Ys Seven was already an amazing series that sadly, only got to be experienced by players who owned a PlayStation Portable. In 2012, China was the first country to get a PC version of the game, which fans have been asking to see for a while. Now, XSEED Games and Marvelous has finally given everyone their wish by releasing the 2009 title on PC worldwide. We got our hands on a Steam copy and are making our way down memory lane.
This version of Ys Seven keeps to the original as you follow the adventures of Adol and Dogi who sail to Altago seeking new journeys, which they quickly find after defending two sisters from the local Dragon Knights. Their expertise is quickly called upon by the king of the town to help them find the cause of strange earthquakes happening around them. Turns out, the Five Dragons are starting to stir and it's up to them to put an end to it.
Just to get things out of the way, this is a direct port of the original. The hack n' slash RPG elements still remain and keep their charm as you're able to go seamlessly from enemy to enemy in the open world and carry on with the game rather than be dragged into battle sequences over and over. All of the enemies, especially the bosses, feel totally original and never like you're just fighting the same kind of creatures with different skins. Especially with the bosses who will present a new challenge every time until you get the patterns down.
The world itself is bright and colorful with its fair share of grassy plains, mountainous terrain, dank caves, scary dungeons and a plethora of different fighting areas. The characters you meet along the way who join your party are some of the best elements as they continually give you different types of support that don't feel like they're just copying your style with a different weapon. Leveling up your character and getting them the best armor and weapons is taken care of pretty easily without skipping much of a beat or having to retrace your steps, and eventually you'll find a great balance to your team where you'll rarely need to backtrack.
Xthe one drawback is that the game does show its age. Because this is basically a direct port, you're getting a graphic layout and a RPG setting much like you would near the end of the PS3 cycle. Which means there are a lot of things the game does right as far as setting the vibe, but it also gets a lot of things wrong as far as placement and development. However, this is only a minor argument as the game itself presents a different story and fighting style not common to a lot of RPG's of the era, so while it may be wonky in some places, it more than makes up for it in other places.
Ys Seven is a great story done with an amazing cast of characters who work well within the confines of the world they're in. It's a bit of a shame we're still dealing with what is essentially well-done polygon art (except for the characters) for some of the cutscenes and not a more refined version updated to current gen systems. But I understand that they weren't really going for a remastered version with this one, they just wanted to put the game in more people's homes and expose people to this sequel who didn't get a chance the first time around. It's a sold game and a fine addition to the series, and I hope newcomers will enjoy their time with it.