Ys Origin finally makes the Switch

Ys Origin has been around for some time now, it first saw a release on PC in 2006 and has many ports since on Steam, PS4, Vita, Xbox One. If you are a long time fan of the series then it is most likely you have at least heard of the game if you haven’t already played it. If you haven’t and wonder if it is worth dipping your feet into or are looking for a good bit of classic dungeon crawling on the go then read on.

Ys Origin as the name suggests is a prequel to the Ys series of games which takes place 700 years before the events of Ys I which was the first released Ys game back in 1987. The most notable thing that veterans will see is the absence of Adol, the forefront hero in the series isn’t here, instead, you will take control of one of three characters. Yunica, Hugo both are playable from the offset and Toal is playable once the first two characters have reached the conclusion of the story. The plot in it’s simplest form is simple but there aren’t any major involvements on lore although it does mention many reoccurring places and veterans will notice but it isn’t a major thing that it takes away from the game.

The standout point for Ys Origin is its combat and gameplay. Essentially you are climbing Devil’s Tower to its pinnacle defeating a plethora of tough bosses as well as traversing puzzles. The game feels very Zelda-esque in its gameplay, there are treasure chests to be found as you venture the tower, there are jumping segments forcing you to restart over a climb if you miss a platform which I find happens quite often down to its poor precision implementation. Other than that the combat is fast, fun and with the game running at a stable 60 frames per second it makes for a fluid and enjoyable adventure experience. The progression of characters is something I enjoy in Ys Origin. You level up by beating up enemies which of course makes your character stronger, there is no form of currency for shops and healing items are none existent, you can grab blessings from Statues which are found throughout the tower which also serve as save points. You can find new armour is found in treasure chests while your weapon can be upgraded through finding items to do so.

Graphically Ys Origin has had an upgrade with obvious texture touches to characters and environments look good, while nothing is groundbreaking and the tower itself doesn’t change in aesthetics understandably it is a giant tower and there’s only so much you can do, it looks great even to today the graphics hold up well.

Each character plays unique with Yunica who specialises in close-combat melee by using her Axe and getting up close and personal with enemies whereas Hugo who specialises in the art of magic and can attack from afar with his staff. It is all down to preference but both play really well and have huge advantages. I will say that depending on the character that you choose will determine the story and how it is told as each character has different story arcs. That being said the game does have a great amount of replayability. Each character has their own special attacks with a point system in place allowing you to increase your health and other various attributes. While everything may seem quite simple in terms of learning the real challenge comes from the bosses which can seem at first overwhelmingly powerful. Beating these will come a great feeling of progression as they disintegrate slowly and a feeling of relief. Ys Origin really nails the combat and exploration on the head and that grandiose feeling of finally beating the game is enhanced by the difficulty it took to get there.

The music and sound is fine, it does the job even though it can be a bit repetitive at times. You will no doubt be hearing the same sounds as you progress as when you fall and have to start over you will succumb to what you have already heard at that part of the game. Ys Origin does require at times care to overcome certain parts because you will be itching to get past a certain floor or boss but it is quite easy to lose progress if you aren’t careful. There is no map and save points are not always available so you must be self aware and use your own knowledge to progress in this giant tower labyrinth.

A Nintendo Switch Review Code was provided by Dotemu