Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ys 1 and 2 Chronicles

This was a game I finished months ago, while I was still in Japan, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to get round to talking about it.

Ys 1 and 2 Chronicles is a remake of an old Japanese PC-88 game that was released for PSP and PC on Steam.  The game follows a dude called Adol as he goes on adventures to save the lands of Ys from various nasties.  It's a huge series spanning over tons of games, so if you're looking for a place to start Ys 1 and 2 Chronicles is a good place.

Before I go into talking about the actual game, let me spend a moment talking about the name.  One thing that really REALLY pisses me off, and I don't know why, is the way some people pronounce the name.  In Japan, the title is written イース which is pronounce "ee su", so that's obviously the most logical way to pronounce it in English.  Yet despite this, there are still TONS of people who prounounce it like "whyz" or "Y.S.".  This wouldn't bug me so much if the series was new, but it's been going since 1987, you think fans would have figured it out by now.

Anyway, stupid pet peeves out of the way, Ys 1 and 2 are actually really good games.  It would be wrong to call them RPGs despite all the levelling and stats that are involved.  It's more like an adventure game where you're looking for the right item to rub on the right thing but instead of just pointing and clicking on things you have to fight bosses at the end of a set of puzzles.

Being an old game, it does suffer a little from the "what the fuck do I do" syndrome, but everything you need is given to you in the game, you don't NEED to resort to Gamefaqs to beat the game.  Speaking of it being an old game, the remakes come with remixed music but you also have the option to use the original PC-88 versions of all the tunes and the game actually has a really good soundtrack both remastered and in its original bits and boops.

The combat in Ys 1 and 2 is the strangest thing about the game.  You don't fight things by swinging a sword and hitting things, you fight by simply running into enemies like a big red haired Beyblade.  What's important in this game when it comes to combat is the angle in which you hit an enemy, so attacking from the side or behind means that you take no damage, but smashing something head on means you might take a nasty hit.  It's actually quite a cool way to do combat and it means that if you are backtracking through an area, you don't have to stop to fight anything since you can just barrel through them.

The games are also quite long as well, so you get quite a lot of value for a pretty cheap price.  Ys 1 is a little on the short side, but the idea is that Ys 2 is like part 2 of the first story, they just carry on, so really Ys 1 and 2 are just one game.  I read somewhere that the reason for this is that the games had to be split due to the limitations of the PC-88 back when it was first released, so when they are released now they are packaged as one thing because that's what was originally intended.

Anyway, if you're looking for a little RPG/Adventure thing to sink your teeth into, give Ys a go.  If you do end up enjoying it there are a ton more games as well, so you won't be struggling for a Ys fix anytime soon if you are new to the series.  Steam has 3 Ys games for quite cheap, including this one, so I suggest you fire it up and drop on this classic adventure series.

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