PAX East 2014: First Impressions – Y2K (Wii U)

Maybe we should say, “planned for the Wii U,” as they’re not quite there yet. But that’s all right. It’s a possibility and it’s on the docket as something Ackk Studios is prepping for, so we’re going to let you know about it!

Those who know about Ackk Studios, first off, this game is not Two Brothers. Or anything like it whatsoever. In fact, just forget that they ever made that game (not that it’s bad, just that it’s different) and approach this as if it’s not a follow-up from the same studio. It’s dangerous to get into comparison territory when you’re comparing apples to, say, dragon fruit, so let’s take this new game at face value.

First, Y2K presents us with average people as characters. They’re only partially stylized, but other than that, they’re basically your average cartoon humans. They’re “everymen/women”… people you swear you’ve seen somewhere else, but really, they’re just so typical they that could be anyone.

When you drop into the game, you’re hit over the head with a surreal, comic-style aesthetic in a 3D world, that may be a little off-putting at first. But the developers are going for a certain style, and there may be changes made before the final product. For example, there are moments when your entire background is a solid wall of yellow… like, during a battle. What? What’s going on?! Well, there it is, so get used to it. You might even learn to love it.

It’s all part of the quirkiness of the game—and while we didn’t really have a chance to get much in the way of storyline through this demo, we did have the character of Alex using vinyl records to do battle with. Yes, he’s smashing enemies with LPs. Nope, not joking. And the character of Vella uses a keytar! Indeed, we are back in time during the Y2K era…

The game is also peppered with random humor, quotes at all the right times, and self-deprecation where it fits. It’s a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a welcome sight and certainly adds to the enjoyment of the game as an overall experience. The soundtrack for the demo was varied enough to hold our attention as well, with the musical scores shifting in a way that was noticeable but not (ie. not in an annoying way, but in a “hey, cool music, bro” kind of way).

Y2K isn’t going to be for everyone, that’s clear. But if you’re on board with scenarios going from average, everyday normalcy to wacked out quirk in the space of a few moments, you may really love this one. It reminded us a bit of Scott Pilgrim, in the sense that it’s about normal people who are suddenly in this completely abstract and/or insane situation that is suddenly, well, the new normal.

We don’t yet have details on when this title will hit the Wii U, but stay posted for any post-PAX East 2014 announcements on the game’s progress.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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