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Ys is a Japanese role-playing video game series, and Nihon Falcom corporation's flagship franchise. It started on the NEC PC-8801 in 1987, created by Masaya Hashimoto and Tomoyoshi Miyazaki.
The Ys series chronicles the adventures of Adol Christin, a young man with bright red hair with a zest for adventure and an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time.
I will be reviewing the game in these key areas: Combat, Gameplay, Music, Story and Characters. Each with a mark out of ten. I have played most Ys games more than once and this is my opinion sooo onto the review!
The player uses the arrow keys to fight. The player must run Adol into enemies, hitting them on the side, back or slightly off-center of the front. The creators of the game wanted the game to be different since a lot of games at the time were either turn based or you had to manually use the sword i.e. Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, The Elder Scrolls Arena or even The Legend of Zelda to name a few. Ys had Adol automatically attack when walking into enemies. While most Ys titles do not use the 'bump attack' system, it has become one of the series' defining features due to its originality and the feeling that you were not just spamming the A button. According to GamesTM and John Szczepaniak "Repetition of the act was pleasurable as you developed a psychological rhythm and, even in the event of backtracking, progress was always swift since the player never needed to stop moving."
The originality of the combat and how well it’s executed is something developers of today sometimes miss. The only problem with it is new players tend to skip the tutorial that pops up and run head first and get murdered by the tree men. 9/10 something different and it’s a good thing.
Gameplay: The games feature the generic gold system where every kill nets you some exp and gold depending on what you just killed. There are merchants in almost every town who have various wares to sell to you. Also the games feature the recharging health mechanic which is commonly used today but at the time of the original Ys games had only been previously used in Hydlide series. Another feature is in the second game Ys II spellbooks that give you an array of different spells. One of which allows you to transform into a monster, this gave you unique dialogue to NPC’s and Monsters.
The game has some generic gameplay by today’s standards but when it was first released it stood out a little. 8/10
The Ys series is particularly known for its original music soundtracks by Yuzo Koshiro, Mieko Ishikawa, and Hideya Nagata. The composers' works have been remixed for each subsequent release of Ys I and II, for instance, by Japanese computer musician Ryo Yonemitsu for Hudson Soft's Ys I & II and Ys III: Wanderers from Ys releases for TurboGrafx-CD. Consequently, the Ys series is seen in the video game music industry as some of the finest and most influential role-playing video game scores of all time, demonstrated by an extensive series of CDs based on the series' music, with numerous variations on its themes. Nothing does beat running out onto the field with your brand new short sword and lusting for the taste of adventure when all you can hear is one some great action music that really gets you revved up to fight even the clanking sounds from your sword hitting the enemy fits in with the music. With this remake it gives you access to three different sets of Music the original, the remixes from Complete on the PSP or Chronicles which you are playing.
All are absolutely lovely and fit in to its surroundings even though it’s so loud and action fuelled.
Something that any OST lover should cry at 10/10 see for yourself
The story is not your average cliché. The first game you are heading out on adventure for the continent/island known as Esteria but you are become shipwrecked in the mighty Stormwall, something that becomes tradition in Ys games with Adol having bad luck when it comes to boats. The game flows along nicely and the plots of all the games add up even when you don’t play them in chronological order. The game also rewards you for not spamming the OKAY button when speaking with NPC’s because they have things to tell you that might just come in handy. Just about every NPC has something really good to say that could help you or it might even hint at where to go next.
8/10 A game with an interesting story that is so good they made an Anime for it, really they did!
Adol is your average silent protagonist who has his best friend Dogi by his side. All the characters play a role in obtaining that 100% save file. Adol is your crimson swordsman who will save the world and all that jazz but he is the only character in the series to feature red hair if that’s anything cool. Dogi is his best friend and a man who could destroy a house with his bare hands who also sports blue hair. You must meet all the characters in order for them to be added to a section called Notes. This area has information on all the monsters you kill and all the people you meet which really immerses you in the lore of the game.
This game is The Legend of Zelda’s much cooler older brother. A must have for any jRPG fan who enjoys a good story that keeps you thinking and great music.
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