"If there is a reason to own a PSP, this is the game that demonstrates why."
Plot / Concept: 10 / 10
The plot may seem uncomplicated and plot elements recycled, but where it's strength lies is in the characters and how they tell it as it progresses, setting the very ideal moods and emotion needed to add such power and depth to the situation. Characters go through change, growth and setup for the finale, when many of them have grown up a little bit and can better handle how things are deteriorating around them. Elements from other games are dropped in in a very subtle way, helping to establish the connection between the 7th installment and the other games.
This style could teach others how to make a game's storyline work.
Gameplay: 9 / 10
For an average RPG, Ys 7 may feel simple, short and easy. For an Ys game, this is complex, complicated and long.
You actually have a party to deal with, each character requiring special care and attention to make sure they are at peak performance, instead of only working with Adol (You even get to play as Dogi for the first time, ever). Combat scenarios are well-designed and boss battles can be nuts to play, forcing you to rely on your skill as a player and how powerful and well-equipped you are. Ultimately, it will boil down to how well you have prepared yourself for the fight. Inventory systems are intense and VERY complex, since you also have to collect various ingredients along the way to fashion more weapons and armour. You also get to track your experience with object, monsters, quests and such along the way. There is a lot of detail for an Ys game, and it does not detract from the experience, altogether. I have seen RPGs that are far too complicated for their own good, and this one does not qualify as one of them.
Controls: 9 / 10
The controls work very well, almost to the point of feeling smooth, instinctive and not glitchy. The system is not complicated, despite the number of different combos that can be executed, because you have to hold down additional buttons to make them work. Tutorials go through the game along the way as you learn new stuff, so you are never dumped with far too much at any one given time.
I did not like the Guard system, however. I found it difficult to time and use to my advantage, forcing me to resort to dodging stuff, instead.
Music: 10 / 10
I absolutely adore the music. Nearly every piece that is used in the game is a masterpiece in it's own respect, subtle, aggressive, beautiful, cautious, mysterious, and so many more descriptions fit how this OST works for the game.
Sound Effects: 8 / 10
There is no audio dialogue, although characters do grunt while fighting and you hear them call out when you control them directly. Most of the audio is ambient noises, monsters, spells, weapons and stuff and everything works out very well.
Graphics: 8 / 10
In some ways, the graphics feel a bit like a step down from Ys 6, released for PC, PS2 and PSP. It probably has to do with much less detail there is on the world map, overall. Still, cities and villages are rich, dungeons feel ominous and monsters are monster-y. Character are nicely portrayed, too.
Being a long game, it could discourage people from wanting to play multiple times. I would suggest you try the most difficult version of the game possible, at least once. It really turns the bosses into dangerous powerhouses.