Review

Nintendo Switch – Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA #177

Finally a game I can 100% get behind!

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Ys VIII Lacrimosa of DANA – Nintendo Switch – Released: 6/26/18 – $59.99

Short Review (Review copy provided by NIS America)

The Ys series is a series I always went back and forth on due to being on the PSP and Vita. I have never completed a game just to get that out of the way but I own several of them. Even Lacrimosa of DANA, which I own on Vita, but for Switch I completed and dedicated dozens of hours. Ys is an RPG series that has gone through many different styles from a 2D adventure series, a 3D action game, and even a turn based strategy game. Ys as far as I can tell went unknown outside of Japan with many releases never being localized and the bulk being PSP releases outside of Japan. Even though this is the 8th entry in the series, this is actually the 6th game in the timeline. I would check out the Ys wikia page for more information as I played these games very out of order growing up. Adol is the main character of the series with the running gag of having terrible luck with boats as this game features him getting attacked by a sea monster before falling overboard. Finally waking up on an unknown island he searches for other people from the boat and finds out hidden secrets about the island. Ys 8 is a great starting point for new players to the series but does have some issues with the story. As this is the 6th game in the timeline and the only one on Switch if you wanted to know more about Adol and his adventures you would need to purchase another console. This game definitely has to be given props for how well the team did on porting the game. Looking at the Vita version compared to the Switch is a world of difference and is very close to the PS4 in terms of quality. Even though the game was delayed due to the translations issues, I personally didn’t have any problems with the original. I would give Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA, an 9 out of 10!

*There are some issues with text that I didn’t mention but this is because NIS America has already informed me that this issue will be addressed in a patch in the near future. Once that update is live I’ll check the spots I had issues and remove this text*

This icon is great but the title is a bit small… hard to read it:

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Story

Adol and his childhood friend, Dogi are on a boat traveling to a new land but are attacked by a sea monster. Adol falls overboard and wakes up on an island and tries to locate other survivors. As Adol searches, he find other castaways, and he unravels the secrets to the island that he has landed on. This island is known as the “Island of Seiren” and considered a cursed island. After venturing more around the island, he and his crew find Dana, a woman that claims to be the last of her kind. She suffers from amnesia but slowly regains her memories as Adol and his crew try to find a way off the island. Searching the island reveals that a world event known as “Lacrimosa” is soon to happen that will change the human race forever. Adol clearly seeks to stop the event and this is the story of how they go about stopping it.

Gameplay

This game is an action RPG in the vein of Kingdom Hearts gameplay but thankfully you don’t have to deal with a Donald type character. You will be equipping items for yourself and your support, the main difference between this game and other action RPG games is you can switch attack styles on the fly. As you are controlling your character your supports will either go into an attack mode or defensive mode and with the press of a button you can switch between the two. During battle this is great since you don’t have to worry about a support going all in all the time and can get them to back off easily. The game does have a weapon triangle type of damage as well with these being Slash, Pierce, and Strike. Slash being great against soft bodied enemies, Pierce for aerial enemies, and Strike for armored enemies. These are character depended so you will know who to use in certain situations and when to swap between attack and defense mode for battles. There are cases when you don’t have any advantage so it isn’t always present. Characters have button specific specials much like the “Tales” series which are equip based known as “Skills”. 

Personal Experience

Having put 20 hours into the Vita version then going to this was a bit of a pain but easily caught up to where I was in around 15 hours. This game is much longer than other games in the series as I went back to finish several of the other games on PSP while doing this review. I wanted to refresh myself with the series and found that me not finishing older titles was just younger me being super lazy. Most older titles I finished within 10 hours on the PSP. Ys 8 is a much easier to pick up and play as it takes a lot of elements from games like Kingdom Hearts into its battling system. So if you enjoyed the fighting elements of that series or how Final Fantasy XV controls you will enjoy this battle system. Yes, it is more user friendly, yes, it is a bit watered down from the older titles, but to draw in more people to the series it is a good choice.

Ys 8 is a very enjoyable game from start to end but does have some sections that are boring. Ys 8 is just long enough that I didn’t get too bored but long enough that between sections don’t have a strong connection… certainly if you decide to take a week or two break between play sessions. Taking a break between this game to play something else during non-critical events could cause you to have no idea what to do when you come back to it. The animated cut scenes are amazing as well… this is something that would have been great as an animated movie. 

Final Thoughts

Ys 8 is a great start for new players despite it having no information about previous games. It is a shame that many people will not be able to enjoy other titles in the series if they decide to purchase the game on Switch. I hope this game does well to support porting over other titles to the Switch since that is the only issue I have with the game. It would be great to see some remakes or remasters like they did for the PSP for the new generation. I would give this game an 9 out of 10, for its amazing gameplay, incredible cut scenes and music but does feel as tad weak at points in story. I do find it odd that this game is releasing on a Tuesday… either way people don’t sleep on this it is a great game but if you enjoy the game know that buying a PSP would be the best console to experience more of Adol’s story.

My Gameplay Footage:

Trailer:

End Credits

I did finish this review while before vacation but delayed it to come out on release. Many people have already showed off their reviews a week or two ago but the game doesn’t come out until today. I am getting a bit shocked that I am soon going to hit 200 reviews in less than a year. I do have to give Judith credit over at NIS America for fully supporting me with review copies even providing me with older titles… which I still haven’t got around to reviewing. After requesting an older title I got slammed by three big titles that needed over 20 hours each with Ys 8 taking over 40 hours. Sorry Longest 5 Minutes… an enjoyable game that got delayed by my review backlog to keep up with more recent releases.

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