Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is, let’s just come out and say it, pretty weird. But the most important question to me, however, is whether it’s any fun or not. And, despite all of the changes, I think that it is. Would I want this to be the formula for every Ys game from here on out? Heck no. But a literal antithesis to Ys VIII’s Seiren Island—which is absolutely what this game is—is really charming in its own way, and the fact that Falcom was able to add so many novel features while still keeping this game Ys-like at its heart is genuinely impressive. You’d think that basically being able to do whatever you want in this game would make it ridiculously easy, but I can promise you that it’s not. It’s hard, it’s charming, it’s enjoyable, and, despite Adol looking like a vampire lord, it’s absolutely a Ys game to its very core.