1999, do you remember what you were doing all the way back then? I sure don’t. I was 10 years old and had no idea what I was doing. I do know one thing for certain though – I was playing videogames and loving it. The ’90s were a crazy time to grow up in. There was a huge surge in ridiculous over the top cartoons and films. Not only that the gaming community was showing off, Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen, Final Fantasy VII, Crash Bandicoot to name a few. This is the feeling that the team behind YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG want to elicit when you play this unorthodox role-playing game.
It’s the end of the world but not as you know it
In YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG you take on the role of Alex. He’s a young(ish) college graduate who returns to his hometown of Frankton after years away. After arriving back home to a zeroes welcome he decides that he needs to go out for groceries. On his way, he comes across the most peculiar of cats, a cat with a Salvidor Dali mustache. He chases after the cat arriving at a deserted factory.
When he enters the factory he finds a young girl named Semi Pak. She’s an odd fish who doesn’t seem to understand the simple things – like what an elevator is. Alex, however, becomes quite infatuated with her so the two of them, Dali (the cat) and Panda (Alex’s Panda) decide to leave the factory.
This is where the story takes a serious twist. On their way out Semi is attacked by strange beings who rip her out of the elevator screaming. Freaking out and left with nothing of the young girl but her name and Dali Alex doesn’t know what to do. What he doesn’t realise at that very moment he has begun an adventure that transcends time, space, and will make him question everything he knows about himself and his place in the Universe.
So what is it all about?
YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG roots its gameplay in the style of the old school turn-based RPGs of well the ’90s. There is however a quirky flavour to the combat. There is a rhythm to each playable character in the game and there are several characters available to play as. There’s Alex our lead protagonist who wields a vinyl record with his record player. Young Chondra who utilises her powerful hula hoop to devastating effect and perhaps funniest of all Rory a pacifist who simply holds his sign in protest. These are but a few of YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG’s players and they all have unique playstyles mainly centred around rhythm.
For example, there is Alex’s vinyl record. A simple enough weapon. The mechanic to use it is also simple but innovative. The vinyl record spins around the record player and you have to time your button input at the right time otherwise Alex will miss the enemy altogether. The more spins you get the more damage Alex deals.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Rory (the pacifist) and his sign. Rory does exactly what a pacifist should do. He protests protects and tries to talk the enemy out of fighting the party. His gameplay design is novel and is in stark contrast to every other playable character in your party. That’s not saying that the rest of your team are similar, far from it, but his, in my opinion, is the most unique.
Thus far, all news has been good news
You can even customise your lead character Alex via the Mind Dungeon. You gain experience and then spend it in your mind thus expanding your capabilities in combat. It’s a fascinating aesthetic and can be spread across the rest of the party to a lesser extent.
Traversing across the world of YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG is a real treat. There are several dungeons to conquer and an open world that has an old school charm to it in its design. This design can be said to be all over YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG. The graphics are nothing extraordinary, they’d feel more at home on a high PlayStation 2 which is likely a deliberate choice. After all the game is set in the late ’90s.
Speaking on the topic of the dungeons. They are all unique in layout and are filled with both dreams and nightmares. For example one of the villain types are the Adolescent Monstrous Samurai Tortoises… get it? This level of self-aware humour is peppered throughout the game and it’s brilliant. The game isn’t just rainbows and sunshine however there are many dark and sombre moments. The devs knew how to handle the narrative of becoming aware that you are accountable for your actions, they just did it in a somewhat quirky fashion 😉
Now this is what I call the ’90s
No game is complete without a soundtrack and YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG has a banging one. Easily one of the best in recent history. Each battle has a great beat to it and that’s before you hit the bosses in the game that each have their own unique battle themes. The best description I can give the soundtrack is if a bunch of ghosts formed a band together. The music is memorable and unique.
Sadly the game was soured by several game breaking glitches. I had to turn off the game at several critical points. Thankfully you can save often which I recommend. This is a minor quibble however as I had an incredible experience playing YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG. The character and their journey will stay with me forever.
YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG is easily one of the most unique and engaging games I have played in a long time. I sunk in 53 hours into this game from the many side quests littered across the world to the epic journey you undergo for the sake of a lost friend and I loved every minute of it, especially when the third act hit.
Check it out when it hits the PlayStation 4, Steam, and the Nintendo Switch and be sure to mention us if you do.