Game Title: Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
- PlayStation 4 / 5 (NA: February 2, 2021; EU: February 5, 2021; AU: February 12, 2021)
- PC (Q2/Q3 2021)
- Nintendo Switch (Q2/Q3 2021)
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publishers: Nihon Falcom, NIS America, Inc.
Ys IX Monstrum Nox may come from an established franchise, but it treads the line of least resistance, trying to be as safe as possible. While its painfully slow narrative ends strongly, combat remains its strongest asset. It takes no risks, ending up as an almost cookie-cutter version of the previous title in a different setting.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is, by far, my favourite Ys adventure so far; Adol is a badass! Although the game started off a little slow for me, making me feel like the game was going to be a short and repetitive bunch of missions within a single city, I was happy when the game expanded and new mechanics and areas were opened up to me. The story had me hooked as soon as the narrative introduced a strange introduction early on, making me constantly try and guess what was happening – I simply couldn’t stop playing until the game had explained itself to me! I have issues with the presentation and performance of the game but if I step back and ignore resolution and framerate, I had so much fun and quickly became addicted to the satisfying combat and interesting quests.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is an outstanding RPG and a big step forward for Ys, with superb story, combat, and characters – plus one of the best settings in the series.
Ys IX adapts every positive aspect of its predecessor, and adds a new dimension of exploration. For those who love the series, it can offer joy and fun as usual. But as for the haters or newcomers, it is still lack of attraction.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is a great RPG with fast paced combat and plenty to do in its dense world.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is a continuation of what fans have come to expect from the series and the Monstrum gifts add a new and fun gameplay mechanic.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is, let’s just come out and say it, pretty weird. But the most important question to me, however, is whether it’s any fun or not. And, despite all of the changes, I think that it is. Would I want this to be the formula for every Ys game from here on out? Heck no. But a literal antithesis to Ys VIII‘s Seiren Island—which is absolutely what this game is—is really charming in its own way, and the fact that Falcom was able to add so many novel features while still keeping this game Ys-like at its heart is genuinely impressive.
While not innovating or distorting the original formula, Ys IX Monstrum Nox still proves to be an eventful and extremely rewarding action-JRPG.
Despite Ys IX: Monstrum Nox having some faults, it still provides a fantastic experience. Once you get past the dated graphics and simple combat, it's an engaging game that has a fascinating story. It's the type of thing where mindlessly killing enemies is fun but the world is so interesting you'll want to see what secrets it holds. Add in some cute characters, interesting mechanics, and plenty to do and it's hard not to see the value in Ys IX: Monstrum Nox.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is some of the most fun I have had within the action-JRPG genre, period. The adventure includes everything you could ask from the series, with the addition of an addicting gameloop, well-written character-driven narrative, a stellar soundtrack, and great controls. This is not a title to be slept on.
With a very fun and enjoyable story, even if its not without its issues, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox evolves the series' combat system to new heights, being another great title that lives up to the beautiful legacy of its name.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is another solid action RPG, but it lacks the overall cohesion of its island-based predecessor. The city of Balduq is a disappointingly monotonous setting, and the game's storytelling often feels disjointed. But as is usually the case with Falcom's long-running series, it's the fast-paced, satisfying, and addictive gameplay that elevates the experience. Adol's latest adventure certainly isn't a classic, but for the most part, it's still a fun ride.
Adol Christin's latest adventure stands out from the rest of the Ys games with a narratively darker tone and some of the best sidequests in the entire series yet.
Ys IX had a lot of potential to clean up everything Ys VIII did wrong with the series, but instead, the developers decided to double-down on those previous decisions. At least in Ys VIII, the hideout where Dogi hangs out and the tower defense elements to protect it make some sense. In Ys IX, the hideout feels forced, and the tower defense element for the Grimwald Nox feels incredibly out of place and forced.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is a real shot in the arm as far as livening up the formula, and while Falcom accomplished the mission of making Ys’ non-combat gameplay more exciting, the setting of Balduq left much to be desired–maybe it’s just me being tired of having to quarantine after doing it virtually all of 2020, but it can’t really feel good for Adol either.
Ys IX is probably a step back if directly compared to Lacrimosa of Dana, due to the uneven balance between action and story, but it's still a very solid JRPG, graced by a fast paced combat system.
A new chapter in the long-lasting Nihon Falcom series, that delivers exactly what you expect: classic JRPG experience with outdated tech and gameplay that is still fresh and entertaining.
In the case of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, this joy originates from the complete freedom of exploring the beautiful and fascinating city of Balduq, and from the never ending optimism and sense of wonderment from the main protagonist, Adol Christin. Mix in a well paced story filled with twists and turns and a combat system that perfectly straddles the line between precision and chaos, and you have an experience as carefully crafted as the seemingly endless prison that is the focal point of the story.
Its linearity and lack of freedom will disappoint, but almost every other aspect is stellar.
For all that Ys IX: Monstrum Nox does that's new, there's no denying that it's still a tried-and-true Ys game at its core. Although I wish it took more risks with its setting and gameplay, it's still a great action RPG that fans like me will love.
Adol’s awkward goth phase may have started on his 34th birthday, but thankfully, it ended up being the good kind of goth. The one that listens to Nightwish and reads 19th century literature, not the phoney one that hangs out at Hot Topic and thinks that Keanu Reeves’ role in 1992’s Dracula was competent.
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