Monday 31 March 2014

Luftrausers Review (PS3/Vita)

We first came across Luftrausers at the Euro gamer Expo where it was set over in a corner with little explanation about how to play it. After attempting a few flights we gave up after dying within seconds. We’re pleased to say that now we have got hold of it on a home system and spent some quality time with it that the game absolutely shines.

The game is quite simple in concept- you launch your little plane and fly around an arena shooting down enemies and blowing up ships in order to build a high score. The top and bottom of arena are bordered by a cloud bank and water and you can infinitely fly left and right. It’s not dissimilar to something like Time Pilot crossed with Defender. To start with you are only dealing with small planes, but the longer you last and the more you shoot down the bigger and more difficult the enemies become.

There are a whole host of planes and ships to take on and each of them have their own characteristics and ways they must be approached. Planes are soon joined by super-fast jets and dog fighting aces, while boats become the side show to missile launching submarines and full on battle ships. Soon you’ll be weaving through inches of space as the screen fills with gun fire. Survive long enough and you might get to see the laser ace or the dreaded blimp.

Controlling your Rauser is easy but a little unconventional. You have your standard fire button but movement is more about momentum than just pushing a direction. Pressing up or the shoulder button propels you forward and you can then use the direction buttons to steer. This allows you to perform stalls and dives and turn the tables quickly on pursuing attackers. It might take a little while to get used to but it works perfectly once you get the hang of it. You’re plane can also take a few hits with releasing the fire button allowing you to heal.

As you progress you will unlock different parts for the plane. Each of these adds different properties such as being able to ram things without taking damage or changing your firing weapon. They all have pros and cons and there is no such thing as a perfect load out. Each part also has a number of different challenges to complete which helps to unlock more parts and raise your Rauser level. Our personal favourite is the part that allows you to dive into the water without taking damage. With some clever use of components you can use this and the battering ram part to turn your plane into a water skimming missile.

What at first seems like it could be a fun five minute game soon reveals the depth and complexity of its scoring system. There are over a hundred different combinations of plane parts and challenges continually unlock as you play and once you take down a blimp it really gets crazy. It’s a high score game at heart so the more friends you have to show up on the leader board the better but even taken on its own merit this a game that every Vita owner should own. It doesn’t seem to fit the PS3 quite so well but that’s mainly down to the Vita proving to be a natural fit.

Overall, Luftrausers has managed to take all the best elements from the early days of arcade shooters and package them into this crazy game. It’s the sort of thing you pick up for five minutes and then put down two hours later and as a pure gaming test of skill there is very little else out there to match it.


Wednesday 26 March 2014

Kingdom Hearts 2 Review (PS2)

The first Kingdom Hearts was without doubt one of the best adventure games to grace the PS2. The strange mix of Square and Disney characters created a number of lush and interesting worlds for players to explore.  After a long delayed release Kingdom Hearts 2 it finally made its way to Europe, but was it worth the wait?

Right from the start the game throws players off by starting you in the form of Roxas, a young boy who lives in Twighlight town. Never fear, Sora will appear later but first we have a mini adventure. This serves to acquaint the player with the games controls and also sets out the themes of the title.

Presentation as you might expect is of an incredibly high order with striking representations of the Disney creations complete with some excellent voice over work. As before, many final fantasy characters appear throughout and as a nice touch most of the characters that appeared in the  FFVII Advent Children movie have the same voice actors. While the presentation of the game may be as excellent as ever the levels themselves are sadly a little lacking when compared to the first game.

Combat is the emphasis for this title with the many puzzles and platform sections of the original all but a memory. Difficulty has also been dropped a touch, though that is not necessarily a bad thing considering some of the insanity present before. As well as the standard physical and magical attacks available there are now new gauge and limit options. The gauge allows a second keyblade to be brought into action containing a whole new set of skills in a sort Disney version of a Chow Yun-Fat double pistol attack.

Limit attacks bring all the characters together to perform a high impact move on the enemy- often with quick time event style button pushes to prolong it. In certain situations the triangle button can be pressed to initiate a context sensitive attack, in boss battles this is always obvious as a very large and clear ‘Press Triangle’ sign appears over a Triangle shaped button. When fighting normal opponents however the triangle command appears fleetingly at the bottom left of the screen on the command menu and is far too easy to miss.

Although having such a wide range of moves is welcome their execution leaves something to be desired. Combat is so frantic and fast that most of the time it is completely impractical to cycle through a couple of menus in order to find the summon or limit break commands. Luckily they are not really necessary to fight your way to victory but you cannot help feel that the control system could have been a little more streamlined.

With the puzzles removed what we get is relentless combat followed by relentless combat, which if played in long sessions does become repetitive. This feeling is not helped by some uninspired level design and locations on occasion. With all the creations that Disney has license to you have to wonder why certain locations are repeated from the first game. They do have new stories but did we really need to go back to the Hercules level? I think not.

That is not to say there is not inspiration at work as well- the Steamboat Willie and Pirates of the Caribbean levels for example. You can’t help but feel that The developers have missed a few tricks here though with so many Disney movies not appearing in either game so far and that’s not to mention other IP’s such as Duck Tales or Darkwing Duck. What we have here for the most part is a very safe choice of levels.

This is the main feeling you get from the title. There are numbers of good and inspired moments but for each one you can’t help but think of something else that would have been better and players will no doubt end up feeling they have seen it before or that could have been handled with a touch more inspiration. Faults aside the title is highly enjoyable and well presented. For fans of the series there are sections here that are worth the entry fee. However, there is no getting away from the fact that first game simply contains more inspiration, more variety and more magic.


Monday 24 March 2014

Abe’s Oddysee Review (Playstation)

One thing being said with alarming regularity is that there’s a distinct lack of originality and personality coming to market. Even back in 1997, few companies were willing to take a chance on putting out something completely unique. Oddworld Inhabitants not only created one of the most original and charming titles in the history of gaming, but also alerted us to their ridiculously ambitious Oddworld project.

Briefly, the project was to make a Quintology of games that would allow you to see a completely new world from a number of different perspectives. Each game in the series would have at least one bonus game released to further expand the adventures of the character (or theme) of any particular Quintology title. Abe's Oddysee was the first part of the Quintology – the sequel, Abe's Exoddus, being the bonus game. Unfortunately, this grand vision would never be finished as a frustrated Oddworld Inhabitants would leave the industry after Oddworld: Stranger was treated very badly by its publisher.

Abe's Oddysee follows the story of a Mudokon floor-sweeper named Abe. While working at the meat processing plant one night, he discovers that the Glukkons have decided to make a new type of food. Horrifyingly, it is to be made out of all the Mudokon workers. It is now up to Abe to rescue his ninety-nine colleagues and thus end the evil plans of the factory owners once and for all.

The title is presented as a 2.5-dimensional platformer with the action taking place in the foreground and background. If you can imagine the sort of rotoscoped graphical approach used in Flashback and add to that puzzle elements from Lemmings, you will be somewhere in the right area. Abe must navigate his way out of the factory, avoiding guards and their dogs (Slogs and Sligs), and the many bombs, traps and other nasty things which would turn him into snack food. Along the way you must decided if you want to save other workers. Be warned though, while choosing to save them or not is entirely up to you, the consequences of your actions could leave you in big trouble.

One of the unique things about the game is the use of Abe's voice to communicate with others. By pressing R1 and the correct button, Abe can come out with the phrases "Hello", "Wait", and "Follow me". These phrases must be used to guide the other workers to safety. Abe can also chant which allows him to open portals and possess enemy Slogs. Slogs can then be controlled by the player, allowing them to use (amongst other things), their own set of vocal skills. As you move through the game more skills become available, each essential to solving the puzzles you will come across.

Puzzles start out fairly simply but soon become complex, yet logical (in an Oddworld kind of way), and sections are kept short so frustration is always at a minimum. The thing that makes an already great game even better is the level of detail apparent in both the look and personality. The way the alien world is presented is breathtaking with each area having its own look and feel.

Humour also plays a huge part in making the game seep into your subconscious. There are numerous nasty ways to get rid of enemies, each of which causes Abe to giggle after he has done the deed. Slogs stalk around moaning and screaming "help" when Abe is trying to posses them, and even when you don't quite manage to save a Mudokon, it is hard not to laugh at the often gruesome ways they are dispatched.Throw into the gaming mix some of the best-designed and most amusing cut scenes to have appeared in ages, and you cannot fail to be charmed.

It is obvious the people who developed this took a great deal of care and attention at every turn. The only real fault is that sometimes, because of the graphical style, characters may take that half-second longer to react than you'd like – but this is a small point and rarely interferes with what you are trying to do. Impressively, Abe's Oddysee still seems fresh to this day and it acts to show just how disappointing it is that we may never get another original Oddworld game.


Wednesday 19 March 2014

10 Second Ninja Review (PC)

One of the creative minds behind Castles in Sky in now back with a frantic mixture of nazi robots, spikes and ninjas. The lose plot revolves around a robot Hitler and a ninja having to destroy robots with a big sword. It’s not likely to win best screenplay but then sometimes you just want to jump around and hit things.

A platform game mixed with a heavy puzzle element, the main gameplay gimmick is that you only have ten second with which to complete each stage. The timer only starts after you make your first move which means you can spend some time surveying the single screen style levels in an attempt to work out the best route to victory.

Your Ninja has a couple of skills to help along the way. You can use three shurikens in each level and also double jump. You’ll need to work out the best enemies to hit with throwing stars in advance as it can be the difference between victory and defeat if you use them in the wrong place. Shurikens can also be used to set off icicle falls, which in turn can crush robots for you.

You’ll need to complete levels as quickly as possible as well as you're awarded between one to three stars upon completion. You’ll start out completely mystified as to how you get the two or three star ratings but as you progress it all becomes clearer. Getting three stars on levels does require almost Jedi like reflexes though.

The levels themselves are a mixture of floating platforms, spikes and collapsing stones. More obstacles and enemies are added as the game progresses and you also have to contend with some good old fashioned ice stages as well. Everything is there for a reason and that reason is for you to plan your assault and deal with the robots as quickly as possible.

The star system does create a problem however, as you are required to collect a certain amount before taking on each areas boss. In our view the requirement is set a touch too high and we can see players hitting a complete dead end at times. In a game all about speed and momentum the need to better a high score and get higher amounts of stars is high enough without the enforced star barrier at the end of each level. It’s about the only misstep in what is a compact and focused game.

The boss fights themselves have the same ten second time limit and you also have your shurikens removed. They prove to be good fun and not a massive stumbling block to progression. They are simply designed as a different sort of puzzle to work out and work well to break up the regular levels.

Overall, 10 Second Ninja is a strong debut for the developer. There’s a hints of Kung Fu Rabbit and N+ (among other things), but the game also has its own distinct personality. It’s a fast, slick and fun game and one that will provide bite sized chunks of twitch gameplay. It achieves pretty much everything it sets out to and is certainly a game that we’ll come back to again and again.

Overall 8/10

Monday 17 March 2014

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Review (PC)

The first major piece of DLC (you’ll need the original game to play it), for the recent Shadowrun Returns changes the setting of our murky world of magic and science to the streets and shadows of Berlin. A standalone campaign set around the same timeframe as the original game, Dragonfall does things a little differently than before and is all the better for it.

Having fled Berlin after a betrayal, your new character soon finds themselves on a job described as a ‘milk run’ with an old friend. In Shadowrun things are never usually as simple as they seem and predictably things go wrong quickly and keep getting worse. You soon uncover a dangerous secret and by then it’s too late to back out. Just remember – never cut a deal with a dragon.

One of the areas where Dragonfall differs from the original game is that you now have a consistent pool of runners to choose before going into each mission. This means that the writers have been given more scope to build up the personalities of your team who occupy the now expanded hub area. More team members can be picked up during missions as well and it means players are rarely faced with situations that they are completely unequipped for. Instead, the missions become more about how you want to go about completing them which removes a lot of the frustration found in Shadowrun Returns where you could find yourself grinding through with a poorly chosen team.

Another major addition (which has also been added to the base game), is the ability to save anywhere. Having to repeat large sections of dialogue or dying at the end of a mission and having to restart an hour’s worth of play are now long gone. This may remove some of the tension but it helps the flow and pace of the game no end, something that should be celebrated in what is a story heavy affair. 

The mechanics themselves are pretty much the same as before. The core rule set of the original game was always decent and here you get to see how flexible it can be as you now have specifically designed characters to use in levels created for their skill set. Level design is also of a higher standard for the most part with more optional objectives and a better way of picking up and identifying side quests that helps to build the illusion of player freedom.

Unfortunately, the matrix sections are still dull an uninspired. Without a complete overhaul of how these play we can’t see how jacking into computers will become more exciting in the future. The series really would benefit from taking these sections back to the drawing board though as they seem to drag on endlessly and lack pace and excitement. One other minor criticism is that Berlin looks an awful lot like the Seattle of the first game. It would have been nice to give it more of a visual identity as it’s certainly an iconic city.  People at least talk in a German accent for the most part.

Dragon Fall is basically more of the same but refined and improved in a number of key areas. If you liked Shadowrun Returns then you should love this as just about every aspect from story to mission design is improved. It’s a highly promising start for the first piece of DLC and it makes us genuinely excited about the potential for more in the future.

Overall 8/10

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Story of Thor Review (Mega Drive)

Once upon a time a young prince named Ali discovered a sacred golden armlet that allowed him to control four powerful spirits. Ali must now search for another sacred armlet taken by an evil sorcerer intent on doing all sorts of nasty things to people. During this quest he must find the four spirits that the golden armlet controls- the Water Fairy, Shadow Spirit, Carnivorous Plant and Giant of Fire. With these powerful allies at his disposal Ali will be able to end the demonic ambitions of the silver armlets owner once and for all.

Set very much in the same genre as the Legend of Zelda series, the game follows much the same layout. You move around talking to villagers and fighting monsters above ground before entering a dungeon of some sort where you must solve puzzles and discover hidden objects, before facing off against some nasty monster at the end of it all. However, to say the title is simply a Zelda clone could not be further from the truth, in fact few 16 bit releases can match its identity and style.

The Story of Thor (Beyond Oasis outside Europe), is presented with unique comic book graphics from a top down viewpoint. The characters and enemies are big and well animated, whilst everything is beautifully coloured. Backgrounds and Dungeons are varied in both colour and style - thereby helping to maintain interest, as enemies types are somewhat repetitive. A number of nice touches are also present within the game. 

For instance, once found Ali can summon one of four spirits to come to his aid, each one offering something different. The twist is that summoning spirits can only be achieved by finding an item that relates to it. for instance to call the fire giant you need to summon him near a burning torch or flame. Without question this adds a welcome touch of strategy to the proceedings. 

As well as the spirits you can call upon a number of weapons during your quest, ranging from swords to bombs. Each weapon only has a limited amount of uses and therefore must be used only in desperate situations. Unfortunately, the control system lets down what otherwise would be a classic title. The problem is that Ali cannot move diagonally resulting in enemies being hard to hit, as you always have to be facing or side on to them. This increases the danger of you taking damage and it also makes moving around screens extremely frustrating. After a while the action does become repetitive, and you will find yourself constantly hitting the attack button over and over trying to hit some monster that refuses to move into your field of vision. 

Overall, The Story of Thor is a game that could have been an awful lot better. While it arguably looks better than Zelda on the Super Nintendo and contains more charm in certain areas, the controls are just not flexible enough to allow you to pull off the moves you require, which leads to frustration. This is a solid adventure game for fans of the genre or anyone looking for a something a bit different, and worth hunting for, just be prepared to forgive its short comings.


Monday 10 March 2014

Talisman: Digital Edition Review (PC)

A digital version of Games Workshops adventure game has certainly taken a long journey to reach us. An initial version based on the third edition board and rule set was in development for various console digital services and featured a 3D board and a number of other technical tricks. Sadly it never materialised and the idea went quiet. Now Nomad games have delivered us a faithful visual recreation of the fourth edition version of the game.

For the uninitiated Talisman is an adventure style board game for up to four players. Each player must move around the board encountering enemies and gathering followers and items so that they can make their way to the centre of the board and take control of the crown. Once there they can cast the command spell to force the other players out of the game and win.

In terms of presentation the game hasn’t got any spectacular bells and whistles but it does recreate the board and cards excellently. There aren’t any real animations or visual effects though with effectively being a digitised version of the board, cards and rule set. We would have liked the option of a bit more animation but in our experience gimmicks are often turned off quickly as they begin to repeat themselves. Carcassonne and Catan certainly never felt the need to add them in either.

The board is split into three regions. Players start on the most outer region and gradually make their way into the middle by overcoming various obstacles. To make it to the second region you need to cross and river and can do this via a teleport, raft or battling a giant sentinel. To then reach the inner most region to need to get through a magic door and a have a talisman in your possession. As you move through the regions the squares get more dangerous so wise players will spend time building their strength and craft in order to survive.

Stats can be built up in three main ways. You can find objects, recruit followers of trade-in battle trophies. Every time you fight a monster on the board and defeat it you take its card as a trophy. Once you have enough cards based in either strength or craft you can then exchange them for an increase in that stat. Each of the characters has their own strengths and weaknesses and their own unique abilities so you have to change your strategy depending on who you are playing. For instance, the Warrior roles two dice in combat while the Minstrel can gather animals he encounters to boost his strength.

The rule set is fairly easy to understand as well. Every square lays down what must be done on it and how many adventure cards need to be drawn. The cards themselves also explain what needs to be done or what they do. The game engine fills in many of the gaps for you and it seems a pretty solid rule set. One thing we really don’t like is that only some characters can choose to fight others with craft rather than strength, this seems to unbalance things a little as building up a high craft can be somewhat pointless depending on who you are.

We also found at times, especially when playing against AI characters, that the game did begin to drag in its later stages. There were a few times we managed to get all the way through the card deck without that much progress being made and this can lead to frustration. To be fair that’s all in the random nature of the game. Getting the wrong cards or rolling the wrong numbers can be a pain and without human opponents to taunt you it does begin to feel a bit dull after a while. We couldn’t test online play as we couldn’t find any games (which is worrying at this early stage), but you’ll be glad to hear that there most certainly is a four player local option.

A number of expansions are on the way which changes elements of how the game plays and are based on what is already available for the table top version of the game. There isn’t anything which adds more regions yet but we would love to see this in the future to further open up the world and add some more variety.

Overall, there may be a few issues and the game does tend to suffer from problems that other board games have had when they make the leap to a digital format. That said the rule set here is solid and accurate and the game is a much cheaper way of the playing what is an excellent table top game. It’s a faithful recreation and any Games Workshop or Talisman fan shouldn’t be disappointed with what they find. It may be a harder sell for the regular PC gamer but invest the time and get a few friends involved and this is a deep and rewarding adventure that you’ll return to when you want something which requires a bit more thought.

Overall 7/10

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Star Ocean - Until the End of Time Review (PS2)

The PS2 version of Star Ocean is the third in the series, but like many other Square franchises it is not necessary to have played the other games to know what is going on. The story follows a boy named ‘Fayt’ who is busy minding his own business on a holiday planet when it comes under attack from an unknown military force. Thus you are thrown into an epic tale spanning across the galaxy, with twists etc, you know how it goes- while Star Ocean may not innovate in the tale that is told, the way it unravels is a slight break from the norm.

The title is placed in a highly futuristic setting, it is then somewhat of an irony that the game crash lands you onto a primitive planet filled with knights and dragons where due to intergalactic law you can not use any form of technology more advanced than your surroundings. This means even though you have the technology to level a city at the flick of a button, you have to run round with a sword. At least it appears the developers have a sense of humour.

Combat is dealt with in real time. All of you who have had just about enough of random encounters and turn based fighting rejoice. Enemies can be seen on the map and engaged at the player’s choice. However, it can be all to easy to keep running past creatures while exploring the map meaning you are missing out on much needed experience- you have been warned. 

Combat itself works extremely well. Computer AI is decent enough and characters can be given set instructions to carry out. However they do tend to not heal themselves so boss battles often result in players taking control of the main healing character while the computer deals out punishment for you. During combat there are numerous special moves available at the touch of a button and skilled players will be able to string massive combinations together, indeed it all works so well it makes you wonder why we bothered with turn based fighting for so long.

Graphically the title is not outstanding. Characters and locations are nicely created but there is very little that will cause you to marvel at what is on screen. Cut scenes are well done but are normally only a few seconds long. This may please some people who do not want a constant precession of ten minute long story segments, but when the PS2 takes a few seconds to load up a scene which runs for about three seconds,  then takes a few more seconds to load up the game area again it creates an incredibly disjointed feel and effects the general flow of the game no end.

One of the titles undoubted strengths is the subtle beauty of the musical scores that run through it. While in space you are treated to cold, empty sounding melodies that float around the game area, truly outstanding. The only time the music falls down is when entering one of the many dungeons. After building a mood throughout the game with gentle melodies that perfectly fit your surroundings walking into the first dungeon area on a sixteenth century planet to be greeted by the sounds of Japanese synth pop is a little out of place to say the least. However, like so many things in Star Ocean after a few hours you get used to it and it begins to fit the overall feel of the title.

While many other RPG’s claim to be epic, Star Ocean definitely is. Spanning two discs there is more game in there for you money than almost any other title currently on the market. In order to get through to the end you are looking at putting in somewhere in the region of fifty plus hours. If you want to collect all the battle trophies and complete all the side quests, inventing sections etc, then you could easily see that play time double. When you take into account the multiple endings available it shows that Star Ocean is ready and willing to absorb how ever much of your time you want to put into it.

While far from being perfect Star Ocean is a well put together title that offers a lot of fun for RPG veterans and new comers alike. While there is not really anything that drives you through the game it is more than likely that players will stick with it until the end due to its easy going nature. Star Ocean is a game you have to play through at your own pace, there are so many things you can do that are optional it is a title that personifies the idea that the more you put in the more you will get out. Maybe not quite up to the standard of other square adventures of times gone by, it is never the less a highly enjoyable experience and one well worth checking out.

Overall 7/10

Monday 3 March 2014

Ys: Memories of Celceta Review (Playstation Vita)

The Ys franchise has been around since the late eighties but the games have rarely made it over to the west. Some of the titles are available via Steam or the Wii virtual console but this is the first time the series has seen a major release upon European shores. We won’t go into a long history lesson on the plot as the game acts as much as a self-contained adventure as a continuation to the timeline. Because of this it is easily accessible for newcomers to the mythology of the world.

The plot follows a young adventure named Adol who is found in a great forest suffering from amnesia. As Adol you are tasked with exploring the forest and recovering your memories. Along the way you will encounter characters who remember you. Some of these will accuse you of things that you may or may not have done and a large part of the game is in investigation these claims, normally by heading to a dungeon, in order to find out what is actually going on.

An action RPG, Memories of Celceta has characters exploring the world away from random battles. All the enemies are on the screen from the start and you will need to use your array of weapons and special powers to defeat them. Combat is similar in some respects to the Tales series (or later Star Ocean games), where you have a small group of heroes fighting in real time. The player controls one character while the AI controls the other two.

Unlike many games the AI is actually pretty good at handling the characters and there weren’t many moments when it did something stupid or put them in harm’s way. They do attack but we found that we needed to dive in to perform at the heart of the battle. This means you can’t just sneakily hide somewhere while the computer does all the work.

You’ll gradually get more characters join your party and each has their own strengths and special abilities to use on the map.  For instance, one can pick locks while another is capable of splitting rocks to open the way. All members of your party gain experience during your adventure whether they are in the on screen party or not which means you are free to experiment and swap characters in and out without them lagging behind in terms of stats.

As you level you will gain new combat skills that you can assign to different buttons. To use these skills you have to strike enemies to build a meter. Finishing off an enemy with one of these skills then fills a different super move meter which when full unleashes a lengthy and powerful combo. It’s a simple system but one that works well.

Collectible items also have a system to follow. As you gather bits of plant, minerals and other objects you can combine them for items of higher value. Collect enough coal and you turn it into iron ore, collect enough iron ore and can turn into silver ore etc. These items can then be sold for much higher values than before as well as being used to craft new weapons and objects.

As you explore the forest you will fill out your map which highlights areas of interest and stone markers. Any marker visited can be used to quick travel around the map and also acts to heal your health and cure status ailments. This means you aren’t constantly backtracking and keeps the pace up. 

Aside from your main quest there are also numerous side quests in each area. These normally appear after solving the areas problem and take the form of messages pinned on the town’s board. Reading the board once adds all the quests to your map so you only have to glance at the quests once. This further streamlines the experience and allows for quick and easy access to what there is to do around you. You can also save just about anywhere, except during boss fights. If you die you get a retry option which normally puts you at the entrance to the last room you entered as well so there is little repetition of events.

In fact the only thing likely to stall your progress through the game is the somewhat strange requirement that some dungeons have to make you find a number of pieces of stone tablet in order to proceed. You need these to make a shape on certain doors (like a picture slide puzzle), before the door will open. We found ourselves stuck a number of times because of missing a piece and then had to trudge around the dungeon looking for it.

Overall, Ys does a very good job of bringing the action RPG genre to the Vita. It looks lovely and there is a strong and pacey quest to undertake. It may lack a little depth but it’s a player friendly and enjoyable game and one that fits the Vita very well. If you are in need of some dungeon exploring action then this is the game for you.

Overall 8/10