(XSEED for PSP)
By Mike Delano
Japanese RPGs are known for clinging to the old ways, even as American attempts in the genre that break with tradition are met with increasing acclaim. Of the old guard, the Final Fantasy series receives most of the attention (and criticism) for trying new things, while most other series dip their toe in stylistic changes while leaving the core concepts of the genre largely the same as they have been for decades. Ys Seven is in the latter camp, but it makes enough tweaks to a timeworn concept to make it worthwhile. No one is likely to be blown away by the story, of two adventurers looking for… adventure, nor by the way it’s told, through a slowly unraveling plot and dialogue that takes way too long to get to the point. Inside this rickety framework, though, your inner spaz can run free. Your characters dash at such a speed that traversing the towns and overworld is thrillingly fast, as is the combat. An action-based system like The Legend of Zelda‘s if it were conceived while hopped up on Pixy Stix, Ys Seven‘s battles are frantic and addictive, whether you’re bashing enemies into loot confetti, or rapidly switching between party members with unique abilities on the fly during big battles. The game as a whole might not push things forward as much as one would want from a modern JRPG, but in the heat of battle, there’s no time to care.