An action RPG wouldn't be anything without its bosses and Ys Origin is no exception. In classic Ys style the bosses are without a doubt challenging, but at the same time exceptionally rewarding once you finally conquer them. For those of you who like to think in your RPGs, you'll be in luck as on the normal and harder difficulty levels you will almost certainly die on your first try as you learn the boss' patterns and weaknesses. Once this is mastered the battles become quite entertaining as they feel challenging, but without ever feeling cheap as there's always enough of a tell given beforehand --- so when you get hit it's 100 percent your fault.
Of course, if the controls didn't perform as expected this balancing would all be for naught, so thankfully Falcom did a wonderful job as far as this went. Origin supports both keyboard/mouse control as well as gamepad support. The former performs admirably considering the combination, but the action-based combat works much better with the latter for actions such as timing jumps and repeated attacking.
As far as the audio and visual presentation go, however, it's a mixed bag depending on how you look at things. Falcom's soundtracks rarely disappoint, especially for the Ys series, so if you loved any of the previous title's soundtracks you'll be enamoured by Ys Origin. There's a nice range of musical selections available, ranging from energetic dungeon and battle themes to more melodramatic instances when the story requires it.
Being released in 2006, the graphics aren't horrible by any means but they do show their age to some degree. But if you aren't a graphics junkie you still find a competent graphics engine here as the game looks extremely impressive at its max resolution of 1920x1080 widescreen with all of the graphical extras enabled. If you have a respectable setup you shouldn't have any trouble running this game at a high resolution and without any framerate drops. As long as you don't come in expecting 2012 graphics you shouldn't be disappointed in the slightest.
The game does come in at a $20 Steam price point, normally a bit steep for those who play more indie-based titles, but with 10 hours of gameplay with the two default characters alongside a third unlockable character, a boss rush mode and a plethora of Steam achievements the price isn't as much of an issue as you'd initially expect. If you are a Ys fanatic you've already had this on pre-order, but for those who are on the fence but love action RPGs this is a solid recommendation.
|» The polished Ys gameplay you've come to love.|
|» At least 15 hours of gameplay in just the story mode.|
|» Another exceptional Falcom soundtrack.|
|» Some minor widescreen issues due to the game initially being made for 4:3 displays.|
|» Bosses are designed to make you die once to learn their patterns, which may annoy some people.|
|» Some minor parts remind the player this was originally a 2006 release.|