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Ys Origin Review

Ys Origin Review

Ys Origin, for those who don't already know, was released all the way back in 2006 for the PC market in Japan. Thanks to publisher XSEED Games, Western fans have been able to get their hands on other titles in the franchise such as Ys 7, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, but never were able to experience the first game in the series chronologically. Due to the rise of Steam, fans have finally gotten the chance with the official release of Ys Origin on that platform outside Japan. Being a 6-year old game now, is it still worth your hand-earned money? The answer to that is a resounding yes.

The backstory for Ys Origin is simple but effective. For ages the land of Ys had been peaceful until a demon invasion threw the world into chaos, forcing the twin goddesses of Ys to use their magic to send their palace into the sky away from the reach of the demons. Of course, that wasn't about to stop them, so the demons built their own tower tall enough to be within reach of the palace. Mysteriously, right around this time both of the Goddesses went missing.

Ys Origin begins with either Yunica or Hugo setting off on a journey to explore the tower, known as Darm Tower, in search of the goddesses. Yunica will be pretty familiar to long-time Ys fans as she's essentially a female version of the series hero Adol in terms of her battle style, right down the fact where she needs various items to give her more magically-inclined abilities. Hugo is a caster and plays similarly to what you'd expect in a bullet-hell title with him shooting out spell blasts. Neither character's stories are especially complex or compelling, but they do serve their purpose in keeping the player interested as they progress through the game. Essentially, if you prefer the story structure of the earlier Ys titles you will feel right at home here.

As stated earlier, the entire game takes place inside the expansive Darm Tower. To most this may seem somewhat restricting, but in practice it's very similar to other franchises such as Metroid or Castlevania titles where each area inside the location feels and plays different from the rest. This ranges from a castle-like atmosphere to a water-logged dungeon and even a few places that will kindle the memories of fans of Ys I & II.

If there's one thing the Ys series has become renowned for it's the gameplay, which is in full force in Ys Origin. For those new to Ys, the series is known for its action-based RPG combat with a focus on close-range attacks. As you defeat monsters you will gain SP which can be used to upgrade your equipment and abilities and various gems which provide temporary boosts to parameters such as your attack power, attacking speed and even how fast you gain experience. Of course, like most RPGs you will eventually learning abilities that add elemental-based moves to your repertoire which can be used for more powerful attacks and surpassing Origins' many puzzles to progress farther up the tower.

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