Review by TheSAMMIES
Ys, but with sex scenes. No, seriously! That's what this is!
Two quick warnings. First, Yurou: Transient Sands is an untranslated RPG. It has an action based combat system, but you wont get as much out of it if you dont know Japanese. Youll end up missing out of a lot of vital hints, story, and other good stuff if you dont play with some knowledge of Japanese. Additionally, Yurou: Transient Sands has a few sexual scenes. You probably shouldnt play if you arent ready for cartoon breasts on your computer screen.
Have you ever played Ys before? Oh man, that game is great. If you have a Turbo CD or Turbo CD emulator and havent played Ys, then go play it! Its a fantastic series and is highly underrated as far as Japanese RPGs go.
So, what does Ys have to do with Yurou: Transient Sands? A lot, actually. Yurou lifts a good chunk of its gameplay from Falcoms classic wholesale without even trying to hide any of it. Its also a hentai adventure, so you can also expect breasts, sexual encounters with virtually every female character, and some really lame puns.
Story- You play as a knight named Riku. Hes not the most chivalrous guy, sometimes opting more toward having sex with whatever woman he can find instead of fighting evil and saving the day. Riku still tries to protect the kingdom of Yurou in spite of his libido and does a pretty good job at it too.
One day, Riku finds a girl named Azusa. Shes wearing a schoolgirl outfit, which is unusual for most people in fantasy kingdoms. Azusa explains that shes been sent here through a time portal and needs to get back home with Rikus help. Riku, being the good knight he is, decides to go help Azusa on her quest home. Unfortunately, the forces of evil are ready to pounce of Yurou, so Riku and Azusa find themselves in over their heads trying to stop a plot to take over Yurou.
Yurous story is pretty standard as far as fantasy anime stuff goes. You have a mysterious girl, a generic evil overlord that wants to take over the world, tons of fantasy races, and plenty of different world to explore. Characters arent particularly developed, but they do get some time to shine. Riku in particular is kind of a cool guy, as while he isnt always the most chivalrous, he does take the time to uphold his code of honor every so often, if anything to remind you that hes a really good guy that just happens to have a lecherous streak.
Presentation- Yurou has two different kinds of graphics: detailed CG that is very well-drawn and in-game graphics that looks basic and kind of ugly. Lets talk about the good stuff first. Yurous CG looks great as far as PC98 games go. Some of it even moves! Hervests general style here looks kind of like Gigas in that its a bit more cartoony than most other hentai style games and you end up with exaggerated characters. This is okay though, because Yurou can be a pretty funny game at times and this can often punctuate the comical scenes.
The actual in-game graphics feature barely any animation at all and have scrunched up looked character sprites and backgrounds that look like they were borrowed from older Zelda games. Expect repeating textures, difficult to navigate dungeons, and pallet swapped enemies. None of these are particularly new to 90s RPGs, so its hard to count them against Yurou, but just be warned that theyre there.
The sound is pretty decent. A lot of it is fantasy inspired themes that play during exploration and dungeon crawling. It suits the game pretty well and may even get stuck in your head long after completing the game. Youll probably enjoy this games music. Its some really good stuff, especially as far as PC98 games go.
Gameplay- Yurou has you playing as Riku in a three-quarters overhead view. You go through dungeons, solve occasional puzzles, and fight enemies along the way. Enemies are fought by ramming into them with your sword. It sounds simplistic, but its actually fun! Some of the enemies you fight cant be defeated through traditional means either, so you have to get creative with how you ram into them. Its a lot less mindless than it might sound.
Puzzles are generally easy and can be completed without too much trouble. Battles can get a bit grindy, though. Some of the bosses later on are real tough! They usually require patience to defeat too, or at least some degree of memorization. Yurou otherwise isnt a very hard game. Its pretty long though, requiring at least 20 hours to complete the whole quest.
If you like Ys style action RPGs and dont mind a few random sex scenes here and there, then you probably wont mind Yurou. Its overlooked, even as far as PC98 games go, and it makes for a wonderful RPG that you can spend your time on.
Cool Fact- You can find a few similar character designed in Hervests other (far worse) RPG: Themm. I knew that mermaid girl looked familiar!
Also Try- Aiza: New Generation is a lot like Ys too and is a great alternative to Yurou if the frequent hentai content scares you. If you want another really long hentai RPG with many endings, try Harlem Blade. Its long, has an awesome story, and Giga put a lot of work and effort into trying to make a Final Fantasy style game that just happens to have a few sex scenes in it.
Product Release: Yurou: Transient Sands (JP, 08/02/96)
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