A vast divergence from the gameplay of the previous two episodes, Ys III bears more resemblance to Sorcerian, with its side-view action. Control of Adol involves a button to jump and another to slash your sword - yep, no bumping into enemies any more. Naturally, as the game progresses, you obtain greater armour and weapons, and also rings with magical properties which is similar to the magic system in Ys II - although here you have a limited 'ring power' to use them.
Comment (US Version)
Reviewing this from the viewpoint of the US version, the first thing that strikes you about Ys III is the terrible voice acting. The second thing is the dreadfully jerky simulated parallax scrolling, seen briefly in Ys II and also in Ninja Ryūkenden. But setting aside those minor issues, Ys III delivers a very different but still compelling episode of this highly regarded action role-playing series. Sure, the side-on viewpoint makes the game feel far more linear than the first two, but it retains the quality that holds you and keeps you coming back until it is completed. This is in no small measure due to the masterful arrangements of the music by Ryo Yonemitsu. It has a slightly harder edge this time around and justifies the purchase of the CD in itself. As mentioned before, the US version suffers a little from poor acting, especially compared to the bang up job they did with Ys I and II. Throughout the game the acting is stilted and very unprofessional, and nothing is worse than the narrator at the beginning who sounds like he’s got a permanently bunged up nose. The whole essence of the opening story is lost too - the US version describes it as the fight Adol has with 'Demanicus', as though you’ve already completed the game whereas the Japanese version is describing a past legend of a fearless warrior that defeated Galbalan and sealed him away - only for him to return now. It makes much more sense, especially as the warrior shown is golden haired, and Adol’s mop is red! But it's a small price to pay for being able to understand what is going on, and without knowing the story, any RPG is just a case of going through the motions. But Ys III delivers. It's addictive, it sounds fantastic, and the graphics are pretty enough in places despite the scrolling. It's not the most challenging game on the system but it's essential for fans of the series.