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Backlog Review: Ys Origin

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Playing new games is overrated. Here’s a review of something I played semi-recently instead. Check it out. Or don’t. Read on to find out.

I buy a lot of stuff during the Steam sales. Actually getting around to playing those purchases? That’s a different story. So the PC backlog grows ever longer each sale. Ys Origin had been there for a while, sitting on my hard drive collecting dust (??). I had tried playing it using the mouse and keyboard and wasn’t feeling it. So after procrastinating more and hooking up a PS3 controller (I’m sure any controller you have around is fine) I finally took some time to play through this, and I am so glad I did.

Ys Origin is an action RPG that plays from a semi-top-downish perspective. The game takes place in a large tower, where Yunica Tovah or Hugo Fact (axe girl or mage, depending on who you choose) are tasked to investigate in search of the missing goddesses. I have zero prior experience with the Ys series, but I believe this one is a prequel. I had no problem jumping into it either way. As you progress through the tower the enemies and bosses get harder, your weapons, armor, and special moves all get built up, and the story unravels as it tends to do.

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That’s enough of a general overview. What you should really look into Ys Origin for is it’s combat. The fighting is fast paced and fun. Each character has their own basic moves, 3 special moves that can be pumped up, and an overdrive that can be activated to wreck things more efficiently. Once you get used to dispatching mobs of common enemies it becomes a bit routine, but it’s generally a good idea to clear the rooms for experience. The bosses, however, do not disappoint. They range from massive in scale to human-size and as agile (if not moreso) than you. Playing on normal mode provides enough of a challenge with the bosses where you feel accomplished after you achieve victory. The higher difficulty levels will kick your butt if you can’t quickly recognize the boss’s moves and haven’t honed your dodging. But overall, the fights were tough and fair (as long as you don’t miss any weapon upgrades, then they can seem more daunting). Oh, and there’s no healing during battles unless you pick up items dropped from enemies, and no pausing at all during boss battles, to keep the challenge level up. There’s plenty of save points around though, so it’s not a problem.

If you enjoy the game, as I did, you’ll want to play through with the other character (and secret character unlocked later). They’re all different enough to make the battles fresh and a handful of bosses are different each time. Trekking through the same mazes (there’s minimal differences) is the only time I felt annoyed. But you know the solutions by then, so it’s quicker. The music was pretty catchy in most areas as well, with some great tunes reserved for some of the bosses.

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After playing Ys Origin I am now officially interested in the Ys series. There’s another PC remake on Steam and some PSP games, and there’s no way I’ll put them off as long as I did this entry.

Breakdown:

+Amazing boss fights

+Fast paced combat

+Difficulty levels cover all the bases

+Offers a lot of replayability

-Okay with keyboard/mouse, I recommend a gamepad of some sort

I’d recommend this to: RPG or action game fans in general.

Rating: Great!

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