You won’t hear me hesitate to say just how much fun I think the Ys series is, so it goes without saying that I’m pretty excited about the latest installment, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, coming to Japan in Summer 2016.

For those who aren’t already “in the know”, the Ys series is one of the oldest game series still alive and well today (going back as far as 1989) and is well-known in Japan, though not as much West. Lately XSEED Games has been taking to localizing all the Ys games developer Falcom makes, but it does mean there’s a bit of a wait, and it isn’t guaranteed they’ll bring all the future games—though people are hopeful for this one.

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So what can you expect from Ys? It’s an action RPG in a fantasy setting with the main protagonist throughout the series being none other than the renowned adventurer Adol. Courtesy of Gematsu we have some new information translated from the official website, as well as some new screenshots and artwork. Basically, Adol has left over a hundred of volumes of “Adventure Journals” detailing his adventures, and in one of them, he gets shipwrecked (along with the other passengers), leading him to land on “Siren Island”, also known as a “forever cursed island”. Strange creatures and ruins are on this island and Adol also begins to dream of a mysterious girl, which is the start of his new adventure.

AdolArt

21 years old. A young man with fiery read hair and black eyes clear as a boy’s.

At age 16, he left his nameless mountain village in the Europe Region, and went on a number of adventures, including to the the ancient kingdom of Ys and the Celceta Sea. He’s young, but his name is well known as an adventurer.

He was aboard The Lombardy on the Goethe Sea when it was attacked by a mysterious giant oceanic creature, and goes missing along with its passengers. (Gematsu)

Though this game is coming to both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita, we can expect the PS4 version likely won’t look much better than the PS Vita version. Releasing on both consoles has been a sort of trend in Japan given that home consoles generally aren’t as popular as handhelds there, so given the relative ease of releasing on both systems, it’s generally worth it in the end.

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However, the Ys games have always been best known for their adrenaline-rushing high-action gameplay to the sound of epic guitars and violins and the like, so it’s really not even the slightest concern for me. I’m just happy we’re getting a new Ys game and as a bonus, the environment/world design seems to be a major step up from before (which Falcom themselves noted), so I can definitely see this being one of the best Ys games yet.

Check out more screenshots below or download a wallpaper from Falcom’s official (Japanese) site.

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