Review – TASOMACHI: Behind the Twilight

: I was drawn to Twilight out of nowhere. I hadn’t heard of this indie title until a week before its release. It’s all the more surprising because the indie studio Orbital Express was joined on the project by developer Nocras, who provided the artwork for Final Fantasy XIV, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Xenolian Chronicles 2. The influence of Nokras is obvious just from seeing the trailer. The only question I have is: Will the rest of the game be just as appealing?

Fortunately, Yukumo is not afraid of heights and can enjoy the beautiful view.

You play as Yukumo, a young girl with a bright outlook who controls an airship that lands in a strange land. When her ship needs repairs, she travels to the town of Toen and discovers that the inhabitants have disappeared, all shrouded in a strange fog. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll say the trailer is for TASOMACHI: Derrière le Crépuscule is a bit misleading. It feels like there is a dark mystery to solve and a fascinating story to discover.

That’s not the case at all. In fact, that’s about all you get. During the adventure, we learn nothing at all about our protagonist and very little about the country where she is stuck. All you know is that people used to live in cities, and this disturbing fog drove them away. The only remaining inhabitants are the Nezu, a tribe of felines who offer very little information and are mainly there to give clues about your current destination.

This is all the information you get for that region.

The only thing that was clear from the start was that you had to help Nez fix your airship. To do this, you must clear the fog by eliminating the sacred trees in each city. Every time you rid it of corruption, the fog disappears from that area. This gives you more of each city to explore and more resources to find, which in this game are represented by lanterns. Here’s how. Honestly, it can’t get any lower than that.

The story may lack substance, but the gameplay is at least a lot of fun. It’s a very casual 3D platformer that focuses more on quiet exploration than brutal, precise acrobatics. There are more complex platforming sections in Sacred Tree Temples, but they’re not overly complicated, even in the later parts. If for some reason you’re having trouble with a certain part of the Sacred Tree Temple, you can pay twenty coins to open a portal that will immediately teleport you to your destination. Like I said, it’s just a normal game.

Holy Trees looks good after cleaning.

Although there are a few lanterns in each shrine that are more difficult to reach than the others, they are purely optional. You can easily beat the game without collecting all the available lanterns. But if you’re looking for a real challenge in TASOMACHI: Beyond Twilight, then getting these lanterns in the temples is the only place you’ll find them.

After you clear the sacred tree, you will gain a new skill. There are not many skills, in fact only three: Ground Pound, Air Dash and Air Fleet (double jump). Early in the morning, after the fog of the city has lifted, you will notice that there are many lanterns that you cannot reach. You don’t have to be rational to understand that you need to check each area after you get all the new moves. Once you’ve unlocked every skill, getting the rest of the lanterns is a breeze.

There is a wide variety of tasks on the platform, but they are all incredibly simple.

Fortunately, the game mechanics are pretty good. The jumps are, of course, rather floaty, but it doesn’t take long to get used to them. Fortunately, the rest of the controls are accurate and responsive. There was not a moment that I missed a note and felt disadvantaged. This makes the relaxed nature of the 3D platform even more enjoyable. No issues with the camera either, which is always a blessing.

From TASOMACHI : Beyond Twilight is a game designed by a AAA artist with serious credits to his name, so you can expect the art design to blow you away. Although there are some truly spectacular landscapes, not all projects reach this level of quality. Yukumo and Nezu’s character designs are clean and bright, but up close they look stiff and waxy. The same goes for the environment. Seen up close, most elements appear rudimentary and lack meaningful texture. But if you can see the cities from a distance or from a higher point, the view is just breathtaking.

When you have repaired your airship, you can really appreciate the beauty of each city.

I also thought some of the animations were a little strange. When Yukumo z. B. makes a stomping motion on the ground, but never touches the ground. Instead, a ring of blue light radiates from her as she is at the top of her jump, and the broken ground beneath her just rips apart. There are also many places where you can let them sit and enjoy the view. The animation of the chair is fine, but when you step out of it, it immediately seems to stand on what it’s lying on. There are also occasional picture dips and minor screen issues, but thankfully these are quite rare.

Sound design is another area that is a bit of a mixed bag. The voice is not played, but it is not necessary. The atmospheric sound effects are wonderful, but many others are unconvincing, such as the bursting of balloons and the breaking of wooden planks. The background music is well done. I missed it too. The melodies played by the composer Ujiko in the cities were wonderfully light and playful. However, the songs sung in the temples of the Sacred Tree seemed really out of place, as they consisted mainly of synthesizer-based melodies. For areas considered sacred, change the style of the felt rattle.

If you are exploring at night, it may be easier to find flashlights.

Despite some problems with TASOMACHI : Outside of Twilight, I have to say I ended up enjoying my time with them. I would have liked a tighter story and maybe a little more character development, but I still enjoyed it. I have to admit I was initially disappointed, as this is not the game I was expecting after the trailer. When I understood what he was suggesting, I was able to change my attitude and be satisfied with the race. The light nature of the game, as well as exploring the beautiful surroundings, became a sweet and cathartic experience. If you’re looking for a quirky, random platformer to interrupt an orgy of violence, TASOMACHI: Beyond Twilight might be the game for you.

The models of Yukumo’s characters and human cat breeds are good for the most part, but they look like waxed close-ups. Also, the environment looks rudimentary when it is close, but when you can see everything from a high vantage point, the images are really exciting. This game is a casual experience, with no enemies and no death threats. This is a 3D platform adventure that focuses on the fun of exploring these new colonies. The controls are rather spongy, but responsive and never feel unfair.
There is no dubbing and the soundtrack is mixed. The songs in the cities are very well done and appropriate for each neighborhood. The tunes played in the temples of Holywood are out of place with their frenetic synthetic melodies. The sound effects are not optimal either. Pendant TASOMACHI : Behind Twilight is a bit misleading and gives the impression that there is a deeper story to explore. But once you understand what the game is and what it has to offer, it becomes a mild and cathartic experience.
Last block : 7.0

TASOMACHI : Beyond Twilight is available for PC.

Viewed on PC.

A copy of TASOMACHI : Beyond Twilight was made available by the publisher.


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