The red-headed series hero Adol Christin returns in this port of the third title in the Ys franchise, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, for the Sony PSP from XSEED Games.
For those gamers that never had the chance to play the original, Ys: The Oath in Felghana follows Adol as he and his companion Dogi make a trip to Felghana, Dogi’s homeland after hearing rumors that the kingdom may be in disarray. When the two arrive they immediately notice something is wrong as they are split up when monsters attack.
Adol finds himself battling some of these monsters to save a young girl named Elena, who turns out to be Dogi’s childhood friend. Once they are safe and reunited the three head to the town of Redmont, the only town in the game and the village where Dogi was raised. There they discover just how bad things are as the village is suffering as Count McGuire has closed off the mines, the main source of income for the village and Chester, Elena’s brother has been missing for over 6 months.
Adol will soon discover where Chester has been, working for the Count to recover statues that are believed to be linked to a dangerous creature sealed away long ago, when he visits the mine in an attempt to save the mayor who was trapped inside. Along his journey Adol will come face to face with plenty of monsters as he tries to find all four statues and prevent the Count from resurrecting an evil that could destroy all of Felghana.
As with all of the Ys games, except Seven, Adol faces his enemies alone using magic and physical attacks to dish out devastating damage. Basic attacks are controlled with “X” and magic, which can’t be used until you collect the right bracelet are controlled by pressing “square”.
A boost mode, which allows Adol to dish out more powerful attacks for a limited amount of time, can be used by pressing “triangle” and a double boost mode, which allows Adol to send out a blast of energy to damage foes, recover health and also deliver stronger attacks, is available later in the game. Jump is used by pressing “circle” and double jump is unlocked later as well.
No mini-map is available but the player does have a map that can be used to find which area they need to visit from the menu. To reach each area the player just has to follow a road that branches out for each dungeon, making it very difficult to actually get lost.
Aside from Redmont each area that can be visited will function as a dungeon for Adol to explore. Jumping and bracelet magic play a big part in exploration in dungeons as they will be needed to reach certain areas. Earth magic can be used to break down weak walls and wind magic lets the player extend their jump to reach platforms farther away while fire lights torches that activate switches.
Redmont is a small village with only one shop available where the player can purchase a few items, no healing items however as the game does not use them. The player can buy new weapons, armor and shields though and by collecting raval ore they can temper their equipment to increase defense as well as damage. Some quests are available in Redmont and by completing them villagers will give the player new items they can use.
By completing the game the player will unlock “Inferno Mode” a much higher difficulty, “Time Attack” where the player can battle the bosses again as well as images and videos for the gallery. When the player plays through the game again they will also receive some bonuses.
All-in-all Ys: The Oath in Felghana isn’t as long of a game as Ys: Seven but was still a lot of fun to play. It does offer some challenge in the boss battles but the regular enemies go down fairly easy. Not being able to use healing items does make it a little harder but if you play it smart things still go smoothly. While combat and exploration is pretty basic the game does offer six different difficulty levels to choose from to make things more interesting.
Visually the game does look good, even though there are only three cut scenes in the game it still has a nice look and is much improved from the original. The voice actors also did well in the scenes where they do talk and they match their characters fairly well.
For Ys fans and also RPG fans who want a handheld game with action RPG gameplay this is definitely a game worth picking up.
(This review is based on a completion of the game on Normal difficulty in roughly 14 hours. A review code was provided by XSEED Games.)
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Publisher: XSEED Games
Platform: Sony PSP
Ys: The Oath in Felghana is available now for the Sony PSP, for those of you that would like to purchase this game locally here are the listings for the game stores in the Las Cruces and Albuquerque areas.
Game Stop 2633
1455 HICKORY DR
Las Cruces, NM 88005
550 Walton Blvd.
Las Cruces, NM 88001
Game Stop 2294
4411 SAN MATEO BLVD NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Game Stop 1638
330 Eubank NE
Albuquerque, NM 87123