Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS Vita
- Publisher: XSEED Games
- Developer: Nihon Falcom, DotEmu
- Release Date: Apr 11, 2018
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Action RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://www.worldofys.com/yso/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Ys Origin is very different than the more modern version of the series many have played. Rather than taking control of Adol Christin—the Ys series main protagonist in nearly every title—players assume the role of either Hugo Fact or Yunica Tovah. There is a third player known as The Claw who is obtained after beating Ys Origin with each hero, so we’ll focus on just talking about the two main heroes from the start. Both characters—Hugo and Yunica—play quite differently in their quest up the Devil’s Tower but to understand that difference, let us first examine what you’ll be doing in Ys Origin. That means looking first at the base game overall.
The main gameplay focus of Ys Origin is to take your hero of choice and ascend the Devil’s Tower in search of the two goddesses—Reah and Feena—and to save them from danger. Players will do this by killing tons of baddies, solving puzzles, and finding items/artifacts to make their quest easier. As you reach the end of one floor, you’ll come across a boss in some form and must defeat them to ascend to the next level. Scattered throughout the tower are save points that can be teleported to via a Crystal item in your inventory. You’ll need to often switch areas and revisit locations once you find an item or tool that will help you progress through Ys Origin’s various trials. In many ways, Ys Origin could almost be compared to The Legend of Zelda in the sense that finding items will help you progress towards each challenge you may face.
Now, depending on who you choose to play as in Ys Origin, is where the game truly changes in style. Hugo Fact—for example—is a mage who shoots out energy projectiles and uses magic via his weapon orbs known as the Eyes of Fact. Meanwhile, Yunica Tovah, despite her dainty appearance, is an axe wielder who slams her enemies down with melee focused combat. Playing as either character means learning to adjust to their strengths and weaknesses. Essentially, if you decide to play as Hugo, you’ll have to be a ranged warrior while Yunica is all about hitting up close and personal. Both of their stories also differ in some ways here and there, which gives reason to replay Ys Origin multiple times just to see why they are in this evil tower in the first place.
The biggest problems with Ys Origin show up as you begin to put time into ascending this massive structure. Ys Origin doesn’t play like the newer games and that means a lot of the concepts and themes are geared for those who may have played Ys I or Ys II. There’s not a lot of equipment to gain, players will rarely ever see huge changes in the environment—this is a tower after all—and enemies usually can be killed off just spamming one button and nothing else. Ys Origin mitigates this with occasionally fun boss battles and mini bosses but expect a feeling of repetition to set in after the first several hours of play time. Though none of these issues are Ys Origin’s biggest problems; the biggest actual issue with Ys Origin comes in its dated designs.
In case you forgot, Ys Origin was originally released in 2006 and while it was ported several times to America, it wasn’t ever really updated or upgraded Graphics have been slightly upscaled for sharper sprite visuals and effects—plus gore options were added to give Ys Origin a more mature feeling—but the environments and cutscenes are just downright bad. We laughed when we saw the opening cutscene show the time date of 2006 meaning Ys Origin wasn’t really remade for modern systems just more so ported and upscaled. Even the music and sound effects—which are a staple of the Ys series and are still amazing to hear in Ys Origin—suffer with technical cut out moments and odd moments where sound stopped completely. We thought it was our consoles or TVs, but when tested, the same results would occasionally happen meaning it’s an issue with Ys Origin and not from our consoles here at Honey’s Anime.
However, let us end our gameplay section in a good way. Ys Origin plays well even in 2018. Bosses are fun as we said above and there’s a joy to constantly finding a new way to overcome a trial here and there. Equally, each hero plays so differently that replaying Ys Origin isn’t hard to do. You’ll have to replay Ys Origin 2 times technically, if you want The Crow but he’s more akin to Yunica just faster with his claw-based attacks. There are also other modes to try out in the form of Time Attack and Boss Rush which is always a fun add-on in a Ys game. Ys Origin might lack polish in some areas but this is classic Ys gameplay and Ys Origin does it incredibly well.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Old school RPG mechanics for classic Ys gameplay
- Solid sprite art and animation
- Gore filter adds an almost more mature rating to combat
- Impressive boss fights
- Three playable heroes with unique styles to use
- Graphics in terms of cutscenes and some areas are pretty poor
- Doesn’t play like the more modern Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana which might be a problem for some
- Repetitive environments and puzzles to solve
- A lot of dialogue which tends to be very ho hum