If you grew up way back in the olden days like me and can't stomach another anime RPG then YIIK is worth a look. YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is out now on Nintendo Switch.
Despite stunning art direction, a kicking soundtrack, and some interesting story points, it's not an enjoyable game for the most part, thanks to its clunky combat, tedious grinding, and poor puzzle design.
Unfortunately, YIIK ultimately fails to deliver in its execution, and it's difficult to recommend for anyone that isn't willing to sit through 25 hours of drudgery for a few hours of psychedelic brilliance.
I ended up loving the whole ridiculous thing, and it’s a great play, and something different, for anyone who likes RPGs.
YIIK might have been able to get away with some of its issues if other areas were able to pick up the slack.
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.
Do not, under any circumstances, buy this game in its current state. YIIK is an aggressive yet sleepy-eyed assault on your money and your free time that needs a lot of work.
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.
Conspiracies, depression, Soul Survivors, oh my!
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.
Which is why I find myself not angry with, but disappointed in YIIK. Where other games that draw heavily from the most celebrated of surreal ‘90s RPGs feel suffused with caring characters that carry the player through a harsh and weird world, YIIK comes off as callous, ignorant and (when the story finally begins picking up steam in its sixth or seventh hour) simply too late to be the groundbreaking experience that it so tries to be.
An old school RPG that falls short of its ambitions in both story and gameplay.
YIIK is an ambitious little RPG with an intriguing premise and engaging battle mechanics that is ultimately let down by some poor pacing and a very unruly inventory management system. In a game where stats matter so much, this is a pretty big issue to have. Regardless, if you can see past its flaws, there's a kooky game here with a weird but wonderful plot and a lovable cast to enjoy.
YIIK is a game that will capture the heart of anyone with an affinity for old-school RPGs and absurd, informed, dorky humour, but it'll take patience and perseverance to see it for what it really is.
A surreal, weird, and original RPG quite unlike anything else in the (Soul) space, YIIK's heart beats stronger than its technical shortcomings.
YIIK is visually appealing, has a nice soundtrack and is pretty funny at times. But the battle system needs a little more polish and the main character was… not my cup of tea.
YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG is an earnest love letter to the culture and video games of the 1990s. Its novel take on JRPG combat pairs with an abundance of style and a memorable soundtrack to make a charming yet familiar experience.
Despite a few wonky issues with combat at times, YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG more than succeeds in delivering a fascinating and unique tale that isn't afraid to get bizarre and humorous while still making you sympathize with its cast and keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Some criticize JRPGs for being weird, having too much talking, brain-dead gameplay, being pretentious, and even pandering too hard to be likable to nerds. I can think of one game that fits those criticisms, and it was trying to honor the best of them. YIIK? Yuck…