PS4 Review: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

How does the latest in the Ys series hold up?

The Ys series had passed me by so far, I was actually unaware of it until just before the release of Lacrimosa of Dana…but as a long-time fan of RPGs, I was more than willing to give it a shot and to see if it could compete with the big time franchises. What would I discover?

The story focuses on Adol who awakens shipwrecked and stranded on a cursed island. There, he and the other shipwrecked passengers he rescues form a village to challenge fearsome beasts and mysterious ruins on the isolated island. As a story, it does more than enough to get you involved and from what I’m hearing, is a vast improvement over the past entries.

Combat is fluid and responsive, while the typical RPG moments are here as you would expect. Fishing, cooking, crafting and exploring all work well throughout the game and it definitely has a retro feel to it in terms of a RPG…even if the combat isn’t turn-based, it still feels old-school, but in a good way.

Having said that, Lacrimosa of Dana abandons the more traditional setting for a smaller world and characters and it pays off in the long run. The game will take at least 40 hours to finish and even then, chances are probably more if you are a completionist after every trophy.

Visually, Ys VIII isn’t going to win any awards…but it’s still a nice looking game and manages to maintain a solid framerate throughout. The voice-acting is a mixed bag as you would expect from most JRPG’s, but the soundtrack is impressive overall.

The Verdict

Ys VIII is my first entry into the series and it’s making me consider picking up the rest. The story, combat, and characters enticed me from beginning to end. I wouldn’t mind an HD compilation so I can, but for now, this is a worthy JRPG and a must-have for any fan.

Score: 9.0