The YS series is a beloved among casual and hardcore RPG fans alike as each entry utilizes different methods of RPG gameplay. YS Origin marks the first time the series has ventured into English. The PC/Steam exclusive title utilizes the capabilities of its famed format and is an action-RPG that is equivlent to YS: The Oath In Felghana, in terms of gameplay. Can YS’ origin story ring true with the franchise in the west or was it better off left alone?
Taking place 700 years before YS I and YS II, Origin reaches into the backstory of Darm Tower, Black Pearl, the twin goddesses and the six priests. The main story revolves around two characters, Yunica Tovah and Hugo Fact, as they journey through Darm Tower. Each character has their own reasons for climbing the tower and so playing through with every characters (including unlockables) will helps you understand the entire story.
The two main characters play completely differently: Hugo Fact is a mage who specializes in ranged attacks, and the warrior Yunica Tovah is more accustomed to close combat melee attacks. These different play styles offer two unique adventures through the Darm Tower. As you venture through the tower you come across many enemies, some of whom will drop items that increase experience, attack power, and other minor stats. Many of the pick ups and stats can be kept track of up in the left hand corner almost like a multiplier.
When you initially enter the tower, you are given a stone that transforms Demon Statues into Goddess Statues – allowing you to save and purchase permanent stat upgrades known as blessings. These upgrades are bought with SP which is attained though slaying monsters – thus providing you with an incentive to fight. Ancient mythical animals known as Roo’s also appear throughout hidden areas of the tower, and thanks to some fruit of theirs and Ciera Stones you can upgrade your weapons and power. Emeralds and other precious jewels are also used to upgrade different magic spells you have equipped.
The easy-to-play nature of Origin is great. It’s compatible with most controllers, but if you don’t have one handy then the keyboard and mouse setup works out just great. In fact, personally, I don’t even bother with the mouse, and play the entire thing with just the keyboard and it works quite well.
YS Origin offers a lot of backstory for fans of the franchise and great gameplay to boot. Set with an array of difficulty options and unlockables it’s set to keep fans busy for quite a while. It’s also been a long time coming but finally it’s been localized and now is one of the best times to be a fan of the YS franchise.
Audio/Visual – 5/5: Superb music and great monster design, as is regular with the series, and the bosses are just as towering.
Gameplay – 3/5: Offers multiple playthroughs with the characters, as well as characters to unlock. Compared to other YS titles the length of a single playthrough is short.
Value – 4/5: Replay value is high and for a regular price of $19.99 on Steam barring any Summer Sale, or steam sale it still is worth every penny as players are sure to sink many hours into it.
Innovation – 4/5: A must have for YS fans as well as anyone who wants to know the entirety of the YS lore dating back to, well, its origins.
Final Score: 4.5/5