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When I was little, it took me 2 minutes to beat bowser!

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Too short"

Summary

Ys Seven has some of the greatest boss fights in the history of boss fights, that's really all I cared about in the game, the mindless grinding got pretty lame, and thats gonna cost you some points, but Ys had such amazing boss fights that the grinding was easier to get past. This game is a little hard to me, but challenge isn't annoying! I wish you could re-fight bosses in that game, but the only way to do that is to replay the game. That is an unforgivable act from the developers. But also another thing that annoyed me was that this game was only 27 hours for me. 27! What!? It took me 88 hours to beat Persona 3 Portable which is an amazing RPG. I like this game, but I've never liked a game enough to replay the whole story, except for games like starcraft and warcraft III, but those are masterpieces that I can't compare to regular games like this. All in all, 9 out of 10, and that is not out of generosity to this game, I really enjoyed it that much, despite all the toxic things I pointed out, the boss fights literally makes me forget the bad, the ugly, and only see the good.




Brilliant. It's like the joy I had playing every single Zelda that I got for xmas/bdays, only combined, and well paced.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
The Bottom Line:
"Instant classic"

Summary

If you can imagine a perfect mix between something like Zelda and Star Ocean, this is probably it (that is the gameplay, the plot is definitely stuck in fantasy land).

STORY + CHARACTERS:
While I'm yet to complete it, the game's plot so far is very well done. There is some backstory that the game alludes to, but I seem to be surviving without knowing it and thus any newcomer to the Ys franchise should also survive. The said backstory includes the prior journeys and adventures of the main character, Adol Christin (and his friend Dogi). Adol Christin has made quite a name for himself, both because of his extraordinary deeds and because of his distinct red hair - the game likes to refer to this, both using his nickname (Adol the Red), and in some references to his ethnicity (the game is set in the continent of Afroca, where as Adol seems to come from Europa). Dogi, his buddy who's always there by his side, also has some history to him. As a result of Adol and Dogi's backstories and personal histories, you get a feeling that this is all part of something bigger, which makes you feel more inclined to participate in the game knowing that it's going towards something that's worth it, unlike say the Zelda games where you know that the main character's actions ultimately seem rather pointless.

Essentially, the story feels like you are participating in some Viking saga, which is always nice.

Non-main-protagonist characters are just as interesting, unless they're the basic NPCs who patrol towns with nothing better to do, although you can learn more about the world you're in by talking to them. Be warned, some characters who join your party won't stay there for very long, normally playing the role as the guide for whatever region you're in. You will end up though having roughly 3 long-term characters though - Adol, Dogi, and another one who joins in after 5 hrs or so.

GAMEPLAY:
This is where elements like those of Star Ocean start to come in. While there's nothing cool like Reimi from Star Ocean 4's blindside attacks (which admittedly outshone those of even the main character of that game), overall, the fights you participate in will be more engaging and fast paced than those of the Star Ocean series. Dodging plays a heavy part in the combat, which is not so bad since even Dogi (being quite a *ahem* well built individual) can fly across the screen in a single bound. Each boss, and almost most normal enemies require a certain strategy if you hope to beat them unscathed. There are also charge attacks, special attacks and Adol even ends up getting a sort of "finisher" attack that charges up over a period of time, which is useful for fighting bosses. Unlike other action RPGs, fighting does not go to another screen, somewhat like the Zelda games.

Outside of fighting, there's cities, towns, the expansive plains and wilderness, all of which involve side quests (which are kept record of in Adol's journal, thank goodness). Such side quests range from giving someone a certain set of materials in exchange for money, or hunting wild titanos (basically, bosses, monster hunter style). Character interaction is also enjoyable enough, that it will take up just as much gameplay as fighting.

Oh, and one slightly important thing: You'll likely forget this is a PSP game, since loading is virtually seamless. In fact, much unlike the Metroid prime games or Red Steel 2, both being games that try to mask loading by having doors open terribly slowly, loading here is so seamless that it's as if there is no loading, or everything's simply loaded into some magical hidden memory device in the PSP when you first see the title screen. I honesty can't remember if I've seen a loading screen for this game or not, but if I have it must have been pretty short. Very uncharacteristic of a UMD game. (this isn't counting the half a second "loading game" Sony-save-game-system bits).

CONTROLS:
Nice, that's all I can say. You can practically control the game however you like, since they are all customisable, as are what buttons you use for special attacks.

GRAPHICS + SOUND:
Both are excellent. The graphics are more than up to par. Characters do look a bit blocky up close and are somewhat deformed, (unfortunately, Adol does not appear quite as cool in-game as his portrait might suggest) and the best comparison for character quality would be the pre-halo Bungie game Oni. The environments however are amazing, not breathtaking since this is a PSP, but they do make the player ask how exactly they managed to put so much detail into a PSP game. Tiled floors look like how tiles should, organic textures feel weathered and rough looking, dust and smoke looks OK too, water (unless it's far away and calm like the sea around Altago) looks alright, but most importantly the special effects have taken advantage of very well done shader and particle effects, which is important in anything in the fantasy genre. That is, the bloom is fine and not at all blocky, and reflections are smooth as they should be. It's safe to say that the PSP has come a long way since Crisis Core, although don't expect anyone as high-detailed as Zack to come out of the game.

Sound, well, it's spot on. Adol's sword doesn't sound irritating at all, the voices aren't terrible (if they were, it'd be horrible since a certain archer character can't keep her mouth closed when using her attacks), and the music is catchy. You will probably want good headphones to play this game with

OVERALL:
If I had to compare this to anything, it'd have to be Zelda (or a Square Enix game) simply because the production values, like with Zelda games, are very high. Only, I honestly feel this game is of much higher quality. It's clear the developers knew the restraints of the console they were working with, and worked around them, without sacrificing the quality of Ys Seven. Because of their good work, playing Ys makes me forget about such trivialities like what console I'm using or how much of the game has been completed or is left to complete or whether I should keep backup saves before every boss for replay's sake, and just lets me play and enjoy the game.

Ultimately, the game makes me feel like I've gotten my $300 worth from when I first got my PSP3000 a couple of years ago, and makes me feel like not only is this the game I've been waiting for on this console, but also makes me question how I've been living as a gamer without this game (unfortunately, such an over the top expression is not a guarantee, and so I cannot say that everyone would feel that way).

10/10. A must have PSP game in my books, alongside things like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Valkyria Chronicles 2.




Ys seven may not have the best story and character, but it has an outstanding soundtracks that you'd want to listen to.

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Very Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Waste of time"

Summary

I've followed the game for about a year now, I was really interested in it. However, playing it on the PSP wasn't the problem, the problem is the game itself is … decent at best. So Let's see what's wrong with Ys seven and what does it do to the RPG genre in general?

Presentation and Story:
The presentation does nothing special, you will only see ONE cutscene and that's it. The rest of the game is story, gameplay and bubble-texted conversation. There somethings missing in in-game menu such as the proper instructions on where to go or the mini-map's non-exisiting instructions and you will see a lot of things that aren't there.


Every RPG should have this element, because that's what RPG games have been all about. Well, Ys seven has a mediocre story at best and that is predictable and cliché at the same time. Sure, at first I forced myself to play the game because, it gives you a very good impressive at first. That's what sucked me more and I was kept hooked, but then I began to lose interest because what you do is very predictable especially when a new character is introduced.


Score: 6/10 "Fair"


Graphics:

Well, at the first glimpse, they look nice, not great, nice. Fortunately, the game runs smooth and that is really great. There are no graphical glitches, but very minor slow downs during a heated fight and that happens when a lot of enemies in the screen, however that is something that doesn't ruin the game.

Also, the characters are animated well and they look. Usually, you'll see the main characters better animated than the rest of the NPCs but here, surprisingly, everything's equal. The environment looks astonishing, everything is not only described in the story well-designed but well-implemented. Everything's different although the way it's designed is the same.


Score: 8/10 "Great"


Sound:

The voice acting is non-existed because all you have is .."how should I put it in a good language..?" well, first lines or catchphrases .. oh yeah screams. Something like that. All that negative aside, the game has an impressive number of soundtracks and it's the best thing that happened to this game so far. The game compliments almost ever aspect, exploring, shopping, battling, and talking to NPCs. Like I said, the game has a great music and it should be commended for it.


Score: 9/10 "Amazing"


Gameplay:

It's really interesting here, at first, it starts out like any typical Action Role-Playing game and it keeps at this pace until you've made a little progression in the story. Then you realize it's becoming very different because then you get skills, event items "used only in the story", and other cool weapons, armors, shields and accessories, but after that the game returns to be the repetitive role-playing game. What you do is hack and slash anyone that is in front of you. There is no challenge and even if there was, it's not balanced. During the story, you'll encounter "Quests" which is basically side missions. You don't wanna waste your time here, because it doesn't do much. It's not rewarding at all. You only get money for it while you can defeat enemies and squeeze much more money out of them.

Every weapon, for each character, has skills. Upgrading those skills comes from defeating as many enemies as possible. That being said, you have to use them and they consume your SP "special points". The other skill is the strongest attack, for each character as well. All you have to do is defeat enemies until the gauge is filled, and after than you unleash it and it's a very strong attack.

You control a character at a time and swapping characters is accessable from the party menu. It's good, anytime you wanna change your party, you just change whoever you like. But main character isn't changeable.
You can set up till 3 characters and the rest will be put on hold. In addition, it can be saved in any place.


Score: 8/10 "Great"


General PROs and CONs:


-_- Predictable story

-_- Cliché characters

-_- Repetitive hack&slash gameplay

-_- Bad localization

^_^ Great Soundtracks.



Overall Score: 7/10

Conclusion: The game had a big potential, it just wasn't executed well. It has problems and they're mentioned above. I will try to continue playing it because I don't wanna stop what I started.










Ys Seven is a colourful and magical looking game, with a heavy focus on the action and real-time battling itself.

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Worth playing"

Summary

From the opening scenes, we can tell that there has been quite a bit of care put into the sense of a fantastic adventure; the wide vista of the deep blue sea, floating a modest wooden ship hints at a game with scope and exploration. Our hero(es) Adol and Dogi are introduced here, and it's not long before we learn that Adol has a past (thus far unexplained), and Dogi is his right-hand man - a simplistic, 'solve-your-problems-with-your-fists' kind of guy.

Docking at the game's main town/village gives players a taste of the unusual control choices that this game employs. Characters move very fast, (none of the sluggish, 16-bit era sprite control), and we are soon introduced to how combat will play out over the quite lengthy adventure.

The camera is an automatically scrolling success, and the angle on the action is always suitable. The action itself though, is repetitive and fairly straight-forward. Very straight-forward, actually. For your party (three characters from a choice of seven or eight) are really designed to make head-on, fast attacks on the many enemies. That's right, no turn-based combat is used, rather we are destined to pound the 'X' button repeatedly until the monsters just goes away - shedding coins and materials like a confetti cannon in its death throes. Special skills assigned to each face button (in combination with the right shoulder button) will unleash character-specific arts that in themselves level-up. Some of these are pretty explosive and damaging - but they all happen so quick it's often hard to notice.

The monsters themselves are varied well, and each beautifully designed and coloured location holds its own secret fauna (and flora, actually). But, once the language of the game is learned (attack, open chest, flick switch, back-track, fall down etc.), there are no surprises left for any half experienced RPG player. Satisfaction comes from clearing out an entire 'dungeon' area, but it is soon dashed once it's learned that the enemies re-spawn after even the shortest absence (yes, even leaving a screen length and returning instantly will repopulate the occupants). Sure, this is great for levelling-up your characters, but it makes battling very routine and you may find yourself dashing past the enemies to save time and preserve your interest. Well, I did anyway.

Musically the title is very well done. That mystical and longing sound of JRPGs flows from the speakers with true beauty. It isn't always well matched to the environment though, and we often here anime-like quasi-jazz where understated themes may have added a little more pathos. In fact, some areas (rendered beautifully in true 3D) seem to be over-shadowed by some really complex musical arrangements. This adds to the overall 'hurried' feeling of the game play itself - whereas this player prefers to soak himself inside new locations admiring the scenery and intricacy, Ys Seven demands progress. Progress now.

Boss fights are challenging and fairly common. They're the only elements that pose any real challenge. It's no Monster Hunter, but learning the bosses techniques and attack patterns is usually crucial to taking them down (where allowed). See, the game pits you against creatures that often do not die, but simply admit defeat - spewing forth unmemorable dialog post scrap. This idea that the battle was not 'real', but merely a test can really only be used once that this player can see, yet Ys Seven seems to make a living off of this naughty game-design device.

Although I never emphasise most attempts at story-driven gaming (being fairly tolerant with weak writing), Ys Seven demands that I make a comment. It is neither original nor memorable in how the adventure plays out: (afflictions, resident monsters, corrupt officials, iconic items, framings, double-crosses are all standard devices). In fact, the game seems so unimaginative sometimes, I wonder if anyone on the development team had ever sat through a 16-bit era title; how banal is the term 'Dragon Power', for instance? Well, Ys Seven will throw this phrase at you consistently, so be prepared to hold the circle-button (fast-forward) if you are hoping for something more stimulating. There are many supporting characters to the story (of course, embedded in each village, with miles of explanatory dialog to chew your ear with), but again, experienced players can see where it is all going for the most part.

Ys Seven shows that RPG-style gaming can indeed become a valid action-based experience. By marrying item and character management with caffeine-infused combat has proven a success for many players. It is not exactly to this player's taste, but I see that for this style of gaming, there is no better game than Ys Seven on the PSP. Just make sure you check your intellect at the town inn, because Ys Seven won't demand that your story comprehension faculties be equipped for this adventure.

(`Adol the Red' - named so because of his hair, is a single letter away from `Adolf'.)
(The `Romun' is a single letter away from `Roman')
(`Europan' is a single letter away from `European')
(The `Medo Sea' seems to be a contraction of `Mediterranean')
And so on...




This is an rpg that many lame western developers can learn from, graphics are simply not everything

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

This is the first YS i have played in the series. I wasn't really so interested at the start, but i was aching to figure where Adol was going. So i continued, and im VERY happy i didn't shut off my console and leave the game. YS seven has a very similar battle system to final fantasy crisis core, however, you can upgrade your physical strength more efficiently than magic. The storyline really pulled me in, as it was quite annoying to see poor adol being blamed for a crime that he did not commit, just because he is from a different village. I wanted Adol to resolve his problems, but i knew that something bad is going happen once Adol's innocence is proven. As i progressed, Altago (the first village Adol docked too) was degrading due to an evil essence, and like many jrpgs, you go on a amazing adventure to gain reputation, as well as save Altago from harm for pure goodness.

All in all:
Graphics: 8/10 Nothing special, but the boss battles are definitly impressive visually

Soundtrack: 10/10 Unbelieveble OSTs, YS is one the few serieses which i actually browse for the mp3s and download!

Gameplay:9.0/10 The battle system is quite common among jrpg's but the customizations and new characters that come to you as you progress just motivates you take every battle seriously, and gain levels

Replay value: 6/10 Unfortunately, this is one of the games i probably won't repeat till years to come but YS 7 definitly inspired me to experience more of YS

Conclusion: I highly recommend this game, it a hackk and slash RPG with a superb stroyline and OST, something that western developers should really take in consideration, meaning you too gamespot!
7.5

Great
7.9