Ys: The Ark of Napishtim
Playstation Portable
Reviewed: 12/31/2006

When Adol washes ashore and awakens on the mysterious island of Canaan, the first words out of his mouth are, “And now my series is also in a PSP port?” It sure is, Adol. Now sit your ass down while this mother loads.

And stay a while, because loading times between zones are hell-ass long. One might be required to sit in loading for almost 20 seconds in some cases. In a game like this where backtracking is often a good idea, the load times start to really tax the fun. There isn’t much slowdown in the action-based combat itself, at least, though there are occasional moments of lag when the screen is overloaded with enemies or when Adol levels up. These are rare enough to not annoy much, though.

Just like the PS2 version of this action RPG, the core gameplay lies in hacking and slashing the bad guys with one of Adol’s three elemental swords, while keeping them upgraded with emel stones.

Screen Shot
After like 18 seconds of “Now Loading,” the player will finally see this.

To make it playable on PSP, it had to be a bit downsized. Voice acting was removed, and the graphics were taken back a notch, though things still look and sound fine in this version. To make up for that, there are some new minigames and videos put in, and the additions pretty much balance out the losses here. Everything is still technically okay here.

Ys: Ark of Napishtim on PSP maintains the pick-up-and-play appeal of the original, but turns around and loses a good portion of that same appeal with its long, frequent loading times. That’s not good for any game, especially not a portable one. Even the new minigames don’t really give it a whole lot of extra punch. It can be fun, but not in large doses.

-Heath Hindman

Score Breakdown
Below Average
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Average
Story Good
Graphics Very Good
Sound/Music Excellent
Replay Value Offensive
The Verdict: 4