‘YUKI’ Review – a Nostalgic Shot of VR Bullet Hell Madness
AnonymousJuly 21, 2021 at 10:21 AM
Much like the ‘Xortex’ mini-game in Valve’s The Lab, ARVORE’s latest roguelike shooter YUKI taps into a veritable reservoir of nostalgia as you guide a pint-size action figure by hand through a seemingly impenetrable miasma of laser particles and moving obstacles. YUKI captures that child-like fun I first rekindled in ‘Xortex’, but ignites it on a much grander scale. It’s difficult, well-polished, sometimes a little repetitive, but in the end it shows off a knack for incentivizing the player to fight through a score of inevitable deaths to beat the final boss.
It’s been forever since I’ve played an old school vertical scrolling shooter. When I think back to the last time I did, really the only mental picture I can drudge up from memory is playing a decrepit arcade version of 1943: The Battle of Midway on a 4:3 aspect ratio CRT… or rather 3:4 since the game is played with verticality in mind.
Stepping inside of YUKI is a lot like revisiting those vertical scrolling games of yore, but instead of just getting a big ‘Game Over’ screen when you eventually run out of health, Yuki gives you slightly less harsh treatment by making the linear crawl through the game’s handful of levels a roguelike experience. That means permadeath will put a stop to your fun, but it also means it changes a bit from run-to-run and you’re invited back to use upgrades you unlocked along the way. You’ll also earn more powerful versions of your little hand-held Yuki to make successive runs easier. Oh yea, it’s entirely in 3D and requires you to physically move around so you can weave little Yuki through oncoming barrages.
The idea is you push as far as you can go through the half-dozen bespoke levels until you meet your inevitable death. On your automatic forward march through each level—they’re always straight and only slightly remixed to change up baddies and obstacles—you’ll shoot down a massive number of enemies, all of which drop either green health orbs or blue ‘Creative Drive’ orbs. Those blue orbs are the game’s only currency, which you use to unlock upgrade pathways that you’ll be able to access in your next run via the larger upgrade orbs, of which you’ll find a few dispersed throughout each level.
Shooting in the game is mostly a ‘by feel’ experience; there aren’t any sights or reticles to rely on here. I can appreciate the inherent drive for wanting to leave behind the default weapon to get more upgrades, but not having a way to shoot accurately from the get-go was a little bit of a turn off. One of the mid-level Yuki upgrades is homing blade missiles though, which really take some of the cognitive load off shooting and lets you focus more on dodging.
The prospect of new and powerful upgrades like increased firing rate, rocket-firing drones, and magnetic orb scooping—not to mention the four unlockable Yuki weapon types
Log in to reply.