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Javier Reviews – YS VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

 

I’m a newbie to the YS series and until playng Digimon Cybersleuth recently i hadn’t spent much time recently with jrpgs. It’s very different to digimon however and the only similarities are the anime style.  I did some research and discovered that the series is based around Adol who’s simply an adventurer, and each game has it’s own narrative. So there won’t be any massive plot points that leave you clueless if you’ve never played the games before.

Story

The game opens with a prologue on a ship, you’re working as a deck hand/sailor and are asked to keep an eye out for any trouble during a big party by the captain, he also informs you of a mysterious island nearby where ships are always lost and no one has ever returned from. You can run around the ship talking to various NPCs and it’s hinted these conversations can open side quests etc. Your final chat is with the captain, talking to him activates a cut-scene which leads to fighting giant sea tentacles, it wrecks the ship and you’re washed ashore upon the mysterious island.

From here you start to make your way around the island and you discover there are other castaways from the ship, the first two you encounter join you in your exploration and spend the rest of the game fighting with you (you can switch between all 3). After this you meet more characters, starting with the captain, who set up base in the middle of the island. The story after this is essentially find other survivors, build up your village in the middle and fend off monsters. There are also side quests supplied by the notice board, most of which revolve around collecting items to upgrade equipment or parts of the village.

You also have dreams about a girl who’s raised by beings with magical powers….

The story is fine and gives you enough reason to want to run around the island collecting items and killing monsters.

Graphics

Overall the graphics aren’t fantastic, I generally feel some Japanese games can be lazy. It’s fine as this is a game which is more about it’s gameplay but there’s definitely nothing to write home about here. It’s a fun cartoony style which does work for what it is and there aren’t any massive glitches but the characters faces barely move and they definitely cut corners where they can.  

Gameplay/Movement

The gameplay and combat is where the game really shines. Running around the island to various areas is what you’ll for the majority of the game. You can switch between your 3 characters who you switch between pressing square,  you need to switch as some enemies are pretty much unharmed by certain characters. The combat reminds me of dynasty warriors where it’s kind of open world button mashing with special moves throw in,  you can block/parry also.

I really enjoyed the combat, although it’s not complex I was never bored.  There’s the usual equipment changes for your characters where armour / accessories modify your attributes,  although these don’t change your appearance (only costumes do). As well as running around finding items, defeating enemies and bosses and finding castaways you also need to defend the village in a wave mode which adds an element,  it’s optional but it’s best to go back and defend.I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this game. When I started it I wasn’t sure if it was my cup of tea but now I think it’s definitely a game I’ll at least finish the main story for. Although it’s nothing special it’s really easy fun and unlike most open world games you can just chuck it on for a few hours.  

It’s a casual jrpg with thoroughly enjoyable open world combat.

7.5/10

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