The ambition and scope of this lengthy indie epic is impressive, taking big swings and, despite the numerous inspirations, carving its own distinct path. If you want your Japanese-style RPG to do to New Jersey what Shin Megami Tensei does to Tokyo, then YIIK is the closest you’ll ever get.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG, sadly, never shines as brightly as it does during its opening hours. There's enjoyment to be had here, sure, especially for anyone with love for the '90s – but all of the references to Chrono Trigger and Pogs in the world can't balance out the pleasure-less battle system and overly complicated levelling up mechanics.
Despite YIIK's stunning art direction, kicking soundtrack, and occasionally interesting plot point, it suffers as a result of its clunky combat, tedious grinding, and poor puzzle design. Postmodern texts aren't always enjoyable--Wallace's Infinite Jest features walls of text that list every chemical name for prescription drugs under the sun, spanning pages upon pages at a time. However, Infinite Jest has substance. For the most part, YIIK doesn't.
Playing YIIK is a challenge, one that is not fun, is a slog to get through, and doesn’t pay off. You just drag from one draining fight to the next, and even when a boss battle shows up and has some droll gimmick or affectation to it, it’s hard to appreciate it because you know you’re going to be staring at the joke for however long it takes to whittle its massive health bar down.