Ys Series - Digital Emelas: A Fansite Spreading Awareness of Ys

List of Games

* Canon to the series

Nihon Falcom
SEVEN Engine
August 17, 2010
Reflections of Ys
By Jessie Cooper

Within the first few minutes of play, I noticed a shift in tone from having played all other titles prior to Ys Seven. The story predates all other Ys games with lore going back to the root of existence itself. There was a level of creativity and connection to the characters that drove this game for me. It is another shining example of the gaming powerhouse that is Falcom. From the story, gameplay, and stellar soundtrack, Ys Seven had me immediately engaged.

Ys Seven introduced a slew of game enhancements thanks to a brand new game engine that would later be used in every future Ys title (Memories of Celceta and Lacrimosa of Dana). The Seven engine is incredibly fast-paced and allows for a party of three characters on-screen at once. These characters can then be swapped and controlled at any time. Ys Seven was also the first game to finally include Dogi in a playable role! I was thrilled, as I'm sure most Dogi fans were! The player controls a party of three and it is important to strategically swap between characters in order to maximize their strengths. Each character is given a class that determines what creatures they are best used against. It is possible to organize the party to any preference and as the story progresses more options become available. Through the use of charge-up moves and regular attacks, the player builds up a special meter that can be spent on unique skills. Using these skills builds up an Extra [super] meter that can then be unleashed by any character, each with their own unique Extra attack. Another new feature is the Flash Guard. Pressing the guard button just as an enemy attack hits activates a Flash Guard. This would negate any damage the attack would have dealt, temporarily make all of the player's attacks deal critical damage, and earn additional skill points. In turn, a failed Flash Guard would have the opposite effect, taking more damage than usual.

New to the series was the ability to collect materials and synthesize them into healing items and equipment. This mechanic was a massive shift that evolved the Ys games into a more commonplace JRPG design, yet kept the Falcom charm that we've come to love. Ys games do not hold your hand and Seven is no exception.

One of the most notable series advancements is the impressive scale of the overworld. The various types of terrain and the freedom to explore are all keystone features that are customary in every Ys title. With the introduction of the Seven engine, these are presented on a much larger scale. Seven also saw a shift from what felt like a largely 2D gaming experience into a 3D environment. Unlike the previous entries to the series, Ys Seven is the most stand-alone title for story, though it does have characters returning from earlier games. We recommend playing Seven after Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim. Ys Seven is a broad, polished, and beautiful game that should be experienced by all fans of the genre. It is especially thrilling to accept side quests that involve hunting down colossal monsters in an open-world sandbox.


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