Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

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Maryokutai
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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Maryokutai » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:41 pm

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Probably (not) totally worth making a thread for this one. Played through the first chapter of Y's VIII yesterday. It's only been the tutorial so far, more or less, but I can see why people enjoy it so much. Traversal is quick and dynamic with fast run speeds and a jump button and combat is particularly satisfying in ways action JRPGs rarely manage to pull off. The fact that they not only tried to copy Bayonetta's witch time but actually succeeded in making it a responsive feature is really impressive. Add to that an easy to understand web of mechanics with different weaknesses which can only be exploited by one character of your team (and a free switch system as well) and it simply feels good to play. Characters are rather stereotypical so far but the whole narrative of being stranded on an island and fighting for survival Lost-style feels fresh for a JRPG.

I feel like I need to mention the Switch port though because it's hilariously bad. I haven't seen so much aliasing since Final Fantasy XII on PS2 and Y's doesn't even look better than that game. Framerate isn't as choppy as expected but the fact they couldn't push for more than 30fps with those graphics is ridiculous. The world is also divided into small interconnected areas like Monster Hunter or FFXII which I feel wouldn't have been necessary on a platform like this. On the plus side all of those things don't feel as bad when playing in handheld mode which I might consider using the majority of the time for this game.
Last edited by Maryokutai on Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Blakey
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Re: Y's VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Blakey » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:21 pm

I started this earlier and haven’t exactly loved it, it’s decent enough with the combat being the standout, it definitely has promise and I want to dive further in but the presentation is just godawful all over the shop.

The menus, graphics, presentation, stilted animation, everything about it just looks like a PS2 game, I actually laughed quite a bit the first time I saw a wolf and they jerked awkwardly across the floor :lol:. All the aliasing buzzing about when you walk anywhere and the horrendous menus don’t help matters either.

The translation and voice work isn’t fantastic either but the latter I haven’t thought as bad as I originally thought it would be, it is sufficient and does the job but nothing more, there are the occasional bad delivery of lines and things like that bad nothing too egregious.

The combat is fantastic, maybe not quite as much strategy to it and more button mashy at this early stage but it’s so damn fun and very DMC/Bayonetta than typical JRPG.

It’s just a shame that the environs are so stilted otherwise they’d be beautiful, the island is a unique setting but there’s something about the way the game looks and runs that can’t help but turn me off it.

Still very early days though, once I acclimatise to the graphics I’m sure I’ll be fine if the game is good enough, playing handheld it won’t be as noticeable either.
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Maryokutai
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Re: Y's VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Maryokutai » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:50 pm

Yeah it's kind of hard to swallow, part of me thinks I should have gone with the PS4 version but I hate playing on that system so much it's probably a lose-lose situation anyway. You do get used to it though at some point (I'm about 5 hours in) but it's a bit of a shame it doesn't really make you stop and look at the world a bit.

It actually is kind of a PS2 game btw. The original came out on Vita and I think Vita is only slightly more powerful than PS2 was.

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Re: Y's VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Blakey » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:56 pm

Well that explains it, I’ve no idea how it compares to the PS4 version to be honest.

I cannot understand how anyone could dislike going on their PS4 that much though I have to say.
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Re: Y's VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Maryokutai » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:57 am

It's crisp and clean on PS4 at 1080p and 60fps per second. It probably has the same running animations for wolves though. :P

I've played it for another hour or so in handheld mode in bed yesterday. It certainly feels more suited for the small screen because you barely notice the aliasing at all.
It's a weird game though, the systems in place and the way it plays and even the characters are all pretty good but the technical aspects and the very low-budget nature of everything really drags it down. I'm willing to look past that stuff but can't help to think about how good this would have been with a lot more polish and a bit more time and money thrown into its development.

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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Maryokutai » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:39 pm

Got the fourth party member today who mixes up the battle system quite nicely. It's some total edgelord who uses a rifle – he can't snipe enemies from across the map but still has a bit more range than the rest of your team so you can approach certain enemies while staying out of their reach. Also has a nice set of skills that feel a lot more fun to use than some of the other character's.

I'm really warming up to the game. Today I left the coastal areas for a trip through a canyon and some caves and it felt really fresh. Lots of enemies were weak to piercing damage (probably to show off the new guy's arsenal) and the bosses were cool as well. The game might be hilariously ugly from a technical standpoint but it at least tried to show off some unique vistas on that island.

Not too fond of the raid missions that regularly pop up however. They do allow you to level up really quickly but they break the pace of your adventure because you need to fast travel back to the camp every time. They don't seem to activate that frequently though so I suppose it's not that bad.

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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Blakey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:38 pm

I played 4 hours of this yesterday and it has definitely grown on me quite a bit now I have to say.

The issues I had with the graphics have predictably gone away as I’ve acclimatised to it already.

Its just great exploring in this game, it feels rather unique in a JRPG that you don’t have some villain or some plot line introduced at the start of the game, instead in this your only objective so far is pretty much ‘explore the island’ and there’s just something cool about that.

The island has a character in itself, there’s piratey vibes and Swiss Family Robinson kind of vibes to it a as it is a deserted tropical island but it’s just such a cool, relaxed place to explore. Really jolly and filled with wonder, always piqueing your curiosity. The metroidvania elements I really didn’t expect either, you pick up items that enable you to climb vines and things like that that enable you to go back to previous areas and collect previously inaccessible treasure, it’s nothing new but it keeps the environment engaging

The way the areas are laid out and the way the game rewards you for properly exploring areas is do compelling as well. When you look at your map and see one area you visited only has 85% completion you want to go back and explore some more to find out what you missed in a Ubisoft kind of way. I love that kind of stuff in games.

It introduced a new element towards the end of my session which I wasn’t wholly keen on though and that was the Raids. It’s just horde mode basically, I’ve only had to do it once and I believe it is optional going forward. It does make sense in the context of the game as you have a village with other people so it makes sense it may need defending going forward but it just felt a little crammed in and unneeded to me really.

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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by maf-me-quick » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:33 pm

Turn off those lamps at night they will see you!
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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Blakey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:40 pm

Sea of Thieves references melt my little heart ❤️
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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Maryokutai » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:35 am

Arrived at the northern half of the island yesterday.

There's a bit of mystery going on now and there's definitely a bigger picture appearing than just a few people being stranded on an island. So far it feels quite a bit like Lost if Lost was even remotely good. Definitely enjoying it.

That said the area I'm currently in is Aliasing Paradise and makes me wish I was playing it on PS4. I might go through this in handheld mode because it's really not pretty on a TV right now. Generally speaking it's definitely a bit of a shame this didn't get a higher budget. Without loading times, better cutscenes (or generally a better cinematography), more polished controls, more frequent voice acting etc. this would have been phenomal. Right now it's 'just' a very good game with ambitions heavily limited by its budget.

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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Blakey » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:16 pm

I’ve put a whole lot more time into this since my last post, now up to about 16 hours in.

I do like it an awful lot, a lot of the characters are cool - albeit rather one note - and I like the jolly little side quests that actually do something meaningful for morale and enable you to put a new piece of equipment or something into your home base (Castaway Village). I did a side quest for this character Sahad involving a Wish Tree, I wasn't expecting much but this whole 5 minute cutscene played out where the entire village community made wishes on shells and put them on the tree hoping to come true, it was just so jolly and lovely, it is great to know and feel that side quests have a tangible impact on your community and its happiness.

I was getting a little tired of the gameplay loop a bit by the end of the second chapter though, I just thought things had got a tiny bit too predictable. You'd do a side quest or two, do some exploring in a new area, pick up chests/collectibles, then run out of quests (the side quests are petered out in threes it seems) and return to the main quest for it to lead you into a dungeon and up against a boss or two, at some point you'd get called back to the village for a raid and the whole thing just felt like you could see the puppet master behind the strings conducting a little too much and it broke the immersion a little at times and got a little too repetitive.

Thankfully at the beginning of the third chapter things go fucking crazy with the overall plot and since then things have changed up quite a bit and the story has pulled me in that much more. The combat is still fantastic, but there has definitely been a step up in difficulty, I've been having to use health/revive items for the last few hours where I didn't use any in the first 10 or so hours of the game, one boss last night I had to retry about 5 times to be able to get through without using all my medical supplies up.

The party banter has been pretty cool and I definitely feel like I'm getting to know the first two party members you meet very well at this stage and all their nuances, characters and what other party members do that can push their buttons. I will say though that the third you pick up has been very disappointing, he's someone that barely says anything and is hard to like really, I'm hoping his story picks up soon, the fourth seems great though so far but I've only just met her in the game relatively recently so we'll see.

So yeah I'm liking it a lot without being particularly blown away, it definitely has potential to be great though if the story lives up to its potential, not sure how far in I am.

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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Maryokutai » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:44 pm

They're definitely saving something for Hummel later on but so far he's the most fun to play for me so that's good enough at the moment.

I'm also glad to finally get a replacement for Sahad in combat because as likeable as his personality is, I really don't enjoy using him. For a supposedly slow heavy hitter his attacks feel unsatisfying to land.

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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Blakey » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:57 pm

God I hope so, Hummel’s been such a wet blanket so far.

I’ve actually only used Sahad and Laxia until recently, even though I had Hummel in the party for awhile I never gave him a go for some reason, I think because he would replace Laxia and Laxia is Waifu no. 1.

I gave Ricotta a go though and she is a blast so I’ve started using her instead of Sahad.
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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Blakey » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:23 am

Reached Chapter 5 earlier, probably around 28 hours into it now.

I'm really enjoying it, it has actually managed to take a step up in some regards, the plot has got a lot more intriguing and mysterious as it has gone on and has woven in some cool gameplay elements that let you play around with time into these which effects some puzzles, dungeons and collectibles you can get.

It's just so different which is what I like, I mean I guess it is a tad similar to Titanfall 2 but the two games are so different that even though the basic concept is the same it is still executed rather differently and the ramifications on the plot are rather different and more mysterious in Ys' case.

The Northern side of the island is so cool, different and contrasting to the surreal beachy vibes of the Southern side as well, I just love exploring the ruins and new areas the North has to offer and being like 'what the **** went on here?' it is just innately cool and has such a foreboding mystery to it that you want to dive into and just find out more.

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Re: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Post by Maryokutai » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:29 am

You might be further along than I but I really don't see any Titanfall in this. If anything some stuff reminded me a bit of Metroid Prime 2 despite that game building its puzzles around different dimensions instead. Not going into big spoiler territory here though so let's leave it at that.

Also you totally need to spend some elixir to increase your SP bar!

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