Review by bruplex
"The Y's that should have kept on Wandering.."
Oh, sweet mercy how could they do this to my favorite series of all time!! Y's Books 1 and 2 set incredible standards in graphics, sound, voice acting, and featured an epic storyline. Y's 3 featured a useless partner named Dogi, a few good tunes, and a plot as predictable as Old Faithful. In short, Falcom whizzed the Y's good name down its proverbial leg.
Y's 3 changes the whole style of gameplay from its previous releases, similar to the way Zelda 2 was different from the original. Instead of an overhead view, this game is all side scrolling. The reason for this seems to be to give the player more offensive control; in the first game you needed to charge into enemies or shoot fire at them to hurt them. In Y's 3 you can actually swing a sword, jump, and duck. This wasn't a drastic change, more of a lateral move. The controls are tight and Adol (your hero) responds well.
So why so bad? Well, let's go to the ratings:
Graphics: 5/10 After the HUGE worlds opened up in Y's 1&2, one would expect Y's 3 to exceed it's parent in this capacity. Sadly, it falls far short. First off, there are hardly any cut scenes. The opening has a short scene with some guy who clearly isn't Adol (though for some reason there is a gratuitous shot of Lilia from the first game.) Once playing the actual game, the first thing you'll notice is the clumsy attempt at parallax scrolling. There is only one town in this game and it looks awful. In fact, most places you go to are very plain and have that same awkward scrolling. With a few exceptions, such as the last battle with Demonicus and a brief section of the snowy mountain area, the visuals are bland. The TG-CD version even pales to the SNES non-CD release of Y's 3. No cut scenes, no cool bosses, and a lack of creativity.
Let's break it up:
OTHER SOUNDS, INCLUDING VOICE ACTING: 1/10
I have to give Y's 3 its due; the hard rock songs are great. Even though all use the same 2/4 time, the songs are heavy enough to get your adrenaline pumping! The only downfall to Y's 3 was the lack of different areas, thus limiting the expressiveness of the music. You were either fighting or in the one town; no subtle cave areas, no magical fountains thus no need for mood music of that sort. Still a solid musical experience and better than most games out there!!
OTHER SOUNDS: Ugh! The horrible, horrible voice acting in Y's 3 makes Resident Evil one look good!! Not only are the actors stiff and uninspired but they talk at EVERY STINKING CHANCE THEY GET!!! Chester and Elena are especially bad, sounding like couple of rich snotty brats rather than medieval characters. Perhaps 100 cc's of EMOTION would have helped them sound a tad more realistic. The superb acting of Y's 1 and 2 (such as Dark Fact, Feena, etc.) is long gone. I would actually get embarrassed at how bad the voice overs are when I came to them. The town mayor uses the lingo of an 18th century miner with the tone of a 20 something guy. All wrong--you can tell from the whiny narrative in the opening sequence the voice acting is going down the tubes. I gave it a one because at least Adol doesn't talk.
Gameplay: 6.5/10 Adol moves smoothly and responds well but the enemy onslaught is terribly animated, leaving some sort of quality gap. As the enemies jerk towards you, you'll either slice them up if your level is high enough or get pounded. Even the bosses are easiest to beat with straight up hack N' slash techniques.
Also, the level up system is kind of weak. The game goes by so fast that you don't really have time to fight and grow strong, it just sort of happens. Worst of all, there is only ONE SMALL TOWN and only 5 outside areas to explore. Almost all the levels are straight forward and have no real challenge to their naviagation. It breaks my heart, but the gameplay frankly stinks.
Storyline: 1/10 As the game opens, our hero Adol is traveling with his ''companion'' Dogi, who we have never heard of. Apparently this is why Adol didn't stay with Lilia from the first game...ahem...so off they go to Dogi's homeland where Adol singlehandedly saves everything while Dogi mills about doing not much of anything. There are also Elena and Chester, the snobby brother/sister duo whose dull antics make you care nothing about them. There is a hint of romance with Adol and Elena, but Adol would rather spend his time with a hulking fellow named Dogi. Go figure..as always, there are the token hidden statues, evil resurrected,..wizard...brother..possessed king..yawn...swords...power hungry priest..zzzzzzz
Overall: 6.3 I have to give props to the great music and at brief times Y's is fun to play. Before you can really get into it, however it is over! Apparently the first games were not as epic as we thought: the whole land of Y's was about as big as Bradford Community College. In which case, the land of Kenai is about as big as a public restroom, figuratively speaking. While brimming with potential, Y's 3 falls far short of its predecessor.
BRU'S MUST GET OMETER: 7.5 A nice CD to have, if only for the tunes!!
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 04/03/01, Updated 04/03/01
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