What in the West we understand by samurai cinema, the time-acting cinema where people set to Katanazos for the honor or defense of their lands or their lives, has a concrete name in Japan: Chambara. Cultivating in a particularly ostentatious way between the decades of the fifties of the last century, the best-known figure of the genre in the West is Akira Kurosawa, but it is one as well nourished that the number of own names, both from directors and protagonists, exceeds By far the uniqueness that seems to exist in Western Eyes when putting Kurosawa always in the center.
- Developer: Flying Wild Hog
- Editor: Return digital
- Platforms: PS5, X / S Series, PS4, One, PC
- Proven version: PC
* Availability: Summer 2022
Trek to Yomi aspires to capture the essence of this kind of films and, therefore, the first thing is, as far as possible, adjust the expectations of what we are going to find. This is not a movie from Akira Kurosawa made video game, and whoever hopes to find sardonería and obsession by the neatness of the movement in the space that the Japan director developed, well, will take a chasque.
To begin with, where the influence of the Chambara is more noticeable in general is in the Art Department. In black and white, simulating the grain of recording a film in celluloid, tries to capture at all times the essence of those Japanese mountain towns that seem to be all rivers, dry and forests between peoples that almost seem Western’s border towns; Surely because our imaginary of what was a people of the United States in the XIX comes from spaguetti Western, a subgenre very influenced by the Chambara. That’s why the game feels, at all times, like being watching a movie from Kihachi Okamoto, Hideshi Gosha or, at its best, Master Masaki Kobayashi, something that gives him a style that goes beyond the white gimmick and black
But it would not be a chambara if there were no katanazos, blood coming out in spray, blows whose effect is not seen until after a few seconds of both static contenders and perhaps some missing tip at the end of the combat. In that sense, Trek to Yomi is committed to an exaggerated violence and even with all stylized, who puts all his attention on making the combat feel correct.
The combat, at least in the first two chapters, which is all we have been able to play in this preview, remind a cross between Nidhogg and Dark Souls. Everything takes place in a two-dimensional plane and it is important to know how to read the actions of our rival, being the difference between life and death to know when blocking, when doing parry, when dodging with a somerreta and when trying to connect a combo. Because although we will not die from a blow, our stamina bar, which is spent with each of our movements, will leave us totally defenseless for several seconds if we deplete it, favoring a more paused and explosive style style.
Unfortunately, in combat it is also where the problems of the game are more patent. The animations are peculiar and not always easy to read, sometimes the camera is so far from the action that is even more difficult to read them, the combos do not seem too useful when they are very slow to run and our rivals very fast and very little, and the stamina ends up resulting on salt on the wound in a combat system that already disincelling a fast game style and crusheds like, on top, leave us completely exposed if we stick against an especially difficult enemy or we can not get over The parts are attacked by many enemies in two directions at the same time. All elements that do not break the game and that can be nonexistent as we continue playing and internalize all its systems, but that a priori make the game a tightest tag than it should.
In the same way, his narrative is very interesting, but he collates slightly with his pretensions. The story is pure film of samurais and the selection of planes and their work on it is pure sixties, even if their staging remembers much more to the contemporary anime, which is favored by an environmental narrative with grace and some Levels that have more secrets and exploration elements of which it seems in the first instance. Unfortunately, this ends up producing that the narrative of the game drags us in two directions Frontally opposite: On the one hand, the main story asks us to move rapidly, without fail, without stopping in minciah; On the other hand, the game itself wants us to explore, think and take our time exploring and helping in the small missions and conversations that the NPCs have. Two elements that make there be an obvious narrative dissonance, since the game is constantly asking for two different things.
This makes Trek to Yomi, in these two first chapters, is interesting, but something Torpón. It is not a disaster and its flaws can be solved, but its two winning elements, an interesting combat that makes us think and its remarkable art direction, are blurred because of the constant dissencies existing between what each of the parties want. But, being fair, until now few games had managed to capture so much accurately and a cinematography so interesting the experience of seeing a chambara. Therefore, even with its flaws, it is impossible not to feel a lot of curiosity about the final result of a degree that, a priori, has captured as well the essence of such a misinterpreted genre. Even if, in what we have seen so far, be at the cost of what matches it.