Our Score: 9/10
For the first time in 8 years, Ys is back with Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA, a brand-new adventure! Adol wakes up stranded on a cursed island after being shipwrecked. He establishes a community there with the other shipwrecked passengers he saves in order to contend with the dangerous monsters and enigmatic ruins on the remote island.
A Strong Start
Adol and Dogi, the series’ recurring heroes, start off Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana by learning to sail. Adol is given information about a mysterious island that swallows up any ship that approaches it by the ship’s captain, Captain Barbaros. Coincidentally, the ship is attacked as they try to show Adol the island from a distance; the attack sends the crew and passengers overboard and ashore on the deserted island.
As he prepares his sword in quest of additional survivors and a way off the island, here is where Adol’s new adventure starts. The introduction is brief before the cars, but it provides you an opportunity to explore the ship and get to know each of the other passengers by speaking with them. Adol is a mute protagonist—at least most of the time—and the player chooses his responses to questions during dialogues. I’ve attempted to pick the obvious erroneous answer, and the other characters would just correct my response, which ends up just making Adol look stupid, so I can tell that there are typically two choices that don’t actually alter the story too much.
Some people might find it difficult to know where to start with such a vast history of titles. The game can be picked up by someone who hasn’t had the chance to play the other entries, albeit it does lack a few terminology and location names. Having said that, because Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is so excellent, starting with it can make it tough to return to the earlier games.
Fight for Survival
The combat, which is by far the focus of the Ys series, will take up much of your time in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. You’ll meet Laxia and Sahad, the first two members of your team, and be able to rapidly switch between them in battle based on the type of foe you’re facing. The method used in Ys VIII’s Lacrimosa of Dana, which replaces the traditional elemental damage with an enemy’s vulnerability to several weapon kinds, is back. However, there are equippable items that can enhance your assaults with element magic and debuffs, which are useful.
The combat system is responsive and fluid. After a few hours of gameplay, using a combination of standard attacks and special talents becomes second nature. Players can use one of the shoulder buttons to Flash Guard or Flash Dodge during combat. These need to be used at the appropriate moment in order to activate them during combat. While protecting against an attack at the appropriate time can boost your character’s power, dodging out of the way of an assault will slow down time and allow players to land a few extra blows.
Experience the Lacrimosa
You should utilise headphones when playing Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana because the soundtrack is unquestionably one of the best I’ve ever heard for a video game. Running through an island while listening to blazing violin music and amazing drum sounds definitely gets you pumped up. Every subject and circumstance in the game is well complemented by the music. I congratulate Falcom JDK on creating such fantastic music. Due to the fact that many of the game’s discussions are text-only, more voice over tracks may have been included.
Now, I’m certain that inquiries regarding the localisation of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana will arise. In my honest view, the NIS America staff does a good job at translating and editing Japanese video games. With Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, they played it safe and made the text understandable by not taking too many chances with the localization. I was able to thoroughly appreciate the entire game and its story, even though its localization is different from the lighthearted and laid-back localization that western fans may be used to.
The Ys series has a new kind of adventure, and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana achieves it superbly. The game’s great gameplay and story pacing elevate the action-RPG subgenre to a new level. The game provides hours of fast-paced action and exploration, as well as enough more for those who want to delve further into the island’s mysteries.