A game reviewer for several years, Tobias reviews games from any decade. They tend to ramble about game design and old media.
Super Rare Games is responsible for helping me write this review, they supplied a physical copy of the game so I would be able to show off the great pains and detail they went through to publish this physically. Seeing the fact this is indeed the VGArchive we take game preservation very serious and are excited to work together with them.
This and any game in the future will have two verdicts in the end. One that is representative of the game and rates it for such. However, a second verdict will be for the overall quality of the physical release and design.
It would be unfair to rate Super Rare Games low if the game was bad but the packaging was fantastic. and vice versa.
With that being said, lets talk a bit about the sadly confusing release of Yes,Your Grace.
As I said Super Rare Games supplied this game to the archive to be reviewed. While it had some hiccups being shipped here (it is fair enough since it is from overseas) the overall presentation of the packaging for the game was fantastic.
Every game arrives sealed with a custom made sticker for every game they release. Inside the plastic keep bag is the sealed game, a pack of 3 trading/art cards, and a larger version of the sticker used to seal the bag that you can slap on anything you want.
The trading cards on printed on very high quality feeling card-stock. The colors and print on them are very high quality and vibrant (which makes sense since they are collectible!)
The game itself is sealed with a PEGI rating on the cover considering it is an import (Switch games are region free!). The box-art is crisp and clear, printed on very high quality paper, with absolutely no hint of the occasional color bleed or fuzzy text that you can occasionally see with bad prints. (look at some of the lower budget releases on consoles to see what I mean).
They even went through the extra effort of printing art on both sides of the box art and including a full color printed manual.
Yes,Your Grace's most important element is the story. Staying within the interest of keeping this spoiler free, I will sum it down to its basic parts. You are King Eryk, the ruler of Davern. As king, you must balance between your duties to keep your people, your kingdom, and your best interests in mind.
You can't make everyone happy, but you need to try your best to keep the peace, all while a dark cloud looms over the kingdom soon to force your hand to make some dark and dangerous decisions.
The best part of the game is the visuals, it feels like a massive love-letter to adventure games of the past with its pixel art characters but its insanely detailed backdrops. You can tell the artist put all of their heart into this one.
Because characters are pixelated for style. You can't really distinguish between characters faces. However, that was thought of as the character designs themselves stand out from each other. The greatest example being your three daughters, all of different heights and wearing clashing colors on their clothing which makes them easier to distinguish. The oldest wearing red (and she is also the angriest) middle wearing a tanish yellow (her personality in between, often a joker) and the youngest wearing a blue night sky color (and also being the most curious and innocent of the three).
The art was the star of the show here and the artist should be proud.
For what it lacks, it makes up for in the music.
Yes, Your Grace kinda has voice acting, more like characters grunting as they speak (think Animal Crossing) and the sounds are what they should be with various clicks and swooshes when you make decisions or go to other areas.
But that soundtrack... I am a fan of atmosphere in sound, the more the sound grounds me into the game world, the more I have respect for it. Yes,Your Grace has this in spades, with a fantastic choice of songs. The game touches so many genres in its music I couldn't even contain it all in one article.
If you do not buy this game, at least listen to the soundtrack, it is that good.
This is sadly where the game falls on its face. It is absolutely artful in its presentation, it absolutely captures the feeling of old school adventure games of the time, but in a much more serious tone than your Monkey Islands, or your Kings Quest.
The problem with Yes,Your Grace is the illusion of choice. From the start of the game choices happen. Which is appropriate and should happen for a game like this, but as soon as we get the first major plot element of the game, you are unable to say no. No fake-choice that would usually create a game-over either. At that choice I was able to excuse it, obviously the plot needs a point where it can start.
But soon after you release that as king, your choices are mostly a yes or no with the same outcome. I think it would be deceiving to call this something like a choose your own adventure, or compare it to other similar games where choices do have many different consequences.
The most you do that is truly in your hands, is talk to the people in your kingdom, to learn more exposition and lore of the game (which is great) and to allocate your resources at the end of each week (sort of a watered down management game). But more often than not I was given choices with no compromise. It was either choose the bad thing or choose the bad thing.
I feel that a game that allows itself to give a player freedom of choice should allow deeper choice. If I disagree with something a character is doing, why can I not risk myself to try and do right instead of just accept the wrongdoing has to happen?
It is not a bad game by any means, it just doesn't exactly fit the genre it is trying to be under. I would consider this more of a visual novel with some interactive elements.
Also, just to add, an odd lack of touchscreen support. Feels like this could have been a really smart choice for this title.
Younger children would have problems with this game as it does require reading skills.
Otherwise, I do not see any problems that could stop someone from picking this up and being told a story.
Not much changes in this game, but there is a few ways things could play out near the end, so if you really enjoy the game I would definitely recommend going back and doing so. I probably will too.
Great visuals with smart art design choices
Illusion of choice
One of my favorite game soundtracks in a while
Choices feel too black and white
Has a legitmately interesting story, even if it is actually linear.
Odd lack of touchscreen support
Yes, Your Grace is a very good game, but it is not quite the game it was obviously trying to be. If you are looking for a multiple choice, choose your destiny type of game, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you want to sit down and be hit with a pretty powerful story that even does well at making you hate yourself with the decisions you are stuck in. I would absolutely recommend giving this title a chance.
I also can not recommend the Super Rare Games release enough. It is easily one of the best limited print releases I now own. I would recommend purchasing this just to support the ever dwindling market of the smaller guys being able to put their games on physical media.
|"Yes, Your Grace"||Super Run Games Release|