Ys Chronicles 2 is a fully featured port of the classic action-focused JRPG. It's interesting to compare it against Adventures of Mana, from Square, which hit the App Store just last week.
Where Mana is a polished and scrubbed up version of an older game, Ys Chronicles 2 wears its retro-achievements on its sleeve. It's all chunky pixels and old-school heart-string tugs.
It's also a lot cheaper. And while it has some problems, there's a chance that it's a better bet for fans of nostalgic RPGs than its slightly better-looking friend.
What's it all about then?
Well, it's a JRPG from the late '80s, so it's mainly about wandering around, killing things, and watching your stats go up. Then buying new swords, shields, and suits of armour. And doing magic.
There's a massive story about godesses and demons and all sorts of shenanigans, and plenty of side quests and NPCs to chat to as well. It's a JRPG, I don't really know what else you want me to say about it.
It does have a few strange quirks that set it apart. Namely a combat system that involves rubbing up against enemies to damage them. There are no buttons to mash, you just charge at monsters and the game automatically starts swinging at them.
Enemies flash when they're about to attack, giving you a chance to leg it before they take a chunk out of your health bar. And those chunks are pretty massive until you can afford some armour.
The fighting means the game is instantly accessible – there's no convoluted menu system to learn, you just run into things until they're dead, running away if it looks like they're about to smack you in the chops.
But there's a lack of tactics here, and it makes for a particularly clumsy experience. Sometimes you'll smash a foe up against a wall and find it almost impossible to tell if they're about to hit you or die.
The running into things theme continues with all the objects you can interact with as well. You need to barge into doors to open them, signs to read them, and characters to have a chat with them.
Sounds clunky, or I guess clonky
Yeah, it's not great. But it's not the worst control system I've ever used, and like I said, it opens the experience up a little.
There's a nice price tag attached too, which means if you're looking for an RPG from the past, this is probably going to set you back the least.
There's a lot going on here, and the story is strong enough that you'll happily let it suck you in for a good few hours.
Is it the best RPG on the App Store? Nah, not by a long shot. But it's a fun, engaging blast from the past, and you won't have to break the bank to give it a go.