216 days after Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana saw its English release on PS4, it finally arrived on PC, though not without issues. Immediately after release, reports of few graphical options and numerous technical issues started floating in, as well as problems with controller support. These issues were later confirmed in a post on the Steam community forums, which reveals the breadth of the issues:
- VSync does not work
- Various audio issues
- Light flickering in two areas
- Full-screen detection not working properly
- Irregular shadows
- Text issues
- Various controller/keyboard issues
The controller issues, in particular, warranted their own followup post. Notably, controller configurations were tied to various crashes on startup, and a report by Durante (of DSFix fame, among other things) claimed that unplugging the controller while playing would cause the game to crash. Not only that, but moving the camera with the mouse would essentially break the camera, as it zipped around the scene at high speeds. NISA has posted a series of fixes players can try, in an attempt to solve the startup crashes.
If those issues weren’t enough, if you were able to get Ys VIII to stay running, you could only move in the eight cardinal and ordinal directions using the left joystick. NISA apparently had 360-degree movement working on the PC port back in September. Whether this change was necessary due to the architecture rework or something else is hard to say, but beta testers were reporting that 360 movement was working even yesterday.
For what it’s worth, NISA will be fixing the VSync issue within the next 48 hours, with the issues with controllers to be solved after that. The full slate of changes coming is as follows, in terms of priority:
- VSync issue to be fixed within 48 hours
- Controller Issues (Detection, Joystick Input)
- Fix flickering in Eroded Valley & Towering Coral Forest
- Fix irregular shadows
- Remaining issues noted above
Ultimately, one is left wondering how the extra time taken with the PC port was used. NISA did announce they were bringing in Rob Wyatt from Tin Giant LLC, a porting studio that’s worked with Insomniac and Microsoft previously. Wyatt would be improving Ys VIII by updating to DX 11.1, as well as fixing some of the shading issues, as detailed in the post above. Even with these changes, NISA still pushed out a subpar port. Multiple beta testers posting on Reddit and beyond suggest that Ys VIII has had these issues for months. In response, gamers across social media and forums are raking NIS America over the coals for their slipshod work, and just 25% of the Steam reviews are positive for the otherwise excellent Lacrimosa of Dana, as of writing.
Of course, NISA’s struggles with ports is nothing new. The release of Disgaea on PC a few years ago suffered from numerous technical issues, though these problems were ironed out later. A high-profile bug was found in The Witch and the Hundred Knight for PS3, where the game would crash upon playing a certain story mission. If you got extremely unlucky with Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, your PS3 might even end up bricked, though you could get around this by loading your save file twice.
So then, it seems that after all the mind-numbing waiting and heartache, Ys fans waiting for an excellent PC port were left hung out to dry. While the changes coming will make Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana playable, anyone looking to dive in is best off grabbing the PS4 version.