Hello, everyone! Welcome back to my review blog. Do you remember a company called Nihon Falcom? This company was more well known during the late 80’s and early-to-mid 90’s, and was mostly known for the Dragon Slayer, The Legend of Heroes, Zwei, and Y’s series. The game this time is from the famous action RPG Y’s series. It is the 6th game in the series that was released for the PC, PSP, and PS2. This review is of Y’s: Ark of Napishtim for the PS2. Out of games to review, this one was not the most requested, but I decided to review it because a friend of mine recommended it and the other games that are on the PSP. While not a totally original game, it is a pretty fun and challenging game for the PS2, and is one of the better-unknown games for the system. So, let’s take a look into the underrated gem, Y’s: Ark of Napishtim.
The story puts you in the shoes of the redheaded protagonist known as Adol. You get on a ship to go on your next adventure. The ship gets attacked, and you end up falling into the ocean and washed up on an island. You then get the task of helping a village with some issues like mystical beings and giant monsters. It is up to you to save the world. I think the thing I want to complain early on about is how unoriginal this story is. It is about as clichéd as it gets, everyone. Play Link’s Awakening, Final Fantasy 10, and Klonoa 2 and you will get the idea of why I am calling this story clichéd.
The gameplay featured in Ark of Napishtim is a mix between some light platforming with RPG, action, and some light puzzle solving. It is like Final Fantasy Adventure and the Zelda series since action is played out in real time and the only way you get stronger is by upgrading swords and armor. You run around a large island fighting off monsters, and of course, taking out the occasional boss that has patterns and weaknesses. The main gimmicks in your swords are that you get three different swords. They each are better for certain fights, like the red sword is good for heavy hits and the lightning sword is good for quick close range hits. You can also pull off super moves once you fully charge an energy bar by your health bar. You upgrade your swords by obtaining gems and taking them to a special shop where you can increase the strength of that sword. There are some areas you need to be careful about, like going through areas you are not strong enough to go through, because the monsters can get pretty tough if you are not careful. The puzzle sections of the game are not too hard, so you won’t be beating your brain to a pulp when you can’t find out what on earth you are supposed to do. Be careful for some of the monsters on the island. Each monster has a certain pattern that you have to take into account or else you could get destroyed within minutes. During the game, you will be able to go through challenge rooms where you go through an array of rooms and monsters, and at the end, you usually fight a boss or so and can choose from three different awards. Sucks you can’t just take all three, but then the game would be too easy.
The graphics are good, they are nothing to gawk over on the PS2, but they are not horrible to look at. Sometimes, they look great. The music is also pretty good. It is definitely one of the best RPG soundtracks on the PS2. The music ranges from the calm and soothing trek through the forest to amazing battle music when fighting a large boss. Then again, this game was made by Nihon Falcom. This company is famous for mostly the Y’s action RPG series, Faxanadu on the NES, the difficult Tombs and Treasures on the NES, and the Legend of Heroes series. It’s a solid company that makes a pretty good action RPG series that I would highly recommend to certain people.
Sadly, there are some small faults that start to build up in the long run. While the platforming is a nice touch to all the action, but it is awkward to jump from place to place at times since you will have to run AND jump to get to some areas. I also hate that even though you have a shield, you can’t really use it. You basically either have to run from the enemy attack or jump above it. I mean, Link was able to use his shield in his games and it helps out A LOT. I am also not a fan of a couple of the plant bosses due to the fact you have very little time to hit them and they will end up summoning more enemies than you can actually deal with. This is just a minor gripe, but I hate how small the enemies can be. Sometimes, they are very hard to see and you end up getting attacked or hit because you can’t see them. I also don’t like the whole leveling system since it is still level grinding. Why couldn’t they take the approach of games like Mana Khemia and Threads of Fate and make it so you get stronger by buying stronger armor and weapons?
Overall, this is a really solid action RPG that I would highly recommend. The sad thing is that you will have to get ready to shell out 15 or more dollars for a good condition copy. It’s not the hardest game to find, but it will take some time to get it unless you plan on going to Ebay. The Y’s series has always been kind of the under-the-radar cult-followed franchise here in America due to it being overshadowed by the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games. It might have its faults that get tedious, but other action RPG’s like NIER also have that problem. I say, if you can find a copy, buy it. A lot of other people will probably recommend this series to you and I say, take my word and their word for it, the Y’s series isn’t leaving anytime soon.
This game gets a solid 7 out of 10