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Ys IX: Monstrum Nox


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There's kind of been 3 types of Ys games over the years. The first couple you just bashed in to enemies, then they became hyper, isometric, all about attacking. Then we got to the 3D versions and it was still a game about going on the attack, but now what type of attack was important. You'd eventually gather 3 characters, a sword character (red), a blunt attack character (blue), and a piercing character (green), different enemy types are weak to different attack types, and you can switch on the fly to suit


And that's how it's been for a few games now. Ys IX follows the same formula, but brings in a more traditional RPG structure. Previously side quests would task you with just getting certain drops, you'd get them from your home base, which was a tiny area, and that would be it. 99.9% of the time you were out killing things


Ys IX is a little different, structured like a traditional JRPG, it starts slow, with the plot set up, then some short easy combat to ease you in, then a chunk more story. The world is no longer 1 small safe area then a world of combat, instead you're in a city, with combat, shopping, side quests, and exploration taking place throughout, I've not seen this in an Ys game before, even if it's fairly typical for the genre. You're eased in to the world with quests to visit shops and buy gear, it's a little slow going. There's still "dungeons", sections where there's nothing but combat and exploration, but now there's also little dimension pockets where you can enter combat and fight a handful of enemies, then just carry on with whatever you were supposed to be doing


The tower defence style sections are still here, now you're whisked away at certain points to fight as a team, protecting a crystal, against waves of enemies. Not especially interesting, and the camera annoyed me a little with this, it maybe could do with being pulled back a bit so you see more of the field, but then they've not been too demanding so far, so maybe it doesn't matter


also it's all anime goth now

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Definitely a switch game for me, and I say that as someone who though the switch port of 8 looked like utter shite (while being one of the best Jrpgs I've played). 


Hopefully they can improve things with this when the time comes. I like the way it sounds in your description.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm still going through this. It's fallen in to a bit of a structure, Adol is cursed, he's now a monstrum, essentially he's got demonic powers to fight the nox (monsters that come from some other dimension). Because of this curse he can't leave the city, and he's transported to another dimension where he fights along side the other monstrum. 


The game then seems to be settling in to each chapter being about one of the monstrum. They'll join you for a bit and you'll find out who they are. It's not bad, I really like the first character you team up with, the others are less likable so far but not terrible. 

There was something that happened I thought was going to properly shake things up, completely break the routine it had convinced me it was settling in to. But no, it's gone back to bring predictable 


It's still fun though. Its a lot more focused on the combat now which is easily the best part 

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  • 4 months later...

There's a demo for the Switch version out now. For some funny reason it actually looks and runs better than VIII (but it's still neither a looker nor extremely smooth) but I strongly dislike the edgy style. Will get it regardless though, Falcom deserves that after the phenomenal VIII.

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