The year of 2005 is already in full force and we have yet to really see a great RPG thus far. We have seen great sports and action games but we really have yet to see an RPG that really stands out from the rest of the crowd. Now Konami is coming out with its latest RPG in Ys: Ark of Napishtim, an action RPG for the PS2. So is the first breakout RPG of the year? You’re going to have to keep reading to find out now!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Ys series, it is actually one that has been around for quite sometime. The game was originally released back on the TurboGrafx CD but that console never really made an impact, so very few, if any, have actually played the game. There was the third game in the series released for the SNES and Genesis but that game never really gathered much attention and to be honest was not the best game of the time. So why then would Konami try and revive a game that really very few people have actually heard of? Well the answer to that question is one that I don’t know, but Ys: The Ark of Napishtim is available for the PS2 and still keeps close to its roots.
So what is Ys: The Ark of Napishtim you might ask? Well you start a few years after the last installment of the series, and play as Adol Christin, a red haired fellow who to be honest seems like a pretty typical hero. In the Ark of Napishtim you find Adol running from the Romuns and while doing so jumps onto an escape ship, which ends up going to the great vortex. It’s then a few days later that he finds himself on a strange island, where all the other victims of the great vortex end up. From there he then has to solve some mysterious mystery regarding a fairy. From there you are really are thrown into the game and although the story may not be the most, the interesting gameplay makes up for it.
Looking back on the style of the older Ys games you can see that the developers wanted to keep the same sort of third person action RPG style, and yet enhance those things to make for a modern style game, and the results may surprise some people. For those of you who haven’t been accustomed to the Ys series, you will need to know that the game puts a heavy emphasis on the combat, and this is where in my opinion the game comes in the strongest. Once you get underway, you will have the choice of three different swords, each giving you unique combo attacks. One of the biggest challenges the game offers up is the ability to upgrade your sword, which is really one of the key draws to the game. This leads you to want to farther in the game so you can get better and stronger abilities.
What I really enjoyed about Ys and its combat system was that it wasn’t your typical button masher with little to no substance but instead the game offers up more challenge and style then normal. You will have to use your combo’s carefully as if you do become careless in the game it at times will work against you.
One of the strongest qualities of Ys: The Arc of Napishtim has got to be its boss battles, which are really quite challenging and fun. From my experiences with the game, I found the boss battles to be similar to the old school style, where you would have to learn the boss’s attack patterns and then exploit its weakness when necessary. The boss battles are probably some of the more enjoyable sequences throughout the game.
What I like about Ys: The Arc of Napishtim is that it combines the old school style gameplay from the games past and it takes on a new aged style as well and if you don’t know where this is going yet, takes the two styles and puts it into a pretty solid game. Now the game is not without faults, as the controls can be tricky and frustrating at times, and there are some sticky situations throughout the game but the overall performance is impressive.
The one thing I have found with these older RPG games revived on the modern console is that the visuals don’t always correlate all that well. In fact most of the time we see these sorts of games fail miserably because of the poor visual execution. Does Ys have that problem?
Ys: The Arc of Napishtim is one of those games that stick to its artistic style roots that we saw so many years ago and it works pretty well in the year 2005 as well. Now I have some complaints with the games visuals as they are not the clearest and they don’t seem to have the same amount of detail as we have seen on other action RPG’s but the developers did stick with a very solid artistic style.
Is it going to please everyone? No. The game does leave quite a bit to be desired in terms of detail and color usage. But with that being said you still have to hand it to the developers for trying to stick with the artistic style of the game series.
I will be honest with you all when I say that I am not the biggest RPG fan out there, in fact that could quite possibly be my least favorite genre. With that being said, Ys: The Arc of Napishtim really did get my attention and really did grab me in. The combat in the game is very addictive, and the ability to keep upgrading your characters sword is always a thrill. Probably the biggest drawback to the game’s enjoyment was the short time frame it takes to complete the game. But overall for the time that you do get to play Ys: The Arc of Napishtim it’s a blast.
Ys: The Arc of Napishtim is one of those games that is just a good game. It’s probably not going to win any awards and probably won’t be talked about much in a month or two. But with that being said it is a good game that is really going to appeal to those of you action RPG fans out there who are looking for a new game. Ys: The Arc of Napishtim has some minor problems that do hinder it a bit, but overall, it’s a solid game that should definitely be given a shot.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.