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Ys: The Oath in Felghana ( XSEED, Nihon Falcom)
System: PC, PSP Release Date: July 4th, 2005
ESRB rating: T for Teen
Ys: The Oath in Felghana is an action, platforming RPG by Nihon Falcom, and represents the Third game in the Ys series. This was my first outing with Adol and Dogi (the main characters of Ys) and I can say I was pleasantly surprised by the fluid combat and fast pacing that the game kept from beginning to end kupo!
The Oath in Felghana finds our heroes visiting Dogi’s home island of Felghana after an eight year absence. A lot has changed and it doesn’t take to long before Adol and Dogi find themselves in the middle of another adventure. You play Adol alone in this adventure as Dogi often finds himself off elsewhere and due to the type of game play I could understand how confusing it could be with teammates.
To Elaborate on the Combat in Felghana. Adol is at this point in his adventure and expert swordsman and from the first moments you step foot in Felghana you are treated to a display of his power as you cut down a small group of wolves effortlessly. The great thing is that this level of speed and power doesn’t waver throughout your adventure and you’ll spend many hours cutting through armies of monsters in fluid sword combos and spectacular magical displays. I found myself leveling steadily as I cut down hundreds of monsters to the games fantastic soundtrack that was a good mix of heavy guitar riffs and the occasional traditional RPG midis. The combat is definitely a high point in this release.
The story in Felghana is standard fair for this type of rpg, mysterious hero arrives in a small town (you) soon discovers there is unrest and a surge of monsters, hero goes to save the day. The game lacks a wealth of quests (there are a few small distractions like saving some pigs or a treasure hunt but nothing that takes more than a few minutes) largely the game relies on the classic linearity of most RPGs not made in the last six years. This both helps and hurts this title as I found myself driven toward the next dungeon and rinse and repeating to the next and the next. Without any side missions or distractions I felt I only had one option and that ment to proceed forward. While fine in this narration the game could have benefited from some side dungeons or extra quest chains kupo.
Speaking of distractions, one thing I found myself looking forward to while cutting down everything in my path was the ability to buy and upgrade my equipment. This is done by collecting stones known as Raval and taking them to the local blacksmith to craft your equipment up to level 3. this small mechanic found me backtracking for more stones or hidden alcoves with chests full of the stuff so that I was always doing the most damage possible as quickly as possible. While this might not distract you from the main quest for to long, collecting a full set of a certain tier of equipment will find your character model changing to represent your new armor, and thus I found myself wanting to get fully geared between dungeons.
The last thing I want to discuss is the Difficulty levels. Felghana contains five difficulty levels starting at very easy to inferno. I found myself enjoying the game just fine on easy (felt about ‘normal’) while I had a lot of trouble at higher difficulties. Not to be confused with player weakness, the game becomes near impossible to complete as certain bosses at higher levels have homing attacks and screen filling explosions that tend to one shot a character without super human reflexes. For thoes who just want a good none frustrating experience should try the game on easy, and possibly normal to avoid any moments of game breaking defeat.
Overall I really Enjoyed Ys: The Oath in Felghana. I found the combat and Music to be interesting and compelling and while I found parts of the game to be lacking such as quest diversity I never once wanted to just stop playing due to grinding or uneven pacing.
[ – ] Story: even with the extended scenes I only found myself mildly distracted by the storyline and the lack of any individual tales to explore or unravel left me with only the main tale which was lackluster.
[ – ] Graphics: while nothing really special to look at I found the graphics were a good mix of pixel artwork and 3d environments found in most ps1 rpgs. I liked seeing Adol’s appearance change with my different armor sets. I played the Steam version, and found the resolutions only made the game muddy and at times blurry.
[ + ] Gameplay: the controls are awesome and the combat was fluid and exciting. The dungeons are full of traps and platforms to bounce around and fight amongst. Truly the high point of this title the gameplay left me satisfied and interested in playing more games in the series if only to get more of the awesome combat.
[ – ] Replayablity: the lack of extra dungeons and equipment make slogging through the harder difficulties not seem worth it. If you have the Steam version of Felghana you can work toward the achivments that come included but other than that I don’t find much to be excited about going back.
[ + ] Opinion: while Felghana might not Rate much on my scale I found the game to be enjoyable and a good distraction between down times in other titles. For fans of the series its worth takeing a quick romp through what Felghana has to offer and serves as a decent jump off point for new fans but if your looking for something mind blowing you won’t find it here.
I rate Ys: The Oath in Felghana 2/5 Kupo!