It was nearly right after the credits finished rolling on Ys Chronicles I that I started up a new game with Ys Chronicles II. It’s been a difficult game to put down, even with Breath of the Wild in the house and a certain, rather important review for PSLS. It’s such an old school JRPG that there’s so little hand holding, and the puzzles are slightly more difficult to discern than in the first game. I’ve had a tab open on my phone or tablet for the GameFAQ of Chronicles II, something I rarely looked at with the previous one. After I ran around one area for nearly an hour, trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do next, the online walkthrough has been my bestest friend.
The sequel has significantly improved, and not just with the puzzles. You still attack by ramming Adol’s body into creatures (which is still dumb, by the way), but the addition of magic adds a new fun twist. Most of the bosses require magic in order to defeat them, which kind of takes down a lot of the novelty of using magic and the potential creativity between magical and physical attacks. It almost feels like it’s presented like a new console that has new gimmicks. Take the Vita’s game launch, for instance. Most of their first-party games overused the new features of the Vita, such as the touch screen, back touchpad, camera, and tilt controls, to the point of rendering games unenjoyable. I’m looking at you, Uncharted: Golden Abyss. In Chronicles II, now that we have magic, let’s require it for all the bosses!
At least not all of the magic is attack-based, allowing some creativity. I particularly enjoy turning into a Roo and talking with the demons. They have some of the best dialogue in the entire game.
But yes, I have sampled a bit of Breath of the Wild, and I haven’t gotten much further than I did in the demo I played at E3 last year. The world is huge, gorgeous, and I’m so glad I have a strategy guide as a security blanket.