The Bottom Line
- The PSP version has several exclusive features
- Solid Japanese action RPG
- Graphically as good as the PS2 version
- High learning curve with steep consequences
- Not suited to short gaming sessions
- Long load times
- Graphics: 4.5 - Great character design and gorgeous cut scenes make it a very pretty game
- Sound: 3 - Very JRPG soundtrack gets old as the songs loop forever
- Concept: 3 - It's a port of a PS2 game with new unlockable content and mingames
- Control: 5 - You can change the button map to be anything you want, all games should offer this
- Difficulty: 4.5 - This is not a game for the impatient
- Portability: 2 - Ys is a game you play hours at a time, it's not well suited for gaming on the road
- Online: None, single-player only
- All scores are out of 5. The overall rating is not an average of the above scores.
- Rated: E10+ - Suitable for anyone you don't mind watching cartoonish violence.
- Editor's Note: Ys requires you to update to PSP 2.5 (included) and may disable some homebrew apps
Guide Review - Ys: The Ark of Napishtim - PSP Review
Ys is an action RPG (read: button mashing combat) that pits the protagonist, Adol Christin, and co. against large numbers of baddies in an effort to get three magical swords. One of the strengths of Ys is its solid character and enemy design. You care about your heroes, and the enemies can, quite honestly, be quite creepy. The story is serviceable, and the graphics are on par with any PS2 game in the same genre. Think of it as a Japanese version of Untold Legends, only cuter and with a story to drive it.
The only real problem with Ys is that it was never designed to be a PSP game. Portable games tend not to require level grinding, and usually have frequent save points. This is due to the fact that portable games are played in short spurts: on the bus, while waiting for the light to change, etc. Ys requires that players spend large amounts of time leveling up before going to the next stage, less the die before being able to save. While in-level loading is decent, all other load times are painfully long.
Ys is a good game on the wrong system. I appreciate the new minigames and mediaplayer, but if we continue to get PS2 ports, the gameplay needs to be adjusted to a PSP style of gaming. Ys is a solid game, but it doesn't travel well.