Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is an action role-playing game. Finding himself shipwrecked on the cursed Isle of Seiren, Adol Christin joins together with his fellow castaways to unravel the mysteries of the island while trying to find a way to escape.
Pro Able to be played without having played any other games in the series
Almost all of the games in the Ys series are self-contained stories. There are some references to locations and stories from other games in the series, but these references do not make an impact on the story at all.
Pro Beautiful soundtrack
The Falcom Sound Team delivers with a beautiful soundtrack for this game. The music ranges from rock tracks for combat, to upbeat music when in bright, sunny locals, and calm, serene music when the occasion calls for it. This is one soundtrack where the music is not only memorable, but fits the mood of the game very well.
Pro Interesting and compelling story
Starting out with a monster attacking the boat Adol is on as the introduction, the story starts with finding fellow castaways while establishing and upgrading and defending a base of operations and trying to find a way to escape the island. As the story progresses, it shifts from trying to escape to unraveling the mysteries of island and why Adol is having dreams about Dana, a woman from an ancient civilization. What starts out as a group of strangers stranded on an island trying to escape turns into a community working together in a story that evolves from trying to survive to unraveling the great mysteries of the island.
Pro Great combat system that is easy learn
The main combat of YS VIII is fast-paced, but not difficult to grasp. The core of the combat is the basic attack, dodge and guard. In addition to basic guarding and dodging, if the timing is done correctly, a flash guard or flash move is activated which either make you deal critical damage with each strike (guard) or move faster (move), as well as make you invincible for a short time. Combat becomes more nuanced with characters being able to deal one of three damage types, which can be used to exploit enemies weaknesses to stagger them or deal increased damage. Everything flows well in a way that's simple to grasp, with plenty of room to master the details.
Con The beginning of the game starts off slow
The first few hours are a bit of a drag. Things take a while to pick up, with the story moving at a sluggish pace as you try to figure out what's going on around you. But once you get past that hurdle, the pacing picks up and the story stays interesting for the rest of the way.
Con Terrible English localization
The localization of Ys VIII is filled with grammatical errors, inconsistencies and typos. Compared to the rest of the games in the Ys series, this unprofessional localization was a let down that ended up creating enough of an outcry from fans. This is a long-running problem that still has not been updated with an official patch, though the publisher has promised to release one at some point in the future.