Gaming Union got a chance to take a peek at the new YS titles from XSEED Games's recent partnership with Nihon Falcom, and it appears that for the fans of old-school games, both YS titles will be just what the doctor ordered.
The first game, Ys Seven, is the newest entry in the franchise and is specifically built for the PSP. The series, which started back in 1987, is considered by some to be the first Japanese RPG. Unlike previous games in the series, players can switch between three different characters in dungeons, with around seven different characters being playable. The two other characters are controlled by the AI, which can be slightly tweaked by are configured so they act intelligently in battle, such as teleporting next to the player if they get stuck in a dungeon.
There are over 13 different skills to choose from per character, and skills can be permanently learned and upgraded as players level up them. Gameplay-wise the game is similar to an action-RPG, with battles taking place in real time. In addition to normal melee attacks, special attacks can be used after dealing enough attacks to charge a combo bar near the bottom of the screen. A mini-map, as well as a full map which can be called by pressing the select button is available in dungeons, so it's impossible to get lost.
The other game, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, is a PSP remake of the third Ys game, which is considered by many to be the black sheep in the series due to its unusual gameplay style compared to the other games. For the remake, the battle mechanics are very similar to the other games, especially Ys Seven. The game takes place on a Metroid-style map, which expands as players gain new abilities which allow them to reach areas they couldn't previously get to.
Ys Seven is set for a Summer 2010 release, while Ys: The Oath in Felghana is set for a Late 2010 release. Those who haven't played any games in the series need not worry, as the games in the series are independent of each other, except for some minor references for long-time fans of the series.