Ys I & II Chronicles review

  • Love Ys? It's totally Ys! Again!
  • Two games in one package!
  • Its mind-numbing simplicity?
  • Its boring. Like, so boring
  • Intolerably old ideas
  • No appeal for newcomers

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

More Info

Release date: Feb 22 2011 - PSP (US)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: XSEED Games
Developed by: Falcom
Franchise: Ys
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Blood, Partial Nudity, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Language


  • MitchyD - March 8, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    KREATIVEassassin: I'm not one to talk in comment sections about reviews I've written, but I know you're a legit and rational dude worth discussing with. So: You can respect a legacy without enjoying it -- I praised the other remakes, and I understand what set this series sailing in the first place. Years later, these games are not as great as they once were. I approached it as someone who enjoys Ys as of recently -- by way of the newer PSP games (Ark was an enjoyable PSP RPG in 2005 as well) -- but has no investment in it as a classic series. I've enjoyed what I've played until I & II Chronicles, which, as I wrote, I found to be an insufferably dull experience. Better sprites and sound didn't compensate for its archaic ideas that don't hold up. I see why this rocked in the 80s, but it's not something I'd recommend playing anymore.
  • KREATIVEassassin - March 7, 2011 1:35 a.m.

    @elilupe: It's written like what I would expect a 16 year old kid to say about an older game. "It's like, so boring. This is like Walking: The Video Game." There's no review here. There's at most one paragraph of legitimate critcism.
  • elilupe - March 6, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    @KREATIVEassassin Their job isn't to respect the legacy of the games they review. They are game critics, which means they have to critique the game based on its current playability. Ys I & II may have been great back when it came out, but they have to judge the game based on current standards.
  • imadejoolaff - March 5, 2011 11:46 p.m.

    Is this a blatant ripoff of same-generation RPG's? Those first two screens look EXACTLY like specific spots in FF-II (US) while you're going up the mountain to fight Golbez.
  • AuthorityFigure - March 5, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    Wow - it looks as bad as the LUNAR: Dragon Song I bought for the DS. Broken, old-fashioned and dull?
  • KREATIVEassassin - March 5, 2011 5:03 a.m.

    Awful review. It's awful. Like, so awful. You have no business reviewing this game if you're just going to disrespect its legacy.
  • 4fromK - March 5, 2011 1:23 a.m.

    sad. the spritework looks pretty awesome, and the music that I've heard is great as well. oh well.
  • IceBlueKirby - March 4, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    I don't see the appeal in a game that involves waltzing into enemies to attack them. That's even more shallow than freakin' Dynasty Warriors...the sad part is that SOMEONE must be buying these for it to get remade so often. I mean, at least DW has sequels, not remakes...

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