Ys Origin is a JRPG released previously in 2006 by Nihon Falcom and published by XSEED. Ys Origin is the newest in the Ys series; a series dating as far back as the 80s. Ys Origin is the newest in the series, focusing closer to semi classic dungeon running while also a mix of graphical styles and frantic gameplay.
Ys Origin takes place in a partly apocalyptic world with much of the land made uninhabitable by gases and demons. The story follows three adventures tasked with scaling the Darm Tower, a bastion for humanity infested with demons. All three characters have their own reasons for scaling the tower; this reflects in much of the gameplay, while it takes place in the same zones, different parts of the story will be revealed as well as different fights possible. Ys Origin feels somewhat like the normal JRPG stereotype with much of the story being overwhelming early on, while it evens out towards the end, making it a little difficult to pick up but harder to put down once you’ve sunken a few hours into it.
Ys Origin focuses on a quick, frantic, frenzy like gameplay style of dungeon running (it’s set in a tower, I know but it’s the same principle). The core gameplay is from an isometric perspective, with areas separate by doors. Each area is lined with foes for you chosen hero to bash and zap to death in a number of ways, through the games combat system. The combat works with a basic pool of a attacks that the player can uses, with a side of special power attacks and a rage metre for puzzles and fighting. The tower holds many puzzles and platforms that the players need to solve to progress, which normally only add to the game, however many of the puzzles force certain abilities to be found normally require slight back tracking. This issue wouldn’t normally be a problem but due to respawning monsters a missed turn becomes greatly more frustrating.
Ys also knows how to keep its players hooked, as the game features a rather time based combat system; in short the many pickups are used instantly and stack activation, meaning the quicker you are the more damage, speed, xp power ups you will have going at one time. This sneaky design makes Ys vastly more addictive, making you rush through areas and burn through fights to level up faster, sadly however this only goes make my main issue with the game so much worse.
Origins combat works well to a great extent, while also melding many of its gameplay elements like platforming together for bosses, however one issues sticks out more than any other is the lack of an auto attack. Hugo one of the heroes, attacks by shooting in the fashion of a twin stick shooter, the problem is caused by the necessity to keep pressing the button to be successful. This annoyance while seemingly small really stuck out as a poor design choice, but is emphasized the most on Hugo.
Ys has an odd graphical style, partly attributed to the year of its original release as well as it’s predecessors. Ys blends 3D shaded sprites in a 3D world giving the game to say the least a strange look, by modern standards this makes the game look aged, with many of the textures looking rough and the character models lacking a fine finish. The game does however use many of the 3D models for fights on occasions to give a better depth to many of the bosses, and also aid in letting the players jump on top of the boss for platforming sections.
Much of the games story is also told through text boxes, which by no means adds to the game. They do their job but voice acting is vacant from the game. The game does bolsters some great, and yet slight nostalgic music. Much of the music is well made and enjoys, on occasions repetitive but feels like a nice call back to older titles.
Puzzles, platforming, and fighting, sometimes separate and others mixed together, all with a few sneaky tricks to keep the game frantic and very entertaining. The games combat is fun and enjoyable to play with many of the boss fights really being a highlight in terms of fun and challenge. The game does come with its fair few irritations through silly design faults, but this can be overlooked with the occasional break and solid gameplay.
A mix of styles that comes out a bit dated don’t help to make the story easier to grab onto early on, JRPG story loves will find a solid multi branched plot going on here, while other may find it difficult to get to grips with.
Clocking in around the 10 hour mark with different characters, different stories on offer all aided by a large selection of difficulty modes, leaving Ys with easy replay value. The bosses do change depending on your character, however you are still running up the same tower with the same normally enemies, which can be a bit dull when it doesn’t change at all.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.