NIS America has released the new installment in the veteran Ys series –  Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA on Nintendo Switch.

I use the word “new” here rather liberally since the game is out on PS4 and PS Vita since 2017. But now fans of the series can replay it (or play it for the first time) on the Switch.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA takes series protagonist Adol Christin and us on a new adventure. After the ship he was sailing on is attacked and sunk by a giant creature, Adol finds himself on the cursed island known as the Isle of Seiren. There, we must team up with other survivors so we can endure long enough to get off the island.

As if this messy situation wasn’t enough, dreams about Dana, a girl from a prehistoric era, start to hunt Adol at night. The connection between the island, Adol and Dana will unravel as we advance farther through the game.

When exploring the island, you play as Adol, but when he goes to sleep and dreams, control switches over to Dana.

To survive the dangers in the Isle of Seiren,  Adol and the rest of the survivors build a village. While Adol and his party continue to explore the island, some of the survivors left behind will expand and improve this little shelter as more and more characters join you.

At a later stage of the game, the hostile creatures of the island will gather and lunch raids against the village. Those can be held at bay with the help of the villagers and some well-placed fortifications.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA - Combat

The combat system is based on three damage types determined by the characters weapon types: Slash, Strike, and Pierce. Enemies will suffer more damage from a damage type they are vulnerable against, so by switching characters on the fly, we can efficiently damage our foes.

Skills also play a role here. Using different abilities requires skill points which can be quickly restored by landing a fully-charged attack against an enemy.

There is nothing here we haven’t seen done by other games; I was expecting the battle system to be more evolved considering the history of the series.

The trailer and gameplay videos give us a glimpse of a vast open world. Visually the game has the same anima look to it as other Ys games, and it reminds me a lot of the JRPGs we have seen the past year – Xenoblade Chronicles 2 specifically.

I personally really like this style. It looks good and even quite impressive considering this is running on what is essentially a mobile console, or a hybrid one if you insist.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA - Dana combat

It seems like Ys VIII has what it takes to be just another crazy fun JRPG. What sets is apart is its rich world, slowly built over a long series of games. Protagonist Adol was there from the start, so you can expect to play a deep character, with an original backstory and well-established personality.

Considering the increasing amount of RPGs for this new console, Ys VIII stands out. While it doesn’t seem to be an innovative game, it can be a solid one that will make your time on the road with the Switch a pleasant one.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA is out now on the Nintendo Switch, with all 18 pieces of DLC.


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