We like playing old games! And some old games deserve a fresh look. Hence the concept of LTTP Reviews. We play older games, and give you our thoughts. It’s that simple!
So let’s get this straight: the first two Ys games have been chopped up, ported, remade (or re-remade, in this case) more times than I’d care to count over its twenty-six years of existence. What has Chronicles going for it, then? Absolutely nothing, put bluntly. Chronicles won’t impress the uninitiated, quell the fears of people who’ve dabbled with and hated the series, nor give hardened vets anything substantial to chew on. Taken at face value, however, it is a wonderful package: a well-done, portable remake of one of the first and greatest action-RPGs.
The plot remains the same: strapping young lad Adol Christin ventures forth in the land of Esteria to discover the books of Ys, containing the history of a vanished kingdom called Ys, which (spoilers!) he actually gets to explore in the second game. What makes Ys special is its brisk, simplistic, yet elegant combat model. Run into enemies, rinse and repeat: the “bump system” doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Another thing that defines Ys is its wonderful soundtrack, composed by industry legend Yuzo Koshiro. As expected, Chronicles’ OST is nothing short of incredible. Falcom has thoughtfully included the option to play through the game with either the original PC-88 chiptunes, fully redone tracks from the 2001 Windows version this game is based on, or wonderfully arranged tracks exclusive to the PSP release.
The spritework in Ys is crisp, colorful, and—most importantly—faithful to the source material. I’m really impressed by the spritework—everyone from tiny NPCs down to the humongous bosses receives intricate details. The hand-painted backdrops look marvelous as well, and the faint polygonal and particle effects enhance rather than detract from the experience.
Again, I realize this series isn’t for everyone, and anyone who remotely enjoys Ys has already played one of the billion I&II ports out there. But hell, anything Ys-related is worth a look (or two) in my book. Thumbs up, kids.