A Trophy-Obsessed Gamer’s Guide to Trek to Yomi

by 
 | October 6, 2022
 |  ,

Imagine you are a samurai in feudal Japan, akin to a classic martial arts movie. Imagine you are a badass with a katana on a mission to save your town from thieves and looters with questionable motives. Imagine that you are on a path of redemption while still being a badass with a katana or maybe even some shurikens.

You there? Ok, cool. You’re playing Trek to Yomi.

Trek to Yomi is a sidescrolling 2.5D samurai game from Flying Wild Hog and published by Devolver Digital available on current PlayStation, Xbox, and PC platforms. You play as Hiroki, first as a boy and then as a man on a path to prove himself as a samurai, either to his sensei or as the town protector. Your journey takes you through feudal Japan and beyond, playing out a story of epic proportions.

And did I mention you play as a BADASS SAMURAI?! 

Trek to Yomi is a super fun game with an engaging narrative and some interesting design elements. The controls are easy to pick up, and it does a good job of introducing new combos, weapons, and enemy types at regular intervals to keep you challenged but not infuriated. Once you learn how to do finishers, you’ll want to perform them constantly. They are insanely cool animations and they’ll give you back some health too! Seriously, they are INSANELY cool!

Check out all these cool finishing moves you can do in Trek to Yomi!

The game is relatively short, taking around 5-6 hours on my first playthrough and 3 hours on subsequent playthroughs where I wasn’t scouring the levels for collectibles. And replayability is a thing! I found it as fun on the second and third playthrough as the first.

The visuals are impressive and cinematic. Some frames look like they could have been lifted straight from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Try to spot the film reel discolouration which gives more weight to the style. If this had a real photo mode, I’d have been in real trouble. 

That’s not to say I did not have any criticisms of the game. Some of these criticisms directly impact how fun going for the PlayStation Platinum actually is.

Hiroki faces enemies on a rope bridge in front of a flowing waterfall. (Game capture: Iain McParland)

TROPHIES! (Achievements) 

I earned (yes, earned) the Platinum Trophy for Trek to Yomi in about 6 weeks with a couple of breaks between some playthroughs. The trophy list for this game is a mix of unmissable story-related, skill-based and collectathons with multiple endings and difficulty modes. The blend is brilliant. The only thing on my checklist that has not been hit is “play the game in this way for a laugh”. If you've played LEGO Harry Potter, think “Solid Snape” where you have to hide in a barrel as Severus Snape. 

All-in-all, the achievement list is varied and enjoyable.There are countless detailed guides for Trek to Yomi (like this one from PSN Profiles), so I won’t just re-hash a full walkthrough. But there are some tips I could impart which may help you guys in your endeavors.

Endings

(Follow your heart, Follow your blade, Follow your mind, Early End)

There are four endings in Trek to Yomi. Three rely on your decision at a pivotal point in the story around the end of Chapter 6. There is essentially no difference in gameplay for your choices, though, just cutscenes, which is mildly disappointing.

You can combine the endings with two of the difficulty-based “complete the game on X difficulty” trophies. These are the Master (Hard) and Kensei (One-Hit Kill) difficulties. The other difficulty levels are Kabuki and Bushido, which relate to Easy and Medium, but there are no trophies tied to these specifically.

The last ending is tied to defeating a boss that you are “supposed” to lose to.

Kensei Difficulty

(Unstoppable, I’ll put this spear into…, That woman is a demon!, Forgive me sensei, Clash in a mirror, Demon’s dread)

Beating Trek to Yomi on Kensei Difficulty earns you the “Unstoppable” achievement. This difficulty is essentially One-Hit Kill mode—and that’s for you and any enemy that is not a boss battle— but it sounds harder than it actually is. For most of the level, as long as you learn how to block and parry, you’re golden. It’s easier than any other mode as long as you make sure you waste projectile-firing enemies as fast as you can and learn attack patterns. There are achievements for beating each boss without taking a hit, so do these in Kensei mode as you’ll have no choice! Again, learn the attack patterns, and they’re done for.

This mode, however, highlights one of my bugbears in the game. 

I played this on a base PlayStation 4, and I had some bad frame drops, especially after having just died and reloading checkpoints. In Kensei mode, this is a death sentence. Frustrating as hell. This, along with dropped inputs during the frame drop, can be rage-inducing. It felt like the game was just plain cheating!

Hiroki faces a boss amid the burning remnants of his village. (Game capture: Iain McParland)

The Boss You’re Supposed to Lose To

(No, that’s not possible…)

The one hitless boss you probably will not get on your Kensei playthrough is the one that’s scripted to defeat you. It is possible to beat him, but it is a challenge. 

The biggest challenge here is getting hit. If you run out of stamina? Dead. You mistime a parry and just block? Most likely dead. You get hit? Most likely dead. Keep an eye on your stamina, don’t let it run out, and if you get hit once, QUICKLY load the last checkpoint. This is very important for one specific reason…

Trek to Yomi has no chapter select!

This is hell on earth! The killing blow triggers a checkpoint, so if you do not reload the checkpoint before said blow, you’re doing all of the early levels again to get back to the same point. No save scumming, no load points. I died so many times by accident that I almost gave up. I didn’t, but I was close.

Here are my tips for defeating the boss you’re meant to lose to without taking a hit:

• Play on Kabuki Difficulty

• Get all Stamina upgrades

• Land perfect parries

• Use the parry and switch places with opponent ability

• Load the last checkpoint as quickly as you can after getting hit

It’ll take around five heavy attack combos followed by backing off and recharging stamina to get him down to zero health, and BOOM! Done.

Collectibles

(Dedicated Collector, Leave no stone unturned)

There are 5 different sets of collectibles to track down:  

• Stamina upgrades

• Health upgrades

• Ability upgrades (combos, defensive)

• Ammunition upgrades

• Story collectibles

The lack of a collectible tracker (except for Story collectibles) makes this very difficult. It added so much uncertainty and anxiety to my playthrough. I was constantly thinking I had missed something I couldn’t go back for, but not knowing where.Use a guide. That’s my tip for collectible achievements. Find a guide. Use it. I used the Game Guides Channel on YouTube. I believe the game tracks cumulatively on playthroughs, but it’s worth doing it in one playthrough to be sure because, again, no chapter select!

Hiroki finishes an enemy on his journey through Yomi. (Game capture: Iain McParland)

Sum-up

I would highly recommend anyone play Trek to Yomi, even for only one playthrough. It's a very good, stylish, self-contained experience that I enjoyed immensely. 

The game does suffer from lack of some quality-of-life features like chapter select and collectible trackers. Some frame rate drops, particularly when playing a tricky section on Kensei (one-hit-kill) mode, also caused me some minor temper tantrums.

But overall, it's an utterly enjoyable experience!

Game - 7/10 

This is an above average list of trophies for Platinum, for sure! The minimum four playthroughs and collectibles coupled with a lack of a “play this way” trophy is the only thing that marks this down from a perfect score. 

But if you are looking for a Platinum Trophy, it is totally attainable.

Trophy List - 8/10

Have you played Trek to Yomi yet? Got that Platinum Trophy? What did you think?

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