Just finished Ys 8 last nights. Some thoughts - not a review.

  1. It was kind of like an Ys game with an extremely long intro, right?! The game didn’t feel like a typical Ys adventure until maybe some time in Chapter 4, or especially Chapter 5. The whole “map out the island and look for survivors” thing was fun, for sure, but it didn’t feel very Ys-ish in tone and setting.

  2. I really enjoyed the combat in this game, but this shit was way too long. I finished the game with the best ending, which I overshot a little bit (maybe about 4-5 hours of additional sidequesting that I didn’t need). I clocked in just shy of 50 hours…I think the longest Ys game before this was like, 20!?

2A. I ask, is ANY single-player game fun for THAT long? RPGs usually get a pass because of their story, but I don’t think Ys8’s story was that great. I don’t expect Ys plots to light my world on fire by any means, but I do feel like it was genuinely bad at some points. The new localization was still very awkward at several points, and really sloppily done at times, too. There was a point where one of the characters delivers a monologue…and a little later, Adol remembers the dialogue. The written text is the same as you heard before, but the voiced lines are straight out of the OLD localization. There’s strange things like that all over the place, coupled with just awkward dialogue in general that makes me think that maybe part of the problem is that the script was just bad to begin with.

2B. But, on the point I was originally making…the game is really fun, but the pace is just stopped dead in its tracks so often! “Explore this mountain! But wait, you have like seven sidequests, and don’t wait too long or they expire! And remember, you can’t get the best ending unless you do most of them! And by the way, the village is being raided, so come back, please! Oh, and at this next save point is gonna be another Dana scenario, and it’s gonna take about an hour or so, but THEN you can get back to…oh wait, there’s ANOTHER Dana scenario at the NEXT save point…but THEN, you can finally – your village is being raided…” It’s bad enough that the first half of the story is not even Adol exploring ancient ruins; it’s just walking around on beaches and SOMETIMES not-beaches for like 20-25 fucking hours.

I hate writing all this because it makes it sound like I didn’t like the game - I honestly did. But, by the time I was nearing the end, I was dreading turning the game on, because I always had a long shopping list of things to do OTHER than actually moving the story forward.

  1. But hey, the music was really good. Did you know that Ys has had the same main composer since Ys6? I just figured it was a revolving door of people (and there have been other co-composers in that time, to be sure). But, it’s always mainly composed by the same person, and then arranged mainly by one other person. (Before that, Ys was done mainly by Yuzo Koshiro and Mieko Ishikawa, with the notable exception of the original Ys 4 music…much of which is used in Memories of Celceta - there wasn’t a lot of new music composed for that game.)

  2. The game cleverly runs on a barter economy. I usually hate having to collect random materials to make items; but, this is usually because you need both money AND items to create things. It makes me think, “Why did I give you all this fucking money if I had to bring you the parts, too!? Why is labor so outrageously expensive?!” But, what with the deserted island that the game takes place on, it not only makes sense from a world-building standpoint, but it was also nice to ONLY have to gather the materials. I appreciated that.

  3. I really hope they do away with the party system eventually. I think that Ys 8, unlike Ys 7 and Ys 4 (Memories of Celceta), pulled the party system off as well as it could. But, the system is and always has been incredibly abusable. I “avoided” a lot of attacks on the final boss by simply getting hit on purpose, dying, waiting out the death animation as long as possible, and then reviving that character. I’d have to revive them 2-3 times, but the problem is, your other party members can’t die if they’re not the active member, so this prevents you from actually having to learn to dodge/block enemy mechanics if you just maintain the same active party member and revive them constantly. I really enjoyed that, in the Dana scenarios, you specifically couldn’t do this. (For the record, I did my playthrough on hard mode.)

  4. The worst thing about this story is that, the way it ends, Adol can’t really write about this adventure. If you don’t know, the Ys games are supposed to be Adol’s travelogues about his adventures. Ys 8 ends by doing something that… [SPOILER]not only erases the ancient civilization that the game is centered around OUT OF EXISTENCE, but it ALSO erases it from everyone’s memory. So like, if Adol wrote about this adventure, scholars would read it and be like “Uhhh yeah, sure thing, bro”. It would be a 100% unverifiable story that by all accounts would seem made up.[/SPOILER]

If I’d have to take a stab at it, it’d probably read as the following:

[SPOILER]Ys Chapter VII Part Final: And then we solved the mystery of the Moon Tribe. The End!

Footnote Shortly after this, Dogi and I went on yet another boat trip where we shipwrecked upon this mysterious island. Apparently, the locals said it was cursed by the relics of a long forgotten civilization and teeming with gigantic monsters, but it turned out to be completely unremarkable beyond a Big Hole and it was simply my awful judgement in regards to ship seaworthiness that made this more than just another Tuesday for me.

-Adol Cristian[/SPOILER]

Other than the fact that Ys 8…[SPOILER]takes place chronologically between Ys 5 and Ys 6…[/SPOILER] I could see that. lol

They still need to remake Ys V. -_-;

On a similar vein, I recently played through that Secret of Mana remake, and boy was it bad.

I was utterly shocked that they managed to make a game buggier than the original SoM was, and nothing meaningful was done to the game to fix any of the original version’s issues (you still have to farm the Seventh Axe and Glove Orbs from the Mana Fortress; the Moon Palace is still a three room wonder; the path split still ends at the Haunted Woods; there are still no sidequests beyond the Sea Hare Tail or anything that better links SD2 to either SD1 or 3; charge attacks are even more worthless; and they didn’t even bother with online play).

Of special note was the remixed music being by and large overdone and either resulting in being not really any different (Dwarven Village’s theme) to just outright terrible (Matango’s theme) and while the game received full VA coverage, the main characters are only generally passable, while NPCs can reach down to the nadir of Chaos Wars levels of ‘quality’. Also, they cut the Mode 7 part of the Cannon Travel so you just slide into the barrel and suddenly fade out to your destination.

The only really positive changes made were letting you scroll the screen even with allies stuck on level geometry (and they can still get attacked and killed while off screen, and switching to them doesn’t relocate them from where they were stuck, though using the whip does thankfully), letting you back into Pure Land after reaching the Mana Tree (so you can’t screw yourself out of the Griffin Helm for Randi), restoring MP upon Leveling up (making it far easier to grind Spell Levels since you don’t have to worry about running out of MP all the time) and adjusting your carried item limit up to 12 (not that this matters much with the Level Up MP restore but more than 4 Cups of Wishes are nice if easy modo).

They also fixed the Drain reversal effect on Undead enemies so now HP/MP Absorb and Moon Saber are far more worthless than they were originally. Bosses are easier to boot despite the ‘fix’ to chain casting, but some generic enemies like Chobin Hoods are hilariously OP now due to no longer being restricted to attacking in the cardinal directions, while others just simply had their Hit% & Evade% rates increased, while others still didn’t get the memo about the chain casting ‘fix’. The Cure Water saving cast was also ‘fixed’ so now your HP doesn’t get restored until the restored value is displayed (which means that you absolutely must heal well before you go into critical due to just how long the spell’s animation is and how immobile you are for it; enemies don’t have this problem and they can and will chain cast Cure Water until they’re out of MP).

For the bugs themselves, the game itself was so unstable for me that almost every play session ended when it crashed. While going to the PS Menu basically lost whatever track was playing at the time and required reloading the game to get it to play again. Casting magic at a high rate ended up causing effects to backlog and required casting additional spells to get the earlier spells to actually perform. Enemies and Allies can easily phase out of bounds just by running at the level geometry hard enough. Spell casting enemies having a bad habit of chain casting their spells until they ran out of MP (bosses aren’t affected, but assholes like Wizard Eyes will dump about 15 castings of Cure Water on anything that moves while Marblues went from minor nuisances to ‘need to die yesterday’ as your party will be out of MP almost immediately if you aren’t on top of them), and some other things I wasn’t able to trigger myself.