Monday, 16 July 2018 11:54

REVIEW: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (Nintendo Switch)

Written by Kevin Lal

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA feels right at home on the Nintendo Switch.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA and its predecessors are, and have been created by Nihon Falcom, a Japanese Game Development Studio founded in 1981 bringing years of experience from titles across PC, Playstation, and now Nintendo. Coming together with Publisher NIS America, Inc. a name a lot of people may not recognise at first glance, but highly recognisable once you see their logo advertisement and previous published titles. These include Grand Kingdom, Republique, Birthdays the Beginning and many more over their history of its 14 years. They can offer a great partnership to the Ys series and have done, but they do go back further as this is a subsidiary of Nippon Ichi Software, Inc. Allowing the newer subsidiary to publish worldwide and make the relevant adjustments and ideas to bring it away from the Japanese market to appeal to all.

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You are Adol Christin, on a quest for adventure with your friend and sidekick Dogi. You begin the game staring out to the Gaete Sea as a passenger on the Lombardia. Dogi and yourself have arranged with the captain of the ship Barbaros in exchange for your travel to Eresia. You will be paid and fed but would be required to work on the ship. It does not take too long for this simple arrangement to go wrong when doing the rounds of patrol, seeing the people on board and what they have to say. You know something must go wrong and that it just feels to relaxed. With all the positivity on board something has to make this an adventure and you soon find out what that is. Left ashore on The Isle of Seiren you find yourself in a deserted island with beautiful landscapes and a huge adventure that now awaits...

The gameplay is fast and responsive, allowing for quick evasion and counter attacks. Making the fights seem enjoyable and tense but adding that flavour of a hero with moves to match along with skills available when you have earnt the required amount through attacks to action these. They can be assigned to four slots, picking and choosing what feels right for yourself and your gameplay style. You can party up with two other characters in the game, offering game changing experiences to the fights ahead.

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The game itself looks and feels great on the Nintendo Switch both in full screen and in handheld mode, making it feel at home on this platform. Though at times it has its problems with the graphics in the landscapes, but the character models themselves look clean and well presented with a soundtrack to match and integrate story line offering hours of gameplay and exploration. All the characters have voiced parts and the sound effects themselves are reminiscent of Japanese RPG’s of the past. The main quest is to leave the island, but as you discover over your time there is an in-depth story and plenty to discover as you progress. With more areas opening up to you when rescuing castaways that can help remove obstacles or point you in the right directions.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA in essence is a great game, with such a big and beautiful world to explore. It has all the makings of an RPG but just feels right at home on the Switch allowing for some quick gameplay on the move, or if you want to spend the time going in deeper there is the option too. It's a great port and with the Nintendo Switch now growing and applying the right titles I feel this under rated console will shine through.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PS Vita, PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Nihon Falcom
  • Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
  • Genre: Role-Playing, Action