Ys III: Wanderers From Ys

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Original box art.

Ys III: Wanderers From Ys is an action adventure fantasy game developed and published by Nihon Falcom for the PC-9801 and PC-8801 on 1989-07-28. It was later ported to several other platforms. It is the third game in the Ys series.

I didn't know about the Ys series when it was most popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I had seen the titles in lists of games, but because they were mostly Japanese releases, I didn't bother trying to play them. At the end of 2018, I finally decided to try a Ys game because I saw that Ys III had several elements of my favorite game genre, Metroidvania.

Status

I do not own this game. I am playing the SNES port.

Review

  • Overall: ?/10
  • Best Version: Genesis

Good

  • The graphics and music are both pretty decent in the 8-bit ports. However, the graphics look a bit dated on the SNES and TurboGrafx-CD.
  • The game lets you save and load pretty much everywhere which is nice considering how easy it is to take damage.

Bad

  • You have to spend a lot of time grinding.
  • Several monsters move so fast it's very hard to avoid taking damage.
  • Hit detection is pretty bad. Enemies can hit you even when they aren't visually touching you, but your sword also has a huge hit box, so it equals out.
  • A lot of the bosses have attacks that are extremely difficult to dodge, so you basically just mash the attack button and hope you have enough hit points.
  • Ground-based enemies just move back and forth in a fixed area without even a primitive AI.
  • Enemies don't collide with walls and instead walk right through them. They're usually placed in areas where they won't walk though walls, but sometimes they do.
  • The animation on the weaker ports (PC-88 and MSX) are terrible.
  • Items have liner upgrades, but they are not automatically equipped. If the next sword is objectively superior than the last, it should automatically become active.
  • The dialogue is often confusing because it's hard to tell who is speaking.
  • The beginning story is odd. Dogi takes Adol to his home town, but when it is discovered that the town's leader has been lost in a quarry full of monsters, Dogi just lazes in the inn so that Adol has to rescue the leader by himself.
  • The NES and SNES console ports use the start button to pause and select for the menu. This should have been reversed.

Ugly

  • Across the various ports, the player control is pretty bad. Movement is a bit difficult to control, jumping is a bit jagged, attacking doesn't feel fluid at all, and the down-strike on a jump attack is odd. The SNES port has bugs on stairs.
  • Neither the player nor the monsters recoil from getting hit. This is a terrible way to handle combat because, with such a short invincibility timeout after getting hit, monsters can walk through the player and cause damage over and over again.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Ys III: Wanderers From Ys
Japanese イースIII – ワンダラーズフロムイース Isu Suri – Wandarazu Furomu Isu Ys III: Wanderers From Ys

Links