Back in the day if a game was released in a questionable state, there was a fair chance it was just going to stay that way. Only the most critical bugs were likely to get patched, so if a problem wasn’t making your game crash, chances are it just wasn’t going to get fixed. Well, those days are over, and now we’re seeing entire games re-localized because fans got upset about a poor initial job. I unironically love today’s game industry sometimes. Most of the time, really. It’s a good time to love video games.
Anyway, we’re talking yet again about Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, and while it might be a distant blip in people’s memories these days, Pepperidge Farm remembers the godawful localization that burdened that title’s original release. It’s since been fixed, of course, and for years now we’ve been able to enjoy a far superior version of this title on PC, PS4, Switch and what have you. Now PS5 players can check out yet another version, this time with…well, somewhat improved visuals.
Ys hero Adol Christin has been shipwrecked for the billionth time. It’s up to Adol to rescue survivors, build a settlement, explore the island and maybe find a way back to civilization. There’s plenty of secrets to discover on the Isle of Seiren, though, and some are more dangerous than others.
Ys VIII continues the snappy, enjoyable combat from previous entries and is plenty addictive as a result; you’ll almost certainly find yourself running around beating up enemies just for the sake of beating them up. That’s a good thing, too, since you’ll need the stuff they drop for crafting. Better gear allows you to use more impressive skills, allowing you to take on bigger enemies and stand a chance in huge and challenging boss battles. These are action-RPG fundamentals done right.
You know what’s also done right? Fixing the localization! Yes, that was done especially right, even if it took months to happen. Text and voice acting alike were corrected to make the whole affair seem drastically less awkward; noblewoman Laxia now refers to Adol as “Mr. Christin” rather than his full name at all times, which just flows better in English. As mentioned, we’ve had this version of the translation for a while now, but it might be worth digging up some very early gameplay videos from the original release of Ys VIII if you’re interested in a laugh.
As for what’s different on the PlayStation 5? Not a whole lot, actually. Everything looks a little bit cleaner, the visuals have been spiced up by some marginal amount, there’s a longer draw distance and the framerate, which was already pretty good, is now even more stable. Outside of the addition of previous DLC there’s little here that wasn’t available before, especially if you already own the great PS4 version of the game.
All that said, if you’ve already played Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana recently, particularly using the new translation, you probably don’t need to revisit the game on the PlayStation 5. While the graphics and framerate are improved, it’s not the massive generational leap one might expect from something like the recent update to The Witcher III. That said, newcomers looking for something to play on their recently-gifted PS5s could certainly do worse than Ys VIII, and if your last experience with this game was very early in its life cycle it might be worthwhile to take a second look.