|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Falcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Xseed Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 17, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Although the control scheme allows for a lot of button mashing, your actions in Ys must be deliberate for you to succeed. While I'll concede that button mashing your way through the first few stages may get you a decent amount of character growth, you won't fare too well in later stages if you don't learn to balance your skills, charge attacks, and, of course, regular attacks. The battle system has a decent amount of depth to it, but the game takes its time easing you into the more complex facets of the game, which gives the player a manageable learning curve.
As far as play time is concerned, Ys isn't terribly long, and weighs in between 20-30 hours. Although there isn't much to the game in length, the game does have plenty of areas to explore, and if you are into extreme character development, there are plenty of places to grind and improve your statistics. There are also plenty of places you can explore in the land of Altago, and I was pleasantly surprised at the scope of both the dungeon areas as well as the game's main hub world.
Technically, Ys is hit or miss. The visuals in the game look good, and I was impressed with the design of the country of Altago as well as the character designs. The game also features some interesting creature designs, which is always nice to see. Although I was a little disappointed with the game's lack of pre-rendered cutscenes, it looked nice overall. The music, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. The same handful of tunes play throughout the game, and even though there is a lot of dialogue, there is no real voiceover. Ys Seven is definitely that rare game that is nice to look at but is difficult to listen to.
The Ys series has been around for quite a long time, and though the series has bounced around from the PC scene to home consoles, Ys seems to have carved out a nice little niche on the handheld platforms. The Ys remakes did well on the Nintendo DS, but as the first Ys title designed exclusively for the handheld sphere, I think Ys Seven works just fine. The genre's scope definitely hasn't shrunken with the move to handhelds, and while you could make an argument about a lower play time on a handheld system, I think Ys Seven has found a good direction for itself that will satisfy older fans, and give series newcomers something to enjoy. While the story leaves quite a bit to be desired, the nut-and-bolts RPG gameplay and fun combat system make this a perfectly serviceable JPRG that genre fans will enjoy.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor