Japanese role-playing games are quite popular nowadays but when you look at their history, you can see that they were popular back in the 80’s as well. Following the success of Final Fantasy series, many developers released their RPGs in 80’s and that way they have started their own series that are still present on the market. You might not know but many games that we see today, especially RPGs, have started in the 80’s and the same story goes for the Ys series. Ys is another JRPG (Japanese role-playing game) and the first instalment of the series was released in 1987 by Falcom and over the years series has got many sequels on various platforms. Now, the time has come to see Ys for the PlayStation Portable and that way we got Ys Seven.
The story of Ys Seven follows Adol Christin, the main character from the game series, and his friend Dogi in Capital of Altago. Adol and Dogi are thrown into the jail at the beginning of the game but soon after that the King itself orders them to go and investigate the mysterious earthquakes that have occurred recently. The story is cliche, and Adal and Dogi will have to fight against the great evil once again.
As for the gameplay, you’ll lead three characters at the time and you’ll be able to switch between them whenever you want. You can control only one character at the time, and the AI will control the other two and surprisingly AI does a great job with it. As for the combat, we already mentioned that this is an action-based RPG so there are no combat turns and like in other RPGs. Everything happens in real time and everything is fast and intense so there’s a lot of combat, blocking and dodging in Ys Seven. Each character has base attack that can be charged by holding a button, few special attacks that you get while using specific weapons, and a super attack that can be unleashed when gauge is full. As for special attacks, you have a special meter that is filled each time when you kill an enemy and interesting thing is that you can learn a special attack if you use a specific weapon long enough so you’ll be able to use it without that weapon. Interesting thing is that enemies drop all sorts of things that can be used for crafting and that way you can craft all sorts of items such as armor, weapons, healing items and similar. As we mentioned before, it’s crucial to switch between characters in Ys Seven because each character can use different types of weapons that are effective against different enemies. As for the enemies, Ys Seven offers wide range of enemies throughout the game and the special treat of the game are the bosses. Bosses are really challenging and it will take you some time to figure out a pattern in order to beat them. Interesting thing with bosses is that they will sometimes surprise you with sudden moves so it might become almost impossible to beat them. This can be frustrating at the times because when you think that you’ve figured out a way to beat the boss he’ll hit you hard with an unexpected move. Another flaw with Ys Seven is that you’ll need to complete some stages all over again, but luckily, the layout of the stages will change. However, even with the different layout, stages feel repetitive in a way.
As for the sound and graphics, they look decent. Although there are no voices in this game, Ys Seven offers amazing soundtrack, but unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing for graphics. Graphics is decent but it seems too flashy at the times so you might even lose your character sometimes in the combat due to all the flashy combat moves. They don’t look spectacular and they almost feel like an distraction that makes your game a bit harder. On the other hand, bosses and repetitive stages are another flaw of the Ys Seven, but despite that, Ys Seven provides interesting, real-time and intense combat that is not a common thing in JRPGs. Besides that, there’s an interesting skill system and crafting that will keep you occupied for a while. Therefore, if you’re a fan of JRPG make sure that you check Ys Seven.