Ys VIII Lacrimosa of Dana Review25/08/2018
So this year has been an interesting one for me so far. As I finally picked up a PS4 a few months back after years of being a predominately Xbox user. The addition of this new console in my collection, I see it as a chance to spread my wings and try games that in the past may have overlooked.
Over the last few years, I have been branching out my hobbies by moving into the world of anime and manga. Naturally with this territory comes an interest in JRPG’s and one series I have seen mentioned is Ys.
Gameplay Part 1
Now I am going to start off by talking about something that generally wouldn’t make it into a review. But this time it’s something I feel deserves recognition, the intro screen to Ys VII is incredibly beautiful. Using an animated sequence to show off characters is something that is designed well and makes me want to see more in the form of an actual anime.
The game starts with you playing as adventurer Adol, alongside his friend Dogi as they work aboard a passenger liner to gain passage to a new land. This peaceful sea voyage is quickly interrupted by the threat of a sea monster. That destroys the ship, throwing you and the passengers into the depths of the sea.
You wake up upon what is thought to be a cursed island and quickly work to gather the scattered survivors of the wreckage to band together. Surviving by using the skills of each survivor to build a base and defend your base camp. Between doing this, you will explore the vast island out. Before you discover the secrets hidden within it all while trying to find a way to escape with the other survivors.
Gameplay part 2
The island of Seiren is an actual joy to explore it’s filled with unique locations and animals/creatures to fight. There is also an abundance of crafting items to collect along the way that can be used to upgrade your base camp and gear. There is also the addition of fishing in the game which is something I love.
But even with all this going on and the sheer size of the map, you’re never left to feel lost or like it’s a chore to navigate. As the game will always lead you to the areas, you need to be. All while doing an excellent job of closing off the higher level content to avoid you being overwhelmed too early.
Ys also features an initiative party system. Which allows you to play with three characters at once and switch between them on the fly to take advantage of their unique skills that help defend certain enemies quicker and easier. On top of this, the game contains not only a levelling system based on enemies that you kill. Also, a separate skill levelling system that increases the effects and damage of skills based on how often you use them.
The instrumental music is first class and is one of the best I have heard in a long time. Bringing the feel of magical moments and real drama when it is needed.
The voice acting is superb. Some of my favourite voice actors taking on the roles for characters within this series with most have years of experience and big-name titles behind them.
The script sadly isn’t as high as the gameplay and acting, with some jokes feeling cringy at times.
I enjoyed my time playing Ys 8 and felt it was an adventure worth picking up. Despite the flaws in the script, the story is excellent, and the combat is well built.
The characters do reference the other games in the series at times. The Lacrimosa of Dana feels like a new separate story that can be entertaining without knowing the series as a whole.