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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

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#1 uiruki

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:14 PM

(Note: PS4 version isn't out til next year)

 

It's a new Ys game - the first one since 2009. Falcom's quite a different company in terms of what it sells now compared to then, and it's interesting to see how Ys has changed in this time.

 

The first thing you're likely to notice is the art - it's all very Trails now. I'll admit I'm not a fan of the style and I think the models look very low budget, but it's clearly what works for Falcom. Same with the cutscenes; there's now a LOT of talking and that's often done with a big side of slowly panning cameras. I think that there was more combat in Black Rose Valkyrie in the very beginning and that's part visual novel! In any case, Adol ends up shipwrecked again but this time it's on an uninhabited island and he needs to find fellow survivors.

 

Once the game actually lets you play, the whole thing improves massively. The game system is based on that used in Celceta, which means flash moves and guards, special attacks and gauges all over the place. They've added a jump as well as the dodge, which makes up for the lack of being able to repeatedly dodge faster than you can run. I'm sure that with Adol on anything that's not downhill, repeatedly jumping is faster than simply holding down the "run" button. The three characters you end up starting off with are fun enough to use; Laxia the fencer I haven't had much cause to use as her attacks are very narrow so hard to hit enemies with while Sabat the fisherman carries a big broken anchor with lots of slow but powerful swinging attacks that hit lots of enemies at once. It feels more like you can use who you want more often this time around as I don't think there are quite as many enemies with single weaknesses.

 

They've really powered up the game outside of basic combat, too. You end up building a camp and expanding it with shops (which work by exchanging items rather than using money) and survivors, who help at certain blocked points - once you reach a certain number of survivors you can call upon them to move the tree or boulder or whatever out of the way, opening up the route. There's a quest board, and there are also base defence missions with scoring. Along with the Falcom favourite fishing, even when you're not in a big cutscene or mapping out a new area there's plenty to do.

 

I'm not afraid to admit this left a bad first impression. It really felt like it had become more like "Ys of Cold Steel" early on, but as the game's gone on and it's interfered less the pacing has improved. I don't mind cutscenes; I do mind being stopped constantly in what is supposed to be an action game. Fortunately, that has improved as the game has gone on.

 

Here's a video. I didn't end up capturing the start... well, I did, but I thought it was so hands-off it wasn't worth putting up. Instead here's some footage from a few hours in, showcasing part of a dungeon, some of the cutscenes and the first defence mission.

 



#2 shadowman

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 09:24 PM

Thanks for the vid. It looks excellent, loving the soundtrack as well! How is the frame rate on this? As I've read contrasting opinions that range from "its ok" to "its almost unplayable in places". While I expect the PS4 version to be better technically when its released next year, I'd rather get the game on the Vita.



#3 uiruki

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 05:38 AM

It's OK most of the time but there are some areas where it really chugs, mostly in the overworld. As you can see, the dungeon is generally fine. The frame drops when they do happen haven't affected me that much, but it's definitely something that happens. The camera can be a bit of a struggle too, as you can see on the video! Game's really good overall, though. 



#4 uiruki

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 09:35 PM

33 hours in, coming towards the end now I think. Over 80% of the map uncovered, most of the items got.

 

I've definitely enjoyed the game throughout. The game really has a good sense of scale; it's much better than previous Falcom efforts and there are some quite impressive locations, especially for Vita. There are still lots of cutscenes but they do become more predictable. I'm not sure about some of the outfits and camera angles though; it's not quite Refrain levels but combined with that Falcom cutscene jank I've found it a little embarrassing to play outdoors. The winner still remains the "dance" scenes in Zero no Kiseki though, Jesus Christ they were bad.



#5 shadowman

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 05:36 AM

Cool, sounds very encouraging, I really should play the previous games in the series before playing this one (hopefully the English version of the game will be announced soon).



#6 uiruki

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 11:54 PM

There are a few callbacks to it. I didn't end up actually finishing any previous game except for the mobile phone version of Felghana (!) but there are a few moments I think you'd get a kick out of.

 

I finished it earlier - I don't have the energy to do a Nightmare run and go for the platinum trophy but maybe in a year - the PS4 version is out in January.



#7 uiruki

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:46 AM

This is out for PS4 on Thursday - all preordered and ready to go.

There's a demo on PSN for it; it's definitely running over 1080p on my Pro and does a decent job of staying around 60. The difference in terms of responsiveness is immediately apparent as Flash Guards are now super easy to pull off. It definitely still looks like a Vita game though - hopefully they've had time to upgrade it a bit further as some of the textures ended up quite blurry. The music, as you would expect from an Ys game, converts extremely well to big speakers. And this is a game you'll want to crank up!

I didn't really make it clear above but this is a game that really grew on me as I payed it. Looking back, it's probably my favourite game of 2016 and I'm really looking forward to playing through again with some of the story stuff filled out a bit.

#8 shadowman

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 05:46 AM

Glad to hear its performance is decent on the Pro. Probably means I'll grab it on the PS4 and Vita (since I still collect for the Vita, so I'll grab the port even if the frame rate is a bit iffy). 



#9 uiruki

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 08:31 AM

Yeah - given the amount of extra stuff they're adding for PS4 I'd find it hard to recommend it on Vita unless you had a trip coming up. That's not to say it's not a great game, just that it is looking to be better in every way on PS4 - just like Tokyo Xanadu was.

#10 uiruki

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:30 PM

Few hours into this now. It's a good port - mostly stays at 60 and the shorter loading times are a big plus.

 

I've kicked it up to Hard for now, as that's what the game says you should go for if you've played previous Ys games, and it feels less like you can just butt your head against strong stuff than it did on Normal. There was one moment where I took my eye from the screen while waiting for the auto heal to kick in and got surprised by some wolves!

 

I actually streamed a couple of hours; hopefully you can see the difference from the Vita vid above! Not sure if you can embed Twitch stuff but it's a hell of a lot easier to produce than using a TV box (albeit much worse quality).

 

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/146890060



#11 shadowman

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 02:21 PM

English demo is now up for the PS4. I gave it a go and apart from being an idiot and having problems equipping the climbing gloves I really enjoyed the combat. Quickly got the hang of the countering/dodging mechanics and just enjoyed the fast paced action and boss fights. 60FPS is definitely a big plus as well, its so darn smooth! Definitely getting the Vita port still for my collection but I can see me ending up with the PS4 version as well at some point.



#12 uiruki

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:52 PM

Most of the way through this again. Once it gets into its stride it really is a great game. PS4 Pro definitely struggles at times at 4K though! It's never slow but you'll see it drop frames from 60 a lot. Definitely nothing like the Vita version so don't worry about that.

 

I hear the localisation isn't great, which is a shame. The original Japanese is pretty good; everyone has plenty of personality and lots of back story and it was fun to learn about everyone.



#13 uiruki

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 11:10 AM

Almost at the end now; 100% map, treasures, quests, fish (!) and in front of the big bad boss. I've ended up appreciating the new stuff with Dana as it's filled out the game timeline a bit better.





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