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Ike

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

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I only just recently imported the Japanese (PS4) version because the price of the Collectors Edition dropped, I was originally waiting for the English version but I just knew they'd end up announcing the English version after I imported it.

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Hilariously sad how NISA had to twist Falcom's arm so hard that it nearly fell off in order to get them to do the obvious thing and put this game out on Switch.

Wishing it all the success in the world!

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Hoping they don't screw up the localisation and have to retranslate the entire thing again.

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13 hours ago, Ike said:

Hoping they don't screw up the localisation and have to retranslate the entire thing again.

What? You don't like Mesozoic Big Hole?

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12 hours ago, Glen-i said:

What? You don't like Mesozoic Big Hole?

Not when it was already in English in the Japanese version and they changed it for no reason(?). :heh:

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I've given it a bit of time since wrapping up Ys VIII and now I've unshelved IX with a view to having some time between it and X. Did about an hour last night and it's good to be back in control of Adol. First impressions: Dogi looks malnourished, Lady Ann from Persona 5 is a voice here, the atmosphere has drawn me in immediately. The interrogation sort of reminded me of P5R too and it was cool to see Adol's past adventures brought up, almost reminiscent of Chrono Trigger.

It gave me two items from the off: one from having an Ys VIII save file, didn't catch the reason for the other—possibly from the demo?

Not sure about the Monstrum allies so let's see if their personalities develop over the course of the game and I warm to them. Already knew the gameplay felt good from the demo so I sense I'm in for a fun time.

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The gameplay and gothic theme has hooked me in so I'm perfectly happy to explore the Prison City of Balduq, meet citizens, and complete quests on my way to clearing Adol's name in this debacle, but I'd be lying if I said the story hasn't got me intrigued. Going to be interesting to see how it plays out.

There was a conversation with Dogi where one of the answers was something along the lines of "Like on the Isle of Seiren" (the Ys VIII location) which was like it read my mind because I was thinking what he was describing was just like the raid battles in Ys VIII. 

I'm wary of pushing things forward from one chapter to the next in case I miss something so it's great to have a slew of map icons to keep me right... fingers crossed. There's a lot of shops so I hope I'm not expected to check them all every chapter—be good if their wares accumulate for me to happen upon later. It feels like some buttons have been swapped around from VIII but I'm trying to get used to it instead of resorting to remapping the controls in the menu.

Because of the Lady Ann voiceover crossover with P5R, I keep viewing the main characters in terms of who their Persona 5 analogue would be. Interrogator = interrogator, White Cat = Morgana, Hawk = (Hawk from Cobra Kai) Ryuji, Doll = Haru, Chante = Leblanc with a sprinkle of Sylvando from DQ XI. Picking and choosing when to view Ys IX as its own thing or with this external baggage certainly adds another layer to it.

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Yeah, there's a few references to previous games. Ys VIII has a couple.

This soundtrack has some bangers (do kids still say that?).

 

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56 minutes ago, Ike said:

This soundtrack has some bangers (do kids still say that?).

I can't be certain, but generally, it's not a good sign when it's in my vocabulary.

EDIT: Oh damn, "Norse Wind" is really good! You weren't kidding!

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Well, I mean, it’s a Ys game; of course the music is killer.

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22 hours ago, Ike said:

This soundtrack has some bangers (do kids still say that?).

I know one thing: Ys and good music go together like bangers and mash.

I'd love to tap out the high tempo tunes from these games in Theatrhythm. Any Christmas remixes like was shared for Ys VIII?

Did you like that Adol in disguise looks like Lord Ike?

Still getting to grips with everything that's at my disposal in Balduq, so I forgot one of my people in the Dandelion hideout functions as a catchall shop for every shop I've been to. Mega handy. I think that means I only need to keep up with a handful of people outside the hideout—the landmarks guy, the petal girl, the back alley dealer, and go for frequent baths to give everyone a little HP boost. I suppose the doctor too to refill my jars but I've a feeling I might get a doctor of my own at some point. I want more jars. I'm enjoying getting a gang together at the hideout and it's fun when you see them out and about running their errands. Makes it feel like they aren't holed up at the Dandelion all the time waiting for me to sprint in.

I was upgrading my weapons until I realised you can buy new swords and stuff. Still in Ys VIII mode. Not sure now what the best path to follow is: aim to upgrade something to the max or just buy new? I'll just go by the numbers at any given time (and if I have the materials to upgrade versus the money to buy new) but it's a bit of a headscratcher for now because I'm not sure if the benefits of upgrading would be preferable in the long-term.

"Web slinging", wall running and gliding around the city is fun in and of itself. No complaints from me.

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23 minutes ago, darksnowman said:

I was upgrading my weapons until I realised you can buy new swords and stuff. Still in Ys VIII mode. Not sure now what the best path to follow is: aim to upgrade something to the max or just buy new? I'll just go by the numbers at any given time (and if I have the materials to upgrade versus the money to buy new) but it's a bit of a headscratcher for now because I'm not sure if the benefits of upgrading would be preferable in the long-term.

Best to just buy the strongest hitting weapon in shops that are available at the time. If you keep an eye out for treasure chests, late on in the game you get an item from one of them that will allow you to craft everyone's ultimate weapon. Shop weapons are fine to carry you up until then.

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22 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Best to just buy the strongest hitting weapon in shops that are available at the time. If you keep an eye out for treasure chests, late on in the game you get an item from one of them that will allow you to craft everyone's ultimate weapon. Shop weapons are fine to carry you up until then.

Got some more quality time on this today. Bought a few pieces of equipment (haven't reached a point where I'm overflowing with gold yet) so reading this, I'll stick with purchasing and let the upgrade materials accumulate in the background. Then use them to bolster the raid arena. :hehe: 

I wasn't sure about getting all the petals but thanks to Anemona's Third Eye Gift, I've collected them all in at least two areas now and can conceivably see myself hunting down the rest. I enjoy putting her in the lead—which isn't necessary to use her Gift—purely because of the way she skates when you're dashing.

It was nice to get outside city walls, the stuff with the doppelganger group was a good laugh (reminded me of Ozzy in Chrono Trigger when they pulled the lever...!) and it was fun to later hack and slash up Mount El Dore for exp aplenty and a nice view from the top. Then a sidequest took me back there so I was happy to lay waste to a portion of it again. Currently, I have a pair of sidequests on the list then before I push it forward again, I'll have a look for more petals and speak again to some characters as I go around just on the off chance it triggers anything. Pretty sure it won't, but just in case.

As for Hawk. There are some signs he might be coming around but, like, I don't actually want him to do a miraculous u-turn and lose his attitude because it is funny the way he gets on. I just want to know he's definitely part of the team and he can be a cheeky sod all he wants.

Minor quibble: I'd like to set the map so it's always oriented north. Every time I open it, I'm immediately pressing X to get it pointing N. And sometimes I'm in and out of the map screen pretty frequently!

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Yeah, the map orientation is a bit naff, especially when hunting for stuff. As for the petals, they are pretty easy to find when that ability is active. You should have no trouble nabbing them all. Same goes for the treasure chests.

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The year of JRPGs continues. After finishing Pokemon, I decided to start a Ys game. I've never played one before and it is a game that is on my PS4 2024 pledge list. I was originally going to play through Ys VIII but seeing as darksnowman was playing this one, I figured I would join in on the fun.

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How did my first experience with the Ys series go? Not bad but not amazing either.

The game certainly has a budget feel to it, especially when you compare it to other PS4 JRPGs but then this is what Falcom are known for (AA type games) and how they continue to operate and churn them out. It's not quite at the levels of the Tales of games but also not as low budget as some indie JRPGs.

I quite enjoyed the city you get to explore in. It was a nice size which meant I wasn't getting lost all the time. I also liked how it gradually opens up to you as the game goes on. Having new areas gated off until certain events occur made me appreciate and learn the areas I was currently allowed to explore in, before opening up the next. It's a problem a lot of open world games have where there is simply too much to take in early on and it can become overwhelming. Not the case here. 

Traversal around the city and dungeons was super fun once you unlocked all the abilities. Running up walls, swinging from rooftops and gliding to new places was all very satisfying. However, later on in the game it starts fencing you off with the wall running. Structures and cliffs start having ledges at the very top, meaning you are stopped in your tracks from getting there. This means you are constantly having to look for long ways around the area. It's as if the developers realised that they had given you abilities that were too OP and then needed to nerf them to stop you from blitzing areas.

The characters were enjoyable enough, if a little generic. Hawk was my fav of the bunch, mainly because he played the moody guy with a chip on his shoulder. I stuck with Adol, Hawk and White Cat through most of the game. Being the ones that joined my team first always makes it hard to drop when others arrive. 

One of the characters is a straight up rip off of Rudy from Wild Arms. Just look at them both.

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Trophy wise, there was a nice mix on offer. Having to learn and max every skill with every character, reach level 99, make everyone's ultimate gear, complete every map 100%, bwat Boss Rush mode, find every treasure chest in the game....certainly lots to do. I also had to complete the game on Nightmare difficulty. You can do this from the start but I opted to do a 100% run on an easier difficulty and then play through it again on Nightmare on NG+, carrying over all my gear and stats. This meant 2 play throughs were required but it seemed quicker to a second critical path run with maxed out stuff than to struggle on at a higher difficulty from the start.

There was a trophy for each character in the game that required me to play as them for 5 hours each. This was a bit of a pain as I generally only used Adol. It's one that I had to grind out by leaving the PS5 running while I was asleep, hence the platinum unlocking as soon as I got up for work at 5am. :D

By all accounts this is one of the weaker Ys games. I didn't hate the experience, just found it to be pretty average. I would still like to play through some of the early ones as I love the look of the sprite work. The ones on the PSP look great but cost a pretty penny. I may invest at some point in the future. Oh, speaking of the older games, I see the bump mechanic was still present in this game.

 

And with that done, another game is crossed off the PS4 pledge list.

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On 12/05/2024 at 9:16 PM, Hero-of-Time said:

Yeah, the map orientation is a bit naff, especially when hunting for stuff. As for the petals, they are pretty easy to find when that ability is active. You should have no trouble nabbing them all. Same goes for the treasure chests.

Yeah, chests are already a foregone conclusion the way it automatically gives you a chest count in each area and puts them on the map for you. Same for graffiti. Love how upfront it is about this stuff. I've now pretty much got all the petals in each area so far (plus chests and graffiti) and even found a little secret area in the slums when I went back through it with Third Eye on.

On 13/05/2024 at 9:42 PM, Ike said:

Not any Christmassy ones, but they did a 30th anniversary album last year.

https://open.spotify.com/album/2e4jVgzbvwQDE5zTqUf5hv?si=63c3396b9e88456a

Oh, nice. I'll come back to this after I hear all the music in the game first. I have the Pact Edition which came with a code to download some tracks.

23 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The year of JRPGs continues.

Every year's been the year of JRPGs for me since the GBA/Gamecube era. :D 

23 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I was originally going to play through Ys VIII but seeing as darksnowman was playing this one, I figured I would join in on the fun.

Thought you were mining your memories of a long-ago playthrough to provide tips; wasn't aware you were playing in tandem otherwise I'd have... nah, I doubt I'd have wrapped it up any sooner. Reckon I'm about 20 hours in (at the Entertainment District) so I'm sure it'll be another while yet before I get finished.

Recently did a segment in the prison that was a bit annoying with one-hit kills. Yes, another game with this:
Golden Sun Boulder GIF - Golden Sun Boulder Indiana Jones - Discover ...

I welcomed Lucien into the hideout since he wants what we want.

Nice to read you had an overall decent time with it. Where it excels for me is it's just fun to play. The way it doesn't seem to hide missables is a massive plus point too. So I'm more inclined to do as much as possible (not that I'm going for achievements) when it's all laid out for you, and with it being plain old fun, I'm happy enough to just look around or do a side quest rather than beeline the story. It's just a good time.

Ys VIII is more of the same in a different setting, minus the Gifts. I don't mind feeling around for where these games will allow me to reach so invisible walls didn't bother me in the slightest. Depending on how strongly you're put off by the fencing you've described in IX, you could feel pretty hemmed in at times in VIII.

23 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The characters were enjoyable enough, if a little generic. Hawk was my fav of the bunch, mainly because he played the moody guy with a chip on his shoulder. I stuck with Adol, Hawk and White Cat through most of the game. Being the ones that joined my team first always makes it hard to drop when others arrive. 

Yup, Hawk checks out with your personality. :indeed: All the characters are fun to use but I'm not really liking the look of any of them, which doesn't make me particularly lean towards White Cat and Hawk as I would normally favour the early joiners too. I've dropped Hawk and I'll drop the White Cat too, even though from a story perspective she's sort of set up as your sidekick. I'd prefer to choose from the likes of Dogi, Carla, Parks, Saradhi. It was similar in Ys VIII where I would rather have rolled out with some of the castaways than the party members I was saddled with—but again, they were fun to play as so I saw past it.

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