The Ys series of role-playing games is one of the most challenging games one could ever play on a PSP. It has an intriguing storyline, a gripping sequence of events and enthralling music, all combined together give this game a unique look and feel. I simply loved the gaming experience and am all gung-ho about it. It simply was brilliant and it was an enchanting journey. Developed by Nihon Falcom for Microsoft Windows, the game was released in 2005 for the PC. Earlier this year, the PSP edition of the game was released. The English version, however, was released in November throughout North America and the game is excellent, both in terms of gameplay as well as in terms of its storyline. The game, as I said before, is captivating. The third edition in the Ys saga, the gameplay is nice, its action sequences wonderful and what’s more the game’s storyline has been strengthened. There are no fillers and the narrative is not prolonged. The game is, in fact, a remake of the previously released Ys III: Wanders of Ys. The game sees a new style of rendition, having discarded the original adaptation’s side-scrolling style.
The game kicks off with the introduction of the two principal characters in the game namely, Adol and Dogi. The cut scenes here take over, as we see Adol and Dogi making their way into the town of Redmont. We see Dogi taking stock of life, reminiscing about his past, the carefree days of yore only to be interrupted by a savage howl. This immediately cuts into an action sequence and the two chief characters quickly dive into a fight with the wolves to save Elena. Elena notifies Adol about the monsters that wreak havoc in the town and of Count McGuire’s evil rule. Added to this is the fact that Elena’s brother, Chester, is missing. The journey continues into Redmond and the game actually begins to take shape. In this version of the game, the game plan is to spoil the evil designs of wicked people, masquerading and threatening the locals of the town. It is upto you, the main player to stop them. The game is action focused, and you will be enthralled by the various magical forces that act against you and accost you frequently. The action is something very innate in this game and this has been the major focal point throughout. The game is entertaining because of the fact that the narrative is interspersed with action sequences that really keep the player engrossed. The main functional aspect of the game is its new and improved attack system. It is fast and racy and is fun to learn.
The challenge here is to keep up with the pace of the game, making your moves swift, thereby countering the enemy. Melee attacks are easy to make. Elementary spells are at the player’s disposal once he/she collects special bracelets from within the game. Combining melee attacks is a challenge and needs to be mastered although the combinations are pretty easy to understand. The combo play needs to be swift in order to gain maximum power, thereby inflicting the most damage. The makers of the game also have ensured that the battle is not repetitive and boring and rather have introduced elements that make the game fun to play. For instance, when you are fighting monsters, you need a measured sense of defence and attack, and attacking at the right moment reaps rewards. As the monster’s defence is thwarted slowly but surely, it “drops” certain collectables – herbal pills, pick-up combo attacks, speed move pick-me-ups etc which when collected, increase the strength of the player temporarily and prove to be an added bonus whilst fighting against the baddies.
The gameplay apart from the action sequences and the fights is intriguing in the traditional sense. The game designers have developed a sandbox kind of an environment, with players having free movement throughout the game. One can make use of this feature in the game to explore the city, stumbling across a few dungeons in the process which can be explored – you will, of course, encounter baddies in the process but it is rewarding when you quell them to complete the conquest. Puzzles can also be found along the way when you are exploring the city. A strong mention needs to be made about the save points, upon defeat, the user is given the option to fight again and has also got the option of going back to previous save points, where you can revise your strategy and come back stronger. Review
Weapon upgrades and additional bonus upgrades are also available in the game. You can upgrade weapons by collecting elementrivale raval, a rare ore which can be found after a bit of intuitive exploration. Since it has been remade, the developers have ensured that it has the old look and feel as well, giving vibrant, fully descriptive 3D graphics a classical 2D look and feel, making one go back to fond memories of the earlier version. The soundtrack and background music is mind-blowing, provided by Yukihiro Jindo is memorable and melodious. The pacing was appropriate and the storyline sequences very orderly. The packages were wrapped up very nicely, thus adding to its charm. I have enjoyed playing the game many times over and never for a moment go t distracted or bored. Moreover, I was able to relate to the story and proceed naturally in the light of the various developments in the story and directions and remedial actions suited to a particular lot in the development of the story. What more can I say, the game is splendid. All said and done, it was a wonderful experience.