I played Vay for the Sega CD again and I finished it yesterday. This is not meant to be a review; just my feelings about the game.
I played the game again for two main reasons: its challenge and its plot. It's not surprising that I found it hard if you have read my mini review of this game
It was indeed frustrating at times to spend so much time leveling up the characters, but I cannot say I didn't know this already. This was at least the third time I played it. Sometimes I was leveling up not to face the boss, but so I could survive facing the regular monsters at the current dungeon! This game is definitely for the patient.
Vay's plot, the other reason why I wanted to play the game again, did not disappoint me either. Playing the game feels like watching a good action film or a good romantic comedy. It's predictable but it's so well done that you don't care. Even since you watch the opening animation that plays before you press the Start button you know you will end up traveling across the land, collect the 5 orbs, and activate the armor which you need to complete your quest. And that is indeed what happens. However, as I like to say, when you create art, you don't have to create anything new. If you make something which has been done before, but do it with care, attention to detail, and quality, you will find an audience and you will bring beauty to the world. Most good movies made right now are like that: only very rarely a highly original movie comes out.
Like I said, Vay's plot was very well done. The characters' dialog felt honest, down-to-earth, believable, and at times, funny. The voice acting was great. And the character and costume design were very beautiful. The animation was very choppy, though. Sometimes it was 2 or 3 frames a second, and sometimes it was even less than that; it was like watching a slide show. At the time this game was released, though, it was impressive. The plot, although predictable, had a few plot twists I didn't expect the first time I played the game (and that I was looking forward to experiencing again on subsequent plays).
In the end, it didn't disappoint me to play this game again after all these years. If anybody who worked at Working Designs during the Sega CD and Saturn eras reads this, remember: your work was not in vain even though you are no longer in business. I miss your games. I will always remember them, and you have changed the world for the better a little bit by bringing these games to the US and giving them your unique style. Thank you.