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Y’s: The Oath In Felghana review

Ys: The Oath in Felghana Screenshot - 809777

The Y’s legacy spans all the way back to the 16-bit days, when the original Y’s Book I & II were released for the Sega Master System and Turbo Grafx 16. Since that time, we’ve been treated to a number of adventures in the Falcom series, continuing on to the Genesis and SNES and eventually working its way to the PlayStation 2. Now the most current releases can be found on the PSP, with this year’s release of the epic Y’s Seven and now The Oath In Felghana.

You’ve probably played the previously released Windows PC remake that came out a few years back, or its spiritual predecessor, Y’s III: Wanderers From Y’s, on a console well before that. Nevertheless, despite some recognizable traits, Oath In Felghana is a commendable RPG that’s more than fitting for your next car trip.

In the game, you play as long-time Y’s character Adol, who’s traveling around with his pal Dogi as they make their way through his hometown, on the way to their next quest. However, monsters have left the town in shambles, and a cohort of Dogi’s, a defenseless girl, is missing. Adol agrees to help him rescue her, while trying to discover the monsters that left his village in ruins.

This isn’t one of those typical, tap-the-button-to-achieve-the-right-spell role-playing games. Instead, Y’s: The Oath In Felghana relies on a hack-n-slash battle system, but never to the point of repetition. You’ll use a number of stylish, combo-linked attacks to bring down enemies, while acquiring the occasional spell attack to level fields of enemies, should the odds become too overwhelming. The action is fulfilling in itself, but it ties into an experience point system, which you can turn around to improve your defense, speed and other skills.

You’ll need them too, because the game’s dungeon levels are quite difficult. You’ll traverse through these before reaching the boss battles, and considering you won’t have any food items upon your person, you’ve had it if you perish. Fortunately, it only takes a couple of tries to get through them, so if you persist, you’ll get where you need to go.

There’s a good amount of hours within this quest, with the ability to prolong it depending on how you level up your character. It helps that XSEED has also put some good localization into the story, so you develop care for these people, rather than brushing them aside like second-rate adventure fodder. You’ll want to see it through to the very end – even through the rough spots.

Y’s: The Oath of Felghana’s presentation is nothing short of magical. The anime-style visuals bring out the best on the PSP, with dynamic camera angles that let you see the areas you’re traveling in, without an enemy getting the chance to sneak up on you. The environments are rich and colorful, and the characters memorable, particularly the beautiful Elena. As it was with several past Y’s games, the soundtrack is magnificent, with a sweeping score that carries you deeper into the game. The voicework’s not half bad either – even the corniest of dialogue sounds a little more sincere than we expected.

Yeah, it’s tough going at times, and the game doesn’t possess the kind of deep RPG battle system that most folks prefer. But The Oath In Felghana is still a fine entry in the Y’s series, and well worth the investment for the next time you’re stuck on a long road trip. Better to go on a memorable journey that stays with you than one past the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, we say.

Good

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Robert Workman
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