A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a role-playing game (RPG) available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, and Windows. While this is the latest in the Ys series, it's a standalone title that doesn't require knowledge of earlier events. While fighting's constant in gameplay, there's very little blood shown, with most actions and damage represented by numbers instead by splashy visual effects. The dialogue occasionally makes use of some light swearing, and some female characters are presented in a suggestive manner, with occasional mild flirting between some characters. Downloadable content (DLC) is available for the game for real money, although the Nintendo Switch version includes 18 previously released DLC packs.
What's it about?
YS VIII: LACRIMOSA OF DANA continues the tales of the restless hero Adol Christin. What starts as a relaxing cruise across the ocean veers off on a new course for adventure when the cruise ship Adol is on gets attacked by a giant sea monster. Adol and his fellow passengers find themselves stranded on the cursed Isle of Seiren. After building a makeshift village for shelter and exploring the area, the castaways soon discover that they're not alone on the island. Strange creatures also inhabit the land, and they're not exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the newcomers. Meanwhile, Adol begins to dream of a mysterious blue-haired girl in need of his help. Adol decides to answer this call to adventure, recruiting help from his newfound friends, as he sets out to rescue the girl from his dreams and find a way to escape the cursed island, unlocking its secrets along the way.
Is it any good?
This is one of the most entertaining adventure experiences in recent memory, expanding the long-running standard of the franchise as one of the best, yet most underrated, RPG series ever made. Whether you've followed the adventures of Adol Christin for the past three decades or you've never even heard of the land of Ys (pronounced "ease"), Lacrimosa of Dana effortlessly gets you deep into the adventure with a strong story and fluid gameplay that makes you feel like you're actually living the adventure alongside Adol and his friends.
As you and your party explore the Isle of Seiren, the world feels like it opens up organically. There's a lot of back and forth, as you have to constantly revisit areas of the island, but it never feels forced or repetitive. The constant combat with creatures feels fluid, with players encouraged to mix up skills and abilities, along with a keen sense of timing, to defeat whatever threats cross your path. Even the side missions, the bane of many RPG fans, feel like they belong in the story, as opposed to being mere filler to artificially inflate content. While it does take a little while for the plot to really develop, once it does, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana becomes an addictive tale of adventure that you can't help but want to play through to the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork. What are ways that people can come together, using their different backgrounds, skills, and personalities to overcome obstacles? What are some good ways to encourage teamwork and to bring people together?
Are there ways that you can prepare yourself to handle unexpected situations or crises? How important is it to keep calm and cool when trouble rears its head?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: NIS America
- Release date: June 26, 2018
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Fantasy Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.