Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Jun 19, 2018
    The story is true artistry in motion, keeping things fresh and gripping even hours in, not afraid to take risks or introduce new things in ways that feel organic every single time. The Switch has found another great title, thanks to the port of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
  2. Jun 19, 2018
    Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA is an incredible and unforgettable game. Its excellent soundtrack and sense of adventure greatly brightened the moments I spent with it. It is a must have game for owners of a Nintendo Switch.
  3. Jun 28, 2018
    Ys VIII is a marvelous game that truly deserves more attention. With my limited exposure to the series I am impressed each time I dive in. Those looking for a classic JRPG that hits all the right notes, you will be hard-pressed to find a better experience, especially on the Switch. I am glad this series is getting more exposure, and would love to see it eventually make its way onto every platform. Don’t be afraid of the number, this is a great game to dive head first into.
  4. Jun 19, 2018
    With fun, fast-paced combat, likable characters, and an enjoyable story that takes full advantage of its beautiful shipwrecked setting, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a top-shelf action RPG. Exploring the Isle of Seiren is as rewarding as mastering the character-swapping, hack-and-slash battle system, and both fit into an addictive feedback loop of adventuring that keeps everything moving at a quick clip. Editing issues and inconsistent image quality in handheld mode are small blemishes on an otherwise polished production, but don’t let them deter you; Ys VIII is a true gem.
  5. 85
    Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana was my first foray into the Ys universe and despite the goal of making it off the island, I find myself wishing I hadn’t left at all. What at first was my biggest concern, the action opposed to turn-based combat, turned out to be what I found the most enduring throughout my experience. In addition to an interesting story, setting, and a truly wonderful score, I can’t help but walk away singing its praises.
  6. Jun 19, 2018
    Once you're adventuring on the island, fishing, crafting, learning new skills, finding new secrets, and meeting new survivors, Ys VIII becomes a very memorable experience. It makes me hope we don't wait so long for a Ys IX, and that it's given the care and attention it deserves.
  7. Jul 18, 2018
    Simply put, everything in Ys VIII feels real good. The controls are tight, the action is blazingly-fast, and a lot can be accomplished without succumbing to the usual grindy affair of most RPGs. As a middle-ground RPG, Lacrimosa of Dana carries a hefty amount of content and a ton of addictive gameplay as well as challenge. Anyone looking for the polar opposite of the genre’s turn-based gameplay need not look further, as the Ys series remains the undisputed champ of the thinking man’s button masher.
  8. Jul 13, 2018
    With many original good ideas, Ys VIII : Lacrimosa of DANA is a pure gem. Even the Fedex quests are nicely integrated in the game and the only real flaw is that the game looks like a PS Vita game more than a Switch game.
  9. Jul 11, 2018
    The storytelling is lacking but otherwise this is one of the most interesting Japanese role-players of recent years, and one that isn’t afraid to take inspiration from other genres.
  10. Jul 9, 2018
    In the event you come into this category, porting will undoubtedly satisfy your palates and bewitch you with an engaging and long-lasting product.
  11. Jun 20, 2018
    With its streamlined combat system and compelling narrative, the latest entry in the Ys series is another solid addition to the Switch’s growing library and should definitely be on every JRPG lover’s list.
  12. Jun 19, 2018
    It’s an RPG that asks a hefty time commitment and doesn’t offer particularly deep character storylines – but the combat, overall story, and character progression make Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA a journey well worth taking.
  13. Jul 4, 2018
    Ys VIII is a very good action RPG with looks a bit outdated but still plays wonderfully thanks to its frantic combat system and some skillfully crafted progression. The Switch version is crisp and works fine both docked and undocked but lacks smoothness and visual details.
  14. Jun 26, 2018
    Overall, if you want to play Ys VIII on TV, get the PS4 version by far. The Switch visuals are inconsistent and the framerate isn’t stable in some situations. The drop to 30fps would’ve been fine if it looked better but the variable resolution makes it look quite ugly in some situations. Shadow flickering is a big annoyance. On the portable side of things, this is better than playing on Vita in every aspect but shadows.
  15. Jun 26, 2018
    Ys VIII's smooth combat, amazing music, and fun-to-explore environments make for a memorable and rewarding experience. Unfortunately, you may want to steer clear of a Switch port that mars that experience with technical and localization issues.
  16. Jul 9, 2018
    Well, this port is quite the disappointment: laggy framerate, blurry, not even able to reach 60fps docked. It is quite hard to recommend this port to anyone who already played Ys VIII. For the others, if you own a PS4, PC or a Vita, buy these versions instead. Otherwise, go for the Nintendo Switch because even though this port is lazy, Ys VIII remains an excellent J-RPG which deserves to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
  17. Jun 25, 2018
    Ys VIII on Switch is a polarizing experience. It does some things so well, such as offering the full breadth of PS4 content on the go and a mostly solid framerate - but resolution woes, a translation that still leaves a lot to be desired despite seeing an overhaul, and more makes it somewhat hard to recommend this version of the game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 115
  2. Negative: 11 out of 115
  1. Jul 13, 2018
    Fun gameplay, playing the game feels rewarding and the grinding is fun. Definitely a must have for the Nintendo Switch
  2. Jun 26, 2018
    It may just be me, but I really miss the style of older JRPGs. Having grown up on them, they’re a sort of comfort food for me. As much as IIt may just be me, but I really miss the style of older JRPGs. Having grown up on them, they’re a sort of comfort food for me. As much as I enjoy modern RPGs and all the new mechanics they’ve brought about, I love to venture back to the olden days of the genre, typically by replaying games from decades past, but this manages to bring a lot of what those games had while still keeping things a bit up-to-date. The dialogue and characters are very reminiscent of older games, and similarly, the dialogue options selected don’t affect the gameplay, so you don’t have to worry about what you’re selecting. This is obvious should you choose to pause during a section of dialogue and see the option of skipping it. Yes, if you feel like RPGs have too much dialogue and you’d rather just swing your sword, you are more than welcome to do that in this. While a strange feature to include, it was very welcome in the prologue having played through it just recently on PC. Should something happen for you to lose your progress, like the power going out, this will undoubtedly save you time if you were in the middle of a narrative heavy section.

    Once you get past the fact that this game won’t be winning any visual awards, you can focus on the fact that the game plays wonderfully. Ys has always been great for combat, and the latest game is no exception. Falcom didn’t sacrifice gameplay for graphics in the way that Final Fantasy XIII did. It could be argued they did the opposite in lieu of not only showing a great game is not dependent on its visuals, but also to spend more time with the mechanics they implemented into this. Combat with any of the characters you acquire throughout is fluid, with three of your party members being a button press away at any given moment – in battle or out. This is important not only for the types of eclectic battles you’ll face, but for the skills each one has for exploration. Battles are mainly hack and slash, with dodges, blocks, and skills to use. It’s a fairly simple system, but it can’t be overstated how well it works. You’ll be faced with using weaknesses on enemies, forcing you to strategize with the different cast members you acquire.

    While certainly not something that’s alien to the series, I can’t think of many RPGs that make use of the Metroidvania level design which taunts you with areas you can’t access until you gain abilities later on. And yet, it’s one of the things that make this so enjoyable. One of the other large portions of the game you’ll be introduced to fairly early on is building your base and recruiting people into it. Having just recently played through Ni no Kuni 2, this was a familiar yet very welcome addition to the rest of the game. Building up your base with differently skilled denizens while defending them from external threats will undoubtedly take up a major portion of your time.

    One of the more notably weak portions of the game will be dependent on your experience with the genre. If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate the story despite its shortcomings. If you’ve never seen anything like this, it can go either way – it can be seen as shallow or it may serve as an introduction to many tropes. As mentioned previously, should you really hate it, you can always skip it altogether. Did I mention there are dinosaurs in this game? You wash up on an island where boats are known to crash if they come within a certain distance of it for reasons unknown (sort of a Bermuda Triangle deal). Do note that if you’re not familiar with the series at all, that’s not a reason to skip out on this, as very little from the other games will help or hinder your experience with this. The one thing you don’t have to worry about is the localization, as this comes with the newly updated script that came out several months after its initial release.

    While this review started off rocky with the PC port, I believe the game is playable for most people there now. Should you not have a console, you would probably be safe nabbing it there. However, I definitely recommend the PS4, Vita, or Switch versions for the reassurance of it working properly. The Switch has that wonderful little feature that doesn’t tie you to a TV, and I enjoyed my time in the recliner with the screen a few inches from my face more than on the 4K TV across the room. This is especially true considering the fact that the game appears better on a smaller screen when played on Switch. I can honestly say this is probably the best Ys game I’ve played on all fronts, and am happy to see it make out of the PlayStation ecosystem, as it’s a game and series that deserves much more love than it gets.
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  3. Jun 26, 2018
    Get ready for another grindy JRPG!
    With the wind in your hair and the horizon in the distance Adol is aboard a passenger vessel at sea, while
    Get ready for another grindy JRPG!
    With the wind in your hair and the horizon in the distance Adol is aboard a passenger vessel at sea, while proclaiming himself an adventurer he is working as a hired hand doing whatever the Captain requires. Beginning you tasks with patrolling as security during a dinner party, the ship is attacked by a huge kraken when Adol is tossed a sword and is thrown into battle. While he is able to fend off the beast for just enough time for you to learn the basic mechanics of combat, the ship is sunk and you find yourself stranded on a legendary island known for explorers not returning from it.
    Quickly you realize that you are not alone on this island, you find a rusty sword and must defend yourself from the thousands of beasts that cover the island like sea salt. Soon you find Laxi and she joins you on your adventure, shortly followed by the Captain who sets you on the quest to map the entire island looking for more survivors from the shipwreck.
    On your adventure to find more survivors they will join your team and pressing the Y button during combat allows you to rotate between characters on the fly. Each character having a different color based skill set, where certain classed character will cause more damage to certain enemies. The difference is incredibly noticeable as attacking a green classed enemy with Adol is a red class will take you two to three times longer to defeat, than fighting with Laxia who is green class.
    Basic combat in YsVIII feels surprisingly good, as soon as I began running and jumping around the ship I was taken aback by the very responsive movement, jumping, and dodge-rolls. This feeling continued as I ventured further into the game. After locking onto your target you attack with A for short combos or hold down A to execute a more powerful attack. Then you have skills that you learn as you level up that you map to four slots connected to each face button while holding down the R button, these are all used to charge up ultimate attacks that will come in incredibly handy when encountering difficult boss fights. Which happen a lot more often than this cute anime 3d art-style would suggest and are welcome moments of strategy and challenge.
    As you find more survivors from the shipwreck they become a part of your settlement and how fortunate for you that they all have skill sets that you are in need of. Finding a blacksmith, seamstress, and many others soon has your town becoming more robust allowing you to upgrade all of your gear. Which is very rewarding as you have to using crafting items that you find when out exploring. Along with upgrading your gear, metroidvania style skill upgrades allow you to unlock new sections of the map that you were previously unable to travel to.
    Passing loads of green vines leading upward, at first is a huge environmental road block until you eventually get a pair of gloves that allows you to traverse them with ease. As you will travel through each area many many times grinding your way up in level, it’s great to have these areas that allow some new discoveries even though you’ve searched them many times before. As you work your way through, each little section of the map is broken up into loading points and the enemies respawn if you reenter a cleared area, which is great to level up your squad but can cause a frustrating challenge when your a lost on your way to an objective, which will certainly happen a lot. Certain environments can be quite the maze when slashing your way through, like the dungeons, which are the only areas in the game that your health doesn’t regenerate when you stand still, which raises the stakes quite a bit when retracing your path through dangerous monsters your third time in a row.
    I did want to add that while I have heard when originally launching in the states the dialogue localization was a bit rough, but has been fixed and I had no issues in my playthrough. Also when starting the game you do have a lot of DLC available, which is mostly just cosmetic and switching through costumes during gameplay is a nice way to feel fresh while grinding.
    YsVIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a great experience that should appeal to more than the average action jrpg fan. Yes the story and conversations between characters feels quite cliche and at times you just want to fast forward through the drawn out dialogue, which is an option, but it makes up for it the moment that you hit the ground running. Everything from the special moves, to dodging, jumping, blocking, and climbing feels so fantastic to execute that the hours upon hours you spend slicing through monsters does not get old. With rewarding RPG progression and base building, a weak story and yes very lengthy cutscenes, but amazing combat I can happily say yes to this island adventure.
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