Ys Series - Digital Emelas: A Fansite Spreading Awareness of Ys

List of Games

* Canon to the series

Legacy of Ys Books I & II
Nintendo DS
Nihon Falcom
February, 2009
Reflections of Ys
By Limfinite

The DS version of Ys I & II is often criticized for its flawed translation and repulsive addition of an attack button. The original Ys games have, for decades, been praised for its unique button-less battle mechanics and strong world-building narrative. Though, I will admit, the use of a second screen to display items and maps did enhance the experience, especially in areas one would easily get lost. There is an option to play with the traditional Bump System but it requires the stylus. The default option is to use the directional pad, forcing you to an 8-way directional movement, and manual attack button (with horrible hit detection, if I may add). I wish there was an option to play with the Bump System using the D-pad rather than the stylus. I also found it interesting that there was a Level Cap of 24, which was much higher than the newer versions of Ys I. Note: I prefer my RPGs to have much higher Level Caps, but there is a good reason why Adol stops gaining XP half way through the game. This didn't hinder the experience too much. It simply made grinding lengthier, which some players may prefer. I didn't enjoy the battle mechanics and controller layout in this version either way, so I would have preferred a shorter grinding experience.

As with every version of Ys 1, the game can be quite difficult for newcomers who do not take the time to speak with NPCs and learn what to do. Enemies do a lot of damage if Adol is one level off, making the initial experience quite the grind-fest. It's best to visit the next town to equip items before engaging in any battle opportunity.

Unfortunately, the translations in this version felt flat with very little personality. I much preferred the PlayStation and Steam versions by XSEED Games or the original TurboDuo version. This was a problem because, as mentioned earlier, Falcom is known for its strong world-building narrative. I felt the dialog didn't match with the character portraits. In my opinion it simply wasn't believable. At least they translated Adol's name right.

Once I got the ball rolling, I enjoyed the game for what it was. Yes, it felt like a chore, but I did appreciate its offerings, even the exclusive (and strange) 3D aesthetics. The story is pretty much the same as any other version, but with some naming conventions no longer canon. Although the DS's sound chip is somewhat restrictive compared to the PSP or newer platforms, the music was as melodic as ever. I can only recommend this version of Ys I & II to hardcore Ys fans. Grab the Day One Edition if you're a collector, though the soundtrack included with the PSP version (Ys I & II Chronicles Premium Edition) is far superior.


Our Sponsors


© Digital Emelas. All Rights Reserved. Website by Limfinite.
All Ys Games, Art and Music © Nihon Falcom Corporation.