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Rereleases and remakes are naturally meant to stoke the nerd flames of fanboys, but the ulterior motive in reviving older games is to attract an unfamiliar crowd with cash to drop. That built-in audience secures sales for game developers and publishers, so anyone else who digs the redux is bound to buy more in the same series. Ys I & II Chronicles for PSP is the ideal example of the sort of game that should have stayed lost in time - this isn't the kind of game that's going to draw anyone other than the blind faithful.
Above: Ys cleans up its interface for PSP. That’s nice, at least
When Legacy of Ys: Books I & II hit the DS two years ago, we wondered why anyone bothered to publish Falcom's 20-odd-year-old role-playing games. Seeing the same game on PSP two years later confuses us further. The value of two-RPGs-in-one definitely has strong support if you're looking for reassurance and justification for pulling the trigger. Buying and playing Ys I & II Chronicles, however, is a tremendous waste of time and money.
This is disappointing considering how well the remakes of the other old-ass Ys games, Seven as well as The Oath in Felghana, fared for the PSP. They hit on two ends of the spectrum - one a massive game with a daunting amount of dungeons and loot, the other a quick and linear action game that didn't slow down for anyone. Ys I & II Chronicles fails not because it doesn't live up to these excellent remakes, but because it suffers from a debilitating affliction it can't do anything about.
Above: I’m gonna walk into you so hard, you bad guy!
This is a game that is absolutely a product of its time. As the genre - and series - has moved forward since its first release, what once worked has eroded and broken. These games are tedious, confusing and uncompromisingly boring. The vague objectives with worse instructions are almost tolerable when compared to the combat, which involves nothing more than moving into an enemy to attack. This is Walking: The Videogame - you can literally get through a dungeon doing nothing more than wiggling the analog nub.
Unlockable spells lend a little variety to the otherwise stale battles with moron squid-monsters and typical fantasy fodder. Beyond that, this is a stagnant role-playing game with nothing to offer anyone who isn’t already obsessed with the original game, the 2001 PC remake this is based on, or the DS remake from 2009. That’s a lot of rereleases, and if it hasn’t tapped into an unseen market and caused an Ys craze just yet, we doubt this dreary and tedious retry will either.
Mar 4, 2011
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