Ys Series - Digital Emelas: Spreading Awareness of Ys

List of Games

* Canon to the series

Ys Origin
Nihon Falcom
Napishtim Engine
April 11, 2018
Reflections of Ys
By Johnathan "ABF" Sawyer

Editor's Note: Ys Origin was developed to be a companion piece to the original Ys games. It is highly recommended that you complete Ys I & II before playing Ys Origin.

After almost 6 years since Ys Origin first appeared in the west on PC (courtesy of XSEED Games), we're still seeing release after release on new platforms, thanks to DotEmu's amazing efforts. Now in 2018, the console with easily the least amount of Japanese influence is home to an Ys game -- Microsoft's XBOX One with Ys Origin.

Hardly anything has changed since our previous adventures with it; it's exactly the same tower climb featuring our three favorite "heroes" and our two beloved, sapphire-haired goddesses. While the XBOX is an American-made console, this JRPG feels right at home. The controls are fluid, just like with the PS4 and PC (with controller) releases. The XBOX One controller is quite comfortable, considering the altered D-Pad/Left Stick layout. It took no time at all to be right back in the groove of taking down tower demons.

We now have two new console features to play with; the ability to add blood/change the amount of blood displayed, and a Speedrun mode. It's worth noting that the blood option is also available on the PC version, but not on the PlayStation ports. Speedrun mode is exclusive to the XBOX One version. Given the style of the game itself, I honestly can't seem to find a point to the blood mode -- more power to those that really want to see the walls stained with the remains of their enemies. Speedrunning, however, has always been my cup of tea and is a very welcome addition to the game. With it, you can no longer save at statues, but in-game dialogue can be completely skipped! And anyone who runs knows that the dialogue sections can bust up your rhythm when you're on a roll. Fantastic!

I can't recommend this enough and want everyone to get this version. Why? DotEmu is taking risks that we rarely see anyone do in years: They're bringing Japanese games to the XBOX One. We saw it early on with the XBOX 360, but it quickly dwindled. I'd like to see more companies take this approach, with not only just the XBOX, but anywhere there's an opportunity for Japanese games (and more specifically for Ys) to thrive.

DotEmu also went the extra mile with this release -- they produced an amazing, super-limited physical Press Kit revealed at PAX East 2018. Below are a few photos of the kit they sent us. Words cannot describe how beautiful it is and how much work went into something many would see as trivial.

We're certain that DotEmu will be reading this Reflection. Thank you ever so much for this wonderful port. If we could speak on behalf of Ys fans everywhere, please continue to port Ys games to XBOX One, Nintendo Switch and PS4. Since you already have an intimate history with Ys Origin, I and II, having them on all three platforms would be a dream come true.

Ys Origin XBOX One Press Kit

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