Completed the game and rolled credits on Wednesday. My general thoughts on the game are positive. The moment to moment gameplay is still solid and while the story isn't as strong as Dana was, it was good enough to keep me moving forward. I felt like the Grimwald Nox fit in better here than the Rampages in Dana did. It always felt a little odd in Dana for these monsters going berserk waiting several days for you trek back across the island to arrive and repel them. Dana had the better cast of characters, but other than Hawk none of the characters are bad. I was interested in learning more about the city and everyone who lived there, as well as your direct party members. It definitely feels a bit like "Oh dang, Dana was really successful, we need another Ys game. Just reuse everything and slap a new story and characters on top," though. I am looking forward to seeing where Ys X goes.
Exploring the city with all the mobility tools you get felt good, and was more fun than the Island of Seiren. Seiren zones were a little too big and empty and most of the early areas were all samey, and just became areas you ran through as quickly as possible. The outside zones around Balduq also had that same empty, boring feel to them though, just empty grasslands with one or two landmarks to note.
Overall story impressions and spoilers:
I am disappointed it seems like Zola survives in the end and everyone is just "Oh, that's okay. You have committed 500 years of crimes, but we forgive you." He should face some kind of punishment or justice for his actions. I will say that everyone just being a homunculus kind of removed a lot of the weight from the story, since no one can really die. It also made the "duplicate Adol" mystery end pretty uninterestingly.
It was neat seeing bosses from old games make an appearance in this game with a new coat of paint. Having only played Celceta, Dana, and Origins, I probably missed a lot of references (especially since I only vaguely remember Celceta). Does mean Zola works really fast though, he made all those monsters based on Adol's memory in just a few days (or months? They don't give us firm time length of how long this game takes). Although, the centipede is from Origins which is thousands of years before Adol was born, so no idea where the memory for that boss came from.
Yes, they do a great job of tying everything together nicely. It all just fits into place to make a smooth experience. That loop you mentioned was also really nice for me, since I could sit down for an hour or two and knock out a part of it before stopping to take care of something else and feel like I accomplished something.
So I just finished up Ys IX today and as my first Ys game ever, I'm very impressed. I thought that I'd hit a grindy wall at the first
"Full Moon Grimwald Nox"
battle, but then I discovered that I had completely overlooked the Boost mechanic. I was just ignoring that gauge and not using it at all. Oh, and I missed the tutorial about upgrading your "pillar thingy" (can't remember its name). Once I did those things, the difficulty dropped significantly. To be fair, I'm a self-inflicted victim of the "too many tutorials causes me to dismiss tutorials then I miss an important tutorial syndrome."
Congrats kstress! And, sorry for the delay. I'll get you leveled up tomorrow.
Thanks! I'm so glad to have been turned on to this game series.
For anyone wanting more Ys, Ys VIII is on super sale right now on Green Man Gaming and Fanatical for $12, which is by far the lowest price yet.
With March about half done, I think I'm going to pivot from Tales back to Ys IX, so I can see if I can finish it by the end of our play period. Wish me luck!
You can do it!
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