ayanthar91's Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (PlayStation 4) review

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A game with a surprising amount of gutsy mechanics that mostly works

Although this seems like a very light game on the surface, kudos is given to how gutsy it actually is. There are no enemies, no combat system, very light on plot, hard to find out how to fast-travel, and the vast majority of the game consists of fetch quests. However, for the most part I found myself in awe of the game.

The summary of the very light plot is that murk has taken over the lands and you must figure out how to get rid of it. The murk basically is locked areas, or covers landscapes and treasure chests. You use sprites, certain creatures to get rid of it. You need a certain amount to get rid of certain murk, and they can be found throughout the world by either interacting with glowing objects or completing side quests.

The majority of the game is spent doing fetch quests. Even if you are not focusing on a quest, emphasis is placed on picking anything, and everything up. This somehow became addicting to me, but I am the type of gamer that has the urge to pick up everything in video games. If you are that type of gamer, I'm sure you will enjoy this aspect of the game. There are a few other types of gameplay, but I feel like most of them are not utilized well enough. The most in-depth one is crafting. Most of the items you pick up are the basic ones, and you use those to build more complex items. Eventually, you will find guilds to join which will result in you unlocking more objects to craft.

The other types of gameplay consists of fishing and farming. Fishing can be annoying, and felt useless to me, until I realized that certain types of fish become essential to craft a base item near the end of the game. Farming looked like it could have been more in-depth. However, although I had some initial excitement when I went through the farming tutorial, I found myself never farming again.

The best aspect of this game is the world itself. It's quite similar to Breath of the Wild. It's gorgeous to look at, the soundscapes work very well, and there is enough variety through each area that has its own theme. I found myself enthralled whenever I reach a new area and notice how different it is, just like with Breath of the Wild. If you enjoy exploring open ended worlds, I can see you getting a kick out of exploring this one.

However, this game is not without its flaws. Although it's quite rare, you may need to do some platforming. The jumping is VERY awkward, especially if there's something in front of you. You end up getting pushed back. Also, even though the quest and compass navigation helps you quite a bit, you will feel overwhelmed when you're more into the game and realize that you may even have around 20 quests to do. I also felt like the fast travel could be more efficient. I didn't learn how to do so until near the end of the game, and you can only travel through certain points, as opposed to a more varied one. I felt like one should be able to fast travel to every village or town, as travelling to the other side of the map to complete another quest can get tiresome.

I can see most considered the lack of enemies and combat as a flaw. However, I feel like it would be detrimental to this game. This is similar to the farming aspect of Stardew Valley. It's meant to help you relax.

If you enjoy going through gorgeous open-ended worlds, especially one like Breath of the Wild, and just need to relax and walk around after a stressful day, then I highly recommend this game.

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