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Ys 6: PSP
Platform: Sony PSP
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Genre: Action RPG
Format: UMD
Release: US Q3 2005
Japan Summer 2005



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The game's graphics have changed a bit for Sony's smaller screen.
 
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Some familiar enemies for Adol to fight.
 
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The art from the PS2 version remains.
 
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Lookit what I ken do!
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Damian Thomas
First Look Preview
07/17/05
Damian Thomas

The Ys series is one of the most venerable in RPG history. Unfortunately, North America has seen relatively few titles in this gaming legacy. Thanks to Konami, however, we were recently able to try out the latest Ys title, Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim for PS2. With an all new CG intro made in Korea, all English voice acting, and lots of cheat codes to unlock secret features, Ys VI really tried hard to cater to American audiences. However, while developer Nihon Falcom was pleased with the porting and translating job Konami did, the game didnít wind up selling very many copies, especially when relatively compared to some of Konamiís other titles.

Yet, according to Yoshinori Sasaki, Konamiís project manager for the port onto the PS2, these low sales numbers were expected, as the real focus will be the PSP version of Ark of Napishtim. Apparently, the novelty of being able to take Adol on the road wherever you go should attract a different crowd, and will arrive at a time when Sonyís handheld will be starved for decent action-RPGs.

The story remains the same as the PS2 version. You play as series protagonist, Adol Christin, who is forced to flee the Romun kingdom with his companion, Dogi, on a ship bound for the Great Vortex. The Great Vortex is a giant barrier that keeps people from traveling west on the ocean. Unfortunately, the ship is attacked and Adol falls into the water. He is sucked in by the vortex and deposited on the beach of Quartera, a verdant island populated by two groups that live in an uneasy peace: the native, half-beast people known as the Rehda, and stranded humans. Distrusted by the Rehda and quickly caught up in many a quest, Adol has to discover the secrets of Quartera and the Great Vortex in order to get back to his friends.

The only noticeable plot difference between the PS2 and PSP versions will be the replacement of the Almaís Trials bonus dungeons with new dungeons unlocked by completing quests for the Rehda priestesses, Olha and Isha. While only a minor difference, those who liked gazing longingly at the scantily clad water nymph at the trials should be the only ones disappointed, as these new dungeons should prove to be as challenging (and more puzzle heavy) than the Trials.

Graphically, the PSP port will sport a more cherubic, rounded, super-deformed look to Adol and the NPCs. The backgrounds and bosses look a bit flatter too, and the text seems much simpler, but overall the appearance of the PSP version is not all that much of a downgrade from the PS2 version. And fortunately the character portraits are all picture perfect, so no change there.

There will also be different cheats implemented in the game, so those old standby codes that let you watch the anime opening and hear the Japanese voices will be new. Good luck to everyone in finding them.

So how will Adol fare on the handheld screen? Konami and Falcom are banking on it doing well and possibly attracting a whole new Ys fanbase, as they are already in talks to bring the next installment to the US market. Only time will tell if the story, gameplay, and necessity for a long battery life will be able to attract players to this action-RPG title.



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© 2003-2005 Konami, Nihon Falcom.
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