The Ys Seven series has seen a long list of releases over the years for a wide range of platforms. The latest release comes to us on the PSP and looks to continue the story of our favorite red haired hero on his seemingly endless quest. With a great developer like Falcom behind the saga, can the game bring in new fans while paying homage to long time fans of the series?
Ys Seven follows incumbent hero Adol Christian and his best friend Dogi as they scour the world for adventures and most importantly, treasures. Their adventures take them to the continent of Altago where they discover that the land has been experiencing strange events. As you land in Altago the King asks Adol and Dogi to investigate these occurrences, pushing the two into an adventure bigger than what they had bargained for. The story serves up a fair amount of twists, keeping players constantly engaged and guessing. This is supplemented by a very strong cast of supporting characters that all complement each other, and the story very well.
While the story definitely plays a major role, it does not overshadow the combat which is the meat of the game and what the series is known for. There is a lot of fun to be had in the combat of this action RPG, with plenty of enemies to slaughter and multiple characters to control during battle. Enemies are visible as you navigate the treacherous terrain and various dungeons in the game, meaning any battle can be passed up if you desire. Combat is actually pretty straightforward at a glance; a single attack that can be charged, a dodging roll and a block button. However, players also have the ability to equip 4 skills per weapon and an extra skill that provides the selected player with an extra powerful attack. To use either of these the player must first build up enough Skill Points, which can be had with each successful attack. This all equates to a surprisingly deep and complex combat system that will keep you coming back for more.
The biggest key to the combat is the strategy involved with the multiple characters and their weapon type. Each party is made up of 3 characters and the game provides you with plenty of colorful characters to choose from. The combat plays out as a Rock-Paper-Scissors affair with certain weapons and characters being useless against various enemies. This forces the player to mix up characters mid-battle as you try and choose the right one to complete the task at hand. It’s this kind of strategy, added to a fast paced combat system that really makes the battles in Ys Seven the star of the game.
Outside of the combat the game provides players with side quests to further your playing time and give you a break from the main story. These quests can be found around the various towns in the game and can be completed as you please. These side quests become a vital part of your playthrough as the game sometimes forgets to let you know just where to go to progress the story. Most of these quests are a bit on the easy side with simple objectives such as collecting materials, but others such as monster battles can be exhaustively tough. Materials can be found everywhere along your journey, with plenty of areas to mine and bounds of loot that drop from each defeated enemy. You’ll use these materials to build new weapons and items via the game’s synthesis feature so be sure to collect as much as you can along the way.
Ys Seven features an impressive presentation from the graphics to the audio. Developer Falcom steers clear of CG cut scenes for most of the game, content instead to use the in-game engine. The character models are sharply animated and the towns and various terrain are well designed, though, a bit lacking in detail.. The game’s audio throughout the game really shines through with a smashing soundtrack that fits the moods and situations presented in the game without getting repetitive. Voice acting is left out of the title and the story is instead told through text.
Overall, Ys Seven is a very solid RPG to add to anyone’s PSP library. Y’s Seven doesn’t really do anything to reinvent the genre or make it stand out amongst other RPGs, however, the game does do everything an RPG should do, and does it well enough to keep fans interested throughout the main journey. A knockout soundtrack, fun combat and interesting characters, along with close to 20-40 hours of game play make this a great pickup for the RPG fan out there.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Visuals could use some major work