Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Feb 162024

This year’s shorter Celebrating All Things Romantic event is at an end, the contest winners have been contacted, and now we have some news to catch up on.

Earlier this week, NIS America announced that Ys X: Nordics will be coming west this fall for Switch, PS4, PS5, and PC, with both English and French translations.

A Limited Edition will also be available, although preorders aren’t up yet.

We talked about Ys X when it was first announced over a year ago, and I’m even more excited for it now than I was then. It looks great!

I’m a little surprised NISA announced this on a random day instead of saving it for a showcase, but maybe they have other things in store.

My history with the Ys series has been odd. I started with Ys I, came back six years later to restart it and finally finish, and then played Ys IX. I keep intending to play Ys II, but who knows if I’ll have gotten there by the time Ys X comes out. Either way, I’m looking forward to it!

Are you interested in Ys X?

Also, how did you feel about Celebrating All Things Romantic 2024 only running until the 14th? I thought it worked out well, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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Jan 132023

This morning, I finally finished Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, which I started last year but put on hold for a while.

This is only the second Ys game I’ve played, which I regret in some ways because I could tell certain moments were meant to be callbacks to previous entries, but it was still an enjoyable and largely standalone story.

Ys IX sees adventurer Adol Christin arriving at the prison city of Balduq, where he is immediately arrested. While trying to escape the prison, a strange encounter leads to him becoming a Monstrum, someone with supernatural powers bound to the city of Balduq to fight in the monster-infested alternate world of the Grimwald Nox.

What this means from a gameplay perspective is that you have a bunch of special abilities to help you explore the city. Adol can now zip to special vantage points, and as more party members join you, you gain additional Monstrum skills, such as running up walls and gliding. The Monstrum curse keeps you confined to certain areas at first, but as you complete quests and fight enemies in the city, you’re able to break these barriers.

This was probably my favorite part of Ys IX. I loved being able to explore more of the city each time I gained a new ability, and gradually opening up new sectors kept it from feeling too overwhelming. The city is also filled with collectibles, making its exploration remind me a bit of the 3D platformers I love.

Meanwhile, the weakest link is the Grimwald Nox. A cursed alternate dimension under a blood-red moon sounds fantastic, but in practice it just means you fight waves of enemies while defending a giant crystal. These sections can be fun, since your entire party participates while other allies lend support, but I would have much preferred being able to actually explore the Grimwald Nox realm.

Between the curse and the Grimwald Nox itself, though, this aspect of the story lends almost a gothic horror flavor to some parts, which I appreciated.

The story is interesting enough, with an element of mystery that had me curious for quite a while about what was actually going on, and the characters are likeable. There are plenty of NPCs throughout the city whose dialogue changes as the game progresses, as well.

Overall, I enjoyed playing Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. I’m looking forward to learning more about the recently-announced Ys X, and maybe I’ll have even caught up a bit more on the series by then!

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Dec 162022

We knew it was in development, and now it’s officially been announced: the next game in the Ys series.

Ys X: Nordics will be released for the PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch in 2023.

As detailed here by Gematsu, it is set somewhat early in the series’ timeline (it seems to take place after Ys II) and follows a young Adol exploring a bay made up of numerous islands.

In keeping with this setting, you’ll have control of a ship, which you can use to explore the oceans and fight naval battles.

Now, earlier this year we discussed an interview in which the next Ys game was said to have a “completely different” system. Not only will you have a ship in Ys X, but it also features a new combat system called the Cross Action system.

There will be two combat modes, a Solo Mode in which you control one partner with a partner attacking on their own, and a Combination Mode in which you control both characters as once.

It sounds interesting, so I hope we get to see a trailer with this combat system in action.

Meanwhile, Falcom also announced Ys Memoire: the Oath in Felghana for the Switch for spring 2023, a remastered version of Ys: The Oath in Felghana with newly voiced scenes, the option to switch between classic art and new art, and a high-speed mode and other features, as detailed by Gematsu.

Localization hasn’t been announced for either game yet, so we’ll have to wait a bit to learn when we’ll be able to play them. I still have plenty of Ys games to catch up on in the meantime…

What do you think of Ys X?

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