I didn’t realise this would be a horror game until I got a jump scare. Thankfully, the Comic-con experience (surrounded by people and brightly-lit area) didn’t make me jump at the scares, nor did I hear the music. I have more criticisms of the game, than positive remarks to make with how it played and left the stand feeling less excited and more concerned with what the final product will be.
Firstly, the introduction of the music was really off. The slightly melancholy tones didn’t infuse the scene with some form of tangible energy, being more akin to background music during dialogue conversations. The lack of button prompts or even visual cues made me wonder if the controller was even working. This is a compounded problem with one of NIS America’s other game on hand, which had a faulty controller. So for the opening portion, I was concerned about that being a problem here. From there, the lack of visuals beyond the 2D stills of characters and backgrounds made the experience feel more sluggish than it could’ve been. The story itself could be interesting, if experienced for a longer duration. Due to the slow structure of the game, I got the feeling this won’t be the type of a game for me.
In terms of positives from the game, I got the feeling it’ll make a quaint horror game that feels very Japanese in terms of culture and the potential use of metaphors to be compelling. Having not heard the audio that clearly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the overall thematics of the game would be a treat. It reminds me of Corpse Party but with a stronger and slightly cutesy art style that’s borderline chibi. Juxtaposed by the weird stylisation of the yokai (I’m assuming) with their ominous gaseous bodies, the childlike fantasy could be an easy sell for some people. Just not for me though. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows is out now on PS4 and PC.