The gameplay is just overwhelmingly underwhelming. Poor exploration, unimpressive combat, and a merely passable narrative can’t be made up for by aesthetics. Which is too bad, because the aesthetics are terrific. The backgrounds have a stunning amount of variety to them and are of almost poetic quality. I suppose if you saw Trek to Yomi and this is what grabbed you, then you’re all set. However, if you want strong gameplay to back that up, then it just isn’t worth the trek.
Trek to Yomi is a brief but captivating journey that’s like playing through a monochromatic Japanese movie, and that excellent presentation is enough to carry it even though it falls short in most other respects. Combat is one-note and easily mastered, and exploration and puzzles don’t have much to offer aside from a fleeting distraction. Thankfully, its relatively brief story was one that still drew me in enough to absolutely feel worth my time.
In its visuals and audio, Trek to Yomi nails its brief to create an Akira Kurosawa-inspired samurai adventure. Its interactive elements, however, along with its story, are all too ordinary and rarely combine to heighten the atmosphere or create suspense. Worth a try for the sightseeing perhaps, but don’t expect it to cut deep.
Featuring outstanding cinematic presentation, first-rate voice performances, and superb sound design, Trek to Yomi wraps Akira Kurosawa-like flair around its fun, side-scrolling samurai battles.
Sadly, Trek to Yomi looks and feels noticeably outdated for such an aesthetically pleasing game. And its archaic gameplay can’t be completely covered up by its artistic black-and-white filter. Trek to Yomi tried to reach the heights of lauded Japanese filmmaking, but unfortunately, it falls almost as flat as its 2D combat plane.
Still, Trek To Yomi doesn't quite reach the heights I'd hoped, in all honesty. The game's combat can't match its beauty, but it's a journey worth embarking on if you're after a bitesize story of revenge – who doesn't love revenge? - that's got some of the most striking visuals around. This rings especially true if you've got Game Pass, as it makes for a perfect package filled with pretty things.