YIIK: A Postmodern RPG Image
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63

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: On the afternoon of April 4th 1999 Sammy Pak went missing. That night, a video of her last known moments was uploaded online. All of your friends excitedly watched as she is pulled from an elevator by something. otherworldly.
    This is a story about what happens when you look for someone
    On the afternoon of April 4th 1999 Sammy Pak went missing. That night, a video of her last known moments was uploaded online. All of your friends excitedly watched as she is pulled from an elevator by something. otherworldly.
    This is a story about what happens when you look for someone who cant be found and the strange things you invite into your life when you go to forbidden places.
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YIIK: A Postmodern RPG - Official Release Date Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. 85
    The ambition and scope of this lengthy indie epic is impressive, taking big swings and, despite the numerous inspirations, carving its own distinct path. If you want your Japanese-style RPG to do to New Jersey what Shin Megami Tensei does to Tokyo, then YIIK is the closest you’ll ever get.
  2. Jan 16, 2019
    80
    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.
  3. Jan 16, 2019
    80
    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. Between the quirky visuals, stellar soundtrack and fun gameplay, Ackk Studios managed to polish the gameplay of late ’90s polygonal games while not losing sight of what made RPGs from that era fun.
  4. 60
    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.
  5. 55
    I wanted to like YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG a lot more than I did. There’s some rich creativity in its style, and the music is worth a listen even outside of playing. However, a lot of the fresh ideas with the battle system and Mind Dungeon simply don’t respect the player’s time. When I’m sighing after accidentally bumping into an avoidable enemy, that’s a problem.
  6. Jan 16, 2019
    55
    There's a fantastic game buried somewhere here, but its merits are clouded by a plethora of bad design choices, uneven writing, and a protagonist who nobody in their right mind would ever want to spend any time with.
  7. Jan 16, 2019
    35
    Even beyond this bizarre hurdle, the whole game is designed to impede you. The money you earn can't be spent on anything useful. The experience you gain never leads to you getting stronger. The battle mechanics make every fight as slow as possible. Even clicking on chests and items comes with a short delay. YIIK frustrates me so badly I feel like I personally offended the creators at a party or something, and this game is their revenge.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jan 18, 2019
    10
    An unique RPG a billion times better than Octopath Traveller, amazing soundtrack, visuals and original and addictive gameplay, must have forAn unique RPG a billion times better than Octopath Traveller, amazing soundtrack, visuals and original and addictive gameplay, must have for any Mother fan Expand
  2. Jan 17, 2019
    9
    Full disclosure: When I asked to interview the developers prior to this game's release, they provided me with a code to allow me to speak onFull disclosure: When I asked to interview the developers prior to this game's release, they provided me with a code to allow me to speak on the game in a more informed manner during the interview.

    YIIK is a truly unique game. It's difficult to know where to start describing it, so I guess the main perception I want to correct is the idea that it's an Earthbound clone. It wears its inspiration from SNES-era RPGs like Lufia 2 on its sleeve, but with QoL updates like a fast-forward button in combat
    & mini-games for each action, which make the turn-based combat more engaging than Earthbound's. For example, the kendo-practicing Japanophile has an ability that requires inputting a series of predetermined inputs you can memorize like katas to greatly extend his damage.

    The music is one of the best parts of the game, as it should be in any JRPG. I don't feel like I need to go into great detail about that, as it's been covered to death between the main composer's work & the cameo tracks. I'm a big fan of Sammy Pak's Theme & The Mind Dungeon Theme in particular.

    The story & characters, however, are the main thrust of the game's appeal. The writing of the game is strongly inspired by Haruki Murakami, a Japanese novelist who specializes in the type of post-modernism the title of this game refers to: genre-blending, the mixture of old & new, & the use of the surreal to evoke a primal emotional reaction -- the cause of which is not necessarily understood by the audience at the time they experience it. With that said, I think I can move on to describing the story a bit more normally.

    The story follows Alex as he tries to find his place in the world. He is characteristic of an idealistic, yet untested young man fresh out of college, & if you miss the joke, he can be a little tough to deal with. He's given to great introspection, even in the company of others, to the point the rest of the cast calls him on it. I can see this being a point of contention, as Alex is really not a likable guy, & if the fact that's intentional doesn't land, it might be difficult to invest yourself in the story. I had no trouble, personally, & laughed along with the game when jokes came at Alex's expense. The game's characters are flawed, but relatable, which is a welcome change from the cartoonish & often one-dimensional characters featured in most JRPGs.

    Beyond that, I think the story told is a dead ringer for the type of story Murakami tells, which simply don't exist elsewhere in literature, much less in video games. I see the term 'dreamlike' used to describe his writing style, which is fitting because that both perfectly encapsulates it & is wholly unhelpful to anyone who has not experienced it personally.

    While the next thing you have to do in YIIK is always clear, & you are never left simply wandering, it is sometimes not clear how or even if it will help you achieve your overarching goal of finding the missing teenager Sammy Pak & discovering why she disappeared in the first place. The game intentionally evokes an almost lazy pace in solving this mystery, sending Alex on journeys of introspection when it may feel like he ought to be looking for clues. All I can say to reassure you on this is that it's very authentic to Murakami's writing style, which at one point features a man sitting at the bottom of a dry well for 3 days to find his missing wife. I think this meandering style pays off, but it is difficult to describe exactly why without spoiling the game.

    The game is not without flaws. I think the combat is easy throughout once you find a team that works. I was able to one-shot many enemies with special abilities, & there is no shortage of restorative items or currency in this game. The game also has a lack of polish that is to be expected from an indie game made largely by two people. Sometimes UI elements don't transition perfectly smoothly, for example. I will say I am very impressed by the camerawork; the default tools for camera stuff in this engine are abysmal, so it's an accomplishment to have good cinematography.

    Aside from that, I found the level up system to be a bit opaque in how your choices affect your build. It was clear what every stat did, but being able to choose them and having varying bonuses that it seemed like you had little influence over made it a bit confusing to do valuation for them. The process is also fairly slow. Of some consolation here is that due to the game's low difficulty, you can simply level up in bursts. In fact, the game encourages this by giving fully voice-acted cutscenes every few level ups. The level up menu also has what is for my money the best track in the game.

    The tl;dr is: YIIK remains engaging throughout, tells a story you likely haven't heard before, is quite visually striking at times, and features a killer soundtrack. Everything about its delivery feels carefully considered, and it truly threads the needle on some difficult challenges in storytelling.
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  3. Jan 19, 2019
    1
    An Earthbound knockoff with controls and game mechanics that make for a frustrating experience. On top of a luckluster story, I recommendAn Earthbound knockoff with controls and game mechanics that make for a frustrating experience. On top of a luckluster story, I recommend skipping on this one. Expand