Developer: ARVORE Immersive Experiences
Publisher: ARVORE Immersive Experiences
Genre(s): VR, Bullet-Hell, Roguelike, Shooter
Platform: PSVR (also available on PC)
Age Rating: PEGI7
Release Date: 16/11/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
I’m 40 and Still Playing With Toys
Let me start this review by saying I loved the Pixel Ripped games on PSVR. They were unique, brilliantly implemented and a boatload of fun. So when the opportunity to review ARVORE’s latest foray onto PlayStation’s VR headset dropped into my inbox, I jumped at the chance. I had also heard it was a roguelike, one of my favourite genres, colour me intrigued.
Imagine, Space Invaders, permadeath, persistent upgrades all wrapped up in a bullet-hell VR world. Got that, well that’s YUKI in a nutshell. It’s certainly an eclectic mix of genres but it truly does work. My first few attempts went south fast but as I unlocked upgrades, got used to navigating YUKI in a 3D environment and acclimatized to my surroundings, things started to become very enjoyable.
When YUKI first starts you are in a child’s bedroom. You can pick up a phone with cat ears, examine a goldfish but more importantly, open a locked box. From this box sprouts YUKI, a child’s favourite action figure and saviour of the universe. You will be saving the universe by rescuing its Creative Drive, shooting adversaries and all of this is contained within the imagination of a child.
What first struck me while playing is how well YUKI controls and how well this style of game can be implemented within the VR space. You hold the YUKI action figure in your hand and use the Move controller to navigate her within the 3D space, like holding an actual figure in VR. You then use a button to fire and move YUKI around, dodging an endless amount of projectiles.
Immersive, Fun Contortion
It is truly amazing how natural and immersive it feels to navigate YUKI, it’s like when you were a kid, holding a rocket or aeroplane and running down your corridor making ‘pew pew’ noises. This control scheme is paramount in a game like this too, as you have to regularly avoid screens full of bullets and nasties. A poor control scheme would have broken the experience. When you get into it you will find yourself contorting your body into some weird positions as you try to avoid a falling obstacle but still tilt your bullets over the top of it to take out an unsuspecting enemy.
As I mentioned previously, YUKI is a Roguelike, so every time you die you start from scratch. However, in-between each run you can spend currency earned in each run on permanent, persistent upgrades. Things like more health and upgraded weapons make sure you are constantly getting further and further into this sci-fi, anime dreamworld. You can also unlock new sets of Bladewings that provide different weapons for you to experiment with.
Pleasing on the Eye
As well as having a decent control scheme, YUKI’s presentation is also very pleasurable. Minus the basic enemies, which we will get to later. The model for YUKI is clean, crisp and very detailed. The dreamscape-like levels are varied and bright, and the bosses are well designed and engaging. For a PSVR game, especially remembering how old the tech is now, YUKI is a nice looking game. On the music front, I also really enjoyed what YUKI offered. The music really fits the theme, creates emotion and ramps up the blood pumping action when required.
I have very few negative things to say about YUKI. I thought the basic enemies perhaps were a bit bland and the game a bit on the short side. There is an endless mode coming soon to add a bit more replayability to the title, which will be welcomed. Each level is randomised and that does help a touch but over the course of your initial playthrough you will play through the opening level multiple times, and more variety and detail in the basic enemies would have gone a long way.
Unique, Immersive and Entertaining
This being said, I loved YUKI and my small amount of negatives are a testament to that. The whole anime-style theme, electronic music and bright art style really all work together to create a PSVR game like no other. It looks, sounds and controls beautifully and like both the Pixel Ripped games, offers something truly unique on the platform. It can be played in short bursts, like most Roguelikes and each run does feel slightly different.
The game may only be six levels long but it will take you a little while to get there. You will have to unlock new powerups, upgrades and sets of Bladewings to succeed and if you stick to it, succeed you will. YUKI will not be for everybody but it does have something about it. It feels fresh, unique and entertaining. What more could you ask for? Right, hand me the Move controllers, these mofo’s going down!
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
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