Ys The Oath in Felghana is a PSP remake of the third Ys game. In Oath, you are Adol Christin, continuing his adventures to see the world. In this tale, he lands on the shores Felghana, his partner’s, Dogi, homeland. This once peaceful land faces the threat of relentless monsters and an evil king. It’s not the most engrossing story, and most of the voice work is subpar, but it has a simple charm amidst its clichés.
Oath’s gameplay reminded me fondly of the more classic Zelda games. For one, there’s a set amount of equipment you acquire in the game, along with tools and abilities. For example, about six swords can be gained. And they, along with sets of armor, can be tempered. The gameplay itself is a hack and slash. Like Zelda, it has simple mechanics, but they’re well crafted and fun. The one issue I had with the game is not being able to buy potions. It’s do or die here, with monsters dropping automatic healing devices as you go. At least if you die you start back in the room you just entered.
Ys III is in every sense a remake. It’s been upgraded with better graphics, gameplay, story elements such as voice acting, and a wonderful remixed soundtrack. They even put in bonus materials such as a sound and art gallery. There’s a New Game+ mode that begs you to replay it as soon as you finish this amazing 8-hour experience. These small upgrades have made the game more accessible for a new audience. It’s a great example of a developer wanting to celebrate a game, by giving it tender love and care for a new generation.
Ys The Oath in Felghana is one of those rare titles where you truly say, “How the hell did I miss this?” The fun, simplified combat, immersive dungeons, giant bosses, and the amount of content packed inside really make this game stand out. Unfortunately the story is a little lackluster and the voices range from good to downright awful among other, smaller issues. For those looking for a Ys game to start with, or just a fun action RPG for your dusty PSP, this is it.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on June 19, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.