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A little more than three years have passed since we last saw a new entry in the Ys (rhyming with “Goose”) series, when Dana’s Lacrimosa broke the new entry and skipped the nearly 20-year period of Nitnendo consoles.We like that version very much, and now Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is out, we can confidently say almost Meet the high standards set by its predecessor. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox stumbled on some performance issues, but it finally made up for itself with its excellent combat, fascinating exploration, and the sheer quality of high-intensity music.
The story tells the story of the brave red-haired adventurer Ador Christine and his loyal partner Dorje. Their wandering lifestyle took them to the Gothic city of Balduk. Upon arrival, Ador was immediately arrested for the chaos caused by his previous adventure, and he was thrown into a clink by the local authorities without any further due process.
As you might expect, Adol slipped out of his cell before long, but when he met a strange woman named Aprilis who shot him and turned him into a human/monster hybrid named Monstrum, things were quick Something went wrong. Ador was quickly introduced to a small group of other monsters who had transformed in the same way. They were forced to serve together by Apris. She claimed that she needed their help to fight the imminent threat of monsters from another dimension. Ah Doyle’s curse prevented him from leaving the town, so he had no choice but to learn more about the dark history of this prison city and the monsters inside.
Although it often strays into savage territory, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox manages to mainly align the landing with its plot. The opening time is a bit too onerous in terms of exhibitions and settings, but as the subsequent chapters develop each of the other monsters through short subplots, Adol pairs them to perform certain tasks or tasks, so the rhythm will quickly become stable. Not only do these chapters help provide some much-needed dimensions to your initially superficial companions, but they gradually reveal the mysteries surrounding the huge prison city of Balduk and its imperfectly authoritarian leadership. You may not leave Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is particularly surprised by the feeling of storytelling, but there are still a lot of things here that you can put in about 30 hours to read the story.
The gameplay adopts the form of a typical action role-playing game, using healthy open world exploration to keep it interesting. The main new feature here is the inclusion of “gifts”, which greatly expands the opportunities for exploration. Each monster has unique abilities to make it easier to travel through. The design of this city is almost like a Metroid Devil’s City. You are encouraged to continue exploring when new monsters join your team. Whether it’s a short distance teleportation or a simple gliding ability, each of these gifts feels like a welcome addition to your tool set and helps make Balduq City more like an amusement where you can play at will field.
The city itself is full of side quests and collectibles that can help you increase your strength during your journey, and as the story progresses, you will slowly unlock various dungeons. These are usually more focused on specific gifts, and although there are not many puzzles to speak of, the dungeon is where most of the battle takes place. As you would expect from the Ys game, the battle flow is very fast-paced and convulsive, rewarding skilled and dexterous games. Smashing the “Y” button will see your character launch a series of attacks. At the same time, you can set up to four shortcuts bound to the face buttons, allowing you to use heavier strike skills immediately.
If you see the enemy preparing to launch an attack, you will have two equally attractive options for self-defense. One of them is to avoid rolling, if you do this at the last minute, you will slow down the enemy’s time by a few seconds while gaining a short window of invincibility. Similarly, you can choose to block at the last second, which will offset any damage and greatly increase your attack damage within a few seconds.
All in all, these different combat elements can be well coordinated into a system that allows you to dial in and sit on the edge of your seat at any time. Even the lower difficulty will have short-term creepy challenges, once you determine the various skills and dodge time and start to understand how to connect them into a fashionable combination, it will be a real excitement. Fighting can easily become the highlight of the experience here, and with the passage of dozens of hours, it still maintains a sustained appeal.
We are happy to stop here and let the praise of exploration and combat continue, but unfortunately, both of these elements are hindered by poor performance. Whether it is docking or handheld, frame loss is a persistent problem that will obviously drag everything down. When you provide motivation in dungeons and isolated combat encounters, things usually stay stable at 20-25 FPS, but roaming the open city of Balduk is where the real problems arise. In these cases, you will see a nearly consistent experience below 20 FPS, which makes it more difficult to navigate the trickier parts of the platform and makes the overall experience feel bad. Although we have promised that some patches are being successfully completed, the experience at the time of release is nothing but disappointing.
This is also a real shame, because in addition to the excellent game loop, the presentation is also quite tempting. Balduq is not visually as interesting as the more wonderful places that Adol has explored in the past, but the endless stone structure has a unique Castlevania theme, forming a strange and seductive mixture between comfort and depression. In addition, the soundtrack (especially in the dungeon) mixes some wonderful high-energy rock music, perfectly matching Gothic aesthetics and fast-paced battles. Balduq may not be the best setting for Ys games, but it always manages to make itself unforgettable.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox hasn’t improved much from its tropical predecessor, but it hits all the right rhythms needed to make an addictive and engaging action role-playing game. Fast-paced battles, unforgettable scenes and a rich open world provide action RPG fans with an unmissable experience. If it were not for performance issues, we might even be inclined to say that this is the best example of this type on the Switch. However, in view of these issues, it is difficult to make a completely unreserved recommendation for “Ys IX: Monstrum Nox on Switch”. According to reports, the performance on PS4 and PS5 is better, so if you have access to one of the game consoles, we recommend that you use it. Otherwise, you can still have a good time on the Switch—just be prepared for those frame drops.
About the author
Ronald is a blogger who is always fascinated with the games and the amount of knowledge he can gather from the internet. He is trying to nerdify everyone around his with that same knowledge, through his writings.