By Yagyu / September 20th, 2017
|Title||Ys VIII – Lacrimosa of Dana –|
|Release Date||September 12th, 2017|
Editor’s Note: Guest Reviewer Yagyu works in the game industry and plays a huge variety of games. His favorite games are JRPGs, Visual Novels and Action RPGs (such as Senran Kagura, Ys, Legend of Heroes and Dragon Quest).
The story of Ys VIII starts with Adol and his friends in the archipelago of the Goethe Sea, located in south of Greek. As expected, the ship is getting attacked by a giant creature and is sunk soon afterwards. Adol wakes up and realizes that he is on the shore of the Seiren island. The story begins as a survival adventure and a rescue mission to find his crew. You’ll find a safe location after a while and begin to build your own village (which is one of the most exciting features). During the night Adol sometimes has mysterious dreams he doesn’t understand. He is looking for the reason behind his dreams, which are really confusing for him. I like a lot of the characters in his crew and one other character later in the story. Adol, one of the main characters, doesn’t talk that much in Ys VIII, but he fits in pretty well with the story anyway. Dana, the 2nd main character, is my personal favorite. She is trying to save the world for all of her friends and is trying to find out what happened. Hummel is the typical badass, who had some funny moments, and they animated him like a kid which is kinda amusing. Ricotta is a fantastic cook and her friendship with different animals is really cute. Sahad likes drinks and he has a lot of experience with fishing. His jokes about love are pretty cool and embarrass Adol constantly. Laxia is like a teacher. She is always trying to analyse almost everything, even if it doesn’t make sense.
The game has two different timelines and later on you’ll know more about that feature. The island has a bunch of dungeons and wonderful locations like forests, shores, temples, cities, morass, mountains and wonderful secrets. You are able to travel into the other timeline at a later point to unlock new key items and mysteries. That’s all? No, you can actually change the future significantly! You’re even able to change the world itself (resulting in new dungeons and new secret locations).
The crafting system is quite a bit different but still solid. You’ll still find a “Rusty Sword” pretty fast and you’ll recruit a blacksmith quite a bit later. The blacksmith is able to upgrade your weapon up to the best weapons in the game, but these require some extra rare materials, of course. Your village has some extra missions like suppressions and invasions. You can defend your village within a specific time to get some cool rewards. You can also upgrade the defending area with catapults and other nice tools of war.
The combat system is pretty simple but it’s still fun. You have two different resources, something like mana and a bar for your ultimate abilities. Careful though, since all these resources are shared with your teammates, so you will need to make sure to use the ultimate with the character you want. Each kind of enemy species has different elemental resistances. A plant can’t withstand fire, dinosaurs don’t like earthquakes and flying enemies can’t tolerate lightning. Allies have two different tactic modes—Attack Focus and Evasion Focus. Despite this, the interesting part is that your crew isn’t stupid, and they’re able to support you well in different battles.
The graphics are much better now: the visual effects are smooth and beautiful, and the game keeps your framerates stable at 60 FPS. Story sequences and cutscenes are wonderful and show you a lot of the wonderful environments and character models. The in game graphics are a bit clumpy and rusty, which is okay for a Vita port.
Oh, and if you were wondering about the soundtrack, the music in this game is epic! It’s easily one of the best parts of this game, and the BGMs and location soundtracks are wonderful. It feels epic to fight a gigantic boss, with the soundtracks motivating you a lot to defeat them! I recommend listening to them below.
Overall, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a wonderful game. I didn’t expect such a great story and so many different extras. I’ve been playing this game for almost 80 hours already and I’m still in the mood to play the game even more. One small negative point is seeing the same locations over and over again while teleporting, but that’s the price of unlocking everything in the game. Another negative point are the graphics, which could be slightly better for a PS4 game (the cutscenes are great but the in game graphics are a bit clumpy).
The game lasts for around 20-30 hours if you play straightforward or 60+ hours if you want to unlock each kind of secret and the complete character background stories. Ys VIII is expensive at $60 but it is still a must have for all JRPG fans.
Review Copy Purchased by Author
GuestoprainfallReviewYagyuYs VIII: Lacrimosa of Dan