Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana – Nintendo Switch – Review

Game: Ys VII: Lacrimosa of Dana
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer/Publisher:Nihon Falcom Corporation/ NISA
Price: $59.99/ £49.99/ € 59,99/AU$ 89.95
Release Date: June 29, 2018 (Europe), June 26 (US) and July 6 (AUS)

(Review code kindly provided by NISA)

Overall Feeling: I like it a Lot!

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is an Action RPG developed by Falcom and published by NISA. It released for the Playstation Vita in Japan in 2016 and has since had English versions for the Vita, Playstation 4 and PC. Additional content and features were added and are included with the non-vita versions. The Nintendo Switch version includes the DLC costumes for free.

Sail Away

The usual protagonist of the series Adol Christin is on the Lomardia with his friend Dogi. While on their way to Eresia a tentacled creature attacks the ship. Adol ends up shipwrecked on the Isle of Seiren and finds other castaways from the Lombardia on his adventure. They end up forming Castaway village as their home base.


The combat has a party system, where you can have three active at a time and switch between them in battle. Three types of attacks, slash, pierce and strike  are effective against different enemies so having one of each is needed. When fighting an enemy you’re not effective against your character may even shout the other one’s name to tell them to fight.

You can lock onto an enemy, and attack with the A button, you can jump with B and do mid-air and dive attacks. Evading with L or guarding with R and the right time can trigger a Flash Move or Guard. Doing that slows time and give you a short period of invincibility.


You earn skills at various points in the game, which use SP. Holding R and pressing the allocated button to use them. Since the SP regeneration is rather generous I would often spam this while dodging and accidentally use up my EXTRA gauge. The EXTRA gauge builds up, and when ready to use the player character will say something. This is an ultimate attack and helpful to build up in boss fights.

As it’s an RPG there are levels, stat raising items, food buffs and status effects.

Where Nobody Goes

In the early game there’s a loop of going to a new area and rescuing a new castaway. At the village the new member will offer up some kind of assistance, such as being a tailor or a merchant to trade with. They also give you various side quests, which increase their approval. A certain number of villagers will be required to clear obstacles you come across when exploring. I really liked having the village and it’s inhabitants.

Starting in the second chapter more story developments happen and this is where I really started to enjoy the game. Later in the titular plot developments happen, but I was more interested in the castaways. While things in the second chapter surprised me, the occurrences at the end were odd and I wasn’t as invested in it.

Little Paro is the village’s parrot and he identifies points of interest on the map for you to explore. I found this was a nice way to do it while keeping it in the story. He also comes to ask for help in raids. Castaway Village will find itself being attacked from time to time from all manner of strange beasts. Your party defends either the mountain top or the shore end, while Dogi squad does the other. This is a wave mode where you have to protect the barrier from being destroyed. Sometime there’ll be a boss in the raid as well. With the right materials you can add lures and other defenses. Asides from the end of the game I did every raid I was called to do.


Later in the game you can go on beast hunts, in previously explored areas. Torches are lit to weaken the beast hives to be susceptible to attack. After a certain point or having taken down the hives the boss will show up and has to be beaten. I rather enjoyed this mode. There are also night exploration missions, which involve going to an old location but at night. This means there are more monsters, and stronger ones as well. This is usually done to harvest specific items as a side quest and I didn’t do it any more than I had to.

Fishing is also a side activity, and can be done in many locations. Though you might have to clear out the nearby enemies first. Catching fish gives you meat and other materials, and can be given to the Shoebill in exchange for rewards. It’s a mini game where you mash the A button, and follow any other on screen prompts to fill up the gauge. The master fish are tough, one almost made me question if there was a way to get a better rod (there isn’t).


The five difficulty options can be switched between at any time, except for Inferno. Hard mode is recommended for experienced Ys players so I chose Normal. I found that okay, given that potions require an empty bottle to make and they were hard to come by at the start which meant I couldn’t get off too easy. The third chapter boss wore away all my health items, but until the final chapter I didn’t have nearly as much trouble.

Usually in a dungeon there will be a mid-boss which will give you an item that helps you progress through the rest of the area. In each chapter there can be a few areas you go to with two bosses each. Later in the game there are a few areas with puzzles but they’re quite easy.


It runs at 30fps on the Switch both docked and handheld. I experienced frame drops in cut scenes quite often and sometimes when entering an area. Graphically it’s okay, as it was a Vita game. The location designs are beautiful but it doesn’t come across quite as much as it could. Shadows would also often look odd in cut scenes, even pixellated. Load times are quite short even with the Help Screen hints on, which I usually can’t read quick enough. I also had trouble with the camera options even changing all the different settings I still struggled to lock onto which enemies I wanted to.

My copy of the game was European and updated to version 1.0.3 and I had the proper translation and didn’t experience any bugs. It was odd hearing things like the Romun Empire or the country of Greek but I believe that naming is from the older games.


Ys VIII takes almost forty-hours to beat depending on your difficulty. I still really enjoyed this game, even considering frame-rate and camera issues and that the graphics aren’t the best. I liked the combat, the setting and the characters. It has a gr

I like it a lot!

eat soundtrack, I liked A Waterdrop in the Dark in particular as it felt kind of pikmin-esque. Besides, it has fishing!

I like it a Lot!

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