Title: YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
Developer: Ackk Studios
Publisher: Ysbryd Games
Genre: RPG, Adventure
Platform: Playstation 4, PS Vita, Switch & PC
Release Date: 17/01/19
Price: £15.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the developers say
After witnessing a woman vanish from an elevator, college graduate Alex embarks on an adventure to rescue her, which spirals into an epic quest with stakes higher than he could have ever imagined.
Alex’s search for the woman and the truth behind her disappearance leads him and his companions towards the new millennium, on a journey rife with mystery and danger… or so goes the tale of YIIK, a surreal Japanese-style RPG.
Battle through dungeons littered with puzzles, traps, and bizarre monsters with a party of up to eight members, using a combat system that blends twitchy minigames with turn-based combat. Attack enemies with records, cameras, musical instruments and more!
YIIK has more than 30 hours of content including a fully-voiced main story campaign. Polygonal rendering, lack of textures and a rich, saturated colour scheme lend to the dreamlike, otherworldly qualities of the environments and their inhabitants.
It’s pronounced ‘Y2K’ in case you were wondering. You play as Alex McHugh. Returning to his home town after finishing university, unemployed and living with his mother. It quickly becomes apparent that all is not what it seems in his home town though. After a meeting with a cat and visiting an abandoned warehouse where you witness a mysterious girl abducted by some alien-like creature. From here your quest begins to find the truth.
Looks and Sounds
This game has a great 90’s retro arcade look to it, as the ‘postmodern’ part of its title hints towards. I really enjoyed the look of the main character and the world design. The map designs really do bring out that retro 1999 setting. To be honest, the visuals of this game are the main saving grace.
The game is accompanied by a great soundtrack as well. Depending on your weapon of choice in combat, which happens to be LPs playing on a portable record player, the music for each battle can vary. This was a welcome break from what usually is one soundtrack on repeat for any combat encounter.
The script has its moments of humour, but it requires a bit of 90’s knowledge to fully appreciate. At times it felt a bit overdone though, and some of the jokes won’t sit well with a 21st PC century.
Gameplay and Replayability
YIIK is a turn-based combat RPG. You get together with a bunch of odd friends to form a party. From here you begin your quest to find out the truth behind the ongoings in your home city while trying to rescue this abducted female. Sounds pretty standard right?
Well, Ackk Studios have tried something a little different with their combat system. To perform bonus attacks or to dodge incoming attacks there are what can only be described as mini-games. Now at first, these are an interesting approach. Hit X at the right time, and you get to attack again.
However, it soon becomes a tedious process that prolongs even the simplest of encounters. Factoring in the number of actions you need to perform in a single turn, it can take nearly 10 minutes to defeat the easiest of enemies. Now extend this out to a party of 4 for attacks and dodges, and it just slows everything down.
Add in that these minigames are never fully explained to you and you are faced with guesswork. Equip a new attack to take on stronger enemies, and it comes with a new mini-game to play. I spent most of my first turn figuring out how to even use the attack. As you can imagine this got frustrating quickly.
Gameplay is looking at 20 to 30 hours for completion. As the standard, there is more than 1 ending so you may want to grind out both endings for some replayability. However, given the combat set up, I very much doubt many will go back for more.
Visually this game is pleasing. I enjoyed exploring the game world, and at first, I was impressed with the changes to the combat system. Unfortunately, this didn’t last past the first few hours of the game. The attempts to freshen up turn-based combat in this RPG are what became the game’s biggest drawback.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase YIIK: A Postmodern RPG at the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/YIIK-A-Postmodern-RPG-1484422.html