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PC Game Review
Something has gone terribly wrong in the floating Shrine of Solomon and the two goddesses of Ys have gone missing. A rescue mission is dispatched, but is attacked and scattered on their way down to earth. Arriving, they discover that the presence of the goddesses has been felt in a giant forbidding tower. Yunica and Hugo join the search working their way, up the tower, through hordes of demons and bosses, to reach the top. But the party are not alone in the tower and another party are after the goddesses for their own ends...
Ys: Origin is a RPG from the developer Falcom, which was originally released for the PC in 2006. Although the game was the seventh in the series, chronologically speaking, the events happen seven hundred years before the first Ys game and so is a prequel. Available now on Steam via Xseed Games it’s well worth picking up if you’re a fan of old school RPG’s. Its quality certainly rivals anything seen in the early Final Fantasy games.
The first thing you notice about the game is just how gorgeous it looks, from its anime opening sequence, to the highly detailed general gameplay area. The characters are detailed enough to be instantly recognisable.
At the start of the game you have the option to play as either the young female knight-in-training, Yunica Tovah or as Hugo Fact. Apart from their difference in sex, Yunica is a better close quarter’s fighter, whereas the mage Hugo has a staff which acts as a long range weapon and the twin orbs of the Eyes of Fact, which also act as weapons.
After you complete the game for the first time another character becomes available with another different fighting style. This combination allows the game to have a high reply value as you can play the game with a difficulty level which ranges from easy to nightmare.
RPG’s usually found their home on consoles, where button mashing is second nature. On the PC buttons are replaced by the keyboard and the game sensibly introduces the various attacks, both physical and magic in stages. On the easy mode it is possible to complete most of the game with little more than a straight forward attack, on higher modes you will find that your full range of options will need to be brought into play.
The levelling up is pretty standard, with experience gained from killing demons, a fairly easy task as they respawn when you leave a room, giving you a chance to go back and forth on easier levels building up your strength. Weapons can also be upgraded and blessing purchased or found.
The game takes about eight to ten hours to play for each of the main characters. The release through Steam has the addition of two further gameplay modes, Time Attack and Arena, which can be played as series favourite Adol Christin, with a further choice of using either his character’s set of movements from The Ark of Napishtim or The Oath in Felghana.
The story is surprisingly densely engrossing considering the initial gameplay time of eight to ten hours, though given you get to play it through as three different characters, plus the bonus missions, your potentially looking at the gameplay being extended to in excess of thirty hours.
Although the quality of the graphics is high and the gameplay fast, surprisingly the RPG will run perfectly well on a moderately powered laptop. Although the game is now six years old, it still remains a highly enjoyable experience.