Ys VIII is Coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita in Japan

Ys VIII is Coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita in Japan

Japan is getting a new Ys game in summer of 2016. Will North America's small, but dedicated Ys audience be serviced as well?

Falcom recently announced the release date for their next Ys game. Ys VIII, subtitled Lacrimosa of Dana, is coming to the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in summer of 2016.

This time, series hero Adol Christin and his fine shock of red hair hit up Siren's Island. Early screenshots indicate there's already a lot of monster-bashing to be had, plus there are some new features, like a village defense mini-game. There's an official site for the game, albeit in Japanese. In fact, there's no indication at this point whether or not Lacrimosa of Dana will be localized for audiences outside of Japan.

Fortunately, there's little reason to believe it won't be. Official Ys translations have been a regular occurrence since the mid-Aughts. Until that point, North American fans of the action RPG series had to rely on sporadic fan translations for their Adol fix.

That said, Ys doesn't command a particularly huge audience on this side of the puddle, certainly not compared to Japan or even Europe.

There are a couple of reasons for our distant relationship with Ys. First, Early Ys games popped up on the Master System and TurboGrafx CD, two systems that weren't necessarily unheard of in North America, but always seemed to belong to that one off-kilter kid who brought peanut butter and pickle sandwiches to school.

Second, even though there's a slew of well-translated Ys games to choose from now, they're exactly that: A slew. Anyone who's Ys-curious can be forgiven for going pale while attempting to sort out what's what. Aside from installments of the main series, there are also tons of remakes -- many of which have confusing names that don't always indicate they are remakes.

If you already spend a lot of mental bandwith on keeping Final Fantasy games straight in your head, it's understandable why you might want to turn your back on Ys instead of giving it a chance.

But, like the Final Fantasy series, Ys games are fairly self-contained. There are certainly story elements that link the larger story together, but newcomers shouldn't be afraid to jump in at whatever entry point looks good to them (it helps that Adol kicks off a lot of installments with a convenient case of amnesia). All you really need to enjoy Ys games is an appreciation for well-built action RPGs.

There's even a port of a remake (whew!) of the first game, Ys: The Vanished Omens on the App Store. However, it might feel a little too "old" next to newer games, like Ys: The Ark of Napishtim, which you can find on Steam.

Either way, here's hoping Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana gets an English translation so that more North Americans can be eased into the series.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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