Today GameCritics is happy to present a past video from guest contributor Arlyeon. Yuppie Psycho just released a new Executive Edition with added content, and this game needs to be seen by more people! And for more from Arlyeon, you can check out their YouTube channel or their Discord.
Hey Folks, and Welcome to another episode of Crithit Reviews, with your Host, Arlyeon. Today’s review title was helpfully provided by its developers, Baroque Decay – whom you may recall I held an interview with. Which means, that’s right – I’ll be talking about the Surreal urban Survival Horror infused adventure, Yuppie Psycho. It’s a title I’ve been waiting for the release of for a while, especially since I got to tinker around in it’s fledgling guts, due to beta testing. Find out if this game is bewitching, or if it ought to be burned at the stake.
Things are introduced in an innocuous enough fashion, as you find yourself in the cheap shoes of one Brian Pasternack- an individual of ‘low’ societal standing, who has somehow find himself hired on at one of the most prestigious businesses around (Namely, Sintracorps). Sure, it lowkey nudges the player that they’re in a world which happens to be classist as hell, and also is dystopian as fuck- but it’s only when they begin to take the elevator up and have a probably epilepsy inducing panic attack moment, and then wander into an office that has ‘kill The Witch’ smeared on a wall with what\’s probably not tomato juice- that the player starts to get an idea that things are going to go downhill fast.
What ensues is a rather bewildering investigation of sorts, as the player finds themselves needing to carry out this mysterious task- both by trying to find out -who- is the witch, as well as how they’re going to take out the grizzly task. And honestly, the narrative does a fairly decent job of building itself up, as well as fleshing out the world at large. There’s a fairly diverse cast of characters, some of whom are likeable, and some of whom I wanted to punch in the kidneys, and then throw down an elevator shaft. There were countless bits of foreshadowing towards certain elements of the plot, which were only made better by the red herrings within the story’s framework. It made me genuinely invested in the task of trying to parse out who was the witch, and I enjoyed the way the story progressed.
I think it was also rather neat that a number of the choices I made in the game could result in different endings (including one incredibly early on), as well as providing some permutations to the final ending, and the ensuing epilogue.
Oh, and the fact that the game tied it’s ‘VHS’ collectibles to some altogether uncannily creepy videos, which manage to be distressing in their own right, but also tied into the story at large, was pretty neat.
Mechanically, the game starts off simply enough- introducing players to the process of wandering around and talking to everyone, and searching through everything. In fact, the game provides you a fair amount of downtime to wander the Sintracorps building, leaning on the exploration and adventure elements, and allowing you to take your time, get your bearings, and drink deeply of the offices all pervasive FRIGGIN WEIRDNESS. Though, it also teaches you that rummaging through everyones stuff rewards you things like coffee beans, and credits to buy things . . . like more coffee beans – since Coffee is the precious lifeblood of would-be witch hunters and helps them recover from grievous wounds.
Man, I’d be such a good witchhunter, I like, bleed coffee and Matcha.
Still, it shouldn’t take long for Yuppie Psycho to also introduce you to it’s more..uh, hostile work environments. Recklessness will get you killed pretty quickly, as even though you do have a health gauge- both the creatures and the various unsafe work conditions you’ll encounter conspire to see you retired. Permanently.
What’s more, as far as the survival horror aspect goes- Yuppie Psycho focuses more on the surviving aspect- as you don’t actually have the means to fight back against any of the various things that populate the building. Instead, you end up needing to hide, run away from, and altogether avoid them- though gathering a (un)healthy pantry of healing items certainly helps as well.
Seriously, I think a good portion of my time was spent like hanging out in the cafeteria after I ninja looted an area clean. There’s something seriously relaxing about sitting down and just taking all the various bits of junk food I collected, and then turning them into warmed up pizzas, Cooked instant noodles, Fresh coffee, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
And they helped with the more murderous moments of the game, where you end up forced to contend with boss like creatures. Whilst one of these has you trying to figure out a way to find back, by and large these play out like puzzles, where you end up doing a fair bit of skulking and trying -not to die-. Though, that might be tied to the fact that the only -dependable- way you can do any sort of harm in the game, is tied to landmine like objects- and in that case, your only means of defusing them (Read: stabbing them) – is rather limited in nature.
And those aren’t the only finite resources in the game- given that the game ascribes to a certain trope that I absolutely hate. Limited save points. I tolerate it- sure. But for those folks who save religiously, welcome to your hell- as you’ll be wandering through a game where you have a limited (though fairly generous) amount of saves that you can find (Witch paper, bruh). Not that you can save anywhere, mind you- given that the save locations are printers, so the act of saving at least requires you to go out of your way to backtrack to one of those locations. That said- this still can lead to some awkward situations, especially considering that the game requires you -burn- some of those witch papers you find to progress the story, and then give up even more for an item required to advance. (And you can optionally torch even -more- after that, if you want an item that makes a certain section of the game far less daunting).
Honestly- I was pretty good about hoarding items throughout the game, and avoiding saving for good chunks of time, So I generally had something like 10+ witchpapers on me at all times . . .but it was still tremendously stressful to me. Part of it was due to a crash bug that used to occur when you were streaming or recording with OBS, and an ingame cutscene resolved – resulting in a crash.
As of writing this, there is a beta branch Fix for it- though that still leaves a potential bit of aneurysm inducing frustration for streamer, in the main branch.
And part of that, is because the graphics in Yuppie Psycho are on point. The animated Cutscenes are slick as hell, being some awesome bits of pixelwork that give of a rather distinct anime inspired flavour. And the VHS tapes provide their own particular experience, given that they play out like weird live action home videos, complete with the sort of video hiccups you’d expect from old school tapes. They’re low budget looking, and yet it fits so goddamn well into the tapes backstories, and still does so much justice to what they’re showcasing. I’d also like to mention, however, that even the non cutscene oriented graphics are pretty darn solid- both in regards to the character animations and their portraits, as well as the few still images that are placed in the games. Like it really is a visually appealing title.
Anyways, sorry to do things slightly outta order, but that had to be said. Anyways- as much as the water got muddied there, I have no qualms with Yuppie Psychos Audio. In fact, I could basically just sing praises about it all day. It has such a vibrant soundtrack, which manages to give so much life to the world at large, to help you wind down between segments of unpleasantness, or intensify the anxiety of hiding from the Witches underlings. (Also, shoutout to the friggin secret song for being -so- good). Likewise, I really enjoyed the sound effects, because they frequently played out at just the right moment for both delightfully creepy and corny moments.
When I initially received the review copy for this game- I was worried that having poked around the game as a quality assurance tester was going to make me more likely to overlook it’s faults.
As it stands, it simply meant that I was more aggravated than normal when I encountered the crash bug. (The fix was implemented after I made a bug report, Hah!) Still, given there’s currently a functional fix in the Beta path that’s apt to hit full release before this review does, and the fact that it only really hinders streamers using OBS, I’d be remiss to penalize the game as a whole for it. So, consider this a disclaimer, instead.
Because Yuppie Psycho does benefit from having a madly captivating narrative, with a whole lot to discover plot wise. Seriously, even though I am not a fan of limited saves, the actual act of going around, solving puzzles, and not dying is ultimately an altogether enjoyable experience, and the game’s balance felt more than fair. Also, like I gushed about earlier, the musics great and the visuals are on point.
In essence, I’d rate this game as a CRIT HIT in and of itself, but if you’re a streamer relying on OBS, do bear in mind that until that patch hits- you might encounter some rough spots, and so, stream at your own peril.
So anyways, with that said, it’s a wrap- Thanks again to you folks for both tuning in, and sticking til the end. Whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts, I’d love to hear from you folks in the comments. And for those interested in more indie reviews, or interviews with the developers- feel free to hit the subscribe button (and the bell icon, so you get notified when we have a new release). You can join our discord (Click the link in the banner or Description)- So you can become a part of our community- it’s cozy there. Lastly, if you’d like to help support the channel- we have a Kofi running now, to help supplement funds for our lovely editors, and make sure we can continue to provide quality content. (Again, check the description + banner for dem links)
Anywho, I’ll catch you on the next episode of Crit Hit. Take Care till then, Folks.
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