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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4)

Developed by Nihon Falcom, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the eighth instalment in the Ys video game series and is available now on PS4 for £49.99.

If you haven't played any of the previous titles then don't worry! I haven't and I can't say it has made any difference to my gaming experience so don't let it put you off.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a single player, action adventure, JRPG. You are Adol, an adventurer. The ship you were on has sunk and now you find yourself stranded all alone on a mysterious, cursed island and you've started having really strange dreams about a blue haired maiden...

First off, you can set the difficulty according to the type of game you prefer, be it a real test of your abilities (Hard/Nightmare/Inferno) or if you're new to the game and you wish to enjoy the story without having to worry too much (Easy/Normal).
The game does autosave but I would still advise to manually save as often as you can (without being too ridiculous) as you can get so much done and to lose the progress through not saving would be devastating!

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is anime and I have to say, it is beautiful. This may be controversial but I never considered myself an anime fan but playing through Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, I can completely understand why there is such a huge fanbase for the anime genre. 

There are times where I thought that perhaps graphically, it could have been a little better considering it has been 8 years since the release of Ys seven but nevertheless, the views are wonderful, the characters are well designed and fantastically animated. It is easy to fall in love with (or hate!) the characters as they all have their own backstory and personalities which you can learn as you get to know them better. You may choose your dialogue at times which I love because it adds to the feeling of really having an impact in the game, even if it is a small one that won't affect the overall game.  

I've really enjoyed the sounds and music in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, it's really well suited to this type of game as you can easily get lost in gameplay as you wander around the Isle. The voiceover for the characters has been well done and certainly helps make them more personable. 

The menus are simple and quick to navigate through which I fully appreciated especially whenever I needed to remind myself of the controls and other game information that pops up along the way. Even during combat, you can access a quick menu with the simple press of R2 so that you can heal up (or revive your team).

I really don't want to accidentally reveal any spoilers as I've really loved the story and would have hated anyone ruining it for me but there is so much for you to do in the game, it is really quite impressive! You can explore the Isle as well as dungeons, go fishing, find treasure, fight interceptions and suppressions to protect your village and everyone you've rescued.

Level up, improve your gear, synthesize and enhance your weapons and stock up on medicines before embarking on the next step of your journey around the Isle...

As you explore the Isle which you have found yourself on, you will encounter enemies, find loot and rescue other people who were also travelling on the ship you were on. Some of the people you rescue will join your party and help you to continue your mission to rescue any survivors as well as discover the secrets that the Isle holds within, others will return to the village that you have helped build back at the base camp for everyone to live in whilst you prepare to escape the Isle.

Various characters you rescue will provide a service to the village such as forging weapons, making clothes, a medical office and more! You can buy gifts unique to the characters and complete personal quests that come up in order to increase your affection with them.

As people join your party you can switch between them seamlessly even in the chaotic combat which is a real bonus especially when different characters each have their own special skill set and damage type. A real advantage is that you can swap characters in and out of your party so easily, even out in the world, there is no need to return anywhere to make changes!
The combat is simple and easy to master with a little practice (of which you'll get plenty as there are always enemies around!) and I haven't had a single problem with frame rate drop or unresponsive controls.

In fact, even during the most hectic battles, the controls are the least of my worries! Along with the base attack move, there are special moves which you learn and evolve as you play and level up and of course you have your extra move which unleashes all sorts of devastation upon your enemies (once you've filled the meter)!

There are boss enemies which you will encounter from time to time and I love how they are all different, and even on the easiest setting, the bosses still provide a challenge without the whole fight lasting too long which I have noticed is an issue in other games I've played.

As much as I love exploring, the one thing I hate is having to walk all the way back somewhere before being able to log out or pick up other missions. Thankfully, in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana you can fast travel from pretty much anywhere (not if you're in a dungeon)! I was so happy that this was possible, especially at the beginning when I was still getting used to the map layout.

Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I have loved playing Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. There is something so enchanting that I can't help but keep returning to play it! If I had to give it a score then it would have to be 9/10. If you own a PS4 then definitely give this game a look!

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana has 51 trophies available to unlock. The trophy list has really covered all of the bases with the requirements needed, from standard story progression to exploration and collectibles, I am really happy with the trophy list on offer! 

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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