YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
Top Critic Average
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Critic Reviews for YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG, sadly, never shines as brightly as it does during its opening hours. There's enjoyment to be had here, sure, especially for anyone with love for the '90s – but all of the references to Chrono Trigger and Pogs in the world can't balance out the pleasure-less battle system and overly complicated levelling up mechanics.
My hope for Ackk Studios is that they will take this criticism to heart in their next project. They are clearly bursting with creativity, and we need to see more of that in the gaming industry. Just be sure to back it up with solid mechanics that push the player’s experience forward. Being set in 1999 doesn’t mean we have to suffer through the worst of it.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is plenty ambitious, with designs to be both as quirky as the charm-filled RPGs of the 90s, and serious with substantive, heady sci-fi concepts. It calls itself “postmodern” after all, evoking the likes of Vonnegut, Pynchon, or Burroughs. While I was on board at the title screen, it didn't take long for the disappointment to set in. There's an unearned self-confidence in the writing that is hampered by stilted dialogue and shallow characters, and the exact opposite in the gameplay, where YIIK feels afraid to actually be a 90s-style RPG. It's obtuse and poorly balanced, making each encounter a frustrating exercise in attrition. YIIK has big ideas but they rest on top of a shoddy foundation, one that crumbles the more you try to stay on top of it. I'd rather just play EarthBound again.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is a dazzling explosion of stylistic presentation and compelling strangeness. This might go down as “EarthBound for a new generation,” and much like EarthBound, the quality is difficult to score, since it is based less on the precision of design and more on an intangible, heartfelt payoff. While some gamers may not see anything special going on here, YIIK will likely really resonate with some players. If a Weird Stuff RPG appeals to you, strap in and prepare for a wild ride. Surreal themes aside, if you're simply looking for an RPG experience on the Switch with far-out visuals, YIIK should satisfy your turn-based desires.