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Tamashii - Review


Tamashii has to be one of the weirdest horror games that I have ever played. It was inspired by obscure 1980-90 horror games and while I myself have never played these types from Japan; I will say that this is a very unique horror platformer with its atmosphere. As a horror fan, I found it pretty interesting.


I should start with a warning; this game contains scenes of flashing lights and extreme religious images. So, if you are not a fan of those two things I recommend staying far away from this game. There are a number of disturbing images present throughout the game as well which may cause discomfort. I am not joking around when I say that this horror game is something else from its genre and what I can only describe as "a living nightmare".


 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

- An oddly confusing yet interesting story

- Challenging gameplay that will test your platforming skills

- Disturbing environments around the game with befitting sound effects

- A soundtrack that is sometimes pleasing to listen to, sometimes uncomfortable to the ears


Cons:

- The text in the game is hard to read at times

- The game will rely on jump-scares sometimes

- I could not turn down the audio on occasions

- Unable to take screenshots on Steam (all images used in this review are from the internet)



Story

The story starts out with you, an unnamed soul, as you are summoned by this ancient entity who claims itself as a god. He asks you to cleanse his temple of corrupting influences. You will also come across this witch who tells you that this godly being is using you. At the end of this mission, the god will just destroy you and the character you are playing as is nothing but a tool.


That is all I can really say about the story of Tamashii. And I mean that quite literally, as it does not make a whole lot of sense most of the time. I think this was done on purpose, however, it’s something I can’t picture myself making much sense out of. But oddly enough, I enjoyed it. I liked how the story presented itself in its atmosphere and I think that’s one of the game’s strong suits.


However, I do have one issue with Tamashii’s story that did not ruin the experience but was annoying nonetheless. There were times where I could not see what the text was saying when characters were speaking, which caused some confusion on what they were saying.



Gameplay

Tamashii is a 2D platformer that got some puzzle elements thrown in. There are a total of five levels in the game with a set number of rooms present and a puzzle to solve. The interesting thing is that these puzzles are not too tricky, they are more trial and error kind of challenges, which is something that I liked. You have some statue beings that you can summon and these will help solve some of the puzzles that you are required to do. You can only have up to three of those things summoned, but after some time they will explode and you can speed up the process if you so wish.


At the end of each level, you will face a boss. They pose to be a little challenging but the method to beating them is quite simple. Some of them require you to use your statues to attack, others to get to the goal to beat the boss. I did enjoy that aspect and how the bosses looked, they are something you look at and just want it to end. I have to give the developer some credit where credit is due, they made some truly disturbing bosses.


Although, there is one issue that does not come up often in Tamashii but is still something I did not like about it. There are a handful of times where you will get jump-scared, which is just a cheap tactic to scare you. There are only three of these in-game, besides the close-up images of the bosses when you hit but I don’t really count those. It’s not something that I put the game down for but something I should mention.



The Most Disturbing Thing

I am someone who has seen a lot of things in their time and I am not someone who gets disturbed easily. However, when I made it to the fourth boss in the game that changed and the song that plays in that moment does not exactly help much either. I say this one has to be the most disturbing thing of the game, because I had to actually look at the boss while getting to the end of the stage in order to beat it. All the while asking myself, what the f*** am I looking at?


It also did not help that there were these drilling noises in the background with the music, that kind of got to me. This is not a con about the game really, just something I thought that should be worth sharing.


The boss shown here is not the said boss I talked about, I want to avoid spoiling the game


Graphics and Performance

The graphics are pixelated and they do look nice in some areas, but that is until you start to see what the game truly hides. I have to say, the graphics are good in a disturbing kind of way. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while I was playing and the gameplay was smooth.


I should note, however, that there is no option to turn the volume down in the game. You can turn things off but I would rather turn down the volume than off. Another issue I had is that I could not take screenshots of the game on Steam, I do hope that this issue is fixed later on with a patch.



Soundtrack

The soundtrack is something that is pleasantly nice to listen to but at the same time disturbing to listen to. This is something that I myself really liked about the game as it is a very interesting take and fits the game very well. I have to applaud the dev Vikintor who made both the game and soundtrack, some credit where credit is due.




Final Verdict

Tamashii is a very interesting kind of horror game. While I do have a few issues with it myself, I honestly found the game to be really enjoyable overall. It may be on the shorter side with only two hours of content at best but the price is actually well worth it at 5.69 CDN. If you can get past the warnings for the game, then I can recommend Tamashii at full price. Just be careful with what the game has in store, it’s a nightmare like no other and something I highly recommend.


There was this manga book that I just came across recently called Panorama of Hell and after reading a few chapters of it, it reminded me of Tamashii for some reason. I think this is because of how the story was shown in that book, mixed with its art style. It felt creepy, just like this game.



Steam Store Page

My Original Review