Recently we’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of platformers. Growing up with all types of platformers, I’m always up for playing unique platformers. I’m lucky to get the chance to review the recently released platformer TASOMACHI: Behind the Twilight. Developed and published by Orbital Express, TASOMACHI is an ambitious project in both scope and scale. It takes players through large worlds, having them traverse to discover the mystery behind the fog that coats the town. Currently available on Steam, this is an adventure worth taking.
The game starts with Yukumo’s airship breaking down in the mysterious town. After exploring to see if you can find parts you discover that it’s a ghost town. Upon discovering this you meet a little fox character who tells you to collect around 90 sources of earth to repair your ship. Other than that there aren’t any other directions. The story is very minimal as the exploration of the various environments takes center stage. I wanted to know more about the world and how the sources of earth repair her ship. A lot of things are open for interpretation. It almost feels like there should be more exposition.
The major problem that I have with TASOMACHI is that it feels unpolished and somewhat incomplete. TASOMACHI is really in a weird place; Yukumo feels heavy when you’re moving around but at the same time, her jumps are super floaty leaving it hard to truly have accurate pinpoint platforming. This leaves a huge disconnect between what is happening on screen and what the player is feeling. There were many times where I was taken out of the experience due to how off Yukumo felt to control. When I come into a game that expects me to do momentum-based platforming, I expect the controls to be tight as what I’m seeing on screen. It’s a shame because the platforming is really fun but these small unpolished potions keep the gameplay from being truly great.
There is just so much in Tasomachi that feels unfinished, outside of the platforming. The world feels like it’s missing a lot of small animations. If I had to put one feeling to everything outside of platforming I would say “stiff.” Yakumo’s model just snaps in and out of her animation with no in-between. Like when she’s praying at a shrine, one second she prays and then just pops out. The only difference is her hands are pressed together but other than that her model is the same. With all of these snapping animations it makes the game feel cheap.
I feel really bad saying that because you can feel the passion that Orbital Express put into TASOMACHI, but I’m not sure if they were rushed into completing it. It feels like this game could have used a couple more months of work to fix the animation. Other than snapping animations the rest of the game is beautiful with unique environments to explore. They give it a sense of wonder while you explore the ghost towns. What I like most about TASOMACHI is the soundtrack. It is phenomenal, the sounds of upbeat lo-fi make the journey a pretty relaxing time even at the most stressful platforming parts.
Overall TASOMACHI: Behind the Twilight is not a platformer that is going to revolutionize the world of platforming games. It suffers from an overall feeling of being unpolished from its lack of animations to controls that don’t match the feel of the platforming. There is a lot that TASOMACHI lacks to be a truly great platformer. However, if you can look past some of that what you’ll find is an alright platformer with a great atmosphere.
TASOMACHI: Behind the Twilight
TASOMACHI: Behind the Twilight
There is a lot that Tasomachi lacks to be a truly great platformer. However, if you can look past some of that, you'll find an alright platformer with great atmosphere.