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 lard pirates dawt cawm  §  Ys Seven review / by Spoony Spoonicus
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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 02:07pm 07/13/11 (01:47pm 07/09/11) in 35m8s  §  2107 eyeballs
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Ys is an RPG series more steeped in action than most, with larger emphasis placed on evading enemy attacks and sneaking in during brief moments of vulnerability to land an attack than simply leveling up to muscle your way through everything you meet. This is especially evident in boss battles, wherein the player must employ hair-trigger dodging and evasion skills to avoid frequent waves of projectiles, giving the gameplay a slight overhead shooter feel.

Ys Seven stays true to its predecessors in that regard, though it does incorporate a few elements from other modern RPGs as well. Most notable is the fact that unlike its predecessors, Ys Seven is a party-based game - you're given control of multiple characters with unique movesets and abilities, and swapping between them via the Circle button to take advantage of their unique skills is a major aspect of the gameplay. Enemies are often immune to one character's weapon types, but swapping to another can allow you to overcome them with ease. For example, armored enemies are strongly resistant to Adol's sword and Aisha's bow skills, but Dogi's fists can pierce their defenses. Adol's sword skills are more effective against beast and plant-based monsters, while Aisha's bows are strong against flying and insectoid enemies.

There is also a new skill system in place, granting characters powerful attacks that operate off of a point-based gauge in the lower right hand corner of the screen that gradually refills as the party fights enemies and clears grass and hedges. Skills are earned in a manner slightly similar to Final Fantasy IX - at first these are only temporarily given to the player as bonuses for equipping individual weapons. However, after using that skill several times and boosting it to at least level 1, the character will permanently earn that skill and can use it even after trading up for a better weapon.

Also unlike previous titles, this one cuts you a bit of a break by allowing you to use healing items during boss fights. However, you are quite limited in the number you can carry at a time, being limited to only two or three revival items and full party heals, and five of individual HP restoring items. So there's still a fair bit of careful management involved, and learning to evade bosses' attacks is still the key factor in these fights rather than just muscling your way through.

A few more modern RPG elements are also in place - there are sidequests from optional areas to simply hunting optional boss-monsters for bonus experience and items, there's an item-crafting system in place that lets you upgrade equpment for relatively cheap (at the expense of gathering resources from fallen enemies and item-spawning points in dungeons), and there's even a bit of good old fashioned level grinding involved when the tougher bosses start to roll around.

In short, Ys Seven is a blend of classic Ys and standard JRPG tropes, and as a result is quite fun to play, even if it doesn't quite stay true to its roots. Check it out if you're looking for a solid PSP action RPG.

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