My hunt for a JRPG that doesn’t bore me into uninstalling it within two hours continues. This time, I’m casting my eyes across Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, an action-RPG in which you explore a prison city and hack up monsters with a sword. Something tells me that it won’t be the JRPG to hook me, but I’ll give it a try when it releases on PC on July 6th.
While Ys 8 jumped the series into a fully explorable 3D world, Ys 9’s major addition are new movement abilities that make exploring the 3D world more interesting. Series protagonist Adol Chrstin, a red-haired sword-swinging adventurer, is arrested by the Romun Empire (not a typo) and then turned into a Monstrum. You control any of six Monstrum characters across the course of the game, each with a unique ability that lets them, among other things, teleport between surfaces, sprout wings with which to glide, or run straight up vertical surfaces.
Ys 9 came out on PlayStation 4 earlier this year and folks seemed to like it just fine, praising its story, the Monstrum abilities, and its speedy pace. The running-up-walls thing is the big appeal to me. I like that the enormous city you’re locked within seems so open and vertical.
Still, I also watch the trailer above and think it looks pretty browny-grey. The Tales Of and Atelier series, similarly long-running JRPGs, have both welcomed a lot of new players recently by being prettier and more accessible than previous games. Ys seems like a fairly accessible series to begin with, but it doesn’t look like it’s getting any prettier.
These are my impressions based on a trailer and some reading, though. Maybe you’ve played it and want to advocate for that grey world, or the nuances of its combat system. I’d genuinely be curious to hear it.