I’ve been checking my EMS tracking number for the package multiple times last week. XD Ys VIII finally came into my hands yesterday~! It was pre-ordered directly from Falcom so it came with some bonuses (like usual) along with the box set itself:
Of course, I took photos of the box’s contents too. :3
I’ve been pretty excited about the game and when I loaded it up, I was immediately blown away by the title menu screen.
Hopefully, Falcom will make a desktop wallpaper out of that stunning illustration. I’ve repeatedly noted on Twitter that I adore the artwork for this game. Where was this illustrator all this time!? And there’s no name anywhere on the promotional material. 😦 I guess I’ll see it in the credits.
At least, I hope so (because I want to search online to see if I can find more of the artist’s works. ^^),
About the game itself — I’ll TRY and keep it brief. No guarantees. XD
- The user interface and overall look of the game is beautiful. The graphics are so sharp and crisp and the colours are bright and vibrant. Every location so far as been breathtaking. I think it’ll look even more stunning on the PS4.
- The character models are pretty good although they can look stiff when standing or walking. I do like how their facial expressions and body language change when they’re talking during cutscenes though. Oh yeah, dialogue boxes are no longer accompanied with character portraits.
- The background music is LOUD by default. Strangely, the volume bar is at the same spot as voice and sound effects.
- Load time into the game feels kind of long.
- I’ve put about 4 hours into it so far, but depending on how fast you read the dialogue — and there’s A LOT of dialogue — roughly the first 2 hours of the game is a tutorial. Your destinations are straightforward and linear, and different features are gradually unlocked and explained.
You meet the kracken’s tentacles early on which are used to explain the basics of combat:
I just noticed the game never translates the titles of the bosses; only their names.
Here are 2 more bosses 😀
- There are many dialogue choices but they come in pairs. I’m guessing one is a more “positive” answer than the other. Unsure if these decisions influence the way things go in the game or if they just determine how people respond. I’m leaning toward the latter.
- Harvest points are a thing again. I do wish Falcom would grey out ones that have already been raided. But I guess that’s just something someone with a shitty memory like me would want.
- You can still spam thin air to level up skills. However, it’s kind of counter-productive considering SP (Skill Points) are consumed when doing so and you can only replenish them by fighting monsters, going to a crystal checkpoint, or an SP harvest point. I have no idea what the official term is it but it’s the small tree-like thing with a glowing blue crown:
- You’re solo while moving but party members pop up when fighting or standing still. I suppose this is a camera angle thing. ^^
- There’s a trophy for every collectible and purchasable thing including one for getting 100% of the world map charted out. Barbaross will also provide rewards for every 10% of the map completed just like how the General did in Celceta.
- Oh yeah, there’s something called Location Points. Unsure what their purpose is other than something to “collect” for the 100% Location Points trophy.
- There are some spots on area maps that are considered as places of interest. Some of them are points where you can jump (or maybe even climb) to another area on the same map.
- There’s super convenient fast travelling to places you’ve been to already. This is dependent on whether you’ve touched the checkpoint crystal or made camp in a camp spot or not though.
- Unlike other Ys games, it seems like all the shopping is done from the headquarters/main camp. You can expand it by fulfilling quests and recruiting NPCs from all over kind of like in Suikoden and Suikoden II. :3
- Quests are back. You can get them directly from the quest board or by talking to people. In the case below, it’s from the board but you have to speak directly to Dogi to see what he wants. Also note that there’s an indication of the length of time the quest is available for.
- Speaking about Dogi, I have doubts we’ll see him in action. The guy even sits out the tutorial boss fight at the beginning of the game. >:/ At another point where you encounter a boulder blocking a path, I thought he’d punch it out of the way! I mean, he brags that he has the strength of 100 men but nope, moving boulders is TEAM WORK.
In the second screencap, it shows that 20 people are required to move the damn rock. 😐 I’m pretty sure ONE PUNCH from Dogi’s mighty fist would have been enough! Bleh to story pacing. 😛
- Weapons tempering, accessory creation, and resource trading also make a come back. Falcom added cooking and fishing this time to the mix. I’m not sure what cooking does other than give boosts and HP recovery since I only have the option to make soup right now. 😛 I’ve never been interested in cooking gimmicks in RPGs so the only time I’ll probably do it is if a quest requires it. Same goes for fishing. (NIER made me despise fishing. >:E)
- In terms of combat gameplay, if you liked how Memories of Celceta played then you’ll enjoy this as well since it’s pretty much the same.
- Similar to Celceta, there are flashbacks galore but this time, they’re of Dana. They come in the form of dreams and are presented as pretty sketches accompanied by narration/dialogue. I wonder when I’ll get to play her part of the story? 😮
- I find Sahad difficult to control since he’s slow but man, his skill where he hits enemies into the air is really useful because enemies can’t attack while they’re slowly falling back down. ^^
- There’s an affection system of sorts; when you do things for people (like requests), they’ll like Adol a bit more. I’ve yet to figure out how that impacts things overall. I wonder if the official site talks about it?
- There are costumes and accessories you can dress your characters with! In the screenshot below, you can see Adol in his Silver Armor which is a costume that comes with the Limited Premium Box. 😀
Then there are these cute things:
- Dungeons are specifically labelled. I guess it’s useful to know since you can’t stand around to recover HP in one like you can anywhere else.
I suppose this is all for now. There probably won’t be much else to report on until I get deeper into the game. :3
Edit: Whoops. I forgot to mention that it seems as though the back touchpad isn’t used at all since the manual doesn’t show any commands for it.