INTRODUCTION / OPENING PARAGRAPH
Games like Ys are the games that create new genres entirely. From Nihon Falcom, Ys started as their first title in 1987 and since then has continued to grow as a franchise. Spawning new games and remakes that continue today it has become the quintessential example of a great action JRPG. Yet one has to wonder this, are their titles that are similar to Ys out there in the world of games? We at Honey’s Anime are glad you asked, we ourselves ventured to nameless hidden islands and took to the sky to find 6 games like Ys.
Our list takes us to various gaming worlds. From the Japanese like settings, a world where a young elf boy must become a hero to time, and to worlds that literally are born as you walk. We have tried to find games that not only are similar to Ys but also breathe interesting ideas into the genre of action JRPGs. We at Honey’s Anime have also ensured to find various consoles so most of you can find something you like on various gaming consoles. Ys has had a long life span that still continues even today, quite literally a new Ys game is set to launch sometime in 2017. The main hero Adol of Ys will continue to grow as a legend but let’s see if our list can find other legendary heroes and give them a moment in the sun. Without further delay, let us go on the quest of finding some games like Ys.
Similar Games to Ys
- System/Platform: Nintendo DS
- Publisher: Capcom, CE Europe Ltd.
- Developer: Capcom, Mobile & Game Studio, Inc
- Release Date: Sept 30, 2010
Taking place several months after the title Okami, our story focuses on a new protagonist, the son of Amaterasu named Chibiterasu. Our young god has been summoned by Sakuya more so by accident as Sakuya had hoped to summon the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. However, like Amaterasu, Chibiterasu has the power of the Celestial Brush. While Chibiterasu’s brush may lack the same power as his parent, it’s still capable of allowing the world to be shaped with every artistic stroke he makes. Alongside a young child by the name of Kuni, they will set forth to stop a great new evil that plagues the land. While both warriors are young by nature, they will soon prove they have the means of becoming legends themselves.
Okami was a title known for having some amazing gameplay thanks to an innovative concept of using a giant in game brush to attack foes or create various items for use. This same formula is once again revived in the sequel for the Nintendo DS but now with ability to use the Stylus of the DS in lieu of the controllers that were used in Okami. Innovation is the ideal shared by Ys and Okamiden and that’s the beauty of both of these titles, players will enjoy a title that goes against the typical formula of most action JRPG titles. If you love beautiful animation and fun gameplay, we highly recommend Okamiden.
Okamiden: Official Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)
2. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
- System/Platform: PSP, PS Vita, PS3, PC
- Publisher: Nihon Falcom, Marvelous US, Ghostlight
- Developer: Nihon Falcom, MiCROViSion Inc., GMF
- Release Date: Jun 24, 2004
Two young protagonists are about to go on a journey that will change their lives forever. Estelle Bright, the daughter to a legendary Bracer named Cassius, and Joshua Bright a young man taken in by Cassius when he was a child, will face becoming Bracers themselves leading them to their destined journey. Given a mission to explore an ancient area alongside a researcher, Estelle and Joshua begin to see a dark plot being formed. Both Estelle and Joshua will soon stumble in on a mission that may even be too big for these two young Bracers, but from the support of friends and others who wish to assists they may just be able to survive. The tale of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky starts now.
From the same developer as Ys, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky shares a lot of similarities with Ys but does things slightly different. While still a JRPG, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky focuses more on traditional turn based combat but with cool twists. Players will gain some freedom to maneuver around on small arenas during battle to gain tactical advantages over enemies. Also similar to Ys, players will love the vast amount of lore and storytelling that is offered in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. If you enjoy a traditional JRPG that boasts amazing characters, strong graphics and a deep rich story similar to Ys, you will come to fully appreciate The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Every adventure starts off with big dreams, and like Adol both Estelle and Joshua will face the gravity of what it means to become heroes.
- System/Platform: Android, iOS, PSP, Nintendo DS, Zeebo, PC
- Publisher: Gamevil
- Developer: Gamevil
- Release Date: Aug 28, 2008
Zenonia focuses on a young man named Regret. Having no memory of his path, Regret is adopted by a man named Pardon for unknown reasons. One day Pardon is killed by a powerful demon forcing Regret to go forth in search of what killed his adopted father. Along the way Regret will face against evils all while discovering his past. Regret will learn what Pardon was hiding from him and the reasons why. As Regret gets further into his tale he will be given choices to determine his fate. Will he side with the forces of good or allow his heart and soul to venture towards the dark? Let the tale of Zenonia start here.
Typically there are a lot of action JRPGs on mobile phones but few have had the success of Zenonia. While it started as a small title that can be downloaded to most cell phones, it soon branched out to other handheld devices like PSP and Nintendo DS. Going with it was Zenonia’s fun action adventure gameplay similar to the Ys mechanics. While there are sequels to Zenonia, the original still holds as the best of them and is worthy of being on this list we believe. Multiple endings, loads of character customization in terms of armor plus weapons and plenty of hack and slash gameplay makes Zenonia a great title to take with you and go.
Zenonia DS Trailer (Official Trailer)
Any Games Like Ys?
- System/Platform: PlayStation, PSP
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment, Working Designs, Psygnosis
- Developer: Matrix Software
- Release Date: Apr 11, 1997
In the Elf clan, there exists a young man named Alundra. Being one of the Dreamwalkers, he continues to have dreams that show someone referring Alundra as a Releaser. Apparently Alundra is the only one capable of saving a village from an evil force called Melzas and thus decides to set off on a journey to do just that. However, while on a ship heading to his destination the ship is caught in a violent storm and Alundra finds himself on a strange island. Saved by a man named Jess, Alundra is then tasked with using his Dreamwalkers power to save Jess’s village from having constant nightmares that lead to death for some. Alundra’s powers will be tested as he ventures into the nightmares that can kill those who fall victim to the creatures and evil that exist within them.
We at Honey’s Anime hate nightmares, so we give credit to Alundra for entering them and facing enemies like it’s no big deal. In all seriousness though, Alundra released in 1997 by now closed Working Designs but was an amazing game featuring action that took place in strange dream like worlds within various characters from the town. Players use very simple gameplay mechanics but that system allows players of all skill levels to find fun in Alundra’s combat. Similar to the original Ys titles, Alundra is all about using simple sprites and graphics, while newer age players may have issues with that, those who enjoy classic titles will find Alundra’s style to their tastes. Alundra is a good example of a simple set up boasting just enough depth to be fun and enjoyable, if you’re someone who caters to the classics we really recommend Alundra.
- System/Platform: PC, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, iOS
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Developer: Supergiant Games
- Release Date: Jul 20, 2011
Bastion takes place in a fantasy world where an event called the Calamity befell the world. The city of Caelondia as well as various villages all around have found their homes and lives nearly destroyed as they have literally separated into floating islands. The Kid, our main character, awakens hearing a narrator explain how he is on a random piece of the world. The Kid will find his journey leading to a placed called The Bastion, where humanity will have a chance to find salvation and survival. Upon arriving there he learns of various powers that can allow the world to be rebuilt into its former state. However, The Kid will find his path isn’t easy as evil like beings exist from the Calamity, he will have to rely on his smarts…as well as his large hammer and gun to survive.
Supergiant, creators of Bastion should be commended on making a title that has been released on so many different platforms since its launch. Ys in many ways found a similar success over its lifespan which is why Bastion can be compared to it on a level of accolade. Besides success however, Bastion shares many of the elements of Ys in terms of going on a large scale quest using various attacks and facing bosses that aren’t all the same size as The Kid. Bastion’s cartoon like aesthetic and the story being told by an unseen voice really adds an almost fairytale like means of narrative which we found appealing. If you want an exciting game with a very different design than most action adventure titles, let us at Honey’s Anime give you our push to play Bastion.
Bastion- Official Trailer (Official Trailer)
6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- System/Platform: Super Nintendo, Wii, Gameboy Advance
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release Date: Nov 21, 1991
Needing very little introduction, we end our recommendation list with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A young man named Link is awoken by a voice heard only by him from the Princess named Zelda. The princess begs Link to save her from her imprisonment leaving Link to go against his Uncle’s request to stay home. At the castle, Link finds his Uncle dying from severe wounds. Link’s Uncle give him his sword and shield and asks Link to save Zelda. Armed with his Uncle’s dying wish and his armament, Link’s quest starts as he enters the castle to save Zelda from the evil forces that have kidnapped her.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has been Nintendo’s biggest franchise since the release of the first Zelda title. Players will control the mute Link as they fight against very forces of evil across the land of Hyrule. As the player progresses he will gain new equipment and skills to face large bosses and eventually face the leader of the evil forces Ganon. Ys was always about a brave young mute Adol being entrusted great goals such as saving a kingdom or a specific person so we feel both Adol and Link are truly connected in that regard. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has become a classic title and everyone at least once should partake in one of the best examples of an adventure RPG at its finest. Seriously though, we wonder what would happen if Adol and Link met…probably be a very silent introduction.
Wii U Virtual Console- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Official Trailer)
Our adventure finally ends here. With our list we have indeed went off to some interesting, dangerous and till whimsical places allowing players a wide berth of choice in finding a game that fits their needs. The world of action JRPGs is as vast as the settings we explored so we know it’s possible we missed a great title somewhere on the journey. Let us know down below what we at Honey’s Anime may have missed in some great titles like Ys. As always stick close by to Honey’s Anime for more great recommendation lists like this.