I recently got the PC version of Ys The Oath in Felghana via Steam. It was gifted to me. I gotta say, they took an already awesome RPG (Ys III, for SNES and Sega Genesis) and made it incredibly better. Every bit worth it, whether you get it for PSP, Vita or PC.
Adol the Red has some trouble finding his footing, but his sword remains true in this remake of an Ys classic.
- Powerful bosses make you work for your supper
- Magic and melee combine for fast-paced, efficient action
- Scalable difficulty suits button mashers and experts alike.
- Unmapped dungeons leave you running in circles
- 3D environments don't translate depth well.
Adol the Red is truly a hero for the ages. Not only does he appear to save the day in each new Ys title, but he also returns to the past to safeguard those he's already freed. Ys: The Oath in Felghana was originally released for the PC as a remake of the classic Ys III, and now, the title moves to the PSP for more handheld monster slaying. It showcases both action and platforming elements while providing a wide range of selectable difficulty settings for the adventurous, as well as the timid. The controls and the 3D world sometimes just don't get along, but there's enough solid action to tempt those with a need to blow up huge adversaries and bring peace to troubled lands.
Felghana is a small nation bordered by mountains and sea; it is isolated but rich in the valuable and unique raval ore. Its people have been governed for the past 20 years by an appointee of the Romun Empire, Count McGuire, a harsh master who treats his charges cruelly through taxation without representation and who issues all manner of strange edicts. The region is also the birthplace of Dogi, Adol's muscular companion, so when the pair hears of a disturbance in Felghana, nothing will do but to sail right over and investigate. A large cast of locals and other characters helps bring the tale to life with screen-grabbing, sizeable character portraits and quite a lot of voice acting. A focus on vocal storytelling means that Adol's actions (which are always referred to via the third person) are relayed through the warm tones of a narrator, and this technique goes a long way in aiding the flow of dialogue. It helps integrate the sometimes jarring juxtaposition of live conversations interspersed with phrases like, "Adol nods and offers his aid," making it clear that this is an after-the-fact account of the travels of an outrageously famous hero. It's still typical Ys fare that concentrates on vanquishing foes rather than focusing on its narrative journey, but all the extra personality helps to build out the world in a more nuanced way, even when some of the acting tends to be a bit hokey. The great soundtrack, driven by elements of rock, as well as some more traditional orchestral melodies, rounds out the audio and provides an energetic atmosphere.
Soon after your arrival, you encounter all sorts of feral beasts roaming the roads and wilds due to an unexplained increase in monster activity. The townspeople send you into scattered dungeons in your quest to rid Felghana of all its wicked things, and these areas are expansive and visually sharp. There's more of an emphasis on technical detail, such as patterns in paving stones and planks in wooden doors, than artistic flair, though character models are all drawn with intricate care. All the minute visual additions produce a nice static image, but they can tend to appear as a blur while you're racing around with a sword. That impacts gameplay because the environments here are in 3D but don't accurately convey depth. There are lots of situations where you have to perform jumps across platforms set at different heights in the foreground and background, but other than Adol's faint shadow, it can be hard to tell where you're oriented in space. Making jumps correctly is an important factor in multitiered dungeons where a misstep can cause you to drop three floors down. There are no dungeon maps, either, so these drops can leave you lost while you attempt to figure out both where you've ended up and where you're ultimately trying to go. In addition, there are some areas that purposefully place further restrictions on your field of vision through encroaching shadows. Instead of adding an invigorating sense of danger, this technique makes exploration and timing some particular leaps more frustrating than necessary. But, then, you can always vent your frustration on the monsters instead.
The world is filled with foes awaiting Adol's onslaught. You can carry yourself forward in a flurry of sword strikes, and you're able to perform both a jumping thrust upward and a strong downward stab, the latter of which has a chance to stun those who happen to be beneath your blade. As you explore, you collect three bracelets imbued with elemental magic that each grant Adol a different power. One lets you shoot fireballs and light torches; one performs a whirlwind attack that can be used to float in the air briefly; and one allows the use of a dash attack, which can also break obstacles in your path. Each of your bracelets can be enhanced by gems you discover in dungeons, and your gear can be upgraded by a smithy in town for a fee of gold and raval ore. While most foes are handily dispatched by your sword alone, others require you to use your elemental skills to exploit vulnerabilities. You can switch your equipped bracelet on the fly by pressing a shoulder button, and even with this short list of moves, Adol quickly becomes an efficient killing machine. As you battle, a boost gauge gradually fills with energy and allow you to execute boost mode, which fills you with power and allows you to hit harder and faster while halving damage taken. Later in the game, boost mode also restores a certain amount of health, which becomes a critical factor because there are no health potions that you can carry with you.
- Player Reviews: 2
- Game Universe:
- Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (PS2, PC, PSP, MOBILE),
- Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (SNES, NES, TCD),
- Ys I & II Chronicles (PSP, PC),
- Ys: The Oath in Felghana (PSP),
- Ys Seven (PSP),
- Ys Origin (PC),
- Ys Strategy (DS),
- Ys II (X68, MSX),
- Ys: The Oath in Felghana (MOBILE, PC),
- Ys IV: Mask of the Sun - A New Theory (PS2)