This post was written before I.V’s changes were revealed, and now that I’ve saw those, I’m a lot more optimistic with the direction YIIK is going towards. Many of my thoughts about this version of the game remains the same, but they might change with the newer update when that comes out. I plan on playing through the new update and making another blog post about it (maybe even a video essay idk). Anyway, onto the original post.
Oh god where to start.
First of all, why a blog post for this? Well the answer is quite simple, I was going to make this part of the twitter thread, but it was running up 10+ tweets. Then I remembered that I had a website, so I decided if I have a game in the media thread and it’s taking way too long to type out in a tweet, I’ll post a blog entry here instead. It would, at the very least, provide more uses for this blog.
And boy, what a game to start with, YIIK.
Gonna start out with saying that yeah, this game sucks ass lmao.
A majority of my problems with the game can be compressed down into: It’s tedious as hell. UI takes half a second to pop up, saving requires 3 prompts, the entirety of the mind dungeon, the microgames taking up to 30 seconds at it’s worst. It might not be much when you’re playing in short bursts, but hell extend that shit to an hour and you start getting Death by a Thousands cuts for how much this game gets bogged down.
Seriously, I had my finger pressed on the Fast Forward button in every fight I could, and it made fights bearable. For the couple times my controller glitched out and I couldn’t use the bumpers, fights became bogged down by overly long attack animations, overly long UI animations, textboxes lasting for way too long, the fact that the damage numbers do a thing where they add up from 5 hits instead of just being a single hit, even for things where it should be just a single hit. It just get’s to a point where it’s boring as hell.
There’s one point in the game where there was a month before an important event, and this is the only time in the game where there was a time mechanic. Not only could I not do one sidequest because it required me to be in a nighttime setting that’s only possible during the story, but you could exhaust everything to do and still have a couple weeks left. So for like 5-10 minutes, I was going into the mind dungeon and exiting, occasionally seeing a cutscene, before going back into the mind dungeon and out again.
Obviously, I could talk more and more about how the writing felt like the writer make the game novelization first before realizing they had to compress it down into a game script, or how Alex is an irredeemable asshole that doesn’t grow, but what I want to talk about more was the ending because holy shit it was fucking hilarious.
Ok, so, Alex fucked up and got reality destroyed, sulked for a bit, then left for the soul space. After a 5 minute black screen monologue (I was playing this with the reduced monologue edit), I flew for about another minute before Panda went “yeah I’m not real lmao” and when Alex was screaming for Panda I exploded with laughter because I could not take that shit seriously. Then a couple more minutes of flying later and I see a bunch of other Alexs and laughed when there was an Alex that looked like his voice actor, Chris Niosi, I had to check and I think I’m right, idk.
Anyway after a couple more things, Alex YIIK does a fourth wall breaking moment, recruiting me to destroy the proto Alex and gets all of my friends in on this too.
Ok, so I actually did name these after my friends and seeing them show up as Alex’s friends in JRPG outfits made me laugh even harder.
Anyway, seeing them fight and there being two Alexs was also very funny too, I was just a giggling mess while fighting the flaws of Alex.
There was a couple things I actually did like about YIIK, but it was mostly the music. It was probably one of the most consistently good things about this game. A lot of it sounded really good and as people have pointed out, Alex’s theme tells a better story than the actual game itself.
Like there was a couple bad tracks, but most of it was either solid or really good. Especially the music added in the 1.25 update.
Yeah, last year the game released the first part of it’s overhaul update, boasting faster combat, more music, story teases, and replacing the Golden Alpaca with something better.
This update was the reason why I was playing YIIK in the first place, I would’ve been fine with the couple 2 hour long videos about YIIK (I think I’ve seen 3 of them), but the thing was, no one actually bothered to make a video on the new update, which is understandable, there wasn’t really much added and all of the things you can make fun of it for were still in there, but you can tell that the dev team seemed to be fixing up the game a bit.
I did buy this game day 1 because I was suckered into it and well, I’ve experienced both versions of YIIK, and with that second update having a trailer, I think I’ll be on this YIIK train one last time. But, now’s not the time for not talking about YIIK, I have YIIK to talk about.
The reason I brought up that I bought this day 1 is that I also have experience of the first version of YIIK, and what I can say is that they have improved the game, not enough that I would recommend it to anyone, but at least enough for me to beat it for the first time.
They did (mostly) fix things that bog down the game, like making combat faster with the basic attacks being replaced with simpler, faster versions (which you can reenable them to be the basic attack, but the old basic attacks actually got moved to being a skill, which is more appropriate). They made the Mind Dungeon a bit less tedious, instead of doing two prompts for the door, now there’s one (but there’s still the problem of having to do it in a physical space in the first place instead of a menu). There’s the option for a reduced monologue edit, which does cutit down a bit, but there still is a FUCKTON of monologue, some scenes feel unedited and conversations were unchanged, so everyone still talks way too much.
But, the thing most introduced with this update, was the redoing Golden Alpaca.
I will very much give credit where credit is due again, what they did with the Golden Alpaca was pretty good. Having him voiced by D.C. Douglas was a really good choice and appropriate for this alpaca turned anime protagonist. Having him appear during the story to mock Alex was also a good choice, especially during Essentia’s Mind Dungeon, having him appear around in small minor cameos was interesting, like the title screen and being on the Christmas Tree. But, the main problem is still very much his introduction.
Now, the first part of it still was really good, the scene with Vella opening herself up to comfort Rory is still a good scene, and with the redone visuals, made the scene actually interesting to watch. Yeah Alex was still yelling about what’s going on and Michael is still essentially just standing there but the scene definitely was still improved.
The problem is still the premise of the cutscene, in which while someone is comforting someone else about death and helping them grief, a random whacky thing comes out of nowhere to interrupt with a fight, and honestly, I think it’s kind of worse? Previously, it was just a lol random xd moment, but now it’s been recontextualized with this random soul space cop guy that looks like he’s constantly getting head. It bogs down the scene more and only makes up for it with minor foreshadowing and after the fight where he starts mocking you.
I feel like if I was forced to redo this scene AND still have the Golden Alpaca, I would’ve had it where there was a “fight” with the Soul Survivor, having Rory being the only party member, constantly protecting himself from the entity, who idk probably captured the other three and is forcing them to fight Rory. I would have Rory help out his Soul in grief, and when it seems like the situation finally calmed down, THEN the Golden Alpaca shows up and takes out the Soul Survivor (a thing that happened in the new version of the scene), then I would have the Alpaca do the anime monologue, but I would also have Rory yell at him for doing this, before transitioning into the fight proper. Idk, if this scene wants to have the Golden Alpaca appear in it, the tone of the scene should reflect that, making it justified for the inclusion, instead of both versions where it completely destroys the tone, but in two completely different ways.
Yeah, even with the current changes with the 1.25 update, I still very much do not recommend playing this at all, it’s greatest flaw is that it’s boring, and even with the hilarious ending and good music, it’s just not worth it at all.
There is some part of me that hopes that it could potentially become actually decent-good with this 1.5 update if anything’s to go by with the trailers, but honestly, I’m not getting my hopes up.
ok yeah 1.5 looks good lol. the combat looks way better and looks like it flows really well while having it’s own ideas. I can’t wait to see more and I’m not joking about that. I know this whole thing was me ranting about this game for so long, but I legitimately am excited to see YIIK I.V.