Games of the Year

Ys Seven

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Originally released as a PSP exclusive, Ys SEVEN was the first fully 3D Ys title, the first Ys title to include a party-based battle system allowing players to swap control of characters in real-time, and the most story-heavy Ys game of its time. This original PC port presents the game in full upscaled HD with a wide variety of resolution options, smooth 60 fps gameplay, full Steamworks integration featuring a variety of new achievements, and even a revised localization to ensure players receive the most immersive gaming experience possible. Join redheaded adventurer Adol Christin and his loyal companion, Dogi, as they make good use of their pirate connections from adventures past to weigh anchor in the bustling port city of Altago – a former world trading capital that was cut off from foreign visitation for far too long by an all-too-recently ended war with the Romun empire.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Technically the newest story path wise save for monstrum, Ys seven does have the same mechanics as Ys 8 (my favorite) tho it looks way worse because it was made for PSP in 2009 and just came to PC in 2017 (after Ys 8).
Still great fun tho.
Uses the seven engine, meaning the fight mechanics are the same as in ys 4 and 8.
Bit grindy at times, especially if you grind for rare drops to make good weapons. In that case, lemme just tell you.. Item pointers are 2 bytes and easily found.
Oh and.. Don't try this on mouse and keyboard. I wanted to do it that way because I don't like controllers. Ys 6 worked well despite being top down. but man does this not work well despite technically better adaptable for it.
and when you play with controller, go to the ingame settings and change the buttons ASAP, the default layout is dog excrement. To block is to use the two middle buttons (you know, the menu buttons) on the xboxcontroller, if you use one, at the same time. I suggest mapping both block buttons to the same button (I used RT) and the skill button to another one (LT for me)

Review from Steam

TL;DR
Another good entry in the Ys series, originally a PSP game. You can tell it's the first of the "Party System" games. Very strong story, easily the strongest of Ys. Overall great, but definitely has one of the worst endgames in an RPG I've ever played.
TL;DR over. Full Review below. UNMARKED SPOILERS WARNING!
I've gotta be honest, I'm still very much a newbie to the Ys franchise, the only other game I ever played being Ys 8, which was my first and my definition of peak action RPG. It shares that spot with Kingdom Hearts 2 for me. It was just that good.
I decided to hop into Ys Seven next because it was the game that held my interest in the franchise ever since I was young. I always wanted to get a PSP despite being a DS owner, not just for Birth by Sleep. This was one of the games I also eyeballed after finding out by proxy of its amazing soundtrack. For that reason of finally satiating years of childhood curiosity, I decided to play this next.
I was definitely thrown for a loop with the birds'-eye view and how it played compared to Ys 8. Yet at the same time it shares a lot of mechanical similarities with 8 despite the camera and control change. Combat is fast, fluid, and utilizes a 4 button skill system that levels up the more you use those skills. As well as special, massive damage attacks called EXTRA skills.
There's also the party members consisting of different attack types: slash, heavy, and pierce. Certain enemies take more damage from types of attacks while nullifying others. As well as having equipment that is unlocked via either material synthesis, purchasing from shops, or finding in chests in dungeons.
Where it differs however, is not only in its handling, but extra mechanics. Flash Guarding is much different in this game, not giving you a slowdown with a timer and a damage boost. Instead, the game simply nullifies all damage and gives you a damage boost that doesn't even last long enough for you to get any significant hits on them. Bummer. There's also no flash dodging either.
Being from a birds-eye means that thankfully camera control isn't an issue. But it changes the combat to make you much more considerate of positioning as its easy for you to get into group attacks with enemies or dodge your way into a bosses attack.
Speaking of which, the bosses. Good lord. The absolute gameplay highlight, minus two which I'll get to later. The early bosses don't have much but the later ones start having extra phases to go along with them and it can completely change how a battle is fought. It's so cool.
Of course there's also the usual dungeons with the elemental aspects, and I think Ys Seven has cooler ideas than what 8 had. Walking on lava in the fire dungeon, flying around wind gusts in the wind dungeon, etc. All while each area having its own unique design language and architecture.
But I think all gameplay aspects I could talk about really pale in comparison to the as-usual excellent world building here. More importantly: it's narrative. This story is great. You really feel the sense of mystery and awe yet foreboding tension and emotions piling up over time. Not to mention this game includes easily Adol's most badass moments. My favorite is when after being accused of assassination of the King, beaten to a near pulp the day before, covered in fresh scars, and pitted in a gladtorial battle against a Titano with weak gear and little chance of survival...Adol just wins. Barely, judging from how the cutscene shows Adol suddenly getting down and kneeling from fatigue. But he still won. It's not just Adol's accomplishment, you as a player feel badass for beating it, especially if you do it without Scias' little item gift. It's easily peak Ys.
What's not peak, however, are two things and really my only criticisms of the game: the absolutely abysmal endgame, and the wind dungeons. Lemme speak about the latter first since it's easier to get across why you might not like it.
The wind dungeons are frankly annoying. The first time you come around, you do SO much backtracking through the level and all of the areas are huge and winding. All sometimes just to activate something or have an item needed to be used in a previous area. Worst of all, unlike previous dungeons: NO SHORTCUTS BACK. Because of this, it goes on too long and gets irksome.
That's nothing compared to the second round dungeons. Oh no, they're even longer and more winding which is expected. Not a problem, right? Well the wind sanctum does it wrong. How? It's BORING. The wind mechanic is barely even used here and most of the time instead you're spamming dodge to get past wind currents or going around in circles pushing switches to lower crystal barriers. All of it just feels like padding instead of creating a whole new legitimately interesting dungeon revolving around the element of wind.
At least the first round is redeemable by an epic boss at the end. The Wind Sanctum however? The Wind Dragon sucks. It's easily the worst boss of the game and such a massive disappointment after the great fights that were the Flame and Earth Dragons! Thankfully the Sea and Moon Dragons are much better afterwards.
These two however pale in comparison to what is quite frankly the worst endgame I've ever played. P-A-D-D-I-N-G. That's how you spell Ys Seven's endgame. Getting everyone's final weapons and armor is such a pain in the ass. The Soul Stone gathering can at least be made tolerable by getting Luck Medals from the Zanzibar Firm. Titano Spines and Soft Hides however? ENEMY GRINDING. Not even joking. I spent a solid 2 hours alone grinding just for my main three party members I was using: Adol, Geiz, and Cruxie.
But that's not the worst of it! Oh no, little did I know that not grinding for fucking EVERYONE else in my party was gonna be a huge mistake as THE FINAL BOSS AGAINST THE ROOT OF ALL EXISTENCE USES EVERYONE. So great, I had to deal with severely underequipped and probably slightly underleveled party members in the final boss, which chewed up my items supply and left me beating the last phase with Adol just barely hanging on to dear life.
WHY?! WHY IN GOD'S NAME WOULD YOU DO THAT?! That goes against the very foundation of the party system's core design! You find three you like and you stick to it. At least, that's what I thought it was since you gain basically a permanent party by the time you start the Sanctums. Everyday I will now thank God Almighty that Ys 8 (and hopefully the other birds'-eye view party system games and future games) doesn't pull this bullshit, because it's fucking ridiculous and one of the worst ideas ever. It shouldn't have even been put on paper, because it's not good in execution, and it'll never be good there.
It's clear that these things were made to lengthen the game in order to suck out more playtime so that it doesn't seem underwhelming. But let's be honest here: this game was made for the PSP. 20 or so hours for an action RPG on a handheld is actually a really good number. Why is it so important to do something like this? It's competitor in handheld ARPGs at the time, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, was 25 or so! It's not far off at all and to this minute writing this thing, I am baffled by Falcom's decision at the time developing this game.
My last complaint is that of the sidequests. Not about all of them, just one in particular that you can apparently miss entirely, rendering your ability to get that achievement null. I do not like it when games do that, and it doesn't help that half the sidequests are hidden anyways. Definitely pull out a guide for this one.
Despite me complaining pretty hard here, it at least had a satisfying ending thanks to the well written story. I think it's definitely enjoyable and well made game as all the Ys games have been so far for me. But beware that endgame. It may drive you insane.

Review from Steam

extremely good! playable on deck with proton experimental, but final cutscene wont properly play without proton ge etc

Review from Steam

Should you play this game?: Ys.

Review from Steam

good shit

Review from Steam

It's Ys! Of course it's good and fun!
I will say though, the game's looks aged a bit, and a few of the bosses weren't all that fun to fight. BUT, other than that, Seven was pretty sweet!
It has everything that makes a Ys game great: simple mechanics that are hard to master, an addicting gameplay loop, just enough freedom in party composition and character customization, a good story, enjoyable characters, and most importantly, EXCELLENT music!
In fact, this might be one of my favourite soundtracks in the series!
So yes,despite its age, Ys Seven is totally worth playing!

Review from Steam

This ys game is particularly fun I have recently been playing through all of the Ys games and just started this one but it felt a bit like Ys VIII evolved from this battle system

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