In my last entry (a review of Ys 1 & 2 Chronicles), I mentioned a Super NES game that got me started on the Ys series, Ys III: Wanderers from Ys. Today I wanted to take a look at the remake of that game, Ys: The Oath in Felghana. Since the original sort of holds a special place in my heart, I wanted to show a couple comparisons as well.
Box art for the 1991 version which I first played
Box art from the 2010 release.
Ys III originally came out in 1989. I didn’t play it, however, until the 1991 SNES port. The Oath in Felghana was released in 2005. Again, I played it later on the 2010 PSP release. (Technically I downloaded the PSP version on my PSVita through the PS Store, where it’s currently $14.99).
Like I & II Chronicles for PSP, the music has been redone and gives you the option to switch between the new music and classic versions at almost any point in the game. One of the few things that I wish would have been included is the SNES version of the music, which I played as a kid. The PC versions are great, but just don’t hold the same sentimental value for me personally. This really doesn’t detract from the game at all, though, and the music is great.
The graphics have been updated nicely as well. And one big change from I & II Chronicles is the combat, which it back to a traditional hack and slash. All of the great RPG elements are retained as well. A major factor for me is that the combat was fun and fast paced, and never really got old.
In I & II Chronicles, as I mentioned in my review, I had some pretty major issues with dungeons sections looking alike which lead to a LOT of getting lost. In Oath, the issue is still there at times, but not nearly as much. The different camera angle and more varied locations visually went a long way to address this. I did still use a guide a couple of times, but wasn’t tied to it like in the previous game.
Another area where the game shined was the great story. I loved the fantasy setting and characters. The fully voiced cut scenes with great acting really lent a lot to the story as well.
This entry in the Ys series is another great one, which you can take on the go if you play it on the PSVita like I did. While I liked 1 & 2 Chronicles, I liked this one much better, especially for the nostalgia, story and gameplay. I’d definitely recommend it for fantasy and adventure fans!