Ys Origin – Review (Xbox One)
I was fairly excited at the chance of reviewing Ys Origin’s release on the Xbox One. For one, I have never actually played a Ys game, at all, so I figured what better way than jump into the franchise than at the Origin. Granted I do know that there were Ys titles that came out before Ys Origin, but what better place to start than the beginning. Ys Origin originally released in December 2006, nearing its 12th anniversary is fairly impressive, to say the least.
The gameplay of Ys Origin is quite awesome. With is being an action RPG there is always action to be had. I’ve been so used to turn-based RPG’s, that the action just felt good. Running around, jumping over then blasting enemies was fun. Most of the enemies were fairly easy to just blast through. I did do some grinding at some points where I was able to jump ahead a few levels which made the simple enemies a breeze. Grinding was fairly easy, once you leave a room and come back the enemies will respawn making it worth it. The real strategy comes when you fight the bosses.
There wasn’t much to the new blood modes they added to the Xbox One version of the game. I maxed it out to gory and some more blood and juices splattered out but it wasn’t over the top. The speedrun mode may push some life into this game for fans and people looking to get some new scores on Speedrun.com. Currently, the game is at about an hour and a half completion time on the PS4. I’d like to see what the speedrunners can do with this new mode.
What I found unique to Ys Origin’s gameplay is that it’s based in a single location. You are in the Devil’s Tower climbing floors. There’s no traveling or needing to find a mount to get across the map. Though there are warps using the goddess statues throughout different levels of the tower nothing outward. Also while at those statues you can spend SP (spiritual power) for divine blessings. These are very powerful and worth grinding some out for. Some boost you permanently, others will boost your current armor which will disappear when you upgrade and you’ll need to cash out for another blessing.
Considering the game originally launched in 2006, DotEmu did a damn good job upgrading everything visually. The game looked like it was released for the first time. I tried searching for some older screens to compare but I couldn’t find any really. They had some amazing details such as when you jumped with Hugo, your cape poofed out a bit when falling down.The sprites looked amazing, each character was distinguishable and the bosses were damn awesome.
I have to give props to the original creators of the game, with an assist to DotEmu. Each area felt fresh. Especially being in a tower the whole game, I never felt, “Oh it’s this area again”, every area had its own feel to it.
The story, the engine behind all RPG’s, Ys Origin is intriguing and gives you that sense of worth, that drive to continue playing. I played as Hugo, a bad ass, cocky mage. I’m not joking on the cocky part. He knows he’s a bad ass and is rather blunt about it. It felt weird that there was this whole search party and yet you decided to go alone throughout the tower. I never got to play Yunica but when these twins come I may have some late night gaming coming up and that would be fun to take on.
The story itself starts off with the twin goddesses raising the temple up to the heavens. Within the temple are all the people seeking shelter from the demons below. One day, the twin goddesses vanish. They create a search party to head to the surface to find them. Come to find out, the goddesses look to be in the devil’s tower. Without going into the story any more, it takes you on a fairly decent ride as you try to find these goddesses to bring them back to the temple.
The replay value here is great. From choosing Hugo or Yunica first, you can get at least one other playthrough if you want to see the other’s side of the story. Then on top of that, you can play as the Claw once you complete the game. Upon doing some research, it looks like the Claw’s story is the canon part of the game. Again this is my first jump into Ys so I can’t back that statement 100%. Then on top of having three storylines, you can jump back into the game in speedrun mode!
DotEmu dominates another rebirth. Ys Origin for the Xbox One, adds some new features, most notably the speedrun option. That may not be enough to pull a gamer to purchase it again from PS4 or Steam, but new players will be in for a treat at the $19.99 price!
Note: GameOctane Editor Jason Germino received a code for the specific purpose of reviewing and streaming this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Graphics and details are solid
+ Immersive story wrapped around three separate characters
+ Great replayability
+ Gameplay is fun and challenging
- Blood options aren't mind-blowing
- May not be enough to pull gamers to buy again from PS4 or PC