I had the opportunity to play this new JRPG from NIS for the Switch. My full review is here, but you can get a preview of it below. Let me know your opinion on this game and any other Ys game you may have played, as I’m new to this series and it’s the first one I try out.
Ys: IX Monstrum Nox is an action RPG and part of a long series of games that I have not had the pleasure of playing. I had heard of the Ys series over my many years of gaming, but they never stood out enough for me to try one out. Most of the games are not easy to access, as many have not been ported over to play on any console or PC. There are a few around, but it’s only recently that they have been made available to purchase.
Since this is Ys IX, I thought it would be a sequel, but fear not, you can play this one without having played a Ys game! The main character is the same as the other games, but the storyline doesn’t make reference to prior games apart from some dialogue, and it isn’t necessary to have played them to be able to enjoy this one.
Initial release date: September 26, 2019
Composer: Yukihiro Shindō
Developers: Nihon Falcom, Engine Software, PH3 GmbH
Publishers: Nihon Falcom, NIS America, Nippon Ichi Software
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Monstrum Nox has a complicated plot that I will lay out without giving too much away. Your main character is Adol Christian who is also infamously named Crimson King (for his red attire). Adol is an adventurer who has traveled the world and is well-known for his journeys. He’s accused of meddling in the Romun army’s affairs and is arrested as he enters the prison city of Balduq. Eventually, he escapes from incarceration but his bad luck continues as he meets with a mysterious woman named Aprilis outside the prison. She suddenly shoots him which takes him into another dimension called the Grimswald Nox. And so your adventure as Adol really gets underway!
Others have also been called to this strange place, and are known as Monstrums. Five of them will fight by your side when you enter the Grimswald, which you enter at certain points in the plot while inside the city. There’s a magical force field that will not let you pass or enter new areas until you clear the Grimswald, but once you acquire 100 points by completing side-quests, you are able to challenge these. Each area has a boss that awaits you once you defeat enough of the monsters, though they often aren’t that difficult to take out. Once it’s over, you arrive back in the city and you can enter the new section.
Balduq is called the prison city because of its high walls and the large jail that plays a big part in the story. As you explore the city and learn more about the Monstrums, you gain an understanding of the history of the area as well, and why the Romun empire is there. There’s a political controversy going on between the Empire and the knights of the city, but it’s more of a backstory than part of the main plot.