We put the helmet back on. I’m not talking about taking the bike, I’m talking about the Oculus. Today we have to talk about a very original game. A risky and fun bet that will fulfill a certain childhood dream. Give life to our favorite doll and destroy your enemies with it. Classic arcade and modern technology come together in Yuki from VR experts ARVORE.
We started in a very “cute” room. We open our metal box (which looks like a lunch box) and a doll comes out. We take it like any boy or girl and we start playing. Fade to black and we jump to the tutorial. And see, I loved that. It’s very expendable bullshit, but that we take the doll and immediately change the whole environment in order to play properly makes me think of a metaphor of how we can always find ourselves in the imagination of a little girl who we were and it is wonderful.
In fact, we will feel like we are holding our toys throughout the game. We’ll be holding the character in our hands like we did with the Batman and Spiderman characters as kids. Only now excited about virtual reality.
The first thing we’re told is that this 2021 surprise is a roguelike. But don’t worry, this is where many of the benefits we get on our runs will stay with us in the future.
After the basic concepts are explained, the game begins. Level one is already freaking out. The stage moves by itself at all times, like in an infinite running game. Just “finally”. That said, every level has its end and sometimes this leads to a boss.
The screens are procedurally generated so we will never play the same game twice. Wrist in hand, we will have to do everything we can to avoid all obstacles and enemy projectiles, while at the same time shooting at them with our powers to eliminate them. That we carry with our right hand, with our left, a kind of robot cat that will help us collect bullets (which we will change for improvements for the next run) and help us with a special attack that freezes the enemies. For our part, the doll has a special one, which translates into a sign, the duration of which is in principle quite limited, but which we can gradually increase by collecting improvements.
During the runs, improvement objects appear between enemies and thousands of projectiles that help us, for example, to increase our maximum health, add drones that fire next to us, or reduce the cooldown of skills (among other things). It will be very important not to miss these artifacts if we want real options for completing the game.
We will advance through these scenarios again and again, linearly and fraught with danger. I want to reach the end and do the final run. The game surprised me at how well it handles its level of difficulty. Seemingly simple, it gets more and more complicated until the last levels turn into extremely demanding screens. However, filling out the title should not take more than 5 or 6 hours. But no worry. There’s an infinite mode planned for the future (sooner rather than later) which, frankly, will look great.
Death will be our mutual friend in Yuki. We’re going to hit them every two by three (metaphorically), but it won’t be the end. We will appear in a kind of workshop where we can buy the improvements that will accompany us in the next run (and the ones that we already have) by spending the balls we have collected.
I also liked that every time we die, our progress is marked on a timeline. This encourages self-competition in order to overcome every attempt. In addition, every time we defeat a new boss, we get a new skin that goes beyond mere aesthetics as it changes both in its stats and in the projectile we fire, and be careful, there is that Typical balanced or the one that does a lot of damage but is mushy. This gives players the opportunity to play the way they feel most comfortable.
Another point I liked was his art. It’s a very Japanese game, or Japanese techno, whose enemies are defined as technological yokais (or something like that since it’s in English). We will drive through traditional roads and more rural areas, like a particular pond that we have seen so many times in the Ghibli studio cinema. Additionally, this super rhythmic soundtrack will give us that melodic boost that will make us move our hips while we control the flight of our wrist. Both of these mean that we will have a very pleasant time putting on the glasses.
I have to admit, my first impression of Yuki wasn’t very positive. It seemed too simple to me. A quick movement of the hand was enough to dodge the thousands of projectiles. And enemies were never much of a challenge. But if you make progress, you fail and you try again … things start to take over that “vice” that those of us who grew up in our nineties like so much by selling five dollar coins spend in amusement arcades.
This feeling is difficult to reproduce these days in titles where failure is barely punished or where “perma-death” is used as a narrative resource. Such an arcade roguelike took me back to that “golden age,” as Enrique Segura would say. And that’s exactly why this Yuki is going to be one of those games that will stay in my library of frequent games. When the infinite mode comes out I’ll try to compete to keep my initials as high as possible.
A unique game that will of course not be to everyone’s taste, but which is coming to VR to offer a bet that is as innovative as it is entertaining. And so this deserves to be taken into account when you have VR at home.