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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana review for PC, PS4, PS Vita


Platform: PC
Also On: PS4, PS Vita
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

Boy I’d hate to be Ys VIII, the game can’t catch a break. It’s original launch went really well except for gamers hating on the localization effort, and later had a patch to fix things up. Now on PC, it was released with 99 problems (and a localization ain’t one — don’t hurt me!).

But really I’m not kidding. Everything from random crashes to carryover graphics of the PlayStation 4 controller being shown on instruction screens, it was a mess. NiS America provided code early, but sadly for us the patches came later. Hell I couldn’t even run freely in all eight directions with a game pad! Well that was a while ago and this is now, so it’s lucky for the game that my lazy ass gets to see it during better days. Actually, we did consider waiting see how things played out with the developers hard at work releasing patches, but life got in the way and here we are a month or so later.

So how is it? Not perfect, but far from busted. In short, it’s the port we should’ve seen on release. Yeah there’s a hiccup here and there that you might run into, but in my experience there’s nothing game-breaking like their used to be. I mean sometimes it would crash just for fun after a cutscene, or during it! So for me it’s safe to say that performance has been sorted out and we can enjoy the game released.

And what a great game it is. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana scratches an itch that few games strive for these days: an RPG that’s fun to grind in! No, not like the grinding in clubs, but running free with your sword and friends just killing as you please.

Since this time Adol is washed up on a mysterious island, there’s a lot to explore and also a lot to build. I love the campgrounds that you slowly construct. It really feels like you’re building a community as people join, and there were times where I really didn’t care if we got off the island at all.

So without going any further into spoilers I’ll just say that it’s a satisfying RPG with a steady pace and great gameplay. There are also plenty of sidequests if you want to pursue them, but it’s optional. One thing I really like are the raids which will happen on your little castaway village. These happen throughout the game and you can choose to participate in defending everyone from a monster raid. They’re also good for friendly competition with Dogi, and if there’s one thing I think Ys VIII does really well it’s things like this that keep things from ever getting too serious.

It looks and runs great on PC. I didn’t get a chance to play Ys VIII on PS4 but if it looked half as good as the port then I’d be satisfied. Everything is bright and colorful, and ran at what felt like a steady 60fps. If I had experienced any frame drops, they didn’t stand out to me.

Gameplay was tight and responsive with an Xbox One controller. I feel that the game adapted well to the Xbox One gamepad since I wasn’t wishing I had a PS4 controller to play with, but you probably can’t go wrong with either.

As a PC port it was easy for Ys VIII to eventually be patched up into proper condition. While I wish they had released it in this state originally, time may heal the wounds of this game’s poor reputation at launch. I’m just glad it wasn’t abandoned by devs back then because now we can focus on reviewing the game itself. It’s definitely worth picking up, but if you’re unhappy then that’s what Steam refunds are for.

Grade: A-