Review – Ys Seven

Information about Ys Seven…
Consoles Game is Available For: Playstation Portable
Genre: Action RPG
Developer/Publisher: Falcom/XSeed
US Release Date: August 2010

The Ys series has always been an odd one for me.  I was always fascinated with the series, but the only game I played was a homebrew patched version of Ys Eternal (it’s a remake of the first and second game, though I never got to the second) for the PC.  The game entertained me greatly, and while I wanted to try other games in the series, I just… never did.  Ys is essentially my favorite little series I’ve never played.

So… back to Ys Seven.  I hadn’t known that the game had come out… hell, I didn’t even know the game was ANNOUNCED.  My boyfriend and I picked it up because of the awesome special edition (cloth map of the world for the win) and that the GameStop employee insisted that it was the ‘last copy we like’ (i.e., in any sort of decent shape).  I put the game away for a day or two, but I decided to open it up and try the game out.  I mean, it’s Ys, after all.

When I first booted the game up, I was a little skeptical.  The graphics were okay, but some thing about it irked me (They couldn’t animate someone getting up off the ground?  Really?), and I got lost in the town I couldn’t exit for god knows how long.  I had finally gotten somewhere after about an hour and a half, and it really wasn’t speaking good for Ys.

But then… I got outside.

And swung my sword.

And all my doubts went away.

Ys Seven, and I can say this without a doubt, is the mechanically best Action RPG I’ve played.  Ever.  This game is fast-paced, streamlined, and insanely fun.  You can have up to three members in your party (obviously to facilitate the three different attack types), and you can switch between them with a tap of a button, making battles go at a brisk pace.  In fact, all of the controls are easy to learn, so that you won’t spend much time trying to figure out what does what.

Boss battles in Ys Seven are just as fun as the rest of the game, but also very challenging.  A word of advice:  You better learn to dodge well, or the bosses will hand you your ass.  All (well, okay, most) of the bosses require strategy to beat, but you never need to grind to get past them.  Ys Seven nicely throws away ‘fake’ difficulty (you know, the kind you need to be higher level to get past) for a true challenge.

What about the other aspects of the game?  Well, the graphics aren’t bad, like I said before.  They’re actually pretty good.  There are just a few points that I consider lazy on the part of the designers (like the point I stated before), but overall there is nothing wrong ar garish about them.  The story is basically standard RPG fare, and if you’ve played a lot of those like I have, you can probably guess most of the plot twists a mile away.  The music, as the Falcom standard, is awesome, with only a few tracks that I thought were just okay.

I guess my point is… this game is fun.  The most fun I’ve ever had with an Action RPG.  Its battle system is streamlined for fast-pace awesomeness, and I am pleased with this entry in the Ys series.  Even though I know it’ll be different, I can’t wait to play another game in one of my favorite series (that I still haven’t played much of).

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