Ys: The Oath in Felghana (PSP)

By Moe Rantala

Published on Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Graphics: 8.00
Sound: 10.00
Gameplay: 8.00
Replays: 10.00
Gamelength: 7.00

Ys: The Oath in Felghana brings a delicious action-platforming adventure to the PSP.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a remake of the original Ys III: Wanderers of Ys, and it’s pretty awesome. The original was a 2D sidescroller, and Oath in Felghana has changed it to run off of something based on The Ark of Napishtim engine, which is 3D.

The gameplay is very simple, you can jump, attack, run around, use magic, and use combos to deal more damage than with singular attacks. One of the coolest things is the way the combo system works, each hit against an enemy, yes each HIT, not kill, increases the exp multiplier by .01, up to 1.99 (2.00 at a 999 hit combo). There is a bar on the left side of the screen telling you how long you have left on your respective buffs, which include mana regeneration, strength, defense, and exp. As long as the bar hasn’t emptied completely, you can continue the combo from screen to screen. On death, enemies might drop items that increase your strength, defense, or mana regeneration buffs, but exp is always increased per hit.

The game kind of follows the Metroid formula. As you continue to play, you obtain spells/items that allow you to advance the story, but also open up more areas in older levels. There are a very small amount of weapons/armor/shields, and there are no consumable items that restore hp except one that is extremely expensive and restores health on death once and only once. You can upgrade your item, each sword upgrade increases your strength by 2 and each armor upgrade (shield and armor) increases your defense by 1. This may not seem like much, but the upgrades actually make an obscene amount of difference.

The story is pretty basic, nothing really unique or new, but it fits well and it is told amazingly well. There are actually parts that are very surprising, and the dialogue is pretty good. Something else that’s really good about this game is the surprising amount of voice acting. While sometimes cheesy, it’s absolutely fantastic to have such a large amount of it. The graphics are great for a PSP game, and the environments are not only varied but lush and very nicely detailed. From a mine to a volcano, to a snowy mountain, they’re all nicely different.

Probably the most amazing thing about this game is the music. It really lends itself to the environments that you find yourself in, and truly enhances the quality of the game. Granted there aren’t tons of tracks, but there don’t need to be. It works, extremely well, and doesn’t ever get boring.

The only real problem I have with this game is that it’s very short. With grinding while progressing the story, it only took about 17 hours to beat. However, there is the new game+ feature, time attack, and more difficulties to try and clear, so there’s plenty of things to do after you’ve beaten the game. The museum is pretty awesome, too.

Overall, the game is great and absolutely worth a buy as long as you don’t mind playing it multiple times. If you’re only going to play it once, then rent it or borrow it from a friend.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by One PR Studio

Overall Rating: 8.50

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