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

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* Canon to the series

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
Nihon Falcom
NIS America
NIS America
SEVEN Engine
September 12, 2017
Reflections of Ys
By Jessie Cooper

As a personal preference, I experienced Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for the first time on my PlayStation Vita. The cart also plays natively on the PlayStation TV. This wasn't an afterthought! To clarify and emphasize: Nihon Falcom went out of their way to code the game in order to fully optimize Dualshock support, making use of the extra shoulder buttons that is absent on the Vita. After trying the game on both Vita and PSTV, I stuck with the Vita for its portability; otherwise I would have gotten the PS4 version. It's worth noting that the Vita version has fewer quests than any other port and does suffer from some slightly longer load times. Furthermore, the Vita version has optional premium DLCs (costumes) available from the PlayStation Network which aren't available for the PS4, though these were later added to the Switch and PC ports.

Beginning my journey in Lacrimosa of Dana was like walking into a dream. The graphics were GORGEOUS, especially for a Vita title! Movements were fluid, the colours were dynamic, and the visuals were astounding. The lighting of the game was intensely atmospheric. The entire setting paired perfectly with its fantastic soundtrack, as I have come to expect from an Ys title.

This was the most explorative and all-encompassing Ys game I have played thus far. It manages to somehow be an action adventure, tower defense, survival, and collection game all in one. There's no end to the things you can collect: monster entries, character profiles, materials, weapons, armour, and even food. I LOVE games that have a cooking element to them. Additionally, it has the cartographer/map component that Ys: Memories of Celceta offered, which is a thrilling mechanic all on its own. The island is incredibly massive.

Castaway Village is the core of the entire experience. It added social progression with each new person introduced throughout the adventure. Each character had a distinct history; why they were there, their motives and relationships. The interactions between them were a pure joy.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana has quickly become my favourite Ys game in terms of gameplay, though Ys Origin still wins my heart for story and lore. If you're looking for the original Ys VIII experience, this is it. The PC and Switch releases were ports from the PS4 version and handled by NIS America, which was in itself an in-house and enhanced port by Nihon Falcom from the Vita original. The main difference here is the lack of extra lore and an added Dana dungeon. The game is massive and insanely complex. There is so much to do and every moment was thrilling, enjoyable and exciting. Just sit back, relax and indulge in the wonder that's in this portable gem.


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