Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Game Poster Image
Set sail with this fantastic fantasy shipwreck adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Features strong themes of teamwork, friendship, helping out those in need. Also focuses on how to handle difficult, unexpected situations by thinking things through, coming up with creative solutions to problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adol is a classic hero who never shies away from adventure. He's kind, brave, selfless, always willing to face whatever obstacles, enemies threaten those in need. Other characters' personalities range from solemn and noble to carefree and happy, but Adol inspires them to a level of heroism all their own.

Ease of Play

Gameplay generally smooth, fluid, though combat can be a little complex due to a variety of available skills to choose from, reliance on precise timing for "Flash" moves. There's also a fair amount of menu navigation for player's party, equipment, skills, etc.

Violence

Combat, violence constant in game. Battles usually take place against fantasy creatures, using combination of medieval weapons, magic skills. Some minor blood effects appear in combat, but no gore.

Sex

Some female characters shown in revealing outfits; occasional flirtatious dialogue between some characters.

Language

Some minor profanity pops up occasionally in dialogue.

Consumerism

Latest installment in long running Ys franchise, which covers numerous video games. May get players interested in checking out older games in series.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol present in game, some characters are implied to be drunk.

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, and Windows. While the game is the latest in the Ys series, it's a standalone title that doesn't require knowledge of earlier events. While fighting is constant in the game, there's very little in the way of blood, with most actions and damage represented instead by splashy visual effects. The dialogue does occasionally make use of some light profanity, and some of the female characters are presented in a suggestive manner, with occasional mild flirting between some characters.

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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?

  • Talk about dealing with the unexpected. 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?

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