User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 176 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 176
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  1. Jul 22, 2018
    10
    Just finished this game and I miss the experience already... The story was breathtaking, the characters were admirable and the gameplay was topnotch... Can't wait for Ys IX. This is truly a hidden gem more people should know about. This is the first Ys game I've played and this makes me want to play the previous Ys games.
  2. Jun 26, 2018
    9
    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 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 thingsIt 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. Jul 16, 2018
    10
    This game was good enough to convince me to make a metacritic account just to combat the shameful score critics gave it. As with Xenoblade 2, the best game to date for switch, this game is hurt by short attention spans and the logistical difficulty for critics to play such a massive game to completion before launch. I am by no means a JRPG fan, but despite this heavily abiding by the lawsThis game was good enough to convince me to make a metacritic account just to combat the shameful score critics gave it. As with Xenoblade 2, the best game to date for switch, this game is hurt by short attention spans and the logistical difficulty for critics to play such a massive game to completion before launch. I am by no means a JRPG fan, but despite this heavily abiding by the laws of the genre, it does so in such a way that it doesn't feel like tedious constant micro-managing, but just fun preparation. The pacing teaches you everything you need to know and prepares you for things to get harder. The bosses are well thought out and the combat system is phenomenal. The primary story does not really even begin until 40% through the content of the game, which explains in large part the low scores of critics who recognized fantastic combat, a well thought out map and world, perfect music and many more positive aspects, but had not yet made it to the engrossing plot. This is a port of a ps4 port of a ps vita game, and as such it is heavily instanced and the graphics are not exactly BotW tier, however, it is easy to look past these few short-comings with everything else this game has going for it. Expand
  4. Jun 26, 2018
    8
    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
    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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  5. Jul 8, 2018
    9
    Being My first Ys game playing, it is very welcoming with a great experience, love the story, the gameplay, and how its all put together, it gets you hooked to the game within the first few minutes of playing, some people complain about the visuals of the switch version, but to me, it looks amazing, i even tested the demo version, on the ps4, while its the graphics look slightly better,Being My first Ys game playing, it is very welcoming with a great experience, love the story, the gameplay, and how its all put together, it gets you hooked to the game within the first few minutes of playing, some people complain about the visuals of the switch version, but to me, it looks amazing, i even tested the demo version, on the ps4, while its the graphics look slightly better, its barely noticeable when playing on switch, which is acceptable being that u can take this on the go. AWESOME GAME, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. only downside imo, is that it should have contained more costumes either by in game or dlc. Expand
  6. Jul 14, 2018
    10
    I'm not a fan of JRPGs at all so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself enjoying this game. This is probably the only JRPG I've actually enjoyed. I haven't played the other games in the series but I read Ys games are standalone and can be played in any order since the storylines are not connected so I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did. I loved everything about thisI'm not a fan of JRPGs at all so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself enjoying this game. This is probably the only JRPG I've actually enjoyed. I haven't played the other games in the series but I read Ys games are standalone and can be played in any order since the storylines are not connected so I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did. I loved everything about this game- the compelling and action-packed storyline, the seamless combat, the characters, the exploration and environments, and of course the music. I had an absolute blast playing this game, there was never a dull moment. Highly recommended. Expand
  7. Sep 14, 2018
    9
    After spending some time with YS VIII, I can safely say this game just works. The story is engaging and offers enough content to keep one entertained for hours on end. The combat is fun and switching between characters on the fly adds a more in-depth play style. Being able to switch between characters adds a sense of freshness to the game that other games lack. I have enjoyed recruitingAfter spending some time with YS VIII, I can safely say this game just works. The story is engaging and offers enough content to keep one entertained for hours on end. The combat is fun and switching between characters on the fly adds a more in-depth play style. Being able to switch between characters adds a sense of freshness to the game that other games lack. I have enjoyed recruiting people and building up the base so far (though I'm only like 15 hours in and haven't progressed a ton). Now, I will say one thing I do not like about the game is the walking/running animation. Adol and Co. seem to glide across the ground. I try not to nitpick stuff that does not really matter, but this is the main flaw I have with this game. If you're looking for a content filled RPG to keep you busy, YS VIII holds the keys to what you are looking for! Expand
  8. Jul 3, 2018
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I must say that YS VIII got an incredible story and game play, but honestly i dislike the concept of there is only one place with human beings and each people blessed with talent to help Adol and his crew to solve their problem, they should make more places (villages, cities, etc). What makes this game great are the story and the gameplay, nothing else. Expand
  9. Nov 1, 2018
    9
    This is the battle system Xenoblade Chronicles should've adopted!

    When I first picked up Xenoblade Chronicles, I expected the battle system to be like that of Ys VIII. It wasn't, but I still finished that game. However, my itch for a real-time action battle system remained... until I discovered Ys VIII. I had no idea what kind of game it was until I stumbled upon some reviews... after
    This is the battle system Xenoblade Chronicles should've adopted!

    When I first picked up Xenoblade Chronicles, I expected the battle system to be like that of Ys VIII. It wasn't, but I still finished that game. However, my itch for a real-time action battle system remained... until I discovered Ys VIII. I had no idea what kind of game it was until I stumbled upon some reviews... after reading them, I decided to buy it... and I've no regrets - this game managed scratched that itch that left the battles wanting in Xenoblade Chronicles.

    Ys VIII is an action RPG, and it circumvents everything that I didn't like about Xenoblade. IN Ys VIII, I am fully in control of the battle, I use special moves when I want, I use normal moves when I want, I face the monster from the back / side / front, whenever I want. The upgrades to the weapons are straightforward, just keep going up, so I don't get flummoxed by complex systems. Almost all the time, I knew exactly where to go for my next quests / missions.

    The story is relatively straightforward, almost without any plot twists, so really, it's the entire battle system that shines through in this game. As you level up you gain new special abilities which you can assign to one of 4 buttons to execute (there are lots of abilities to choose from as you progress). In Xenoblade Chronicles, sometimes you don't really feel "in control" of the battles because of the way it's implemented. With Ys VIII on the other hand, you're completely in control every single second of the battle, which means you feel more engaged during battles.

    You also get to choose to play a number of characters each with different feel. You get the melee type character (the main character, Adol is one) which is great if you like it up close and personal. Then you get the "fencer" type which is a very agile and quick character but very good at "breaks". You get the tank which basically, well, the tank with huge HP and power hits but just slower than others. You get the AoE (area of effect) type which whacks everything around you, you get the gunner who actually has some super powerful moves, but can also jab when close up... this means you have a great variety of options to play.

    Another great design I like about this game is that, unlike Pokemon, those characters you are not using in your party of 3 at any time will also passively level up so you don't have to grind unnecessarily. The ones not in your party doesn't level up as quickly as the 3 in your party, but it's still helpful that they do level up almost as quickly. This further gives you the flexibility to interchange characters and really have fun at the action part of this RPG. That said, you could grind if you wish to grind as everytime you enter an area again, the monster respawn. Good for parts collection to upgrade weapons and armor too.

    It's a relatively long game, it took me about 60 hours to complete (I almost completed every single side quest), however, what I found was that often, when it started feeling repetitive, they introduce a new move, or new area, or new something, and it does help keep it fresh throughout. Admittedly, I changed from "Normal" to "Easy" about 3/4 way through because I wanted to get to the ending (note there's a "good", "normal" and "bad" ending depending on the reputation points you earn). Reputation points are earned as you complete side quests for characters, give gifts, etc.

    If you're a fan of action RPGs, and you like to be in total control of your action / battles, then this is exactly the game for you. The story is a bit light, but hey, I played this for the action, I sure got them!
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  10. Oct 11, 2018
    8
    Narratively speaking, the game’s storyline unfolds almost perfectly, with a pace that doesn’t seem too fast or too slow. It is a very intriguing adventure from start to finish, that evolves organically well from a survival story to an epic tale, with various emotional moments along the way, coming either from the protagonist party or the different NPCs you meet in your journey. SpeakingNarratively speaking, the game’s storyline unfolds almost perfectly, with a pace that doesn’t seem too fast or too slow. It is a very intriguing adventure from start to finish, that evolves organically well from a survival story to an epic tale, with various emotional moments along the way, coming either from the protagonist party or the different NPCs you meet in your journey. Speaking about the latter, the characters feel sufficiently developed once you get to explore all their plotlines and backgrounds, giving the player a sense of truly bonding, caring and maturing in every case (all but one, you’ll know which). And while this all makes for great storytelling, all wrapped up by a theme of personal decisions and free will vs. destiny, the only drawback in this aspect of the game is the overabundance of plot twists, each more whacky and sometimes a little bit more nonsensical than the others. Perhaps for some people it’s not a real issue, but for others—including myself—it is (by the end of my playthrough I mumbled “Ooh, shocker!” in a rather sarcastic tone). Luckily, the pace of the game itself and some well-executed hints here and there mitigated an otherwise Deux Ex Machina plot treatment that would have felt lazy and wrong. It’s still there but buried well under the ground.
    Combat and exploration are the main gameplay mechanics in this JRPG title. But unlike other games of the genre, that sometimes prefer slow pace and turn-based battles, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA surprises by its fast pace and almost hack-and-slash approach, reminding a little bit of the treatment another long-serving franchise made to its latest entrance (I’m looking at you, Final Fantasy XV). Exploration is the other side of the gameplay coin. And while this title takes place on an island, the map is surprisingly big, and the hours spent to do to a completionist playthrough are a lot (for me, it was a 70 hour-long journey). Furthermore, Ys VIII offers a plethora of activities to do: from simple tasks given by NPCs, to treasure hunts; from escort missions, to optional dungeons… you name it. Of course, as in any other RPG, there is the classic upgrade system, but this time with a twist: you exchange resources, rather than money, to get new weapons, armor and accessories that will help on battles; consumables and various other upgrades. To top it all, you get to do raid and hunt battles to defend your village, which will grow with every castaway you save, all rounded-up by a ranking system that makes the experience a little bit more fun.
    The visual aspect of the game is perhaps the one that has more flaws than any other. While it is a completely playable title, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA for Nintendo Switch suffers from frame-rate drops a lot, more so when there are a considerable number of enemies on-screen (and sometimes with less as well). While for me the game seems to run at a normal frame-rate of 40fps, the visuals can go as low as—I believe—20fps. Again, the title is playable, but it becomes increasingly annoying as you progress, specially for a product whose main strength was the graphic component. Speaking of graphics, while I was sold on an anime-style game, the art seems a little bit disappointing: the textures are 3D anime-like, but they feel at times cheap, with background details being the worse. I know this wasn’t aiming to be a visual marvel but considering what other games have done (I’m looking at you, Breath of the Wild and Octopath Traveler), I would have expected that by 2018 we would have gotten as a standard decent grass details and water effects, at the very least. Finally, the characters’ modelling is fine—few aliasing in this case—but the shadows and light system are not very good, and some animations are sterile, at best. It may not be the game’s fault, but that of the developer’s at optimizing this port for the Nintendo Switch. Or maybe the console itself. Who knows.
    Musically speaking, the game offers a great soundtrack, plagued by fast-paced rock (synth-rock?) tunes intertwined occasionally with slow orchestral arrangements. Raid battles, boss battles and key fights are accompanied by powerful tracks that excite the player and set the mood properly for some good old hacking and slashing of monsters. On the other side, orchestral arrangements serve to give the game a sense of epicness and grandiosity to the story. They are beautiful and, more than that, able to fulfill their purpose. Add good sound mixing, especially for effects, and you have a great product. The only flaw in this department is the localization of voices: English dubbing feels weird, as it is at times good for some characters, but bad for others. What’s more, voices seem sterile and don’t quite end up transmitting the feeling they intended to. I believe it would be best to experience Ys VIII with the original Japanese voiceover, which thankfully is available to select.
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  11. Aug 14, 2018
    10
    I really don't know why the meta score is in the low 80's on this game. Feels this should be much higher. Great plot, great development of key characters and a very enjoyable game play experience on the switch platform. Yes, compared to the PS4, there were some adjustments due to console capability, but it didn't hinder the experience one bit. if anything, I got more playing time due toI really don't know why the meta score is in the low 80's on this game. Feels this should be much higher. Great plot, great development of key characters and a very enjoyable game play experience on the switch platform. Yes, compared to the PS4, there were some adjustments due to console capability, but it didn't hinder the experience one bit. if anything, I got more playing time due to the switch platform than anything else without having to sacrifice much. This one will be one to remember. Thank you for the memories Falcom. Excellent port. Expand
  12. Sep 5, 2018
    9
    This game is what made me make an account on metacritic. I have completed the game and must say that it was a very good experience. The combat in this game is great and always keeps the game entertaining. The story feels fresh throughout the game. I usually do not really follow stories and completely found myself wanting more with this game. It does run at 30fps and graphicallyThis game is what made me make an account on metacritic. I have completed the game and must say that it was a very good experience. The combat in this game is great and always keeps the game entertaining. The story feels fresh throughout the game. I usually do not really follow stories and completely found myself wanting more with this game. It does run at 30fps and graphically reminds me of a Playstation 2 game. However, I am a firm believer that graphics do not make games and this game is a perfect example. The crafting system is fun. I never felt like I had to excessively grind for things to complete the game. I would highly recommend this game for your Nintendo Switch if you have not already played it. It's a great game to be able to play on the go. It really shines in portable mode. I would say I played 40% portable and 60% docked. Expand
  13. Sep 30, 2018
    9
    This was an unexpected gem. Didn't know what I was getting myself into (especially with this being my first Ys game), but I stayed, and absolutely enjoyed the whole ride. Good story, great cast, and excellent gameplay. Got the true ending in one go, and while it wasn't hard by any means, is definitely the ending the shoot for. Looking forward to the next one. Just please make all ports ofThis was an unexpected gem. Didn't know what I was getting myself into (especially with this being my first Ys game), but I stayed, and absolutely enjoyed the whole ride. Good story, great cast, and excellent gameplay. Got the true ending in one go, and while it wasn't hard by any means, is definitely the ending the shoot for. Looking forward to the next one. Just please make all ports of future games better next time. I can see where the complaints are coming from for the PC version. I also hope newer titles go for a more improved artsyle, or showcase better graphics overall. The opportunity is there. They should take it.

    Note: I played the PC version. After 40+ hours for my initial playthrough, game only crashed once, had a couple of typos, and major slowdown in only one *optional* segment, so my experience overall was pretty good.
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. NF Magazine
    Oct 29, 2018
    95
    Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA is just a joy, and I'm so thankful that I took a chance on it. [Issue #36 – November/December 2018, p. 87]
  2. Sep 23, 2018
    70
    YS VIII for Nintendo Switch a lazy port from Sony’s consoles. Despite the use of dynamic resolution scaling (DRS) and halving the frame-rate to 30fps, both of these aspects suffer and fail to deliver in the heat of the action. Besides these technical issues, the experience is the same of the original release and this game offer a lot to old school RPG lovers.
  3. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana does have some light, frustrating moments that await the pure completionists out there, but that comes with the territory. It is a fully realised artistic masterpiece, both visually and even more so in the audio department, and deserves a place in any serious Switch player's collection. To crown it all, everything is tightly packed into one cohesive package that, at retail, requires no additional download and even comes with some neat little bonuses.