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Ys: The Oath in Felghana Review

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a game you may not have heard of. It was recently ported to the PC through Steam. It was originally on the PSP and you can tell it was on a handheld. However, this game stands alone as a PC title as well as the controls, while a bit odd, are easy to learn and adapt to. Sporting a quirky art style and appeal Ys is a game that will catch your eye when looking for a game under twenty bucks. Ys: TOF is a remake of Ys: III so if you know of the previous games you may be in for some fun you are familiar with.

The plot follows hero Adol Christin and his friend Dogi. Upon arriving at their hometown after three years of adventuring they are shocked to find monsters attacking the people. It should be noted that not much has been modified in this remake but much of the story has been expanded with additional interactions and cutscenes.

What I would like to talk about and really point out is the gameplay. This JRPG is among the more original titles I have played. While it borrows aspects of other play styles, Ys keeps it fresh and fun while simplifying some mechanics to make it less cluttered and complicated. The focus of this title is action and the game feels a lot like an action RPG and I have zero problem with that. You attack with combos with your weapon and use various magical items. Enemies range from fliers to physically resistant enemies.

Because the game is so focused on action the combat is very straightforward, the same goes with the leveling system. While I may be stuck in my ways of liking the western style of rpgs I was hoping to pool stat points into different abilities to make Adol better. However, I digress and what this game lacks in the complicated gameplay it makes up for in difficulty. You are thrown right into combat from the start of the game and you would think your would have some time to ease into the game. Wrong, the difficulty spikes through the roof against boss fights. While you are lead to believe you are overleveled when fighting standard enemies your skills and quick thinking will get the best of you.

I remember when I fought the first boss in the game and how I spent more time dodging and learning his pattern than actually fighting. Once I figured out the boss had little rhyme and reason I decided to try different methods of winning. Sadly, I died several times and it resulted me in grinding for an extra hour or two. This was the first boss and I was grinding to beat him. That says something, and I give bonus points to that. It is very rare for a JRPG to challenge me like that.

The combat experience is unlike any I have seen in a JRPG. As with my previous example and experience the fights are trial and error. You figure out why you died because it is always your fault and rarely luck unlike the RNG (Random Number Generator) in many JRPGs that have a chance of screwing you over. A skill based combat system is a wonderful touch to a game in this genre. I cannot stress enough how chaotic this game can get. When I say action, I mean it. Sadly, this is also part of the downfall. Because the game is so fast paced, you plow through the game is under 20 hours. While it is by no means a short game like Asura’s Wrath or Homefront, for a JRPG it is very short.

One aspect that I wish was in more games is the abilities to upgrade your current weapon and armor. Through the use of special crystals and money you are able to upgrade your items to increase their usefulness. In case you are short on cash and you have the materials upgrading can be the better option. Money is something that comes by somewhat rarely in this game. It can go away quick too. When you purchase a consumable from the store the price goes up. Yes, just like in the DMC games. This makes you think twice about buying items and prioritizing necessities over wants.

There is not a whole lot to offer in this game the gameplay makes it shine. When you combine such great combat with a stellar soundtrack that has variety and can easily set the mood you have an above average game that is well worth your money. I give Ys: The Oath in Felghana for the PC am 8/10.

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