YUKI

YUKI Review

VR arcade shooting action

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS4 with PSVR on

YUKI is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

There are still a surprising amount of original concepts being released for VR platforms and here's YUKI which is one excellent experience.

YUKI screenshot 1
I got everything I need; let's go, YUKI!

YUKI is an interesting game as it's played by moving the right PlayStation Move controller to position the main character then you use its trigger button to shoot the enemies ahead. This might sound like your standard rail shooter formula and I guess it is but the fact that you can whip YUKI around the screen at the flick of your wrist makes avoiding the massive clouds of projectiles a thrilling endeavour. v1d30chumz 54-211-101-93

The premise of YUKI is intriguing as well because you begin the game by being in a bedroom full of YUKI merchandise and the gameplay doesn't start until you pick up an action figure that then comes to life. This makes me assume that you play as a little kid who has a wild imagination and that makes the gameplay even more immersive seeing as you want that kid to have a fun time shooting up aliens and succeeding in their imaginary mission. Thankfully, the stages are impressively unique and really pop in VR, especially the bosses which are quite memorable. Throw in a solid soundtrack, charming voice clips, and a cute robot buddy and you're left with one delightful game.

YUKI screenshot 2
Is it weird that I find this boss easier than the stage?

Although the gameplay sounds simple, it's actually a bit more complicated than you'll initially think with the help of some clever intricacies. First, there are 2 moves that you can utilize whenever you're in a sticky situation in the form of a shield that blocks all projectiles and a freeze bomb that literally freezes all onscreen enemies. There are also power-ups to collect that let you choose from an array of boosts and you'll level-up, too, as well as amass an in-game currency that you can use to unlock permanent upgrades and spawnable items between runs. Collectively, all of this makes for a rewarding roguelike gameplay loop, especially with stages randomizing each time.

Playing YUKI is intuitive as there aren't many buttons to use and aiming your character around is responsive, too. However, that doesn't mean that it's easy because you'll really need to concentrate and move around regularly if you want to avoid the clouds of projectiles that get sprayed towards you. In fact, my arm actually hurts while typing this after playing all afternoon but at least I had fun. 😅

Finally, the main issue that I have with YUKI is that I want more! By this, I mean that there's only really 1 mode that you re-play from the beginning whenever you run out of health which can get repetitive quite quickly despite the randomization involved. On the plus side, you'll unlock different suits which double as a difficulty select as each one has advantages and disadvantages. Anyway, I wish there were more modes and optional challenges to help extend YUKI's replay value. The only other problem is that sometimes, the current situation can feel unfair. For example, you just depleted your shield but you now have to navigate through a maze-like structure while enemies blast you from all directions. These moments are rare but they feel more like bad luck than rewarding challenges to overcome.

YUKI screenshot 3
YUKI's shield sure is handy whenever you're in a pickle

To my delight, YUKI is my favourite VR game of 2021 so if you enjoy arcade-like experiences set in a roguelike structure then you should definitely give it a go. It's challenging, unique, action-packed, and its unlockables are hearty rewards; what more could you want?

  • + Intuitive, innovative, and challenging arcade-style fun that'll get you moving
  • + Memorable stages and boss fights
  • + Rewarding roguelike elements
  • - The only mode is fairly repetitive
  • - Could use extra modes and challenges
  • - Some moments can feel unfair
8.2 out of 10
Gameplay video for YUKI thumbnail
Gameplay video for YUKI 7:50
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