Ys VIII – Lacrimosa of Dana review (PC)

Ys VIII – Lacrimosa of Dana has traveled a rocky road to get to western audiences. After the initial release on the PS4 and Playstation Vita, a Steam version is now available. Have the rough edges been smoothed out?

Pretty soon after the Playstation release of the game, NIS America issued a public statement saying that they weren’t happy with the localization of the game. A rework of the translation was promised, and subsequently delivered with a patch update for the original release. This update didn’t just fix textual aspects of the game (including better item/monster names as well as aspects of the script), it also featured re-recorded audio. Although it’s something gamers would have preferred on day 1, NISA’s willingness to admit things were not ideal and step up to the plate were admirable.

So imagine my surprise when, over half a year since the PS4 release, the PC port turned out to be full of launch troubles. The updated localization has of course made it into this PC version, but there’s a myriad of technical issues that currently plague the game – some of which are actually game-breaking and shouldn’t have made it past the playtesting phase.

lacrimosa pc

Having played both the Vita and PS4 version before (with most of my time going towards the Vita version), Ys VIII – Lacrimosa of Dana was instantly familiar. It’s a straight up port of the PS4 version, although that comes with a few downsides as well. My X360 controller wasn’t recognized as such (I got Playstation prompts), for instance. Obviously this wasn’t a big deal since I played it on PS4 before, but it’s sloppy. A bigger deal for many gamers will be the fixed internal rendering resolution, which means the visuals don’t get the boost you’d expect when selecting a higher resolution in the PC version – which has barebones graphics options at best to begin with.

Luckily the game still looks wonderful, but it has inconsistent framerates that it shouldn’t have on a mid- to high-level gaming PC. Stuttering occurs when interactions with characters start or mid-combat, with the game usually running smooth again two seconds later. It’s a weird issue that reminds me of what I saw in Dark Rose Valkyrie just days before.

lacrimosa pc2

Sadly, that’s not the worst of it. The game frequently crashed during my playthrough, with as many as two crashes per hour of gameplay. I’m not a super technical person, but I keep my drivers updated and don’t have troubles like this in other games. I also know it’s not just me – many people on the Steam discussion boards are experiencing similar issues.

Luckily, not all is lost. As with the localization issues on Playstation, NISA seems aware of the situation and is actively updating the game code to help remedy some of the problems. Some of the most serious issues still remain (those relating to crashes), but I’ve already seen some performance improvements after the first two or three patches.

Let’s hope NISA stays on this and delivers PC gamers the Ys VIII release they deserve. Ys VIII is still a wonderful game, but unfortunately the launch state of its PC version makes it hard to see that. To read more on how much we like the game behind all these technical woes, check out our PS4/Vita review here.

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