No, if you are wondering we are not moving criticisms of the governor Maroni in Lombardy: “Lombardy” is the curious name of the ship on which Adol and the Dogi have embarked, catching two pigeons with a bean.
The ship is directed to Eresia, the next destination for their voyages, and at the same time a couple of vacant posts in the crew allowed our heroes to pay for the crossing and scrape some money.
As often happens, however, especially when there is Adol Christin in the middle, things take an unexpected turn: while the ship sails quietly towards the route, shortly after a buffet organized by Commander Barbaros, a huge sea monster attacks it without notice, wrapping it with its tentacles and shrinking it, despite the valiant attempts of the red star to spin the monster in the depths of the sea.
From then on it will be all in the hands of the player: Adol wakes up on a deserted beach, which turns out to be one of the Seiren Island, a cursed place from which no one has ever returned, and soon meets Laxia, heir of a noble and casual traveler of Lombardy.
All the first part of the game is built around the search for survivors of the ship, scattered on the island and defenseless in the face of the natural threats the environment offers: dinosaurs, carnivorous plants and assorted monstrosities are just a part of the warm welcome committee.
But Ys VIII’s Lacrimosa of DANA , as you can guess from the title, is not all here, and in the second half of the adventure the player will be introduced to new characters with a subwoofer that will fit perfectly with the theme leading the escape from the unfortunate island.
If the series has never been distinguished for the complexity of stories told or character characterization, so Adol has always revealed little more than a silent avatar, this chapter tries, timidly, to propose more storyline interlaced, doing it leverages on more in-depth characters who play a role far beyond marginal, especially during the early hours of the campaign.
The spark that could trigger love for YS VIII still comes from gameplay, but it is clear, but progress in narrative terms is obvious, though not revolutionary: a good sign for the future of the series.
The distinctive brands that made Ys one of the longest and most beloved series of video game history are all present in Ys VIII , starting with the combat system and the heavy burden of exploration, more than ever central to the gameplay economy.
We start from the combat system: it is extremely easy to metabolize, but at the same time profound enough for those who think of action RPG experts: the attack is entrusted to a single front button pad, but climbing up will unlock many skills to map also on others, each of which has a range of action and a cost in terms of different magic points.
If, therefore, the first few hours of gaming will be spent on the button mashing, starting with the second boss you will need to carefully observe the enemy patterns and build a strategy on them.
The two backbones play a primary role during the fights: the left allows to dodge, rolling out of the reach of most enemy attacks, while the right activates a contextual parade, that is, it responds to an attack by canceling the damage only if pressed with the right timing.
Shocking at the last instant available activates a kind of Bayonetta full-time bullet time, slowing down the enemies for a few seconds and allowing you to bring four or five free shots, so fighting, especially against the many bosses and groups of the most fed enemies , soon take on the form of spectacular death ballets, with the player craving between the incoming blows and using the best abilities for the circumstance.