When we were all younger, we had our favorite toys to play with and it was up to us to use our imaginations to help bring the adventures to life. Sometimes we would play with our friends and, when combined with their toys, made it for one of the greatest adventures throughout space and time that we could have ever had while the sun was still out. Then there would be times when we may have had only our own imaginations as there may be not anyone else around to continue with those adventures and ideas. But does developer ARVORE Immersive Experiences show us what it’s like to bring those memories we have and bring them back to life? Let’s find out with Yuki for PlayStation VR.
YUKI is an upbeat mix of the bullet-hell and roguelike game genres set in an incredible anime universe. Stepping into the wild imagination of a child, you hold your favorite action character, Yuki, as you use your hands to fly dodge loads of bullets and obstacles that cross your path. And doing this all why listening to the sound of mesmerizing music as you try and maneuver through each level blasting Yokaliens. So before your inner child’s imagination starts to run wild all out in the universe, you will want to make sure of a few things.
Since your arms will be moving, make sure you don’t have anything that you can hit to the sides, above, and/or you. You don’t want to get injured, especially before Thanksgiving. Second, don’t get frustrated. Things can get crazy out there and if you let frustration overcome you, then those Yokaliens have already won the battle. Third, make sure your Move controllers are fully charged. And finally, and most importantly, Yuki is incorporated with permadeath. What that means is that once you die, no matter how many times you may pray upon the YUKI gods and no matter how far you might have gotten, once you die, game over. With that said, let’s continue…
Yuki starts out with you in the bedroom of a child and just from the look of things, you can tell the importance of the world of Yuki is to the child. In your right hand, you will be controlling the Yuki action figure as you can move it just like if you were holding an action figure in your hands. Yuki also has a shield that can be activated to help protect against enemy fire. In your left hand, you have your trusted companion POD. POD and Yuki will communicate from time to time and POD has the power to freeze the enemies. Firing is as simple as holding down the trigger button which you do not have to keep pressing. But one thing about POD’s freeze and YUKI’s shields is that they do not have unlimited use. So you need to know when to use them or you will need to wait for them to fill back up.
Of course, when Yuki first starts, things do start out simple. One tip I can say is that when you see an obstacle, you do not need to move your head or anything as you personally do not take damage, but you have to make sure YUKI does not hit any obstacles. So this means you will need to maneuver Yuki in and out and away from things to make sure no damage is taken. Even if there is damage, you do get a chance to collect Health Bits along with Shield Orbs and Creative Drive Orbs that will help replenish your shield and the creative points that you can use to upgrade items such as your MG Drone that will add 1 firing drone that follows your maneuvers or even things like the Vitality Charm that will grant Yuki a permanent increase of an HP.
But trying to get as far as possible does have its rewards as you can unlock new blades, called Bladewings that you can use to help in your fight when you complete certain stages and become really effective against a variety of Yokaliens and bosses that you will encounter. But when you can add more powerful Bladewings and more damaging firepower assists with the multiple drones and modifiers, that frustration you might have had earlier, starts to end. Well, until the bullet hell is more than you can take, and then you have start over at stage one.
Looking at the graphics and sound. Yuki really is beautiful with each level having an anime-style that really comes alive with colors in Virtual Reality and is so easy on the eyes, that it makes viewing the game very enjoyable. There were times when I died that it wasn’t all from just the bullet fire, but just from taking in the scenery. Yes, this means that I had to start over, but it’s ok as those stages I got to enjoy again even with the enemies and obstacles being randomized. I did enjoy the different ways the bullets come at you as try and out dodge and out move them and some of the bosses are fascinating to watch and fight against. The soundtrack of the game is well-balanced and relaxing to listen to. Maybe it’s trying to counteract the action that is going on at times, but it’s a soundtrack that I could just listen to more than once.
There are a few things that I hope get addressed. For one, with the PlayStation VR version, when you first start out on the stages, there is this non-VR flat screen and then it quickly moves into VR. It just takes it out of the immersion for just a brief second, but hopefully will be addressed in a future update. Also, at the time, the Endless Mode is not available. This is where you can test your skills in infinite runs with a constantly increasing challenge with no bosses, just try and get the highest score possible against your friends with leaderboards.
Yuki still shows us that we don’t need a story-rich adventure to take us for a ride. It allows us to bring our own memories that we had when we were younger and put use them on a bigger stage of the universe all thanks to Virtual Reality. At times when it may feel that we don’t have much to give and the world may be against us, for a brief moment of time, we take the strength of our inner child and allow it to shine bright. And given what we all go through at times, isn’t it nice to have something as powerful as imagination to show that the smallest things may have the biggest impacts?
YUKI is out now for the Oculus Quest/Quest 2 and Oculus Rift/Rift S on the Oculus Store, Steam, and coming to PlayStation VR on November 16, 2021. A review code was provided.
To learn more about the game, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and follow them on Instagram. To learn more about ARVORE Immersive Experiences, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube Channel.
Also, check out the Yuki interview.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some more Yokialiens to fight against.