TGS 2019: Hands-On With ‘Ys VIII Mobile’

Well, I’ll level with you, friends. Although this year’s Tokyo Game Show was as big as ever, mobile games weren’t nearly as prominent as they have been in previous years. Even with that, there was one game I knew was going to be at the show in playable form that I really had to try, and that was Linekong’s mobile version of Falcom’s Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. Mobile versions of console games can really go in any direction, particularly when they’re handled by an outside company, but I was hoping that Ys VIII would come through in good form.

After spending some time playing the demo version available on the show floor, I think we’re in for a treat. Visually, the game is great. Now, this is a game that debuted on the PlayStation Vita, so it’s perhaps not that surprising that modern mobile devices can make a good show of it, but it’s reassuring to see that even though the game has been pushed back to 2020, it’s looking to be on the right track on a technical level. As for the gameplay, the version on the floor had a few combat scenarios set up to play with. Series protagonist Adol was available, as was Rucol, a new character created for the mobile version.

Actions were mapped to virtual controls and as such it was easy enough to play provided you have any experience with such set-ups. I’m not sure how adequate the controls will be for some of the game’s heavier challenges, as the boss battles present in the demo version were simple enough that it was almost impossible to lose. Still, it was fun enough to play and it gives me hope that this mobile version will live up to the original and give players a great action-RPG to enjoy on their phones or tablets. Ys VIII Mobile is scheduled for a worldwide release sometime in 2020, and that’s about all the details anyone was willing to share with me at this time.