YS IX: Monstrum Nox – Review

Release Date
February 2, 2021
NIS America
Nihon Falcom
PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Reviewed on
Review copy provided by
NIS America

YS IX: Monstrum Nox is the latest addition to the popular JRPG Series YS. This latest game takes us into a world where beings known as Monstrums exist. Let’s find out together whether this is a game that’s a welcome addition to the series.

The game takes us to Balduq City. A city bustling with kingdom life. Adol our protagonist was just trying to get through the city looking for his next adventure. However, he was imprisoned for “crimes” he committed. He was able to escape the prison after befriending an inmate who he saved. Adol encounters Aprilis who gave him a “curse” and making him into a Monstrum. Being a Monstrum, Adol is able to perform Monstrum Gifts. He learns how to traverse through places he could not reach. This is just one of many Gifts that Adol will learn throughout the game which I will mention later.

The game also builds up on game mechanics previously established in YS XIII: Lacrimosa of Dana but you don’t need to play that game to be able to enjoy this game. Although the story is a continuation of the previous game, it is recommended but not preferred to play previous games. However, if you did play the previous game, you can get in-game rewards by loading up your YS VIII Save File.

Most of your adventures in this game will be focused on Balduq City. This is because when Adol became a Monstrum, he is cursed to not be able to leave the city. Certain areas in the city are also inaccessible because of this. In order to access this places, Adol must gather Nox, which is a form of essence that you acquire by doing certain things around the city.

You can fight monsters that will give a few amount of Nox. You can do quests that will give an ample amount of Nox. Once the Nox reaches 100, a rift will open that you must enter to fight monsters. Once all monsters are defeated in the rift, you will then be able to access another part of the city.

The gameplay is also similar to its predecessor. Combat is action based and real time, so you have to act quick and think fast to defeat the opponents.

Just like previous games, Adol can recruit and encounter many characters that will aid him in his journey. You will also have a hideout where all the characters you recruit will gather. One of the many characters you can recruit are the other Monstrum characters. As the story progresses, each of the Monstrum will join your party. Having them in your party means you can control them directly in battle as well. Recruiting each Monstrum character also lets you acquire new Monstrum abilities. Each having their own usefulness.

The other characters you can recruit are non playable characters. Each of them also having their usefulness towards your journey. Their usefulness includes, smithing, cooking, access to all shops in the city that you have unlocked and several other things.

I really like how there’s so much to do in this game. And even if that’s the case, it’s not too overwhelming. It doesn’t feel like you are being overloaded by information because the features and other components of the game are introduced gradually. I also love the pacing, and the progression of the game. The story is well thought out and it’s really convincing how certain aspects of the game came to be. Each character is well developed, and have great personalities that I believe have been well thought out.

The graphics of the game isn’t really as marvelous or stunning as other games but it has its own charm. It’s not outdated but at the same time it also isn’t very up to date. The game runs smoothly on 60 fps on the PS5 making you enjoy the good parts of the game. And not worrying about loading times which are very minimal.

I really love the music of this game. Even since the other game I played and reviewed which is YS VIII: Dana of Lacrimosa. You can just get lost in this world and just listen to the music.

There are other features of the game that I haven’t mentioned but I believe that the game is best enjoyed if you discover them yourself. That is where the beauty of the game really shines.

Overall, YS IX: Monstrum Nox is an enjoyable game that captures the heart of the JRPG genre. I highly recommend this game if you’re a fan of the series. And even if this is your first foray into the game, I am fairly certain you will enjoy it and would want to play the other games in the series.

YS IX: Monstrum Nox – Review
Score Definition
When a title gets a grand number, it’s a video-game worth spending your whole life in.
Beautiful game with beautiful gameplay
Relatable characters with depth and personality
A world teeming with things to do and lots to explore