Tag Archives: Falcom

Ys: Sights and Sounds

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Much like its gameplay, the overall aesthetic of the Ys series has evolved considerably over time.

As technology has improved with each new generation of games consoles and computer hardware, the Ys series has adapted and changed. And with its longstanding nature — not to mention its numerous remakes over the years — it’s fascinating not only from the perspective of examining how Falcom has improved the series over time, but as a means of showing how games in general have grown and changed.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the sights and sounds of the series have changed over time, and their relevance to gaming’s evolution as a whole.

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Ys: Building a World, One Game at a Time

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One of the things Ys developer Falcom is most consistently praised for is its ability to craft convincing, well-realised game worlds.

It’s not just the Ys series where Falcom demonstrates this; its The Legend of Heroes series is also acclaimed for that, particularly in the more recent Trails subseries, each component of which deals with one part of a coherent whole.

It’s perhaps Ys that provides the most interesting example of Falcom’s approach to worldbuilding, though, because it’s an ongoing process — the complete work that is Ys is continually growing, evolving and changing, and there’s no end in sight just yet.

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Ys: Evolution of an Action RPG

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Alongside Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series, Falcom’s Ys was instrumental in helping to establish and refine the Japanese take on the action RPG genre.

Both were designed with accessibility and ease of understanding in mind — Zelda through stripping out complicated RPG mechanics like statistics, experience levels and dice-based mechanics, and Ys through simple, straightforward implementation of these mechanics — but both very quickly diverged in their own distinctive directions.

Let’s take a closer look at how the mechanics of the Ys series have evolved and changed over the years.

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Why You Should Be Playing Trails in the Sky Right Now

Today marks the release of the English PC version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, a fantastic JRPG from Japanese developer Falcom and localisation specialists Xseed Games. You should probably grab a copy.

Tempting as it is to leave this article as nothing more than that introductory paragraph — existing Trails in the Sky fans will know what I mean — I’m well aware that there are plenty of you out there who probably need a little more convincing than this, so let’s take a little while to ponder the game, why it’s so noteworthy, and why you should definitely support it. And also what on earth it is, for those who are unfamiliar with either Trails in the Sky specifically, or the Legend of Heroes series as a whole, which is entirely possible.

Grab yourself a drink, arm yourself with a suitably hefty-looking quarterstaff and prepare yourself, then; we’re going in.

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