Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (2006)

Genre: Action RPG | Players: 1 | Developer: Nihon Falcom Corporation

 Ys is a long running series and this installment picks up from a previous game. The main hero is Adol; a red haired, do-gooder pirate who was thrown from his ship in a storm and has now washed ashore on the Canaan Islands which are home to a mystical race of people called Rehda. Now he must figure out how to leave the island which is no easy feat as the storm that brought him here is actually a never-ending vortex surrounding the whole island that has a reputation for stranding lost travelers, so he must instead try to keep peace between the native Rehda villagers and the settlement of stranded humans.

Gameplay is a standard action-RPG variety. Adol can attack in real time with various upgrade-able swords and can boost his stats with new equipment. There are also a small selection of special moves and a magic spell that changes depending on what weapon is currently being used which must be charged by giving or receiving damage. The enemies are surprisingly varied and the action is quick and simple, but still satisfying. The art and music are top notch though the PSP version was downgraded to sprites from the PS2/PC version with full polygons that change based on Adol's equipment. The only thing really wrong is the loading times. They are far too long and far too frequent. The game loads after exiting EVERY. DAMN. ROOM and can take up to 20 seconds which is sometimes longer than the time that will even be spent in said room. It is massively annoying to load and enter an empty room for that long and then it takes 3 seconds to turn left and boom there is another loading screen. The game was good enough to force my way through it, but it was still problematic. One more nitpick is I had to turn down the SFX volume because the sound of Adol's footsteps were loud as fuck and sounded like he had hooves.

Buyer's Guide:
Available for PC, PS2 and PSP. Go for the PS2 version if you can for full polygons, voice acting and to avoid the chronic load times. The only thing the PSP version has going for it is a few added fetch quests and an unlockable media database.

3 Anti-hero assholes in all black out of 5

No comments: