I’d never actually heard of the Ys series before playing this game, and to find out it recently had its 30th anniversary shocked me. I LOVE these types of games, so how in the heck have I never heard of this before? Well, I’m here now with my Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana review and it really did give me plenty to enjoy.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is an action role playing game developed by Nihon Falcom for the PS4, PS Vita and Windows, and published by Nihon Falcom and Nippon Ichi Software.

As someone who’s just come into the series I look at the game in my review below so come and see if this one is for you.

Side -Quest

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How does it play?

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Ys VIII pretty much plays like you’d expect an action roleplaying game to play. You can explore, collect items and fight, with 3 active members of your party. Fighting is done in the world however, and you don’t transition into an arena when initiated. This makes exploring and clearing out areas feel smooth.

The game has you controlling dual protagonists, recurring protagonist Adol Christin, and new character Dana Icarusia. With Adol, you can change your field character however if you want to run around as someone else. The game mostly consists of you going from area to area fighting monsters in your way, and thankfully the fighting itself feels fluid and responsive.

Mashing the X button allows you to use combos and attack an enemy, holding R1 and pressing one of the face buttons allows you to perform a stronger move that you have slotted for that button, and once your ‘extra gauge’ is full, you can perform an ‘Extra Skill’ which is a really powerful attack that deals heaps of damage!

As Dana, you don’t have 3 party members. Instead you can ‘style change’ to 3 different ‘styles’, which basically means you can switch between attack styles that have different effects, like dealing more damage, performing fast strikes, etc. You get these abilities as you progress through Dana’s story.

Presentation and Graphics

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Ys VIII’s art style is bright and colourful and the environments are pleasing to look at, similar to games like the Tales series. It’s not the most demanding of games, but I was pleased to not suffer from any framerate drops throughout my time playing.

The music is memorable, and pretty damn awesome! Each area has its own little ‘theme’ as such to reflect the nature of where you are. It’s not intrusive that it’s annoying you while playing, but it does manage to worm its way into your head. I’d find myself humming along without even realizing it!

The music that plays when you’re on a ‘Night Patrol’ is really cool. More than once I’d just stop moving and fighting to have a listen wherever I was.

Bad acting

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The voice acting however… is kind of bad. It’s that stereotypical over the top kind of voice acting. Especially the children. Dear voice actors: Voicing children does NOT equal yelling into your microphone, thank you.

Like me, you might find yourself rolling your eyes at some of the lines. Things that have already been answered are turned into questions again! For example,

Person 1: “This is the thing.”

Person 2: “Ah, so this is the thing?”

I know it’s a usual thing in JRPG’s, but it happened SO OFTEN in this game I was literally shouting at my TV, “YES, SAHAD, THEY HAVE ALREADY ACKNOWLEDGED THIS.” It drove me a bit crazy. Sometimes things that had been answered a while ago are mentioned again as questions as if they never acknowledged it in the first place!

Main Features

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The game starts with you working as extra help with your pal Dogi on a ship called the Lombardia. You get attacked by a bunch of evil sea tentacles and wind up shipwrecked on the ‘Isle of Seiren’ which is supposedly cursed.

At first, the game revolves around you mapping out the island and trying to find other survivors to make your escape, but you start having strange dreams about a blue-haired girl, and thus, a new mystery ensues.

For me, the game only started getting really interesting around chapter 3. I found Dana’s story to be more interesting than Adols ‘find the next survivor’ errands. The game only got more and more captivating as I progressed, however, and ended up becoming a truly memorable experience.

You have a little home area in the game affectionately named ‘Castaway Village’, which is where the survivors that you find go to live, and where you can go to shop and upgrade your weapons.

Every now and then while you’re out and about, you will receive a warning that it is under siege from nearby monsters, and you are expected to help. They are optional, but they don’t feel optional. Which is a bit annoying when you’re exploring deep into the island and then you have to go back to protect everyone.

Should I play this?

It has a slow start, but if you stick with it, it really pays off once the story gets going. The Isle of Seiren is actually pretty big and there are lots of different areas to visit and farm resources to get stronger.

Gamers who should…

Anyone who likes Final Fantasy, the Tales Series, or just J/RPG lovers in general, give this game a go, even if you’ve never heard of it until recently like me. It’s absolutely worth your time.

Gamers who probably shouldn’t…

Anyone who is the complete opposite. This is a very story driven game that requires you to not turn off your brain while playing.

Similar games

It’s very similar to games like Final Fantasy and the Tales Of series. If you like them, you’ll like this!

The GoodThe BadThe Bugs
The StoryVoice ActingNone during the review
The WorldSlow start
The soundtrack

About This Ys VIII Lacrimosa of Dana Review

Game Reviewed: Ys VIII Lacrimosa of Dana, digital edition provided by publisher
Review Format: PS4
PEGI Rating: 12

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