Before we get into things, the first episode of YIIK Pics is out and it goes really in depth on a lot of things. My friend Fang witnessed an earlier version of the game and explains away (though does not justify) some of YIIK‘s weirder gameplay stuff, my friend Antinomy gets mad at a rat, Rasen talks about conspiracy YouTube and how it’s morally depraved and everyone fucking hates Alex. And after what I played? Fuck this guy.
ALEX’S REDEMPTION + ALL THAT INCEL SHIT
So, Alex is an annoying guy, a misogynist, somebody that takes the people around him for granted. Pretty much a lousy person to be around. Now, when responding to criticism of the game, one of the creators said that they intended for Alex to be a “piece of shit” to change over time and decided that the gaming audience are a bunch of babies that can’t comprehend that concept as if the much better The World Ends with You doesn’t exist. Well, after this part, I don’t see how they’ll be able to do it.
I am still firmly pro-Rory, even though I think his voice sucks and is the worst in the cast. As I said in the last post, he’s a bit standoffish, sure, but he has his reasons to be the way he is. He’s lost his sister. He’s exposed to a cosmic horror world that he almost let himself be sucked into. Give him a break.
But Alex does not give him a break because he’s one of the worst people alive, yelling that he doesn’t care about his problems because he almost got killed by some cosmic alpaca. I mean, never mind the fact that Rory was also there and that he is willing to take a bullet for you, Alex. It’s then we’re treated to an inner argument. Rather than have a normal inner monologue, Alex has to go between different versions of himself to talk to them to hear about how much he sucks.
YIIK is supposedly a story about Alex growing as a person. But honestly? I find that hard to believe when he tears into Rory immediately after his inner Alexes specifically tell him not to fucking do it. Rory is obviously upset and leaves and I hope he doesn’t rejoin the party, for his own sake. Vella is pissed and Michael is also mad, which also earns him some respect points from me. Alex doesn’t realize that yelling at a traumatized guy and downplaying his trauma was bad until later.
I already said I hated him, but now I want Alex to die. It’s not even just the fact that he yelled at a guy that takes bullets for him, but the fact that he yelled at him after yelling at himself not to do it. No respect. War criminal. YIIK will have to try reaaally hard to convince me of Alex’s supposed redemption arc. As Chapter 3 is called “Reluctant Apology Tour,” though, I fully expect his sincerity to be like that of an internet person apologizing after being called out for bad shit: nonexistent.
The idea of YIIK being a narrative about Alex becoming a better person in a sense downplays whatever awful views the game has as stuffed spewed by Alex. The problem is, the game’s ideology can be seen outside of Alex. This is pointed out in YIIK Pics at 2:09:13, where Rasen points out that the game is on some incel shit independent of Alex, with women NPCs not really being respected and saying things that’s not far off from an incel’s stereotype of a woman. I know that this happened, but I guess I just kinda expelled it from my mind because it was just that bad.
With that, the Fourth Entity in this video blaming its situation on a woman comes off as pretty iffy.
Is YIIK just being edgy? I dunno, but considering that one of the creator’s appeared on a right wing podcast and unironically said “triggered” and that some of YIIK‘s defenders retweeted by Ackk Studios are also leaning right wing, I doubt it. Anyway, perish, Alex.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP WASTING MY TIME
From Alex’s long monologues on the obvious, battles taking forever and the awful Mind Dungeon, YIIK is generally a slog to get through. So I was disappointed when the game kept finding new ways to waste your time in bizarre ways.
As I said earlier, Alex’s inner conflict is represented by him talking to robed versions of himself. However, instead of being some cutscene where they all talk to you, you have to approach each one when they’re ready to talk to you even though it’s unnecessary.
In the dungeon leading to the broadcast station, you follow this Entity around – which Alex sorta treats like some animal and not some cosmic horror thing, which is bizarre considering his melodramatic reaction to a weird phone call. Every time you walk up to the entity, it moves away by teleporting. Oh wait, excuse me, it doesn’t fully teleport away. It teleports a few feet away and keeps doing that until it’s offscreen, taking up to 10 seconds to do what merely gliding away would have accomplished in 2. I rag on this because the entity was already moving just fine without having to do this.
This seems nitpicky, yes, but YIIK just keeps finding more ways to make things unnecessarily time consuming that it’s genuinely maddening. You don’t need this! Just make the Entity float away! Just have Alex’s inner conflict in visual novel form, you already have him narrating all the time, anyway! Please, stop teleporting us to separate locations to do things that can be accomplished in the same scene!!!
So, this is something that actually occurred to me when reviewing footage of the last video that I didn’t really talk about. The game has multiple battle themes and a lot of them are actually pretty good! But the thing I found is that, aside from probably the boss battles, the music that plays seems to be randomized and I think that robs having multiple battle themes of any meaning.
Let’s talk about Earthbound, an obvious inspiration considering the naming screen at the beginning of the game. Earthbound has multiple battle themes across enemies, but the thing to remember is that they’re set for certain encounter types. Battle Against a Weak Opponent is used for unassuming and sillier looking enemies, Battle Against a Machine is near exclusively used for Starmen and Giygas’ other direct minions, etc. Having multiple battle themes can be used to lend enemies an identity or to set a mood. MOTHER 3 of course does the same thing and LISA: The Painful RPG and its fangames also does this a bunch.
However, YIIK seems to miss out on that part of having multiple battle themes. In this part, I encounter an alien that has this intense, I don’t know, ska variant of the main theme that I kinda like. Then I encounter two aliens and the battle theme is the Toby Fox song, which I’ve heard for many different enemy groups in the past. YIIK avoids injecting meaning with the songs, which kinda removes any sense of identity you get from fights.
I’m actually curious if enemy encounters are just haphazardly given battle themes or if they’re randomized upon starting a fight. Next time I play, I’ll try getting into a fight, run from it, and restart it to see if the music is the same.