Although the series of video games YS not having the banner of other titles in its kind (at least in the western market), over the years it has been able to create a follow up enough of enthusiasts, proven by the arrival of this YS VIII (which in roman numerals tells 8, but fifteenth title of the franchise, thanks to the various spin-offs), but also by the quality usually above the average of all its products (the last game of the saga I played was YS Seven to PSP in the far 2009, which I remember with great pleasure).
It has been a good 30 years since the release of the first title of the series and once again we will have the chance to follow the adventures of the series Adol Christin, the protagonist of the series ever.
Little curiosity, YS VIII temporarily arrives before chapters already issued earlier, YS VI e YS Seven (based on the fact that in these two episodes Adol's age is 23 years, while in Lacrimosa of Dana is of 21 years).
At the first start of YS VIII you must immediately accept a tough reality: the game is not localized.
Personally, I do not find this a big problem (and often I often prefer to play in English because I've found it too often that I find myself in very controversial translations). From the menu you can then just set English language o French for texts, while for audio we will have the double option English o Japanese.
We have explored a fairly slim menu, we can start our adventure and we will be given the opportunity to choose from different levels of difficulty between 5 ranging from Easy to Hell. During the game you can change the difficulty level at any time (increasing or decreasing it) except the maximum level (Hell), which can only be selected at the beginning.
From the beginning, with the prologue in the form of "quotation" from the phantom texts belonging to the world in which YS VIII stands, we understand that the "leitmotif" of this title will be the eternal struggle between destiny and the freedom to choose what do our life.
The story of YS VIII part on Lombardy, a cruise ship (indeed a cruise supernave, as you can see from the salon size in the screenshot) in which Adol he embarked like "temporary sailor"With the intention of seeking new adventures. Obviously stealing a little from the Pirates of the Caribbeana bit from One Piece, the captain of the ship speaks to Adol during one of their talks on an island in the area where it is impossible to approach without risk of wrecking (in my opinion, they do not have a Log Pose to navigate and Nami at the helm!).
Obviously the Captain is a bird of the unhappy and the ship finds itself too close to the island, is attacked by a Kraken-style creature and sank despite the intervention of Adol.
I have to say that the first minutes of play YS VIII I was bored and not a bit, but from the wreck onwards (which happens after very little time, fortunately) the game changes completely register.
We find ourselves alone on the classic beach of a deserted island, with randomly only an old rusty sword at our side.
Because Adol is an adventurer, does not lose heart and begins to explore the area to see if there have been other survivors or if someone lives on the island to find a way to leave.
Thanks to the fanservice, our first meeting is with Laxia, a rampart of a high-rise family, who, like us, was in Lombardy. Confortable by discovering that they are not alone (after the first moment of embarrassment), the two boys are retiring in search of the other "guests"Of the ship.
By skipping the way other characters will be found during the exploration (OPS, SPOILER!) Game with the presence of Captain Barbaros begins to take a very interesting direction.
In fact, under the auspices and charisma of the Captain, the shipwrecked will organize themselves in a village where every person who will be rediscovered will occupy a very precise role within it (so we will have a doctor who will prepare for potions and medicines, dressmaker who will create accessories and so on).
One of the most important roles will have it Dogi (an adventurous companion already known on board of Lombardy) who, besides dealing with the construction of "shops" for various trades, will unlock a warehouse where we can exchange materials found during the grinding of monsters with the highest ranking fees (to use for the crafting).
Well yes, I said grinding, but you have to put some dots.
Grinding is only necessary if you are playing harder (from Hard onwards), so for those who want to enjoy the story without any special problems, we recommend choosing Easy or Normal, even at the lowest levels of difficulty, it seems to play more on a Musou than at an Action RPG.
At the level of gameplay we are faced with a product not very innovative, but not for that non-functional and enjoyable.
The third person view allows us to control one of the party's three characters, with the ability to switch with square pressure (a strategic choice depending on the monster we are facing, given the different types of attack available to the various characters) , while the AI will deal with the actions of the other two.
With the Triangle you can lock your enemies in such a way as to keep them under eye. At the beginning of the review I talked about boring product because not yet having any unlocked skill the game limited to a smash of the X continuous button, interrupted by L1 to avoid the most dangerous attacks of the opponent monsters.
All this talk changes (as well as the story, which starts to make a more interesting turn) as soon as they start to increase the characters in the party and unlock new skills, making fighting more frenetic and interactive.
The skills consume SP (Skill Points) that reload by hitting enemies and being unlocked at certain levels. The more you use and the more skill levels increase, becoming more effective from time to time.
Continued use of skills will load another bar that will allow us to release a "final attack"(L1 + R1 pressure) that will strike the monsters around us without them being able to respond (actually stopping the time).
Note that each character will have a type of attack to which it is related (Slash, pierce o break) that will allow you to inflict bonus damage on the enemies against these attacks are effective (for example, with the type of piercing attacks you will have bonuses against flying monsters as well as throwing them on the ground).
Fully ignorant at lower levels of difficulty, but fundamentally higher ones (from hard on), are the two defensive skills called Flash Move e Flash Guard. The first allows you to have a small amount of time in which everything will move to slow motion, except for us, after a last-minute dodge on an attack, while the second will lead to 100% the chance of a critical blow on our attacks followed by a block, always executed at the last instant.
It should be noted that in this localized version (as seen in Japan YS VIII already came out the beauty of over 1 a year ago) were also included the "Invasion"That is, the sudden quests in which Adol and the other shipwrecked will have to defend the base camp from attacking the monsters surrounding them (with rankings and scores that allow you to get different types of reward, a system that reminds me not so much of the invasions of the garrison of World of Warcraft inserted with the expansion of Warlords of Draenor, but this chapter of YS has much to the world of MMORPG).
Graphically the game (tried on For PS4, but also available PS Life e Windows) runs smoothly at 60 FPS and without ever presenting slowdowns (even when skill spells or there are many onscreen monsters), even though we must say that we do not really face a title that aspires to the title of "state of video gaming" (for to be good).
As far as sound is concerned I found it too overloaded with no sound consonant with the game (some stunts that lead to the battles seem to be taken directly from Final Fantasy VII, where we had a completely different environment and therefore the use of a certain kind of tools was appropriate), but we must admit that the Theme Song "Lacrimosa of Dana"Is really beautiful and remains imprinted in the player's head (as well as many of the other" slow "tracks, perfectly suited to this YS VIII).
On the other hand, the game gives us so much to do, with the very first exploration of Seiren's Isle, discovering places to visit and searching for all the shipwrecks (fundamental to unlocking new locations), without losing all the sidequests that will be present during the adventure (at least forty hours of playing are waiting for you!).
YS VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a must-buy for the series enthusiasts (who surely longed for location). For the saga's neophytes, however, they are guaranteed many hours of frenetic gameplay thanks to the fast and immediate combat system, but basically do not give anything really new to the genre, but still a good quality product.