Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10 video games that made my life gayer (#3): Ys Book I & II

Would it surprise you if I said that Monster Lair, and not the great Ys Book I & II, was the game that sold me on the TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM attachment back in the day?

Well, it's the truth, shocking as it may sound.

That's not to say Ys Book I & II didn't jump to the top of my "to buy" list as soon as I laid eyes on it. Honestly, how could it not--what with its amazing (at the time) animated cutscenes and Red Book audio, both of which were unheard of in the (console) gaming world until the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM attachment was introduced?

Although I find the game unplayable today--those bump-into-your-enemies battles were acceptable back in the day, but today they're the definition of boring--I was pretty fond of it in 1990. Granted, I think I was a bit blinded by the game's superficial sheen (i.e., the above-mentioned animations and audio), but it's not like it was behind the RPG curve in terms of gameplay when it came out. (For comparison's sake, the seminal Final Fantasy II/IV wasn't released until the following year.)

Anyway, none of that is important at the moment. What is important is that Ys Book I & II, like Final Fantasy before it, solidified my interest in the RPG genre--something for which I'll always be grateful.

Note: In this post, and in all subsequent '10 video games that made my life gayer' posts, gayer is used in the old-fashioned sense, as in happier or merrier.

See also: '10 video games that made my life gayer (#1: Bubble Bobble) and (#2: Final Fantasy)'


Starfighter said...

I have never played the Ys-games, or for that matter even SEEN them on screenshots. A bit crazy, I think. Is it an expensive game to get (maybe I should go with emulator if I just want to try it out).

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Me neither, Starfighter. I had a friend who was in love with the games, and I never actually played them or saw them being played. The bump fighting thing would turn me off in an instant, though.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey you guys! Yeah, the bump fighting mechanism is weird and really isn't acceptable these days. If you can put up with that, though, they're pretty good games. BTW, more modern remakes and sequels of these games have more traditional, Zelda-like controls, I believe.

Oh, and starfighter -- you can buy and download Ys 1 & II via Wii Virtual Console if you have a Wii. As much as I liked the game back in the day, though, I'm not sure I would recommend buying it today.