Yuki is a Bullet Hell Roguelike game in VR, it takes place in an Anime world, and the enemies behave like warplanes and continuously shoot projectiles. And of course, we cannot avoid them all, and we die, to start over from the beginning.
Frustrating or addictive? Well, both, although in my case the latter much more. Game after game, I didn’t stop playing until the Quests ran out of battery (and damn the hour that I didn’t notice the warning, and they turned off in the middle of a fight with the final boss). Yes, there is permanent death, and you will have to replay level 1 many times (and the others). Still, there are specific improvements to our character that we will not lose (each time we will be better equipped), and also, there is some randomness in the appearance of enemies and obstacles in each phase.
We appear in the small room of a girl obsessed with Yuki, an anime space ranger, an action heroine with drawings, posters and an action figure that comes to life in her imagination, and with whom we are going to live the great adventure to save the universe from the invasion of the yokaliens, evil multidimensional demons.
When we take the figure of Yuki, we will appear among the floating debris of a typically Japanese street. With one hand, we will handle the action character as if it were a spaceship, moving it in 6DoF in all the directions of the three-dimensional space that virtual reality provides. In the other, we will carry a sphere that will help us collect the orbs that contain power-ups or the energy units that the enemies release. That will help us unlock different power-ups and acquire permanent improvements ( charms ).
There is not much to tell about the playable mechanics of the title. It is as simple as dodging enemy projectiles and obstacles that will appear in the middle of the road, trying to destroy everything that moves and shoots us, collecting the blue spheres to buy improvements (the green ones are used to recover life) and not miss any pod, the orbs that allow us to choose between various power-ups of limited use to the game we are playing.
It is a pure and simple shooting game, and it is about reaching the end of each stage, divided into several sections, to face there with a challenging and gigantic final boss: a dragon, an extravagant demon and a deity surrounded by bells, which are Japanese, but neither wind nor peace. In addition to shooting, we have two different aids: a temporary shield (it lasts very little and takes an eternity to recharge) and the option to freeze enemies (whose use also requires recovery time). Yuki can withstand several impacts before falling defeated, and she has a life bar divided into fractions that we can recover by catching some green energy balls.
The endless mode is not yet available, it will arrive soon, and with that name, we already get an idea of what it will consist of. We do not know if Arvore has plans to release more content (more stages, races against the clock, cooperative or multiplayer). The game already provides many hours of fun (and suffering) and is as replayable as it is addictive, but it could use some extra that will extend your life beyond the summer.
It may seem like a small thing with three worlds and three final bosses and half a hundred enemies. However, the game continues without being boring even though the permanent death of our character forces us to start over and over again from the first level. Although there are random elements, obstacles that will sometimes appear and sometimes not, and despite the waves of enemies changing their order, the way that the game is not boring because it is repetitive is thanks to the improvements obtained in each game that they make us more powerful or resistant and, above all, that we can choose different styles of combat. This requires unlocking up to 5 different types of spacesuits, blade wings, which allow Yuki to fly and fire various projectiles. Each one has additional firepower, a higher or lower rate of fire, the possibility of our shots looking for enemies and saving us from having to fine-tune our aim, etc.
Choosing between one or the other modifies our way of facing battles and the final fight against bosses. This, combined with selecting the temporary power-ups that we must take and activate in the middle of a hail of bullets, makes each game something different. We can use a more defensive or offensive strategy to focus on attacking or dodging.
We have 25 different power-ups; they are power-ups that you have to buy to unlock and that appear locked in some spheres in the middle of the storm of projectiles that shoot us. It is essential to get hold of them, with everyone, but that can make us receive an impact. When collecting them, four options appear, and we have a couple of seconds to decide between, for example, increasing the firepower, reducing the recharge time of the shield, adding some drones to help us with their shots, activating a magnet to attract the spheres. Blue that yokaliens release when they die, etc.
These advantages are temporary, we will lose them when we die, and to get hold of them, we must recapture the orbs that contain them, spheres that, if they are golden instead of gray, have the best enhancers. On the contrary, the charms we buy will be permanent. These charms improve Yuki’s character; with them, we will be stronger, our standard of living will be higher, etc.
Getting all the advantages is one reason that encourages you to continue playing regardless of whether you have to start over and over again from the initial level. You have to get rid of the more demons, the better so that they release the game’s currency and buy these improvements in the store. With them, we will be able to advance in each game a little more; we will go further and further until we can face the amazing final boss, whose design and difficulty are absolute madness.
Graphics and sound
Arvore’s Yuki is an action figure that we will move with our PS Move in an accessible way while it automatically advances towards the bottom of the level.
This is how we will avoid the hundreds of enemy shots that will surround us in a matter of seconds while we shoot to kill them all. If we fall in the attempt, we will have to start from the first level, and that the permadeath is a critical factor that will strive us to the maximum to get as far as possible and collect Creative Drives. These spheres allow us, after each death, to buy permanent improvements for our character or to unlock temporary Power-Ups that will appear during the game.
The PSVR version works well despite its demanding and precise movements. The area of action is practically 180º, which requires a considerable range of movements, much more significant than what we are used to. Still, despite this, it can be enjoyed sitting without any problem as it does not require the physical movements of the viewer, beyond avoiding an object that obstructs our vision.
The visual section, beautiful, fits like a glove with its anime line, although some models could give much more of themselves, as well as their textures, something that would benefit you from having a great image definition on PS4 Pro. A pity that after loading, we see the 2D image of the scene for a couple of seconds, a minor problem that we will surely see corrected in future updates, and that subtracts some immersion from the final experience.
Yuki is not intended for those classic shooters on rails players given its roots, since replaying the levels “ farming” repeatedly to improve the character will put more than one back. Excessive repetition is rewarded with improvements, overcoming with new wings for Yuki offering different shots. The game experience will allow us to overcome a relatively complex title with great perseverance.
For the launch, it does not have the news received with its latest update on other platforms, but it is something that will not take long to arrive, and we already found that Infinite Mode with the Coming Soon poster (yes, the game comes in perfect English) in the main menu.
Perhaps it needs to improve some of its ingredients, such as a greater forcefulness in the shots, voices like Starfox during the games instead of mere text and a little more characterization of the enemies, but Arvore, without being in the same state of grace as With his previous Pixel Ripped, he has managed to offer an everyday experience to a classic genre loved by many. Its seams are noticeable, but it knows how to entertain with its arcade spirit.
They could do with a couple more levels and final bosses. Or more game modes, leaderboards or other incentives such as customizing Yuki or changing the decoration of the initial room. Dancing between bullets and shooting enemies has been an enriching experience. Arvore’s new title is much easier to play than Pixel Ripped and challenging enough to entertain you. It may not have the same depth compared to the studio’s previous titles, but brilliant in everything it proposes. If a video game has to be fun, it deserves an A. If a VR title has to be immersive and employ three-dimensionality, this one does it.