“Ys Origin” is a Japanese action-RPG with some rouge like elements (the game is developed by Nihon Falcom), and it first appeared on PC (which it did back in 2006 in Japan) but has now made its way to PS4 and PS Vita. As for the story of the game. The story is set before the events of Ys I and II. Long story short, the demons have forced the Goddesses off the land up into a mighty tower and with only a few brave heroes able to defend them. So, yes, the odds are stacked high (and yes, that was a pun).
Right of the bat, this is the first Ys game that I have ever played, and I had a good laugh when my quest was given to me by an old giant tree, why? Because the tree reminded me of Zelda’s Great Deku tree. So I have to admit that I wasn’t gripped by the story. So, what about the plot then? Well, the plot consists of you being a warrior who must ascend a massive tower to save a goddess and stop evil demons. So, about that story part. The story that “Ys Origin” tries to tell consists of a lot of reading (which happens when characters interact). In other words, you’ll be sitting through lines of dialogue of exposition for quite some time. However, there’s a skip button, and I was making good use of it at later points of the game because I was enjoying the gameplay more than the story. Sure, while there are a few likable characters, the writing could be better. Simply put, I just couldn’t bring myself to care about what they were saying, it felt like filler to what’s already a rather long game.
So truth be told, where “Ys Origin” shine is in its gameplay, depending on the first two characters you choose (Yunica who wields a battle-axe or Hugo who attacks with magic orbs). As you progress defeating enemies, you learn various attacks and spells unique to each character. Combat is incredibly simple, and the game is very easy to pick up and play. However, on higher difficulties your ass can be handed to you rather quickly(even on easy). So if you’re not on the right level, bosses and certain enemies will take little damage and will most likely smite you; so at times grinding is required. Even so, Grinding isn’t too much of a hassle as you level up quite rapidly. Furthermore, there are always secret items that can help you out during your quest.
Boss battles play a great part of “Ys Origin“, and some of them are truly brilliant! So whether it’s a giant centipede or a huge lava demon, each battle feels epic. Each boss usually needs a strategy to take down, whether its timing attacks or targeting a weak spot all the while dodging whatever they’re firing at you. You’ll come across a boss after beating each section of a tower, just like classic RPGs you need to find dungeon keys and items to progress. There’s never a dull moment as each area is different and the enemies remain varied as you go from place to place. There are a few issues I came across during my time with Ys Origins, I had a few errors that closed my game and for some reason, you can’t pause during a boss battle which isn’t always ideal if the phone rings or the pizza guy arrives.
Ys Origin’s story didn’t grab me, but its gameplay sure did. As the boss battles are fun, and you’re constantly finding new items and gaining brand-new abilities and meeting new enemies. The combat is both addictive and satisfying, even when you’ve finished the game you can pick a different character and conquer the challenge once again. So if you enjoy rogue-like games but fancy one with an RPG twist, then “Ys Origin” is most definitely worthy of a try.
+ Nice art style
+ Fun gameplay
+ Great replay value
– Poor story
– Samey areas
– Can’t pause during boss fights
Replay value: 5/5
Ys Origin’s story wasn’t for me, but it might be for you. Nonetheless, the addictive combat and boss battles will keep you entertained until the credits roll.
Title: Ys Origin
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Release date: 30/05/17
Difficulty: Medium to Hard
Spent time: 7 Hours
Average grade internationally: 74.54% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 12+
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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