Ys: Ark of Napishtim is out for PS2. Buy it!!!
For those of you who never had a SNES, you missed an awesome adventure RPG that everyone hated except for me and my brother, apparenty. It was Wanderers from Ys: III. As in the 3rd in the series. Awesome game. I loved it so much. The gameplay was simple. It was run, jump, slash, and use item. It was great! And it was HARD. The bosses were NASTY. You felt accomplished when you got somthing done in that game!!
Anyway... That was a long time ago. Before college, and before highschool, even.
When I had my Xbox mod'ed, I got the SNES emulator on there, and started playing Ys III again. An you know what? It was awesome, and exactly how I remembered it. When I heard there was going to be a new Ys on Ps2, I was really excited, but I was pretty certain that it wasn't going to be ANYTHING like the SNES one. You just can't make a successful 2D action RPG on a next gen platform. People hate you. I figured it would be 3D with generic menu system, and not as much action.
It IS 3-d ish, but it's so great! You know what it reminds me of the most? Secret of Mana. And it has all the old Ys gameplay elements. There was this cheesey music it would play whenever you got a really awesome item.. and they played that music in the PS2 version! I had a real fangirl moment. In any case... it's got some really well-rendered sprites. They basically took the power of the Ps2 to make some excellent backgrounds, characters, and character animation, without making everything blocky and massive. It's obvious they couldn't have managed it on PSX, or SNES, but it's still got that oldschool feel to it.
The gameplay is still simple, but they've added a lot of new sword techniques that are easy and fun to perform. It's so great! I'm so happy I picked this game up. It's got the same great addictive gameplay, same level of difficulty (I've died multiple times already,) and a lot of the best ideas from the previous games.
You know what's really cool, though?? Everyone you talk to has a voice! Even the most random NPCs and level bosses! They all have a voice actor or actress behind them. It's very nice. You can tell they had a lot of fun with it, too... since many people have different accents, different speech patterns, and even speech impediments. Adol still doesn't talk, but I think it's better that way.
There are also lots of little things I've noticed that have really impressed me. This is honestly the first game I've ever played that has realistic cloud cover. While you're playing, you can see shadows of clouds on the ground as they pass by overhead. It's amazing! This game is so nostalgic. I'm going to go mess with it some more right now.
In other news, and idiot at work told me that the Nintendo DS and Nokia NGage games should be compatible since Nintendo made them both.