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LTTP: YS8 Lacrimosa of Dana. More than the sum of its parts

Fbh

Gold Member


I always heard good things about this franchise, so when most Falcom games were on sale on GOG some months ago I decided to finally jump in and give it a chance. Ys8 was the newest one back then and seemed to rank highly in most random "best YS games" lists I found online, so that's the one I went with. And I'm glad I did because overall a had a blast with it.

I say "greater then the sum of its parts" because, honestly, if you take each part of the game on its own not much stands out. The story is rather generic and takes a while to get interesting, the visuals look dated and seem stuck somewhere between Ps2 and Ps3, the level design is pretty good but annoyingly split into small-ish "areas", etc. The only thing that stands out as really great even when comparing it to other higher budgets games is the combat, which feels fast and responsive, has nice hit detection, a nice sense of impact and sprinkles you with new skills through the entire game, which is nice. The music is also pretty good, not quite top tier, and it can feel a bit uneven at times, but still really good and I was surprised by how many tracks it has, almost every area no matter how small seems to have a unique track. Was a nice contrast to DQ11 which I played not long ago and basically uses the same 3-4 songs for 90% of the game (still loved the game though).

But when you combine it all, it comes together into this really fun game that's just a blast to play.
Alongside the combat, the best thing about YS8 is how nicely it flows, it sounds simple but it makes a big difference. I'm so tired of JRPG's with horrible pacing and lots of bloat, but this one felt different. It introduces new areas, enemies, skills and bosses at a steady pace that keeps things fun and varied all the way through.
-You are never stuck in any area for too long, there aren't giant locations just for the sake of size. They do instead feel just about right to be fun to explore without outstaying their welcome. And each new location usually introduces new enemies, new music, 2 or more bosses and occasionally new traversal mechanics. There's also not an over abundance of backtracking and there's a nice fast travel system with instant load times (at least on an SSD).
- You get levels and skills at a nice steady pace, I played on hard and just playing through the game normally and doing sidequests I never felt the need to grind
- And talking about sidequests, I love how it doesn't go overboard with them. When I saw the usual notice board appear in the village I was expecting to find 800 different fetch quests but instead they just appear in batches of 2 or 3 every now and then during various points in the story. Some of them are a bit on the fetch quest side but they usually don't take too long, have fun character moments and usually have nice rewards. And since there aren't a million of them I actually enjoyed doing them all.
- Same with crafting. If you don't rush through areas and take the time to fully explore them and pick up the resources you find, then you never really need to go farm for materials and can usually keep your party well upgraded and equipped (aside from some optional late game gear). It rewards exploration without devolving into tedium.
-The story can be a bit slow, and it definitely takes a while to introduce the central plot line (takes like 10 hours for Dana to even show up). But since the gameplay and exploration is really the focus of the game, I don't think it affects the overall experience too much.

Took me 48 hours to beat doing all the sidequests, which is pretty much the ideal JRPG length IMO.


Also the boss theme is hype as fuck:
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Ys 8 is an awesome game. Glad you enjoyed it OP.

Laxia best girl
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
Try Ys IX next, music, gameplay and story are much better. Though locations are less diverse and graphics are worse.
 

Whitecrow

Gold Member
I will never forget the song that fucked my inner ear.

Was listening to Sunshine Coastline (which is one of the best tracks of any game) with headphones at very high volume.

Now I'm paying the price : )

Awesome game, one of the very few I 100%'d. Story is incredible.
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
I will never forget the song that fucked my inner ear.

Was listening to Sunshine Coastline (which is one of the best tracks of any game) with headphones at very high volume.

Now I'm paying the price : )

Awesome game, one of the very few I 100%'d. Story is incredible.
My favourite song in Ys VIII is Gens d'armes.

 

Fbh

Gold Member
Try Ys IX next, music, gameplay and story are much better. Though locations are less diverse and graphics are worse.

Yeah I'll definitely get IX in the future. Already thought the gameplay in this one was fantastic so if 9 is even better that's great.

Good now go play "The Oath in Felghana" so the "3 party system" haters don't have a meltdown.

Yeah I also plan to play it at some point. When deciding which one to buy I was between VIII and Felghana, as everywhere I looked online these 2 seemed to consistently get mentioned as 2 of the best.

Ultimately went with VIII because it's newer and I liked the visual style more. But I want to play Felghana eventually.
 

Markio128

Member
I keep meaning to pick this up because it looks fun. I‘m currently playing through NI No Kuni 2 for the 2nd time, on hard - it plays noticeably smoother on the PS5, which is a bonus.
 

Sentenza

Member
Incidentally I also played this game this week.
"More than the sum of its parts" summarizes it quite well, because if I had to analyze the game on every single element I'd be writing down a list of nitpicking that wouldn't quit for days (starting with how absolutely cliché a lot of the characters are. It should be enough to say that I jokingly nailed who was the "serial killer" before even having a confirmation that there was actually one) and STILL I had an absolute blast playing through most of the game and I'm now waiting for the IX to come on Steam this summer.

Also, after completing the game I decided to download the demo of Ys IX on my PS4 pro, only to learn that: 1) the demo is a travesty with a time limit of ten minutes to explore two different areas. A terrible fit for this type of game 2) the Playstation Store is still utter garbage. Clumsy to navigate, slow, unresponsive and prone to hang/not load things. And I was on an optic fiber 1 Gb/s connection.
 
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Best output from Falcon in recent years, the game is just wholesome. Although I really wish they could have used some PS3 technologies than PS2's. /s
 

bender

What time is it?
I wish I liked Ys more. I put 15 hours into VIII before I noped out. It just never clicked with me.
 

Fbh

Gold Member
The graphics upgrade on PC is worth the replay



That reshade definitely looks nice.
I played for like 20 hours before I even realized there was an official HD textures pack lol, it definitely made the game looks nicer though not by much.

The nice thing about the low end presentation is that it ran extremely well even on my laptop. The game feels very snappy, everything from menus, to saving and loading is instant. It was nice being able to fast travel anywhere I wanted with maybe a second of loading.
 

ssringo

Member
In a year of massive releases, Ys 8 was my GotY runner up. The gameplay loop was ridiculously engaging and fun. I think I did 3 100% playthroughs due to how fun it was.

I also hold grudges so NISA is still on my shitlist for their "efforts" on the release.
 
In a year of massive releases, Ys 8 was my GotY runner up. The gameplay loop was ridiculously engaging and fun. I think I did 3 100% playthroughs due to how fun it was.

I also hold grudges so NISA is still on my shitlist for their "efforts" on the release.
NISA has since changed their ways a LOT, especially when the brought over the localization team that was at XSEED to help with Falcom stuff starting with Trails Of Cold Steel 3, since their awesome work was what catapulted Falcom games to their current popularity.

I haven't played much of Ys IX since i'm still going through Cold Steel 4 but considering ToCSIV absurd amount of text there were very little amount of translation errors (mostly typos) so it's safe to say there will be No more translation shitshows like the original release of Ys VIII.
 
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drganon

Member
Ys 8 and ys in general is awesome. I beat 8 last year and memories of celceta a month ago or so. I'm planning on getting 9 once I clear out some of my backlog. Tokyo xanadu is a fun game as well if you're looking for more action rpg fun from falcom.
 
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