Publisher: Falcom / Micomsoft Rated: Everyone Released Year: 1991
- SHARP X68000
The world of Ys is ruled by two Goddesses and guided by 6 priests. 700 years pass and they have all moved on, but monsters are plaguing the land. Enter Adol, a swordsman who is drawn into a prophecy that requires him to collect the books of the six priests and learn about the origins and history Ys, including the cataclysm which befell the land.
This version of the game keeps much of the essentials down, but a lot of little odds and ends seemed to be removed, making the exploration of towns and figuring out some of the characters to be a waste of time. Aside from getting equipment, there is hardly a reason to talk to anyone in the game.
You play the game (more or less) like the original; Go outside, try to survive long enough to earn cash, buy stuff, meet Sara to get the purpose of the game started.
Gameplay: 3 / 10
If you are familiar with the game mechanics of an Ys game, you should be able to make your way through, but you will find many areas of the game have been re-arranged and re-designed to the point where you will have no idea where you are going while countless monsters are busy trying to make a meal out of you. At least they left Darm Tower intact...
The stats. used for this game are absurd; You gain character strength in ridiculous leaps and bounds, but so do the enemies as you get closer to the end of the game. Monsters become so absurdly strong in Darm Tower that bosses are easier to engage, even Dark Fact at the end.
The hitscan for this version is far more stubborn than the normal game; only with disturbing off-center precision can you avoid taking damage when you collide into an enemy, and with the stats being both absurdly high and absurdly useless (The sword and weapon upgrades do next to nothing in Darm Tower) and enemies doing a minimal damage, you would probably be spending an absurd amount of time trying to recover your health than doing anything else. It also does not help that there are a considerable number of narrow corridors where trying to attack off-center is impossible.
Summary: The complications of the game's design makes this a ride through hell rather than something which you can enjoy playing. Masochists beware: This would be your kind of game.
Also: Mines are closed off until the game allows you can access them, in time for the 3rd book hunt.
Controls: 4 / 10
While directional control was not bad, I found it was an incredible pain to try and navigate the menus. Half the time, it was canceling on me, wrong stuff would be selected, etc. It just... Added to complications.
Music: 6 / 10
You should be able to recognize most of the tracks normally associated with the game. They appear to have added a couple unique tracks to some areas, but they all felt too different to really be considered part of the family.
Sound Effects: 4 / 10
Not much in the way of effects, at all. That is probably a good thing, in this case...
Graphics: 6 / 10
The graphics in this game were all over the place.
Overall, the tile and sprite work was alright. Nothing really outstanding, but there was noticeable art, so I will note it.
I found the portraits of NPCs to be scary as hell and very inconsistent with what we know as an established Ys design. While I appreciate the fine detail included in them, some of the people looked outright creepy, like they just graduated from clown college... or horror centre... Or both! Also, why did they use a portrait of Sarah when she was 'gone' after returning from obtaining the 1st Book of Ys...?
Interesting note: This game was among (if not the) first to use pre-rendered 3-D graphics in a 2-D environment. This does result in them 'really' standing out from the rest of the pixel art used in the game.
Unless you like seeing really creepy-looking portraits of NPCs, once should be good enough.