After giving DotEmu’s reboot of Ys Chronicles 1 a solid four stars, I was eager to dive into the next adventure. Ys Chronicles 2 follows the continued exploits of Adol Christin, the lawful good hero who obliterates monsters and demons to save the day. While this Android RPG has everything I liked about the previous one, it also has the exact same flaws.
Ys 2 starts out just like Ys 1, with Adol waking up in an unfamiliar place, having been found unconscious and taken in by kind strangers. The strangers then, after halfhearted worries about his health, ask him to go questing into the wilderness, which is lousy with re-spawning nightmare monsters. Seems legit. I spent what precious little money I had on a basic weapons, and got to questing.
The art style is as fun as the previous title, and the heavy metal monster-slaying music has also returned. Ditto for the fun combat mechanic, wherein the player drags and smashes into a monster to fight. Unfortunately, the recharging health feature has also remained unchanged. Outside in the sunshine, Adol only needs to stand still for a moment to regain health. But once you descend underground into a mine or dungeon, like the destination of your very first quest, your health no longer recharges. You have to consume food, or use an expensive magic potion to fly you to safety if your health gets too low.
Knowing this would probably be the case, I stayed outside fighting monsters to level up for a while before venturing down into the spooky mine. At a pretty hearty level 9 I felt confident enough to give it a shot, but died almost immediately. As I said in my previous review, I don’t need a game to be easy in order for it to be fun. But come on, seriously, how does reaching level 9 in any game not qualify me to advance my first and only quest? And to that end, why are there no side quests? The only way to level up is to slay hordes of demons. It would have been nice to, I don’t know, help a little girl find her lost cat, or deliver a package to an old lady across town for some XP, just to mix things up a little.
My main critique is more of the original game than DotEmu’s ported version, which leads me to wonder if some beloved classics are better off as nostalgic memories. If you’re invested in the franchise, go for it. But if you’re seeking an improvement on the previous game, you won’t find it here.
Ys II is more of a copy than a sequel.