YS IX: Monstrum Nox – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Nihon Falcom, Marvelous
Publisher: Nihon Falcom, Marvelous, Xseed Games, Nippon Ichi Software
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PS4

YS IX: Monstrum Nox – Review

Site Score
9.3
Good: High-quality production, Fun to play, Much content
Bad: The story takes some time
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

In 2020 we followed the adventures of the young Adol who wanted to be a real adventurer. After his exploits became widely known, we could only wonder where our favorite character would end up. As YS: Memories of Celceta was a portable game polished for its PlayStation 4 release, it is amazing how YS IX: Monstrum Nox looks, as it has been made for the current generation. This time you won’t be exploring different places, but rather get stuck in a very large city in an attempt to help lift a curse.

Story

As is a common occurance in the world of JRPGs, the story starts off quite vaguely. As mentioned in the introduction, you’ll be playing as Adol, who finds himself locked up in one of the cells of the city of Balduq, which is seemingly under siege by the Monstrum. Adol is wrongfully accused of being a criminal, and whilst even cooperating with his captors, he soon finds himself in a high-security facility. It’s here that he meets a mysterious person, who asks him for help. This turns into a forced request, as Adol soon finds him at the bad end of a revolver, being shot down. Surprisingly, he is not dead, but has a curse cast upon him, forcing him to stay within the walls of Balduq city. It doesn’t take long before you ally with the supposed evil-doers, the Monstrum, and are actually working on defeating the Lemures, which are evil entities from what is called the Grimwald Nox, a different dimension.

As is common for a traditional JRPG, the story progresses clearly but slowly. You will have to sink many hours into the game if you want to make some progress into the world of the Monstrum. Some prior knowledge of the series will help you in this story, but it is not necessary. You will have many hours to wade through and there are a lot of side-quests you can also opt to complete.

Graphics

Action filled RPGs as large as the YS series can get really taxing on a system. Yet, with how well the game has been crafted, you are greeted with a mix of high-end graphics, smooth animations and a high frame-rate. We tend to forget that we are at the end of a generation and this normally shows the age of the system, but not for YS IX: Monstrum Nox. You will explore a large town, see the many hidden alleyways and visit the many buildings while being amazed by their detailed interiors.

Adol can change his appearance in a snap and the transition looks great as it happens seamlessly. Thanks to this, you won’t be annoyed by him switching forms all the time, when using his abilities in the world. The game utilizes a clear U.I. so you can keep track of your stats, even in the most hectic battles. The developers have invested quite some time into bringing the right atmosphere to the scenery. Wandering in dark and moist cellars feels creepy in comparison to walking around town during the day which feels rather relaxing. Battles are also impressively handled.

Sound

If you have seen our review of Memories of Celceta, you will have seen that it only used some single voiced lines. This time around, all the characters are fully voiced and they will have a lot to say. It’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into the voice acting, each character has a proper personality and the right emotions are added to the acting performances. There is soothing music playing in the background when you are exploring the limited world, which then switches to more upbeat battle music during encounters. Sound effects have also been properly handled, making it a very pleasing whole.

Gameplay

YS IX: Monstrum Nox is an Action RPG that has fast-paced combat like a typical hack ‘n’ slash game. You once again step into the shoes of legendary adventurer Adol, who finds himself in quite the pickle having a curse cast upon him. Due to this curse, you are bound within the city walls of Balduq, having to fight off the Lemures, who are born out of negative emotions. These beings inhabit the Grimwald Nox, which you will have to enter on occasion to battle these entities.

At first, you might think that being trapped in a city would mean that the content is limited. Luckily, this is not true as Balduq is a huge city with many places to explore. You are free to roam around in the unlocked parts of the city and you better make yourself comfortable as you won’t be leaving this place all too soon. Of course, as you complete more and more story segments, new areas will unlock. As Adol is a wanted criminal, he decides to don a disguise which you can always alter when you find other accessories. Like each decent RPG, you are able to purchase new weapons, armor and crafting materials. The many objectives and side quests that you find all over the place are a great source of income, as good items cost a decent amount.

Of course, as this game has a more ‘hack and slash’ approach in terms of combat, things are quite accessible for newcomers and veterans alike. You’ll have your normal form outside of combat, which allows you to move around, and then you can swap to the Crimson King form in a second, to bully your enemies into submission. The game does allow you to level up and unlock new skills as you go. These are just unlocked in sequence, making the skill progression quite easy to manage. This is a plus for those who just want to enjoy the combat and the story, with some exploring in the middle. Overall the concept, mechanics and gameplay are quite simple to get the hang of.

Conclusion

YS IX: Monstrum Nox is a really interesting game if you like the action RPG genre that doesn’t make things overly complex. Thanks to its beefy story you will be in for a long and hefty ride. The gameplay and combat are very smooth, even when it pushes the limits of the PlayStation 4. Graphically the game looks amazing with high-quality assets and nice animations. The latter is coupled with a user-friendly U.I., so you have all the information you need right in front of you. All the characters are nicely voiced, oozing personality. While you are limited to stay inside the city, the world of the Monstrum is more than entertaining enough for this new YS adventure.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
YS IX: Monstrum Nox – Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

1 Comment

  1. […] popular game series Ys already released Ys IX: Monstrum Nox for PS4 this February, the game will also come to Switch and PC (PC only in the US so far) this July! […]

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