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Old 03-19-2005, 12:09 AM   #422
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,149
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim
Playstation 2

I wonder why they dropped the
"VI" from the title?

We FINALLY get another Ys game (pronounced "ease" but you should know that by now, dumbass) released in the US with English translation. About time. The last time we officially saw an Ys game in English was Ys III: Wanderers from Ys which was released for the TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM, Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. I own the TG-16 version, and rented and beat the Genesis and SNES versions in one night each, respectively. We missed out on the absolutely fantastic Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys for the TurboGrafx-16 which returned the game to an overhead perspective like Ys Book 1 and 2. It was great fun to play even in Japanese and had absolutely brilliant music. The Super Famicom has Ys IV: Mask of the Sun which had cartridge versions of the TG-16 Y's IV music, but an entirely different story and quest. That one never showed up in the US either. And then we got to miss Ys V which was released only on the Super Famicom. It had a decent (not great) quest and lackluster music save for one great field tune and a few slightly-above-average tunes scattered about. And now Konami finally decides that we deserve more Ys love. Thank you Konami! Well, let's get down to what Ys VI is all about!

Murder all of the monsters that are in the dungeons and on
the plains! They are only trying to defend themselves, but you
don't care. They are different from you so they must DIE!

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics are most certainly a mixed bag. Some of the boss characters and magic effects look absolutely awesome, and the game gives you a great sense of depth and vastness. But the game runs at 30 frames per second when it could have run at 60. It doesn't really hinder gameplay at all, but it makes it appear perhaps a teeny bit rough. Also the textures on the ground are very repetitive. Look at the fields and they almost look like a knitted or tiled pattern instead of naturally flowing grass and dirt or whatnot. Then there is the angle of the camera. It works for most situations, but sometimes the game requires you to do a bit of platform jumping and the angle can make that pretty tough to judge where you might land, especially when jumping from tiny pole to tiny pole (NO I AM NOT RACIST AGAINST POLISH PEOPLE!) You can have either CG cutscenes or anime cut-scenes (with a code). The anime cut scenes are better and add a bit of flair to the game. Overall this game looks pretty damn good, though it could have looked even better. Great use of color! Progressive scan would have been nice.

This boss spins frantically to try and cool the place
down for you as you run to get under him and catch the
breeze. Then you kill him because he is different than you.

Sound: 8/10
First of all the footstep sound effects are absolutely HORRIBLE! I recommend you turn the SOUND down to about 50% in the options screen and leave the music at 100%. Do this right away or you will regret it. After this is done, the game actually sounds pretty good. The music is really cool and is much better than I thought it would be. The quality of the musical instruments does not approach that of Ys 1-4 on the Turbo, but it does surpass Ys 5 on the SNES by a significant amount, both in quality and composition. Here is a nice trivia fact for you: The music was arranged by "Westerners" in Hawaii. Ya see, it doesn't HAVE to be from Japan to be good. I remember back when Ys 1&2 came out for the Turbo, and I was amazed at the voices in the game. Here there is a voiceover for every piece of dialog in the game (except for when Adol talks), and that is pretty amazing to me. This would have been unthinkable in the days of the Turbo. But I guess game budgets are much higher these days. You can even listen to them in Japanese if you are so inclined. The voice acting is all over the map. Most of it is acceptable to fairly good. Some of it is really bad, like the kid who sells stuff outside of his sister's store. One REALLY ANNOYING aspect of the game is that "Adol" is mispronounced by everyone throughout the entire game! Adol must be a mute as we are not allowed to hear him speak, yet he somehow manages to mispronounce his own name when he tells others what his name is. The correct pronunciation of "Adol" as heard in Y's 1-4 (English and Japanese alike) rhymes with "Aid Doll" and NOT "Add Doll" as it's said in this game. Someone goofed big time! This game says it supports Dolby Pro Logic II, but there is next to nothing that ever comes through the surround channels.

Adol runs around looking for a place to take a wicked piss.
The sound of flowing water does not help his situation.

Gameplay: 9/10
Not since Ys III have we been allowed to actually swing a sword. Well actually maybe Ys V let us swing the sword... I don't remember. I don't think today's players would like it if the Hydlide technique of fighting was employed (which had you just walk INTO enemies to automatically fight them). We get some cool sword moves and combos, most of which are window dressing, and we can jump as well! Unfortunately you may get frustrated with jumping because there is a slight delay from when you press the button to when you actually jump when you are running. There is a "dash-jump" combo, but it is not needed to complete the game. Only use it if you want to nab a few extra items that are out of reach. Fighting is really fun and is reminiscent of combo-style play. So sometimes when you are swinging your sword you have to wait for all of the slashes complete before you are allowed to turn and attack that enemy behind you. Like all games that use combos, precise and instant control must be sacrificed. Death to combos! But it really isn't that big of a deal in this game. The game isn't "huge" by any means, but there are a lot of places and dungeons to explore. Fighting is extremely fun, though the bosses can be a bit frustrating at times. The story is good enough to retain interest even for me, and I have the attention span of a kidney stone that's already been passed.

There are lots of things to do, like collecting enough emel to sharpen all 3 of your swords. You even get to find 4 pigs that belong to a gay dude who hangs out in the middle of town waiting for someone to grab his ass. If you find all 4 pigs, he will make love to you right there. Wandering through the dungeons is great fun I tell you! I was never frustrated by a lack of save points. The toughest dungeon is a maze and you only get a small circle of light around you (a tradition for Ys games) but it is fun nonetheless. Another fun aspect of the game is the trials. All of the trials are pretty easy except for the 4th one and you can earn a lot of emel (or money or experience) by completing them. You also get to talk to an extremely well built chick before and after the trials, YOWZA! The game moves at a brisk speed, and although there is a decent amount of leveling up that needs to be done, I never got tired of it. The magic effects are really cool, especially if you power your swords up all of the way (since the magic replenishes itself in seconds). Magic is the key to beating the bosses (so is running away!) This is my type of game. As an action RPG, it works. It is MUCH better than Tales of Symphonia by a factor of about 19. This game will last about 15-20 hours I think. Not so long that you get bored with it (like Tales of Symphonia). Ys games have always been about replayability, and this is no exception.

Oh my! It is worth going through all of the trials of death to get a chance
to score with this chick! At least it would be if I were actually Adol.

Wrap up:
There has been something that has really been gnawing at my ass, and it ain't ringworm or colon cancer! It's the fact that in every single Ys game, I spend tons of time leveling up and becoming mega strong, yet when the next Ys game comes around, I'm back to level 1 with barely any life again! WTF???!!! Does Adol give back all of his good equipment and get fat and lazy? I need an explanation! Oh well. Overall a fantastic game! It's great to see Ys back in action, and I hope a lot of gamers discover this fine gem. It's much longer than your standard action game and shorter than your standard RPG, which is to say that the length is just about right. Not only that, but the game offers great replayability as well, which is rare for ANY game these days. For only $40 brand new, you can't go wrong unless you hate good games.
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