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About the product
- An Epic Tale: Follow Adol and his companions on his latest adventure to unlock the mysteries of the cursed island.
- Another Side: Unravel the mystery of the blue-haired maiden Dana through her own, unique gameplay segments.
- It Takes a Village: Rescue your fellow shipwrecked passengers and bring them to your village where they will provide valuable services.
- Party On: Switch characters on the fly as you battle ferocious foes in lightning-fast combat.
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Ys returns with a brand new adventure for the first time in 8 years! Adol awakens shipwrecked and stranded on a cursed island. There, he and the other shipwrecked passengers he rescues form a village to challenge fearsome beasts and mysterious ruins on the isolated island. Amidst this, Adol begins to dream of a mysterious blue-haired maiden living in a unknown world. Join Adol as he unravels the riddle of the cursed isle and the blue haired maiden Dana in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA.
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Visuals are pretty good. Definitely an improvement from the bloom-ridden MoC, and obviously an improvement over past Ys titles like Seven and Ark of Napishtim. 3D models are well-made, animations are smooth, and textures are (mostly) sharp. The newer art style as of MoC that depicts Adol & co. in a more realistic fashion is welcome. Gone is the oddly chubby Dogi who is supposed to be able to keep up with the limber Adol, replaced by a slim chap with defined muscles. However, shadows are super blocky, likely due to the Vita's hardware limitations. I occasionally also noticed a lot of aliasing in some cutscenes, but it's probably due to the size and proximity of characters in those scenes. The last minor complaint is that the framerate does not stay at a constant 30. It often dips into mid or low 20s, even if combat is not taking place. As consolation, framerate does not seem to go below 20 at any point, even during hectic combat.
The soundtrack is pretty fantastic, as is common with most Ys games. I particularly like the track that plays while on the ghost ship, as it captures the eerie mood flawlessly. Audio all around is high quality, and the English dub is actually passable unlike in so many other localized titles.
The biggest problem the game has is its pacing, particularly in Chapter 2. Chapter 2 is incredibly long, and while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it doesn't seem as though the developers knew how to make a long, interesting chapter. There were points of the chapter that were interesting, but not enough to keep me from thinking to myself, "Come on, when will this chapter finally end?!" It was also equally disappointing to find that the subsequent chapters were all maybe 1/2 to 3/4 the length. Having one long chapter among other moderate/short length chapters is just annoying. It sets up an expectation that the rest of the chapters will have just as much content, only for that expectation to be shattered when the chapter ends unexpectedly.
Another, lesser negative is the size of the world Ys 8 takes place in. I get it's supposed to be some random island, but I couldn't help but feel as though there could've been more to it. There was no volcanic area with enemies that deal fire damage (even though volcanoes and islands go hand in hand), there were just enemies that had fire-based attacks in some areas. There wasn't even a part of the island in the northern part that is designated as the ice area. I would've liked to see those environments, rather than just a bunch of forest, swamp, and beach. It would've been a nice twist if the supposedly deserted island had a hidden, thriving city or town aside from the one the castaways conjure up too.
The damage type system also makes a return, except this isn't quite a good thing like how flash moves returning is a good thing. Ys is about Adol Christin. I don't want to be goaded into playing as someone other than Adol Christin just so I can defeat an enemy faster. I'm not against the party system as far as having other characters tag along with Adol, but I don't necessarily want to use them. Unfortunately, unlike in Ys Seven, Ys 8 does not have an ultimate weapon for Adol which deals every type of damage at once. Even more unfortunately, it's not possible to carry over weapons in New Game Plus.
My final gripe is with Dana, the leading lady herself. She's a bad character. I don't mean she's evil, but she's badly written. She's a Mary Sue who has no apparent flaws. One might argue that Adol himself is a Gary Stu and therefore it's fine for Dana to be a Mary Sue, but Adol has an actual excuse for his flawlessness: he is essentially just an avatar for the player, like Link from the Legend of Zelda. His character is barebones on purpose so the player can fill in the blanks, but Dana was clearly not meant to be a player avatar, nor was she meant to be flawless. We know this because the game tells us all about how much mischief she used to get into before she was burdened with real responsibility, how she's impulsive and impish...but it never shows us this. Throughout the entire game, she's always worried about regaining her memories or being nice/helpful. If Adol (the player) tells her to relax/calm down, she responds with, "I can't do that, I'm important!" This makes her the most irritating character in the game, because it's clear she had so much potential, but Falcom either ran out of time or motivation to tap into it.
When all is said and done, Ys 8 remains the best action-RPG released this year. Buy it.
Most recent customer reviews
this is the best game so far
20 hours on
building your town of people is amazing