A buyer’s remorse. My first for 2019. There goes my new year’s resolution to regret less. The trailer – even with the usual RPG trope- made the story seemed cool. Of course, I have only been playing for 15 hours, and therefore, I could not judge how well the story is. However, – after those 15 hours, I could no longer push through to end the game. Why? Alex and Gameplay.
YIIK – pronounced as Y-2-K. I have been pronouncing it as “Yeek” but the game setting was in 1999, and there was even a dialogue about Y2K. To which then I realized that the title was Y-2-K. Full ofhipster trope, the game delve into the minds of young adults and their young adult problems. Characters are worried about getting a job after college. They talk about the economy and how shitty it was for them. Heck, even one of the character had protest boards for weapon. And of course, Y2K.
The blatant problem was the main character. Evident in the many YIIK reviews and discussion, Alex is an ASS. And to that, I agree. He is a lazy ingrate, raised by a single mother who in the game got laid off and yet, would not jump on any opportunity to contribute. He has a “me,me me” attitude. He yelled at his mother for finishing his college fund, to which he used up for not graduating on time. The whole “after the sewers Alex and Rory” scene was very painful to watch. I felt like socking Alex in the face for saying such insensitive things to a guy who lost his sister to suicide. In the words of Vella, Alex is an “entitled little brat”. Granted that I have not finished the game – I could not say if Alex would develop into a likeable character or not. He actually did have a few scenes where his inner thought would tell him off. Maybe he will grow up near the endgame.
TDLR; His outbursts and selfishness is actually very grating and would put me off from continuing the game – not as much as the gameplay though.
YIIK has a unique, psychedelic kind of atmosphere going on – the art, the dubstep music, the colors, and the strangeness. The story would be one called “woke” these days. And it is too unique. Something like a breath of fresh air in the RPG gaming scene. However, too much technicality that one would find it frustrating.
The battles are tedious AF. Every action constitutes a different mini-game. I mean I get it as this game is considered to be under the same umbrella as Undertale. However, Undertale does not require the grinding of level. YIIK does. This resulted to a very tedious gameplay. Enemies are also not scaled well for players who does not want to grind. Random enemies are available on the overworld, however, dungeons have enemies that does not respawn. This meant that sometimes we would reach a boss fight without the necessary power. Enemies also have higher HP levels and also deals more damage, compared to the party members. For instance, I have been increasing the STR level of Alex, only to have him deal the same damage as when he has lower STR level, however enemies would deal increasing damage as the game continues. When attacking, players would be playing a mini-game to gain “combos” which did not matter much. We could have achieved a 10 hit combo and it would deal a measly 1 damage difference as to when we only did a 5 hit combo. The reward for hitting combos was not there. Character skills are USELESS most of the time. Alex never put any enemies to sleep with his skill, Vella’s heal skill was crap, Michael Quick Snapping deal shitty damage. Chondra’s only useful skill was to spread the effects of items. And speaking about items, the healing items heals based on percentage. And therefore, are not rewarding to use as your HP level is low. Highest I could go on my playthough was 25 HP, which meant that a 50% item would heal 12 HP whilst the enemy bosses are hitting me at 14 a hit. Defending and dodging requires us to do a DDR kind of mini-game, and therefore, DEF status does little to mitigate damage. Items are useless because just to survive I would have to pop one of the expensive item (at that current time) almost every turn. All these combined resulted into a very tedious combat system.
TDLR; crappy battle system, too much mini-games involved, every fight is a long flight thanks to battle system, long fights makes grinding levels a pain, grinding levels is sometimes needed to advance. And I searched the webs for solutions and to which I realized that a lot of reviews are basically saying the same glaring problem – a tedious gameplay.
And also that the only solution to getting over that boss was to grind a few more levels, and to that I said no. I am not grinding when a battle against a normal encounter could last more than 5 minutes, depending on our performance on the attacking mini-game, it could be more. It is frustrating and infuriating.
For RPG gamers looking for a unique experience from a JRPG, YIIK is more than capable for providing that. Heck, if the developers would change the battle system, I am more than happy to give YIIK another go. But for now, in the words of Ariana Grande –
“Thank you, next.”