Hackin’ and a slashin’ and a hippin’ and a hoppin’.
This is my very first Ys game. I know, I’m a huge RPG player and have never touched a Ys game before. Blasphemy. Well, now I can say I have finally tried one out, with the PC version of the PSP game Ys Seven. How does it hold up? Or better yet, is this a decent jumping on point for newcomers like me? Well, let’s find out.
One thing I didn’t know was the fact that Ys follows the same protagonist throughout the series. Adol is a well renowned adventurer and hero who is accompanied by his friend and partner, Dogi. They are on their way to the country of Altago looking for adventure. When they get there, they see that the country has been divided by a war, and are arrested for being mistaken for spies. After talking with the king, they are then pardoned and sent out to investigate a shrine. When there, Adol is rewarded with a legendary power known as Dragon Power, beginning a series of events that have been prophesied where Adol must save the country. Now, Adol and Dogi must travel Altago and collect all the dragon powers.
Price I’d pay: $24.99
Ys is a combat heavy action RPG where players control one of three party members as they travel areas. While travelling, they will run into enemies. They will then need to dodge, attack, and use special abilities to defeat these enemies. It has a very hack ‘n slash feel to it, where the player along with their AI controlled party members wail on enemies and occasionally dodge attacks. The AI is actually not too bad here. When I had my controlled character use a special attack, the AI party members would as well, essentially combining their efforts.
Certain enemies are more susceptible to different types of attacks. Adol uses swords while Dogi likes to punch things. So when going up against an enemy with a hard shell, for example, it would be better to have Dogi bash on them rather than Adol try to cut them. Players can switch to a different party member whenever they want, and in these instances, it is pretty much required when trying to take down enemies efficiently.
Beating enemies rewards the party with experience points that will level up the characters, making them stronger. Players can also equip new weapons and armor to each party member, as well as create their own items using the crafting system. Every enemy drops some form of crafting material that can be used in forging. With different weapons equipped, characters will learn new special abilities that can level up as well by using them. This can be mapped to a controller for quick use. In order to use these abilities, players must fill up a meter to a certain point. This meter is filled by attacking enemies. Players can fill it up faster by using charged attacks by holding down the attack button.
While the hack ‘n slash formula works and can be fun, what is not fun are the boss fights. Every one of them revolves around learning the enemy’s patterns, finding their weak spot, and unloading attacks on it. While not inherently bad, what makes it bad is how much health these bosses have. After mashing away for ten minutes, it gets rather monotonous, and I’m still not done with the boss fight yet. It gets annoying fast, and the thing is the fights never really change up much. Sure, the patterns and attack change, but in the end, I’m still doing the exact same thing.
While the story is simple, it keeps things moving along, and the presentation is actually really well done. The music is spectacular, and while this is a PSP game from 2009, it looks ok. It’s nothing to write home about, though.
In the end, Ys Seven is an ok game. It does get monotonous as far as the combat goes, but the story and level progressions are decently paced. For those looking to get into the series for the first time, this is a decent jumping on point. Sure, some characters act like they know each other, but it feels like each Ys game has its own standalone story. For the RPG players looking for a simple, yet fun time and isn’t bothered by some mindless hack ‘n slash, Ys Seven is a good one for you.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.