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PC Game Review

Ys: The Oath in Felghana


Format: PC
RRP: £9.99
Click here to buy
Age Restrictions: 7+
Available 19 March 2012

Role playing games have been a popular staple for many years, so much so that there has grown up almost a lexicon of types and tropes which seem to be used over and over again. Ys: The Oath in Felghana has been ported to its handheld home from the PC and then back to the PC. The original release turned up in 2005 as a Microsoft windows game, now it has been given a facelift and released exclusively, for the PC via Steam. Although it has Aldo and Dogi returning to Redmont, the game actually represents the third in the series.

The game is your basic Japanese roleplaying offering, with all the good and bad that this implies. Playing the central character you proceed through the story, which is structured as a series of levels, at the end of which sits a boss for you to fight. As you fight monsters, you gain experience which, once gained, makes monsters a little easier to handle.

You play Adol, the hero of the Ys franchise. In this latest version of the game Adol returns home with his companion, Dogi, having discovered that the place is being overrun by monsters. Arriving, they are almost immediately attacked by monsters, before rescuing an old friend of Adol’s, Elena Stoddart. She tells a sorry tale of a missing mayor and a brother who appears to have fallen in with bad company, the sort that resurrects gods of destruction for kicks.

Visually the game is impressive, sort of. The version downloaded filled no more than the central third of the screen and there didn’t appear to be any option to expand this to a full screen picture. Even if there were, I get the feeling that expanded to full size the picture would have shown noticeable degradation. Size apart, the world is richly drawn, amusing and quaint; this quaintness extends to some of the monsters which are showing their age a bit. The lack of detail in some of the objects is acceptable in a handheld game, but in a full size game it makes it look prematurely old.

The game, because you are represented for the most part as a smallish pixel man, also uses full screen pop ups of the characters when important dialog is happening. The combat system works remarkably well on a PC, via an intuitive combination of mouse and keyboard control. Actions are accurately translated into the game, making combat a real joy to control. Monsters drop various objects, relating to magic and strength which can be further used to enhance your character. And you’re going to need this edge as the bosses are no pushover.

Generally, the game has a lot of replay value, but if it were to be played on a PC why, with the massive black border, does it have to look like just a port from a handheld?


Charles Packer