[PS4 Double Review] Yomawari: Midnight Shadows Review
Yomawari: Midnight Shadows is the creepy sequel to the excellent Yomawari: Night Alone. Can you survive the horror? Find out more in our Yomawari: Midnight Shadows review!
This is a double review for Yomawari: Midnight Shadows. The game was played by ThaRaven403 and EdEN. This review presents what they both had to say.
After going to a fireworks festival, Yui and Haru, the two girls you’ll control over the course of the game, end up getting separated and will try to find each other over the night. The thing is, the city seems quite different at night than during the day, as there are all kinds of shadows lurking around every corner, and for the young girls, this can be quite scary.
And it can be quite scary for you too, believe me. Armed only with a flashlight to see those shadows, your heartbeat will accelerate as you get near them, making your controller shake and the sound of your heart even louder. This builds up for some intense wandering around town, and apart from running away from them, the only way to avoid them is to hide in bushes or under boards or boxes. Upon doing this, all you’ll see on screen is the bush (or whatever you hid into) and purple-ish spots that represent the monsters, until they eventually go away (or not !).
Visually, the game has a nice isometric point of view that reminded me a bit of how Zelda : A Link to the Past was, but in a modern package, with the drawings a bit more cartoonish and less pixelated. What really stood out for me was the music, or actually the absence of. There is close to no music in the game, all you hear if the occasional sounds of birds, your footsteps (which resonate a lot when you’re all alone in the streets), and your heartbeats. This minimalist approach truly creates an immersive experience to dive into.
I’m a fan of survival horror games, but I was not sure what to expect with this one, having only seen some images of little girls with ribbons on their head. When I started the game, a message filled the screen, asking me to turn off all the lights, and to never let my eyes leave the screen. “You promise?” it asked, and so I said yes… Then after a couple minutes of gameplay, I was given one of the most shocking and troubling scenes I’ve seen in a video game, but it got me hooked right away.
Afterwards, I started wandering around town, trying to find my friend. The story plays out in a nice way where you are given control of the two girls as you alternate between one who is trying to find the other and viceversa. With all the shadows lurking and the crazy mechanic they made with how your heartbeat goes faster when they are around, it makes for a great survival-horror experience. It wasn’t a challenge to hold up my promise, as the game is really captivating and I had a couple of moments where I literally jumped on my couch. You won’t want to take your eyes off the screen, because you’ll want to get to the end of it, you’ll want the two girls to find each other back.
As for the trophies, I think this one will be challenging, but not impossible. There are a lot of collectibles to find around town, obviously tied to a few trophies, so while it may not be hard, it will certainly take some time to find them all without being caught by the shadows. But then again, there’s a trophy for dying 80 times, and I’m pretty sure it’ll come naturally just playing the game…
Yomawari: Night Alone is a game I loved playing on my PlayStation Vita last year, as you can tell from my review. NIS America has now given us its sequel Yomawari: Midnight Shadows on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, and it’s just as good as the previous one, and then some. It improves on the formula from Night Alone by giving us two main protagonist and an even creepier story and weirder monsters to avoid – and yes, a single hit is all it takes for you to die in this one!
You’ll move around with the left analog stick, and can run by holding down on the R button – be sure you don’t forget this since you’re going to end up running a lot in this one! As you run your stamina bar will decrease, so be sure to keep an eye on it in the lower part of the screen since if it runs out you’ll be too tired to run which might end up leaving you vulnerable and open to an attack from the many deadly monsters in the game. Running is very useful, but sometimes you need to move very slowly to not alert the monsters, so be sure to hold down the L button to do so.
When your character spots an item you can interact with it will show a “?” over her head, and once you’re closer to the item the icon will change to a star and you’ll be able to press the X button to interact with it. Items you collect will be added to your inventory, which you can check with the Triangle button. For example, if you grab a stone from the ground, you’ll then be able to select it from your menu and throw it with the Square button. Items you can push will prompt a hand icon over your head when you’re close to them, and you can then press and hold the X button to push them in a direction. When you can perform an action, a “!” will appear over the character’s head.
Of all the items you can find during your time with the game, the most important are the coins you can collect. These coins are used at the many Jizo statues in the game, and they will allow you to save your progress at the statue you give the coin to while also activating said statue as a teleport hotspot! The more coins you get the more Jizo statues you’ll be able to unlock, so be sure to search everywhere for them!
The trophies in Yomawari: Midnight Shadows offer a nice variety of objectives for you to complete on your road towards adding a new Platinum trophy to your collection. These include completing each of the game’s chapters, hiding a lot, dying a lot, opening many garbage bags, collecting all usable items, all items in general, walking 1,000 steps or finding a deadly ghost crow.
Yomawari: Midnight Shadows is a great sequel to Yomawari: Night Alone that bumps up the horror and gore while doing everything that its prequel did so well. If you liked the first game in the series then you’re going to love this one, but even if you haven’t played it you can dive right into the sequel since it’s mostly self-contained.
This Yomawari: Midnight Shadows review is based on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita copies provided by NIS America.