Ys VIII’s troubled PC port staggers into the limelight

You maniacs! You blew it up!

They say good things come to those who wait, but perhaps the release of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana could have gone back into the oven a little bit longer. The six-month-delayed PC port (first to completely re-translate the game, then to deal with a rising tide of technical issues) has finally made it to launch, though after looking at the first wave of public response, it doesn’t sound like publisher NIS America have done Falcom’s latest action-RPG much justice.

While I’ve sadly not been able to get my hands on a PC review copy of the game (and with every word written here, I am less likely to ever see one), but reports so far from some folks I trust report that the game is in a pretty grim state, with threadbare visual options and internal resolution locked, meaning that no matter how high or low your settings, it’s just up-or-downscaling the same image either way. Framerate is also capped at 60hz, which I was largely expecting, but is sad news for anyone with a high refresh rate monitor.

There are also complaints that the mouse & keyboard control options are limited. While you can rebind, the camera misbehaves itself when you try and control it via mouse. While this isn’t an issue for myself (I consider a modern XInput gamepad an essential piece of PC gaming hardware, and have done for around a decade now), it’s obviously going to be a problem for those without the right hardware to hand.

Harder to pin down as a widespread issue or the initial problems of a frustrated few are reports of performance issues, including stuttering and slowdown during cutscenes (pre-rendered or otherwise), and performance drops within game being accompanied by a slow-motion effect, possibly due to the framerate being tied to the game’s timescale. Of course, you’ve also got some people who are reporting no issues whatsoever – such is the nature of some PC ports – though the sheer volume of complaints does indicate some real problems.

It’s all a bit sad, really. The Ys series has been consistently good fun for a great many years, and the previous few PC releases (handled by XSeed, as opposed to NIS America in this case) have been very polished, for the most part. It’s a game that I still hope to play sometime in the next few months, although unless more fixes are forthcoming, it’ll be on another platform.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is available for £45/$60 via GOG and Steam, although the console versions might be a safer bet at this point.

17 Comments

  1. Someoldguy says:

    £45 for a port of dubious quality? That’s a no from me.

  2. malkav11 says:

    I’m not sure why the console versions would be a safer bet. They inherently suffer from all the definite issues with the port, but unlike the PC version they’ll never be patched or modded into a superior state.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I gather the PS4 Pro version at least hits 60fps locked, and has 4k support. The PC version got delayed because they were having trouble porting the game from PS4 to PC.

      Other versions (Switch and Vita especially) will of course be more limited.

      Plus, the console versions got the re-translation some time back.

    • thewart says:

      In this very unusual case, your statement is incorrect. People have been reporting all sorts of crashes, performance issues, the game not recognizing standard controllers, and directional movement being locked to 8 directions even with an analog stick (which is actually a big deal in this game). None of these were issues on the PS4 release.

    • vorador says:

      Negative. The PS4 release was released six months ago and is stable, has a smooth framerate and controls are responsive.

      To the contrary of the PC release, which crashes, stutters and has terrible controls.

  3. racccoon says:

    There needs to be a written law.
    If you can not or have not created a game based on the system you are selling too, you do not have the right to sell it as its functions are made for another system. Therefore your game should not be sold to another system until you have made it specific for that system.
    If not, the game in question should now be given freely to the other systems that you did not intend it to be made for. lol

    • poliovaccine says:

      Wait, so how do you make your first game for any given system?

    • Babymech says:

      So… if you haven’t ported the game, you have to give it away… for systems you haven’t ported it to?

  4. Kinsky says:

    Condolences to people experiencing port problems. I certainly found myself on the wrong end of the FFXV port’s horrendous technical problems, so I can relate. But it seems I’m pretty lucky with this one because I haven’t really had problems, which is great because the game itself owns. I found this video in the Steam reviews suggesting some tweaks: link to youtube.com

  5. poliovaccine says:

    I’m unhappy with what clicking that trailer is going to do to my YouTube recommendations.

    • MazokuRanma says:

      Just copy the link and then open it in an incognito/private window so that you aren’t signed into YouTube.

  6. Chizu says:

    The issue with the internal resolution being locked is actually a new issue, they updated the beta build a couple days before release… and added a whole heap of new issues to the game…
    The Vsync on the other hand, has never worked~
    They’ve also broken analogue input for some people, when that used to work fine.

    I mean, its pretty fitting they managed to break the game even more before its final release date, this whole thing has been a comedy of errors.

  7. Babymech says:

    On the one hand I don’t really care about refresh rate or frame rate… but I’m still confused; which one is reportedly locked?

  8. Spuzzell says:

    I’ve always found the Ys series to be the absolute manifestation of generic mehness.

    Even in the highly familiar area of JRPGs they stand out as not standing out in the slightest respect.

    5/10 would not save the world with a sword the size of a really big sword again

  9. Titler says:

    I purchased this last night, as I’m a sucker for Ys. I thought I’d been lucky with regards to it too as none of the issues people mentioned struck me… Until I got 4 hours and a second session in, and then a number of them sadly turned up.

    I’m running on a 970GTX and installed it an SSD; I’ve not seen any performance issues, nor any controller ones. I’m using a generic 360 pad, but with Steam changed to Big Picture mode in the past, as that solved a similar issue with Owlboy not recognising the pad. Just in case, maybe try Big Picture too folks?

    You can fix the Vsync issue if you have an Nvidia card by disabling it in game, but setting it on under the Nvidia Control Panel on a profile just for Ys 8.

    I did get the flickering white light when I finally got to the forest alongside many others. That’s supposed to be fixed in the coming day one patch.

    I started getting crashes at launch the second time I loaded it; I also crashed endlessly at the cut scene after the forest. Fortunately you can manually save at any time. I recommend doing so before and after any boss fight.

    I’ve been able to run in 1920×1080 without issue in fullscreen, but some say they needed to go to borderless Windowed to get away with it. The Ys series has always had functional graphics for a while, so I haven’t worried too much about what it looks like.

    Translation? It’s… ok, I guess. But the voice over is only on some of the lines, and cuts out mid conversation far too often. That’s unacceptable.

    Gameplay? Great fun as always, I don’t regret buying it. But the DLC is shoddy, and they should have given the first week bonuses to everyone as an apology for messing everyone around so much. And the amount of minor add on packs is pretty horrible.

    And it’s also far too expensive. But as I say, I’m a sucker for Ys games.

    • Quadruplesword says:

      I have a problem with this attitude. You’re okay being ripped off just because it’s a series you like? I realize I can’t tell you what to do with your money, but if you know something is a bad deal, you’re only hurting yourself by supporting it anyway.

      • Titler says:

        I know all about horrendous deals in the gaming industry. I also read the Playstation 4 reviews of the game so I know how much content there actually is in this game; so far I have 13 hours into the PC version and I believe I’m not even at the half-way point yet.

        The reason it’s cheeky to ask so much money is because the game has been locked in conversion hell for so long… but the core game is worth it. To me. If you’ve played the prequels you would know what the gameplay was like, and I happen to like it. The criticism of cost then is a general statement, not a personal one. I can fully see all the shades of grey, I don’t have a black and white viewpoint like you seem to assume.

        And I don’t have many games that really interest me at the moment, so I’d rather have something to play over Summer than wait for a sale.

        NISA however have proven a disaster. But there’s plenty of ways to express displeasure with them specifically without harming the wider things I value. Once I’ve beaten the game, I’ll certainly be including criticism of all the issues in the eventual Steam review and elsewhere. I also shan’t spend a penny on the DLC.

        I’m also bug reporting everything I find to help make the game better for those who still want to play it.

        So don’t mistake your wider lack of passion for my own, or my interest in this particular series for blind fanboyism. I’m fully aware of the problems; I’m also aware that after watching a Kickstarter I backed not only destroy most of my little remaining faith in the industry, and pissing all over a classic RPGs reputation, but also being slandered by developers I once admired, and having to go to the police multiple times because of one sociopath sending rape and death threats due to critising the development… not just exagerated hurt but honest to god attempts to damage me from gaming communities… well, from that perspective right now I really value some genuine escapism-into-nostalgia fun. It’s wonderful to see a series from my childhood actually produce better and better games. That to me is worth a relatively high cost here and now.

        Meanwhile everyone else is tanking the Steam ratings without me. And good luck to them; Let them express what value they think the game has too, I’m not going to say they’re wrong. But if I know a solution (like the Vsync one) I’ll share it…