I’m not a Japanese-style RPG enthusiast; in fact, I don’t think I’ve been anywhere near a JRPG and I’m pretty sure Pokémon doesn’t count. That I’ve decided to devote an entire article to YIIK: A Postmodern RPG then must mean I’m genuinely interested.
There’s Alex Eggleston, done with college yet hit with a perception of the world that’s not much more than a few faceless friends on the internet and a life of adulting that doesn’t make much sense anyway.
Then he happens upon Sammy Pak on a warm morning somewhere in the summer of 1999, in an elevator to be exact, before she vanishes before a trace. Now his world’s turned upside down, a video of her last minutes on earth are uploaded to an online image forum, and he’s assembled a squad of eight to uncover the supernatural.
I love what they’ve done with the colors, rendering whole environments, scenes and characters in a smoothly subtle, dreamlike fashion that Ackk Studios attributes to terms like flat-shading, polygonal rendering, rich saturated color schemes and a lack of textures.
The music is swell too, featuring names associated with the likes of Undertale or Secret of Mana. And yet towering above all this is a very smart use of Postmodernism that Ackk’s actually gone through the trouble of explaining here.
Never mind the story influences but in a nutshell, where Postmodern literature often derives elements from other styles of literature to create something new, YIIK has created a battle mode that combines multiple genres of gameplay.
Specifically, each turn-based battle involves a mini-game that might require you to do odd jobs like spinning a record and hitting a key on its colored sections, brandishing a piano the proper way or unravelling a roll of film at your foe with dexterity.
Postmodernism also likes to include worlds within worlds, and YIIK does this via ONISM: 1999, the online image forum I alluded to earlier that players can browse, draw quests from and even interact with the conspiracy theorist NPC’s that post therein.
Strangely YIIK’s narrative will also reference Chrono Trigger, Pokémon and other real-life titles, while also including other magical/fantastica/horror elements, non-linear timelines, plot distortions and such. Other notable features include full voice-overs, many puzzles and abundant dungeons/towns to explore for an RPG experience of 30 hours in all.
I’ve also coincidentally written of YIIK on the day of its free demo release, EPISODE PRIME, a standalone quest set within the game world originally created for a PAX showing. Release of the full game is set for Summer 1999, obviously delayed, across the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PSVita and Steam.
Oh, and it’s pronounced why-two-kay.