Random Article

Event News

REVIEW: Ys Origin (PS Vita) — ‘Classic Port? Ys Please’


Posted June 25, 2017 by


Who would’ve thought a game with two consonants for a title would survive for over three decades? In fact, the series have been doing more than just survive, with the success of their last entry Ys: Memories of Celceta leading up to the much-anticipated Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. With the franchise getting more relevant than ever, the folks at Nihon Falcom have determined that a current-gen port of 2006’s Ys Origin was in order. Now you’re probably thinking: Does this port still hold up to modern gaming standards? Is this re-release really necessary? Well, it’s a good thing I’m here, then, as you’re about to find out.


As the title suggests, this is a prequel to the main story arc revolving around the adventures of Adol Christin, the game’s main protagonist. As such, it is also the only game in the series not starring the titular redhead. Taking place 700 years before the events of the first game, the prequel focuses primarily on the origin of the Darm Tower, the Black Pearl, the twin Goddesses and the six Priests, all of which are relevant figures in the series.


You choose among three protagonists(The 3rd as an unlockable), each with a distinct combat style and skillset. More importantly, they all offer a unique perspective in the story. The two main protagonists, for instance, both have contrasting personalities and ideals. Hugo Fact is a ranged magic wielder whose calm and analytical nature perfectly contrasts Yunica Tovah’s bright and optimistic mood, despite not being able to use magic herself and relying solely on her physical prowess instead. These contrasting perspectives essentially bring out more dimensions to the story.

The story is simple and with a lack of any kind of side quests, also brief. But with each character offering a unique playstyle and narrative perspective, the replay value is impeccable.


You initially pick between Yunica and Hugo, a melee specialist and a ranged magic chucker respectively, in what is essentially a hack n’ slash. Combat is pretty fluid with the exception of Hugo’s basic attacks as the lack of any lock-on function requires you to re-adjust your aim each time you attack.


Unlike the other exploration heavy titles in the series, Ys Origin takes place entirely inside an enormous tower, making your adventure essentially a series of dungeon crawl making your way atop the tower in a consistent manner. Each segment of the tower more or less follows the same pattern: Find locked door, find the key for locked door, fight a boss, advance up the tower, repeat.

I actually found the general simplicity of the RPG elements of Ys Origin rather convenient as it was more a hack n’ slash platformer than an action RPG. There is the occasional need of grinding for levels but some of the best moments in the game are when fighting bosses, masterfully blending real-time combat and platforming, creating dynamic fights that require you to be on your toes, especially at the higher difficulties.

V I S U A L S  &  P E R F O R M A N C E


This is a port of a 10-year-old game. Not remaster. Port. Though they did optimize the game to run on the PlayStation Vita and adjusted the UI to fit the HD widescreen format, it doesn’t really look much different from the original.

It runs on the same engine introduced in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, mixing three-dimensional graphics with sprites. The 3D elements look all well and good but the sprites are low-res and the framerate significantly drops in significantly heavy scenarios, particularly in boss fights.



If you look past the aging visuals and the game’s simplistic nature, Ys Origin is a pretty good fit for the PlayStation Vita. The consistency of the dungeon layouts and the simplicity of the RPG elements make for a great handheld game. The graphics may not have aged well, but the gameplay itself remains enjoyable. If you look at it as a hack n’ slash dungeon crawler more than an RPG, you might have a good time, and with the three playable characters each offering a distinctly different skill set and perspective, there’s a lot of replayability to be had too.

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response