Ys Origin Review

The Ys series started back in 1987 and has enjoyed a life span and popularity that many games have not - mostly in Japan. North America on the other hand only received the first three in the series along with a thirteen year gap – until The Ark of Napishtim. Currently Origins is only available on the Steam network, but there is a chance it may be released in another format. The setting is different as it does not follow the adventures of Adol Christin, but instead focuses on events that will eventually lead up to his story, hence the name Origin.
 Origin follows the basic feel of the more recent games of the series. The hack and slash format, going from point A to point B, and not a whole lot of variation in between. You move to an area, clearing each room of monsters to gain XP. Some rooms have a few puzzles and challenges you must complete in order to progress. Glowing monsters indicate you must defeat them to open the path. Or if you are unable to figure out how to progress, odds are one of your items can help. You will encounter several bosses along the way, but only a few are essential to progress the story. There are (thankfully) only a number of times when you are forced to back track in order to pick up unreachable items from before.
 There are 3 different control schemes you can use. The first method is to use the mouse to move while using the keyboard to attack, jump and perform other operations. The second option uses the keyboard only, but getting those tricky angles just right to do anything was a pain. The best way to play in my opinion, is with a controller. I tried it with three different kind of controllers, but my favorite ended up being my usb Super Nintendo controller.
 Without going into too much detail, the story begins with the land of Ys being overrun by demons. In order to protect the people and the goddesses they swore to protect, the priests lifted Solomon Shrine into the air using the magic from the black orb. The goddesses abruptly vanish with the black orb and you are sent to the surface to find them.

 You decide if you want to be the mage or warrior and begin the search at the base of a tower. The story is similar but plays to each characters personality and backstory. To get the true ending, you will need to beat the game multiple times! Upon completion of the game, you unlock new features and characters. Playing with any new character you unlock provides better replay value.
 The graphics are not going to put a strain on your video card, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Keeping it simple and in line with it's predecessors that create a memorable atmosphere, beautifully detailed background and stage layouts. With interesting music scores ranging from mysterious, battle, and environmental. You will mostly hear fast paced battle themes for most of the areas, all are enjoyable.
 Overall, beautiful graphics, great music, and a solid although short story with few memorable characters. The main downside are the controls that take some getting used to unless you use a controller. You can pick it up for $19.99 on Steam, a good price for a newer release!
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