In this review of the Nintendo Switch version of Trek to Yomi, we want to analyze the porting of a title that had captivated us very much last year on the Xbox console: how will it go this time?
In the chaos of great titles released between the end of January and the beginning of February of this year, between a Dead Space Remake, a Forspoken and any Hogwarts Legacy, the general public has lost sight of other small games, perhaps released more quietly and not under the resonant lights of the press, but who perhaps still manage to have their say. Among these we thought we could also include the port of Trek to Yomi on Nintendo Switch. And we immediately point out the imperfect tense of the verb of the sentence that has just ended.
Trek to Yomi is a video game born from a single mind, that of Leonard Menchiari, and a studio, Flying Wild Hog, which arrived in May 2022 on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X | S and Xbox One and we were very positively impressed (here our Xbox review!), Despite some technical flaws here and there and a combat system that is easier to break than to master. So you will understand well our enthusiasm when Flying Wild Hog officially announced the arrival of Trek to Yomi also on Nintendo Switch, point from which we start for this second review. This time, however, not very positive.
Trek to Yomi on Nintendo Switch: the review of the port
Trek to Yomi on Nintendo Switch is a mere porting and therefore no changes of any kind have been made, neither to the story nor, much less, to the gameplay. So let’s go back to impersonating the young Hiroki, a samurai with a noble soul, who twice in the course of his life finds himself having to completely upset his plans. As a young man, primarily due to an attack on his native village by some bandits, he loses his mentor and teacher, as well as the father of his future bride, Aiko. As an adult, almost for the same reason, he finds himself having to undertake a journey halfway between the dream and the real, looking for himself and for a way forward, when everything seems lost.
A narrative that does not aim to bring anything original to the screen and which, on the contrary, draws heavily on all the oriental cinematography dedicated to the samurai of the early 1900s. Themes such as death, revenge and a sense of abandonment form the backdrop to a script which, although it does not shine for originality and novelty, accompanies the gameplay in a precise and punctual way. You don’t need big twists to make some memorable moments, you just need to know how to narrate, describe and transpose them to the screen. And this Leonard Menchiari knows how to do it really well.
Between Combat and Exploration | Trek to Yomi for Nintendo Switch review
Pad alla mano, Trek to Yomi is an action that divides its nature into two distinct parts: that of combat and that of exploration. The latter is structured in six different levels with as many settings that can be traveled in three dimensions, in paths well defined by the level design, with some secondary road that leads to objects that increase statistics and collectibles. Rather linear, but not to be devalued, the level design of Trek to Yomi works and makes the exploration part as fun as that of the combat.
The battle phases against the waves of enemies that will come looking for Hiroki’s head, on the other hand, are organized in 2D, with the protagonist and the opponents moving laterally on the map. As we already said at the time of our review on Xbox platforms, Trek to Yomi’s combat system aims to be much more than it actually manages to be. Basically it is very simple and all this takes place in basic fights with the katana: the role of the parry and of the “parry” is therefore fundamental, which allows you to unbalance the opponent and counterattack.
A reasoned fight | Trek to Yomi for Nintendo Switch review
Going head over heels and using light and heavy attacks without first destabilizing the opponents will lead Hiroki to certain and quick death. Despite this, Trek to Yomi is not a particularly difficult game to learn, pad in hand, and except for a slight input lag (which also returns in this version for Nintendo Switch) to which you will necessarily have to get used to to parry. you will learn how to break the system within just a couple of hours of playing. All you need to do is learn a few combos that break the balance of enemies (and there are a couple that are really simple to perform) to devastate anyone who gets in front of you.
If you add to this the use of remote consumables (Shuriken, Bow and Osutsu, a particular Arquebus) which allow you to do crowd-control and clean up areas particularly of enemies, and a limited and not particularly difficult boss roster to take down, you will understand why in the end Trek to Yomi can really be considered an “easy to learn, easy to break” title. And, as already mentioned at the time of the first review, this is not necessarily a problem: you can complete the game in about eight very pleasant hours, and you will have nothing to complain about. Or maybe, in this case, not at all.
What a disaster | Trek to Yomi for Nintendo Switch review
The terribly sore point of Trek to Yomi in this Nintendo Switch version, and which can only lower the vote we gave in the Xbox review tremendously, is the optimization and the actual porting operation on the ‘Nintendo hybrid. The graphic downgrade compared to the other versions is so evident that you will hardly be able to look the other way. Both the settings and the character models have been stripped of an innumerable amount of detail, making everything more confusing and decidedly less magical. The poverty of the textures terribly affects the general aesthetics of the game, also ruining the beautiful (directively speaking) interlude movies.
It is obvious that a piece of hardware like the Nintendo Switch has a particularly hard time running a title like Trek to Yomi, crammed with details everywhere, especially if not well optimized. We revisited Hiroki’s adventure enduring very frequent texture popups that loaded after several seconds, completely wrong light and shadow effects and subject to flickering, a general confusion especially in darker and less reference-point settings. Furthermore, the film grain (thank goodness you can disable from the Settings) that made Trek to Yomi a feast for the eyes on other platforms, in this case is an additional obstacle and often hid enemies from view who, instead, they were right in front of us.
Accompanying these flaws are, of course, very frequent drops in frame rate, to the point of making the game seem, in certain situations, a photo album browsed quickly. Everything is further amplified if you play Trek to Yomi in the portable version, thus lowering the general visual quality even more. Unfortunately we can’t give you an idea of the gravity of the situation, because the ability to take screenshots of the game has been deactivated on Switch. The images you see in this review are from the Xbox version we reviewed last year.
We close this review of Trek to Yomi on Nintendo Switch with a heavy heart, because we never expected such a badly packaged port of a game that really deserved so much more. The excellent artistic direction of Leonard Menchiari’s title, as well as a fun combat system and a satisfying narrative, are totally destroyed by a completely insufficient technical sector from every point of view. Get it on Switch only if you have no other options and if you are a huge fan of the genre. Otherwise, go ahead.
Trek to Yomi is currently available on PC, PS5, PS5, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Let us know if you have played it below in the comments, we will continue to keep you updated with all the gaming and tech themed news, guides and reviews! And if you are interested in game keys at advantageous prices, we suggest you take a look at the Kinguin catalogue!
- Excellent art direction
- Fun and immediate combat system…
- Functional and interesting narrative
- A hymn of love to a branch of cinematography
- … but very easy to break
- On Switch it is technically severely inadequate