Need a Good Mobile RPG? Try Bumping into Ys Chronicles II.

Ys' old-fashioned bump mechanic is a good fit for mobile platforms.

News by Nadia Oxford, .

Red-haired Adol Christin is a wanderin' man, so it's appropriate he'd find his way on mobile eventually. DotEmu just released Ys Chronicles II for iOS and Android, a direct follow-up to Ys Chronicles I -- which is also on iOS and Android.

If you put the games together, you more or less get Ys I & II Chronicles, a compilation that exists on a pile of systems. If you don't want to play mobile versions of the game, you might consider grabbing the I & II Chronicles on Steam, where it's on sale at the time of this writing.

However, I can't tell you all about the nuances between each release of Ys I & II Chronicles. To quote Ys fan DIO-sama on their review of the Steam collection: "What we have here is an enhanced port of a PSP port of an enhanced edition of a windows remake of a combined turbografx-16/pc-engine remake of a pair of games on an ancient Japanese pc."

So, yeah.

When Ys Chronicles I and II are studied on their own merits as mobile games, however, you find a couple of very decent RPGs that are admittedly on the strange side, especially if your entry point into the expansive Ys series has been one of the newer games that allow you to swing Adol's sword under your own power.

See, neither Ys Chronicles I or II designates a button (or a portion of the screen) for hacking-and-slashing. Adol goes to war with baddies by literally running into them and delivering some rapid-fire stabbing action. It's a bit hilarious, and frankly, kind of neat.

It's also a mechanic that defined the earliest Ys games (it's called the BUMP system!), so no, fighting enemies by running headlong into them isn't new to the mobile adaptations.

That said, bumping into demons is a good way to get the job done on mobile. It's one less virtual button to worry about, and less chance that your thumb will miss its target in the heat of the moment. And while Ys Chronicles I is on the rough side, Ys Chronicles II smooths things out with clearer enemy cues. You know precisely when a monster is going to take a piece out of you, and you can dodge accordingly.

There's also an Easy Mode, which helps ease ("Ys!") you into the action.

Ys VIII is coming to PlayStation 4 and PSP this summer (in Japan), so now's as good a time as any to join its small but growing North American fanbase. Question is, should you start at the story's beginning with Ys Chronicles I or II for mobile, or jump right ahead to something more modern, like The Oath in Felghana (which is also on sale on Steam)?

As a relative Ys newcomer myself, I enjoyed the time I spent with Ys Chronicles I and II on mobile, though I found II far more polished than I thanks in part to a much improved translation. Again, the bump system works surprisingly well on mobile phones, and there's something compelling getting right up in your enemies' faces. As good, solid mobile RPG experiences, the Ys games are good investments.

If you're simply not interested in playing a mobile version of Ys, or if the bump system intimidates you, go ahead and get your feet wet with something more modern, like Oath in Felghana, The Ark of Napishtim, or Ys Origin.

Which -- guess what! -- is also on sale on Steam.

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Comments 14

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  • Avatar for SOUP32 #1 SOUP32 2 years ago
    The PSP version was my introduction to this series, and I've been hooked ever since. Oath in Felghana is absolutely one of my all time favourite games.
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  • Avatar for ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop #2 ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop 2 years ago
    you guys going by your old chatroom handles these days?
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #3 nadiaoxford 2 years ago
    @ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop I had no idea what you were talking about, and then...

    (Not sure how that happened, but it's fixed now ;)
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  • Avatar for ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop #4 ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop 2 years ago
    @nadiaoxford I thought you had some new paranoid writer
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  • Avatar for mobichan #5 mobichan 2 years ago
    So is the game using the terrible control system employed by the DS version, a virtual d-pad or something else? As a long time Y's player (starting with the DOS port) I can honestly say the BUMP system requires precision controls. And in my opinion, virtual controls will never give you that precision.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #6 nadiaoxford 2 years ago
    @mobichan It might be because I'm playing the game on easy mode, but I find I don't have a problem with precision! And yeah, virtual (floating) d-pad.Edited February 2016 by nadiaoxford
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #7 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    BUMP is one of those odd systems that was left behind by both the natural progression of game design and the artificial deeming of what WAS the natural progression of certain evolutionary lines. (Dungeon Master games can have great combat and OG Tomb Raider has great controls is what I'm sayin'...)

    Pointless Ys Music Embed!
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  • Avatar for beauborchardt20 #8 beauborchardt20 2 years ago
    @mobichan This version uses a virtual D-pad. It works well actually, but my suggestions are to change the walking speed and D-pad setup to a set/stationary d-pad, but that is just a personal preference. I will say, in comparing the mobile version and the PC version that I played right before switching to the mobile version, is that the mobile version has far less old school conventions working against it. The menu system is far better on mobile and the graphics are sharp. It comes down to whether you are okay with a virtual d pad and a change to the overall look of the game. I can say that I started playing it and couldn't stop, but it seems easier and this may just be because I know what I am doing already.
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  • Avatar for himuradrew #9 himuradrew 2 years ago
    Now Ys is a series that doesn't get a lot of love. I played the Famicom version of Ys II but never finished the game. I rediscovered it via the fan translated versions of Ys I&II complete and OiF and I've loved it ever since. I can't wait for Ys VIII.

    That being said, I'm not really very keen on playing these types of games which require physical controls on touchscreen phones. I've bought a ton of games before that promised great virtual controls - and no mobile game has ever made good on that. That why the only games I play on my iPhone are Threes and the occasional Kairosoft sim (still waiting for Game Dev Story 2).
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  • Avatar for joshuasmith54 #10 joshuasmith54 2 years ago
    Whatever version you play...make sure you play the Ys series. Such a great long lived series.
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  • Avatar for naazimeaala75 #11 naazimeaala75 2 years ago
    @nadiaoxford you guys are basically the last bastion on the net which talks about JRPGS so often and so freely!!!Edited February 2016 by naazimeaala75
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  • Avatar for One_Vurfed_Gwrx #12 One_Vurfed_Gwrx 2 years ago
    @mobichan I actually first finished Ys on the DS and found the touch screen controls worked surprisingly well for me so those would have made sense for a mobile port to me (I have not played the mobile port). The DS version was a bit ugly but I thought the controls worked well.

    I have since completed them on PSP as well (using a Vita) which also worked well using the analogue stick.

    On the general topic the worst thing about Ys I is the really annoying final boss (which took far too many attempts on my PSP playthrough, although I recall doing it easier on the DS at the time I can barely remember and still remember it being annoying). I wouldn't start with II though as Ys I and II are two halves of the same story so should be played sequentially (and both are pretty short, espwcially the first game)
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #13 Vonlenska 2 years ago
    How big of a learning curve would there be for someone who's only played (and loved) Oath in Felghana? The "ram into junk to progress" thing is something that scared me off before.
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  • Avatar for GaijinD #14 GaijinD 2 years ago
    @Vonlenska I grabbed the TurboGrafx version on Wii VC and found it pretty simple. The only real trick is to remember you're aiming your sword at monsters, not your entire character.
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