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Ys Book I & II: What Did Critics Think in 1990?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 07, 2014   |   Episode 13 (Show Archive)  

Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Although not as popular as Final Fantasy or Dragon's Quest, the Ys Book series has found a cult following that eagerly awaits each new installment. But is the love for the franchise justified? We decided to take a trip back in time to find the answer to that burning question. Join us as we explore what Electronic Gaming Monthly, Video Games & Computer Entertainment, GamePro and other classic magazines thought of Ys Book I & II on the TurboGrafx-CD!

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Ys Book I & II
[ Company: Falcom | Console: TurboGrafx ]

(1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide)
Best RPG Video Game

"NES wins this category again with a CD masterpiece that puts all other game systems to shame. The outstanding use of voice and real music from the CD and integrating it into the game program itself is amazing, and Y's [sic] is the first U.S. effort to take advantage of all the capabilities of CD-ROM."

GAMEPRO (December 1990)
5 out of 5

"If you're a roleplay adventurer who's been waiting for a reason to invest in a TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM unit, here it is. Ys - Book I and II has got it all -- great graphics, engaging RPG gameplay, and a brain-draining quest. On top of that, the music is to this game is definitely high budget -- 43 stunning tracks. Want to make the jump to an entirely new role-play world? It's Ys-sy." -Dominion

(1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide)
10 out of 10

"The perfect game finally happened. Combine, a perfect voice, and a true CD soundtrack, with two, not just one, full blown RPG's, each with lengthy graphic and spoken intermissions, and you get the ultimate in this genre." -Ed

9 out of 10

"The intro to this game is mind-blowing, and it only gets better. Everything, from the graphics to the game play, is incredible. And Y's [sic] would get my vote for having the greatest sound and music track ever recorded for a video game. You'll definitely get your money's worth out of this one. For those of you who have a CD player, Y's [sic] is a must."

9 out of 10

"This graphic adventure is one of the most detailed, involved games I have ever played. The graphics in Y's [sic] are just as great, but the whole game appears better than it really is because of the music. This is the first game worthy of being put on CD. No one can ever claim that CD-ROM games are just a gimmick ever again."

(1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide)
8 out of 10

"Yes indeed this game is good, with an outstanding game adventure supported by the most amazing sound track that explodes from the CD like a major motion picture. The game is slow for me, but the quality is obvious." -Steve
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 91% - Although nobody disliked Ys Book I & II, some critics liked it more than others. This early-generation TurboGrafx-CD game scored a rare perfect 10 in Electronic Gaming Monthly. When it came to giving out awards, the role-playing game swept the competition. Not only did it win Best RPG Video Game (as transcribed above), but also Best Game of the Year (TurboGrafx-16) and Best BGM and Sound in a Video Game. GamePro agreed, hyping the CD soundtrack and giving the game a perfect 5 out of 5. It's worth mentioning that not everybody thought the game was perfect. Video Games & Computer Entertainment loved the game, but only scored it a 9 out of 10. And there were even a couple critics at EGM that couldn't muster a score higher than 8. So which is it: A great video game ... or the greatest video game?

TRENDY: No, it's not your imagination; nobody knows how to spell "Ys." As you can tell from the reviews above, both Electronic Gaming Monthly and Video Games & Computer Entertainment flub the spelling, instead adding an apostrophe that doesn't belong. Sadly, this is nothing new. We chronicled this very problem in this educational video from 2013. Don't be fooled by EGM's bad spelling.



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