yomi is just a simple 2D side scroller, but that isn’t the whole story here. Some areas are side scrolling or force you onto a single path. Other areas will allow you to explore a bit in 3D as the camera moves to set angles. This is very much like classic Resident Evil titles, and rarely does it give you a bad angle for combat or exploration. The biggest problem I found was since the game is done in black and white, when the camera would be zoomed way out it became easy to lose your character’s position. This also made some enemies harder to see among certain backgrounds later on.

It is very important to check each area thoroughly. You can find important health and stamina power ups, collectibles, or maybe even ammo for the variety of ranged weapons you find throughout the story. Players may also discover a way to use the environment to take some enemies out with stealth. I found this log in one area I could cut down and killed a whole group of enemies in one swoop. This not only makes your life easier, but it’s a pretty satisfying way to take out folks as well.

Trek To Yomi | Forest

I’m usually not the greatest when it comes to combat in a game like this, but Trek to Yomi has a great balance. On the normal difficulty, the game is challenging enough that you want to invest your time to get good at it without it being frustrating. There is also an easy mode for those that want to enjoy the story, a harder mode for those seeking a challenge, and you can unlock a one hit death difficulty upon completing the story, if you’re crazy enough for it.

Trek to Yomi | Gate

There are two basic attack buttons, a light and heavy attack; you will use these together at times for combos or with other inputs for different moves. Of course attacking and blocking will consume some stamina, but on the normal difficulty this was very easy to manage. Since you are fighting on a 2D plane, you will have to flip around to face enemies on either side of you. I thought this might be a sticking point with this combat, but it is very easy to turn to either side, and there are plenty of combo moves that even use this to your advantage. You will need to use everything at your disposal to overcome some of the later enemies with their ranged attacks and other special moves. The thing I enjoyed the most about the combat was when you stun a foe, you can execute them. This not only looks totally badass, but you gain a bit of health back as well.

Trek to Yomi | Area

As you can tell, graphically, Trek to Yomi is just a pure treat. It looks like a living, classic, black and white movie. The bloom and film grain effects are simply amazing, and the environmental designs are some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. The lighting effects during the stages really show all of the details of each area and immerse you in the action. There isn’t much in the way of enemy variety, but the ones that are here are well done, and the bosses all look really badass.

Trek To Yomi | Vow

Overall, I have to say I had a really good time with Trek to Yomi. The combat was fun, the story was great, and I loved the overall aesthetics here. It was great to explore all the unique areas the game has to offer, discovering interesting collectibles along the way. The game is a bit on the short side at just 7 hours playing on the normal difficulty level, but with multiple endings and challenge levels to choose from, there is plenty of replay value to justify the $19.99 price tag. If you’re a fan of older samurai movies or just love a good sword based action game, you can’t really go wrong with this one.

Review Score

Game was provided by the publisher.

Steve Baltimore
Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.