For a title/ series that is well over 30 years old at this point, I still feel like this is not only underrated/ unknown by the masses.
I have played all of the mainline titles so far with different variants (remasters, translations, etc) and have gotten quite a bit of mileage out of this series, and it is just now coming on 10 main titles as of next year.
I really cannot wait for the 10th title as while some are better than others, Ys: Memories of Celceta being my absolute favorite, I haven’t played a game yet that I thought was meh and look forward to what new ways Adol can get into trouble and of course save the world.
I really want to get into some of the newer titles. Ys III and the Oath in Felghana remake are amazing games. Do you have a suggestion for which of the later Ys titles to try? It seems people really like Ys VIII, and it’s in the PS+ collection on one of the tiers.
I would highly recommend Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana as there is just so much to do and the characters they introduce including longtime favorite Dogi are crafted beautifully and don’t come across too much as caricatures. The visuals are beautiful as well with quite a varied landscape to explore.
I thought Ys IX: Monstrum Nox was interesting but it has a slower start than I would prefer and the prison island isn’t as fascinating compared to previous adventures.
Ys: Memories of Celceta is really my favorite due to the music, character arcs, premise and general gameplay but be warned if you attempt to get 100% map completion as the game is super finicky, almost unforgiving on what it counts as finding each section of your map; this makes Star Ocean: The Last Hope’s map exploration seem juvenile.
I’ve Ys I&II Chronicles+ on Steam but have yet to play them. They look really cool though. Are they worth the time?
Having played through both multiple times, I feel that they are both worth playing for a variety of reasons but also with some things to note while doing so. In order to make it clearer, I’ve truncated my thoughts in bullet points.
- The Bump combat system, while tricky to master is relatively simple to learn, especially when it comes to your player orientation and enemy orientation to mitigate damage done to the player and maximum damage to the enemy.
- The visuals looks great and while not utilizingthe PC Engine graphics, both versions (Chronicle and Complete) are more aesthetics choices on what you prefer. This is the same for the music which has noticeable but inconsequential to the gameplay differences between versions.
- The story is interesting and while the games don’t focus too heavily on it (the 1st moreso than the 2nd), it isn’t all that contrived, goofy, or hard to wrap one’s head around and a nice start to what would become more complex and dramatic storytelling convention.
- The gameplay loop is highly additive and does a great job in carrying the player through to the end.
Level design is outdated at best and deliberately confusing at worst especially while playing through the 2nd title which when you arrive in the main “hub” turns into a labyrinth of trial and error, backtracking, and just poor level design.
There are multiple difficulty spikes which can catch players off guard, which are present in both games and aren’t specific to different modes of difficulty. A glearing example is the mine in the first game, which can be accessed quite early but is a clear trap. If you are not well-equipped with mid game gear, you will die quite a bit, which is made all the more frustrating with the level/ dungeon taking place in a dark mine. Death is inevitable in this area to most players.
Speaking on difficulty, the modes are broken in a way as if you choose Nightmare you are basically asking to be punished with very little hope to make it through to the end of either title, especially the first with a final boss that is downright impossible at that difficulty even with the best luck imaginable. It’s honestly all about patterns and even then, good luck.
The final battle in 1 is a make or break moment for most getting into the series but if you can get past how infuriating it will be, you will find an underrated and amazing series that seems to get better with every title (although I have my personal favorites that break that assumption).
I somehow missed this a couple of weeks ago that they’re redoing Oath of Felghana, which is itself a remake of Ys III. Ys Memoire: The Oath in Felghana announced for Switch - Gematsu. I haven’t looked too hard to see if they’ve announced anything for any other regions besides Japan yet, but this is cool either way. I like Ys III and Felghana quite a bit as I said earlier.
Hmm. They were the first ones I got into and I quite like them with the gameplay being on point with well done dungeons and boss encounters. I have to say that the screenshots look a bit off to me as they look indistinguishable between what would be on the Switch and the PSP.
I would have to see it in action to really tell and it isn’t a deal breaker. I would just expect a lower price if they aren’t completely remaking the game and just touching it up and adding a few features here and there. I would also assume it gets released in the “West” in the fall but we’ll have to see.
I think you’ve described most Falcom games
I agree though. Looking a little bit more at the screenshots, it doesn’t really look a whole lot better than the PC release, and I don’t really know what they’d add to make it worth buying again. It almost just seems like a branding thing to make it seem like a new game coming out on the Switch.
Yeah, very odd. I would almost prefer them pull a SEGA and just package the PSP titles together like they did with The Yakuza Remastered Collection as I already own the 4th title on PS4 in a nice collectors edition. I’m not going to complain too much though because at least we are getting more in the series but still. Might hang back after this gets released for a sale, even on Physical.
Thanks for that summary. When I get to them I’ll let you know what I think.
This makes me move Ys VIII up on the wishlist!
Also, I do have Ys Origin on my backlog, so I plan to play that as my first ever Ys title.
Currently Enjoying Ys I… Playing the Turbo CD version (YS 1+2) Gonna try and beat first ‘book’ it by Monday!
I’m glad. It starts off super hard, especially with how the bump system can catch you off guard but by the end of the game, I found myself just cruising through dungeons. I haven’t played the Tubro CD verson yet, but I end up going through both Chronicles and Complete at least once every couple years. After going through both 1 and 2 and you are still gearing up, I would recommend the remake of the 4th game, Ys: Memories of Celceta. It retains the action RPG elements with some of the best music from the series, but be warned if you attempt total map completion; the developers expect perfection when even trying.