Don't let the scantily clad ladies fool you - Ys is a hard-rockin', shut-up-and-love-me feast of guitars and percussion. Ever since the series appeared on the immensely unpopular TurboDuo (you had one, right?) it's been known for solid slashing action and crunching, toe-tapping soundtracks. This year's PSP-exclusive Ys Seven was no exception, and delivered dozens of highly listenable tracks, all of which threaten to burrow into your brain and rattle around in there until you die.
The embedded song, named "Place of Reticent Lava" in typical Ys (aka "Japanese") fashion, is actually a bit slower than most Ys songs, but still embodies the traits that fans have come to love. You've got the guitar solo, the light synth beating all the way through and a lovely, airy chime noise that carries the main melody. I first heard this on the flight to PAX 2010 and thought "oh man, I gotta use this sometime soon." And here it is!
Above: Innocent Primeval Breaker is no-holds-barred Ys - you'd better sit the hell down!
Above: In the Bustling Square is decidedly un-Ys, but fits the lively seaside town perfectly
This franchise definitely isn't for everyone, but it's managed to become one of my all-time favorites even though it's always got a bare plot and straightforward hack-and-slash gameplay. But, it's a case where each of those cliches is handled perfectly, so while it's old-school as hell, it's about as good a throwback as you could ask for. And other than a rough first hour, Ys Seven is a great introduction to the series, so if you're still holding onto your PSP, give it a shot.
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