Ys Seven - PC/Steam Review

Relive one of the most celebrated RPG franchises in glorious HD.

Game Info

  • System: Windows, PlayStation Portable
  • Publisher: XSEED Games
  • Developer: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: August 31, 2017

Ys SEVEN (PC) - Launch Trailer

Who it Caters to

RPGs are certainly what we’d call the creme de la creme of the game industry because, unlike other genre that tend to focus primarily on one particular area, RPGs combine various layers together to create a storyline that’s full of charm, action and overall satisfaction. Ys Seven is just one prime example of a title that encompasses not only an impactful tale of hardships and triumph, but it paints the picture in such a remarkable way that it resonates in the deepest parts of your soul for years after playing. Developer Nihon Falcom is no stranger to creating incredible pieces of work as they’ve managed to create some of the most iconic RPG titles out on the market, and are the pioneers of the action RPG genre. With such a strong portfolio under their belt and over 40 years of experience in the genre, it should come as no surprise that people were hankering to relive the fantasy world of Ys Seven in glorious HD for the first time since its inception on the PSP.

What to Expect

Ys Seven may not be as well known in the west but with this revamped version that’s now available on Steam, Nihon Falcom’s classic can now receive more praise than ever before. Ys Seven was released back in 2009 for the PSP, arguably one of the best handhelds in gaming history. With such a kaleidoscope of titles to choose from, finding the right one to suit your needs wasn’t easy for PlayStation’s device. You had a plethora of big name RPG titles like Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei, Jeanne d’Arc among others to dive into so it had a lot to compete against with regards to receiving western fans attention. To those that it did manage to reach, however, they were rewarded with a game that was breathtaking in story, with real time battles to really give players a more immersive experience. After 8 years, it’s finally back so that the new generation of fans along with the passionate followers who supported it, can now sit through the majestic story once again and bask in its excellence. There’s a lot of history behind the Ys franchise as it’s one of the longest running in gaming history and is the first title in this historically PC-centric series to be developed from the ground up for a console or handheld system since the mid-‘90s. With that history lesson out of the way, let’s jump right into the action and give you a breakdown as to why Ys Seven is worth every minute of your time.

Story

Heroes Adol and Dogi embark on an adventure and reach the capital of Altago in search for more experience along their journey. When they arrive, they end up running into trouble while trying to save two sisters from being harassed by the general of the Dragon Knights. They find themselves behind bars for pretty much no reason, but that all changes when a request from the king prompts the Knights to release them immediately in order to investigate a disturbance just outside the kingdom walls. As they begin their search, Adol and Dogi come across a stone with writing and from that moment both of their lives changed forever, as now the mystical Five Dragons have been awakened. With the Dragon’s power now bestowed to Adol, it is now up to him and Dogi to ensure that the great catastrophe that lies ahead is taken care of before it’s too late.

Gameplay

Ys Seven is arguably Nihon Falcom’s most prominent series because it was the title that helped to shift the minds of the western players and become mainstream over time. We stated earlier that the PSP had such a massive library of titles to choose from, but it was Ys Seven that really helped to bring the ARPG genre over to the west successfully, and opened new doors for other developers to follow suit. As action role playing games are their main speciality it’s expected that Ys Seven will not disappoint in that area, and it definitely didn’t. The minute you hop into the game, you’re in full control of your character as you race around the majestic world slaying enemies, collecting materials and destroying bosses all in real time. Unlike the more traditional JRPG style that’s more straightforward and normally comes armed with its turn based practices, Ys Seven delivers to players a more immersive experience since you get to run around freely without being locked in. Of course now, you’re starting to see a lot more RPG titles taking heed from this and it truly has helped to make the RPG experience more gratifying.

This can all be said of course for Ys Seven because for the most part, you’ll be doing a lot of running around talking to different NPCs to gather resourceful information, while also learning how to synthesize items to upgrade armor and weapons for the late game. As with any RPG in the beginning, we always love to grind our way through and fight as many enemies as possible, so that our characters are more than prepared for any surprise boss battles that may appear. One of the more defining characteristics of Ys Seven compared to other titles is that it promotes a 3-member battle party with the ability swap between characters on the fly, which allows you to dabble with each character to see just which one suits your approach in battle. For that reason alone, Ys Seven is one of the very few action RPGs that truly give you a sense of freedom as you play, and that versatility is what helps to add more flavor to an already savory title. In terms of length, Ys Seven lasts for about 30-40 hours which is more than the average ARPG, but if you’re a true completionist then you’re looking at around 50 which is marvelous. Given the age of the title you’d expect there to be some serious flaws with regards to visuals and just overall control but to be honest, we didn’t even notice much because visually everything had been upgraded to run at 60FPS in full HD. With full controller support as well, it actually made playing this version much better than the original since of course, you were playing on a much smaller screen during that time and the PSP’s control layout wasn’t the greatest.

The deeper you dive into Ys Seven, the more you come to realize the artistic prowess of the team at Nihon Falcom because they truly capitalized in every area to give players a unique experience and an exciting adventure. Boss battles grow more intense as you get closer towards the end and you become emotionally attached to all that’s happening around you. Let us not forget the soundtrack for Ys Seven, which is top notch in every category from its very melodic and cheerful tune in the town of Altago where you begin, to the more dramatic and heart squeezing sounds once you read through some emotional dialogue. Sadly there are no voice overs in the game which perhaps may be a setback for some, but it doesn’t really affect the overall gameplay in any major way. Nihon Falcom aimed for a more simple aesthetic focusing more on the gameplay rather than drown players in a sea of poor voice overs, and we respect that.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Overall Ys Seven provides veteran players with a revamped world to jump back into and for new players, a fresh new experience to savor for a long time. The title has aged beautifully like a glass of fine wine and it will continue to do so with the Steam version as well. The boss battles are some of the most tense we’ve ever experienced in any RPG because it requires so much of your attention that if you slip up even once, you’re taking a huge chunk of damage. Bosses tend to have some set patterns that you can pinpoint and can take advantage of, but once you start to lose focus all of those patterns start to break and you end up at the retry screen all over again. Saving before the big battles is highly recommended and coming prepared is imperative to your survival. We had a total blast playing both the original and the new Ys Seven but if we had to choose which one was better, well of course we’d choose the more polished version. Don’t sleep on this one, RPG fans, because you’d be missing out on a goldmine of excitement and thrills. There were of course some clunky moments in terms of character movements and a few bugs that popped up, but other than that the game ran quite well and didn’t deter us in any way.

Honey's Pros:

  • The game runs beautifully at 60FPS.
  • Visually upgraded to give the game a more modern HD feel.
  • 30-40 hours of gameplay but 50 if you really want to complete everything.
  • Nihon Falcom, enough said.

Honey's Cons:

  • Clunky animations.
  • A few bugs here and there but nothing outrageous or game breaking.

Honey's Final Verdict:

With a new generation of gamers being born it’s great to see developers sifting through their old library to recreate some of their iconic titles for new fans to try out. Of course, the vets will have a field day to know their beloved title is coming back, so in the end it works out for both parties. We really love Nihon Falcom and their efforts to sticking to what they know and only helping to reshape the genre in the most remarkable way for fans to enjoy. We hope you found this review to be insightful and give you a better idea of whether or not to purchase it. To see the game in action be sure to catch us live on Twitch and as always, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with what’s currently happening in the gaming scene.

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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