Ys: Possibly the shortest name of any game series ever created. Whether that was their plan in making this, or just happened to be a neat coincidence, is probably one of those questions that man is never meant to know. In any case, Ys is a very fun game to play, but rather than talking about the good parts first, I think I will work my way up from the worst parts to the best parts. You’ll thank me later, I’m sure.
Now, I don’t mean to give the impression that the audio and controls in this game are crappy, since I am listing them first, but they are definitely the areas of the game where the biggest drawbacks can be found. Overall I really liked the music and sound effects of the game, but there is one particular background song that drives me insane. The music in the woods at the very beginning of the game is this music. It is very repetitive and makes me want to kill myself. Other than that the music is great. The controls are also very cool, and it really is a blast to play. All of the movements and attacks can be executed very easily and the game has an overall fast pace to it, allowing you to blaze through countless waves of enemies in no time. The one major drawback to the controls is the jumping. Sometimes your character will not jump if you are too close to a ledge when you try to jump, causing you to fall off into a pit of doom. At some parts of the game where jumping is required, this becomes very frustrating.
The visuals are also very nice, and have a cool anime style to them. Of course, if you don’t like anime then you probably won’t like the visuals—go figure. The one problem I have with the otherwise gorgeous looking backgrounds and character designs is the CGI looking cut scenes. The characters are ugly as sin in these scenes, and it really starts the game off in an ugly light. Fortunately, it’s easy to forget about them when you get into the game and get used to the normal animation.
This game was tons of fun to play, mainly for its fast-paced fighting style and easy-to-use weapon upgrade system. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get into Ys and start having fun. The game is also very short, which is good for those people who don’t have a whole ton of time to put into long, drawn out RPGs. In terms of replay value, this game also scores very high. There are several modes to play in (Normal, Hard, etc) and even special modes like the one where you must defeat all the bosses in the game as quickly as possible. In addition to modes, there are also in-game cheat codes that let you do interesting things, like play the game with Japanese dialogue, for one.
Overall I would say that this game is worth buying, since it’s a lot of fun to play over and over again, but it could also be beaten and give a lot of enjoyment with a single rent. In either case, Ys: The Ark of Napishtim is definitely something that warrants looking into.