Ys: The Ark of Napishtim PlayStation 2


Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
Buy On
  1. A gift to those who spent their school years up late at night with "Illusion of Gaia" and "Secret of Mana."
  2. Nearly everything about the game is antiquated, yet at the end of the day it delivers a more fulfilling experience than many, more “advanced” Role-Playing titles.
  3. Had the jumping mechanism been tightened up, and the challenge of the game been enhanced a bit more so that the strategy for bosses did not become power-leveling, the game would have been just as great as its predecessors.
  4. The gameplay is basic and the story isn’t overly original, but there is this addictive and drawing quality to the game and storyline that makes my old-school heart yearn for more.
  5. The story is also rather mundane and redundent in today's times. But with an action-rpg heart, it is to be expected and is natural for a player to just ignore any story and to focus on the objectives and the fighting.
  6. The only complaint I have is there isn’t much to set it apart from many other RPGs.
  7. It combines the old school style gameplay from the games past and it takes on a new aged style as well.
  8. Basic and unassuming, this is an RPG for gamers that love RPGs. No complex battle system, no hugely epic storyline, just old-school goodness by the fistful.
  9. 80
    The animation of the sprites is wonderful. There are minute details on sword and cape movement, something which changes when equipping different things. [JPN Import]
  10. While it may not do anything new or anything spectacularly well, there's no denying that it's a hell of a lot of fun.
  11. Although Ys: The Ark of Napishtim isn’t the prettiest or most epic RPG around, it delivers with its fast-paced action and lack of a convoluted storyline.
  12. PSM Magazine
    For those who cut their teeth on titles like "Landstalker" or "Alundra," Ys: Ark of Napishtim does them (and its own series) great homage while standing on its own two feet. [March 2005, p.74]
  13. 80
    The game makes it feel like maybe too much time hasn't passed since the 16-bit days, while somehow still seeming to be a completely competent entry onto the latter-day PS2's stage.
  14. 80
    We praise the designers' decision to make Adol a speedy little devil, so darting around towns and inevitably retreading terrain isn't such a tedious chore.
  15. Excellent graphics, a simple but addictive style of combat, and an excellent soundtrack, should be enough to keep fans of the Ys franchise happy.
  16. 78
    My kind of game. It's personable, has a distinct artistic style, and gives me a great sense of nostalgia without feeling too dated.
  17. 76
    This game can be very short; about 15 hours tops. It’s a joy to watch, though, and serves as a quick fix for those in need of some shiny action.
  18. The only thing that really puts a damper on the game is that for an RPG, it isn’t very long.
  19. netjak
    It is action packed, artfully done, and has a wonderful story. Give it a shot.
  20. A worthwhile, if a bit short, trip down memory lane.
  21. Game Informer
    The game suffers only by clinging a bit too tightly to its roots. [March 2005, p.128]
  22. Despite feeling somewhat formulaic, this installment of Ys still provides a bunch of challenging, old-school hack-and-slash action for devoted thumb-warriors.
  23. Play Magazine
    Sometimes it's cool to suspend disbelief and go back to what got us here in the first place - aiding villagers and killing monsters. [March 2005, p.50]
  24. Ys noticeably lacks ambition, but it totally nails the classic feel it's going for. [March 2005, p.126]
  25. A tight, relatively deep gameplay system combines with classic styling and characters to create a time warp of a game that is still well worth a look for older gamers.
  26. Fun and even a little addictive - it's still an interesting walk down memory lane for us twenty-something geezers. [March 2005, p.101]
  27. The music, controls, combat and environments all feel like they are straight out of my SNES, simply updated with a few nice touches added on for fun. Basically this game was put together well, and they stayed true to their design core.
  28. While retro fans are sure to appreciate its nostalgic sense of game design, the simple-minded combat and primitive graphics severely take away from its entertainment value. And since the main selling point of Ys is that it plays just like old games... well, why not just put this game down and go play some actual old SNES RPGs?
  29. 65
    It's a solid if uninspiring little game with a definite nostalgic appeal for fans of old action-RPGs such as "Crystalis" or "SoulBlazer." Or "Ys", for that matter.
  30. Weekly Famitsu
    6 / 7 / 6 / 5 - 24 [Vol. 848]
  31. 60
    It's not nearly on the level of "Kingdom Hearts," and really doesn't stand out in a crowd.
  32. Ys simply falters in the face of the better games now on the market, and in that context, it's hard to recommend it as much more than a curio for the hardcore RPG fan.
  33. While certainly not a revolutionary game or even a difficult one, it does hit the nostalgia chord perfectly and then, with perfect timing, quits.
  34. This is a game that knows its small target audience (basically anyone who's played an Ys game before) and sticks to it without even trying to appeal to anyone else. Good luck to you if you fall into that category. [PSW]
  35. games(TM)
    This is clichéd, tedious, frustrating nonsense, as archaic in its gameplay as it is banal in its story. [Sept 2005, p.120]

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. CurtisB.
    Mar 11, 2005
    Excellent, overlooked, and very nostalgic - this is the game I've been waiting the last ten years for. I think it's high time we Excellent, overlooked, and very nostalgic - this is the game I've been waiting the last ten years for. I think it's high time we get away from "cutting edge" 3D stuff, and just have some fun again. This game provides that chance. Full Review »
  2. MarcD.
    Mar 26, 2005
    We've seen it all before, and its been done much much better. Way too generic to warrant a purchase.
  3. MichielvanL.
    Oct 31, 2004
    Ys VI is one of the easier Ys games, much like Ys III. The graphics are o.k., the gameplay is simple, and the soundtrack is above average. Ys Ys VI is one of the easier Ys games, much like Ys III. The graphics are o.k., the gameplay is simple, and the soundtrack is above average. Ys II is still the ultimate Ys game of all time, in my opinion, and Ys VI: The Ark Of Napishtim doesn't come close, but is still a very pleasant way to pass your time. You're constantly tempted to level up 'just a few more times' in order to kick the boss' ass, and that's good! It's best to see the game as an Ys spin-off instead of a whole new Ys game. That way you won't be too disappointed. I finished the game in about 20 hours (if I remember correctly), but I could've done it much faster. The 8 that I gave this game is because the game looks nice (not great, just nice), has no learning curve whatsoever, and is addictive. Oh, and it's got Ys in the title. Ys fans: buy this. New to Ys? Better rent it first, then buy as much Ys titles as you can afford. If you remotely liked Ys VI, you'll just *love* Ys II (and much of the rest of the series). Full Review »