Jun 26, 2018It 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.… Expand
Jun 26, 2018Get 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 isGet 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.… Expand
Jul 8, 2018Being 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
Jul 16, 2018This 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
Jul 14, 2018I'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
Jul 3, 2018This 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
Awards & Rankings
Jul 18, 2018Simply 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.