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Aaron - MrIrelandish

19 May 2023

Ys IX Monstrum Nox

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is an action RPG developed by Nihon Falcom in 2019. While a part of the Ys series, Monstrum Nox is a standalone game that includes easter eggs from previous instalments. The game was initially released in Japan for the PS4 in 2019 and was later brought to a worldwide audience by NIS America in February of 2021. Since then, it has been released for Windows, Switch, and Stadia in July of the same year. Finally, a PS5 version of the game is set to launch in May 2023, with the US release on the 9th, the EU on the 12th, and Oceania on the 19th. This version comes with all cosmetic DLC.

Adol Christin, also known as "The Red," is detained and imprisoned in the city of Balduq. While trying to escape, he is cursed by a mysterious woman and transformed into a Monstrum, a powerful being with supernatural abilities to exorcise monsters. To break the curse, Adol must team up with five other Monstrums, each with their own unique Gifts, and prevent the Grimwald Nox, a shadowy dimension, from overflowing into the real world. Along the way, they uncover the truth behind Balduq's unrest and the mysteries of the Monstrum curse.


Ys IX: Monstrum NOX does an excellent job explaining new mechanics as they are introduced. Additionally, players have the ability to customize their character with items that increase stats, as well as cosmetics which allows for some personalization. Throughout the story, players will get to play as six different Monstrums, each with their own set of abilities and playstyles, such as gliding, scaling walls, and grapple leaping to reach new areas. Once a new Monstrum joins the team, players can swap between the Monstrum lineup they have.


As players progress, they level up their characters through battles with local monster wildlife to the demonic Lemures in the Grimwald Nox. The game also offers many side missions and scattered collectibles, making it possible to sink a lot of time into gameplay.

During exploration, the player will encounter barriers blocking their way to other parts of the city. To pass through these barriers, players must solve a puzzle and then enter the miasma portal that appears at the gateway. They are then sent into the Grimwald Nox, engaging in a tower defence minigame. This involves hacking and slashing through waves of demonic creatures called Lemures who are trying to destroy the crystal you are defending. Winning the stage means beating the waves off, and depending on the amount of life the crystal has remaining, the player will receive a score for winning, which determines the rewards gained.


Ys IX Monstrum Nox features well-designed enemies and characters. The design of the Lemures really made them feel like they were from another darker and more twisted dimension. The 3D anime-styled graphics are pleasing to the eye. However, the run animations of characters during cutscenes felt poorly done, making the characters appear as if they were running in slow motion. Despite this issue, it does not detract from the overall gameplay experience.

Ys IX Monstrum Nox offers a satisfying audio experience with atmospheric tunes that match the exploration of the city. The music seamlessly transitions to a more metal and adrenaline-pumping sound when entering the Grimwald Nox, adding to the excitement of the gameplay. Additionally, the game offers the option to choose between voice acting in English or Japanese and subtitles in English or French, allowing players to customize their audio experience to their liking.


Overall, Ys IX Monstrum Nox is a great game and a good starting point if you are new to the series. New to the series myself, never having played any of the Ys series, I found it to be a fun game that I would go back to and play the older games in the franchise to learn the lore and past adventures of Adol the Red. It's worth noting that I had some issues with the controls, as there were points where the R3 button was thought to be the sprint button instead of L1, and this led to confusion during combat, but that could be because I'm new to the franchise. Also, there was a slight issue with New game plus, but this issue should be addressed with the day one patch.


The Bad

- Great soundtrack
- Great enemy and character designs

- Some animations looked silly

The Good

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