Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: Ys Seven

I’ve never played an Ys game (pronounced, "Ees," I believe), but if they're all like this latest entry in the esteemed franchise, then they all require patience; lots and lots of patience. That’s not to say that Ys is a bad game, because this is actually one JRPG that strays away from the norm (action wise, anyway, not story wise). And I found the combat system to be surprisingly enjoyable, which is much more than I can say for some of its contemporaries, which have been rehashing turn based combat since the very first Final Fantasy.

Interestingly, the story actually takes backseat to the combat in this game, which is pretty refreshing, because the story is a total bore. It’s a real yawn inducing yarn. It’s all about this character named Adol Christin, who, after doing some research, I found out has been the in every installment of the franchise, except for one. Adol and his pal, Dogi, go on a quest with dragons and adventuring, and blah blah blah, it’s really not important. In fact, back to the whole patience issue, if you don’t have much of it, then you’re likely going to give up on this game early on as the text in the very beginning is really a slog. Trust me when I tell you this, though, it picks up later on. It doesn’t stay too boring for long.

The battle system in this game, as I keep bringing up, is pretty kick ass. It actually kind of reminds me of a cross between God of War and The Legend of Zelda, as you’re constantly rolling out of the way of attacks, and then coming in with counter-attacks, varying with your characters. Adol is more of a slasher, while someone like Dogi is more of a bruiser. The coolest thing about this is that you can constantly switch your characters during the fights with just the press of a button. It makes for some really interesting battles, especially with the bosses who have their own specific patterns. This can be a little annoying at first when you keep continuing over and over again with the bosses until you get their pattern down, but like I said earlier, this game takes patience, and it can be quite rewarding if you stick with it. I certainly did.

Luckily, you can pretty much save wherever you want in the game and don’t have to wait for checkpoints, so that’s a plus. Since the story can be so plodding at times, you can always press your way through the text and then just save the game and come back to it later, which is definitely a plus that I wish more RPGs followed. Also, this game is not too long and took me about 28 hours (most of those spent on beating the bosses), so you don’t get bored of it for too long. Overall, if you’re a fan of JRPGs and want something very different, combat wise, at least, then Ys Seven is a pretty solid title for your PSP. I recommend it.

Players: 1
Platform(s): PSP
Developer: Nihon Falcom Corporation
Publisher: XSeed Games
ESRB: Teen
Rating: Three and a half stars out of five

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