Fun and Frolicking in Felghana
I must admit that I don't have any experience with the Ys franchise. I did, however, know that each game in this wildly popular (at least in Asia) series was standalone and its own separate entry. Some of the characters and lore come across in each title, but for the most part, one can leap into the series at any point. I decided on a blind metaphorical leap of faith to two games, Ys Seven and the subject of this review, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, a remake of the third Ys game that originally appeared on the Super Nintendo. However, the gameplay has been drastically altered. Gone is the Zelda II-like 2D side-scrolling gameplay. It has been replaced with full 3D arenas, dungeons, and towns. Was my decision to take up the Ys series with The Oath in Felghana a wise one?
You, the red-haired hero and a humble wanderer Adol Christin, and friend Dogi have arrived on the continent of Felghana, but not all is as Dogi remembers it. Monsters ravage the lands, the townspeople are scared out of their wits, and the Count that rules over Felghana has gotten into quite a bit of a mean streak. His thirst for conquest has, for unknown reasons, closed down the nearby quarry where the townspeople mine and gather valuable raval ore. The ore is what the denizens of the continent consider their livelihood. He also has troops all around Felghana in search of four special statues. The question is in what is the purpose of these statues, and do they have anything to do with the rise of savage monsters across Felghana? There are over 1,500 lines of spoken dialogue throughout the 8-10 hour campaign. Some characters sound better than others, but all in all, the voice work is quite good. You can skip individual lines by pressing a button to close the text box, but you can't, however, skip whole conversations. This can get annoying if you don't care about the story, or have to sit through a conversation before a boss fight when all you want to do is battle. The tale itself is pretty interesting, full of plenty of plot twists to enjoy.
|What a creeper!|
Thankfully, the game assists you with the more fiendish platforming tasks. You can enable 8-way direction to make walking on narrow platforms all the more simpler. You can even enable the No-Fall option. With this option on, when you fall, instead of dropping all the way to a lower level, you'll just pop up back to the place before your fall. Of course, sometimes you'll want to fall, so keep in mind that you'll occasionally want to turn the option off. These platforming features combined with the six difficulties the game offers (one of which is unlocked by beating the game), makes The Oath in Felghana accessible to players of any skill. Regardless, things can get annoying when you are trying to judge jump distances. You can accidentally over or undershoot quite easily, making for some mild frustration.
|Some platforming sections can be hard to judge.|
This hazardous corridor is just one of them.
|Do battle with enemies of all shapes and sizes.|
|Use the wind bracelet to cross colossal chasms like this one.|
| Live by the sword, die by the sword |
in these variety-filled boss battles.
A wandering warrior needs his rest, and the town of Redmont is the place to do it in. Here is where your hero will be returning on multiple occasions for various reasons. The biggest one is to advance the story, but there also other activities to partake in while in town. Villagers have lost items (funnily enough they are mostly in dungeons) that they need returning, and they'll give grand rewards for you doing so. You can also take all of that money and raval ore that you found dropped by monsters and discovered in treasure chests to build better equipment via Redmont's blacksmith. You have three types of equipment to build up to the maximum of three levels: your sword, your shield, and your armor. The better the equipment, the more money and raval ore you'll have to fork over.
Ys: The Oath in Felghana has a wide assortment of customization options. You can customize the controls to your likening, assigning actions to any button you like, turning off the narrator or voice work altogether, setting the text speed, and even switching which version of the soundtrack you want. You can go old school or keep the awesome new and remastered soundtrack. The latter option is recommended as the new music is simply sensational, offering a mightily metal take on the music, and sporting a heavy focus on violin and electric guitar. Sometimes I found myself just grinding enemies for the heck of it just to listen to the excellent music.
| The clock tower dungeon possesses my favorite|
piece of music in the game, Sealed Time.
Ys: The Oath in Felghana wound up being a tremendous introduction to the Ys series for me. The presentation is very good for the PSP, all of the voice work is great nine times out of ten, the platforming and fighting is generally fun, the RPG elements work well, and the story remains interesting from beginning to end. Make yourself an oath to at least play this game. It is definitely something that fans craving an action platformer with RPG elements will certainly adore.
[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]