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PSP Fanboy review: Yggdra Union

This used to be a GBA game? That's what you'll think to yourself after only a few hours with Yggdra Union. While the map sprites are taken directly from the GBA original, everything else about this PSP remake shows incredible polish. The redrawn high-res sprites used in battle and story sequences look sharp on the PSP screen. But what really steals the show, on a technical level, is the impressive amount of voice acting. Nearly every important story sequence is voiced in both English and Japanese, which makes for a really immersive experience.

Of course, a game needs to do more than look and sound pretty to be good -- and thankfully, Yggdra Union offers tons of gameplay. In fact, it may offer too much with an adventure that clocks in at about 30 hours. The lengthy story is far from original, but a growing cast of likable characters and a few nice plot twists make it an enjoyable adventure that kept me chugging through the lengthy story.

At its heart, Yggdra Union is an epic about underdogs that overthrow an empire. Your starting cast of a group of bandits and an exiled princess is severely outnumbered in an obviously one-sided battle. As such, players shouldn't expect a cakewalk through the game. Yggdra Union can be a relentless difficult game at times, so much so to the point of frustration. However, the challenge only emphasizes how important a solid strategy is when approaching each situation. Players must understand the importance of character placement and card selection -- a single error can lead to game over. However, the game's greatest hook comes from the exuberant ability to seize victory in a rather dire situation. Each battle is hard fought and incredibly rewarding.

Gallery: Yggdra Union

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PSP Fanboy hands-on: Yggdra Union

Wow, Yggdra Union is tough. That's probably the first thing you'll say after getting through a few matches of Atlus' upcoming PSP SRPG. It'll take a few battles to wrap your head around the unique mechanics of the card game, and although the game does an excellent job of holding your hand, don't expect an easy romp, even in the second battle in the game.

Yggdra Union is a tactical card RPG that will test your tactical capabilities through and through -- there's no grinding here to be found. Battles are typically multi-tiered: just when you think you're done with a level, a new set of increasingly difficult reinforcements appear. However, because your character's morale (essentially, their HP) carries over from battle to battle, across every level, each battle is decisive. If you make too many mistakes with one character, you'll notice that they'll be at a serious disadvantage in upcoming battles. And don't think about grinding to level up your characters: you can't. The story moves at such a brisk pace that your success depends solely on your ability to choose the right cards, and decide exactly how to move your characters through the map.

The basics of battle are easy to explain, but the full ramifications won't truly make sense until you get the game in your hands. Before each conflict, players can choose a certain number of cards. Cards will grant players special abilities, but also have important stats like number of spaces players can move, card strength and weapon affinity. Quite possibly the most important thing to pay attention to is the weapon affinity: certain weapons are stronger than others, and these will be one of the primary factors of a battle's success. For example, swords are stronger than axes, but axes are stronger than spears. Spears, on the other hand, are stronger than swords. This circle gets more complicated with the introduction of magic users and archers.

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Continue reading PSP Fanboy hands-on: Yggdra Union

Pre-order Yggdra Union, get a soundtrack CD

Atlus' upcoming Yggdra Union is revamping the cult classic GBA SRPG for Sony's handheld. For those that can't wait for some more card-battling action, we heed you to pre-order the game at Gamestop. As usual, Atlus has cooked up another cool pre-order gift. This time, Yggdra Union comes with a free soundtrack CD which contains 56 tracks of music from the game. For those that were already interested in picking up the unique SRPG, this is certainly a nice bonus.

Gallery: Yggdra Union

New Yggdra Union screens are your business

Atlus' upcoming PSP-exclusive remake of the GBA classic Yggdra Union is looking quite sharp. The sprites look wonderful, and will seemingly pop out of the PSP screen. Multiple endings, dual language tracks, and classic card-based RPG action. What more can we ask for? Watch for it on September 16th.

Gallery: Yggdra Union

Busy new screenshots of Yggdra Union

To be honest, we have no idea how Yggdra Union must've played back on the Game Boy Advance. The upcoming enhanced PSP remake features so much visual information on the screen that we can't imagine how cluttered the interface must've been on the GBA screen. Yggdra Union is proud to take advantage of PSP's widescreen aspect ratio. But we have to admit, after looking at these screens, we feel like we may be overwhelmed by even the most basic battles.

Check out our updated gallery:

Gallery: Yggdra Union

Atlus officially announces Yggdra Union [Update]

Atlus is sending more love to PSP on September 16th, as it releases the PSP version of Yggdra Union. Originally released on Game Boy Advance, the PSP version adds completely remastered audio and visuals, featuring the art of Satoko Kiyuzuki. Fully voice dialogue in both Japanese and English, widescreen support, additional difficulty settings and new unlockable content are all added for the American PSP release of this RPG. This looks to be quite a remarkable localization, we must admit.

Check out the first screenshots in our brand new gallery, and stay tuned for more in the coming months.

Update: Okay, so not everything is fully voiced. Atlus' Aram Jabbari noted that "there is some in-battle dialogue that is not voiced." We're not complaining, Aram! Things sound good.

Gallery: Yggdra Union

Yggdra Union likely coming to the States via Atlus

Atlus looks to be bringing even more love to PSP. After the release of R-Type Command, it looks like they have their eyes set on the RPG, Yggdra Union. The Atlus front page was updated with the image (above), and the cards on display look incredibly similar to the ones featured on Sting's official Yggdra Union website. Check out Siliconera to see the evidence.

The reveal will happen on June 9th, so stay tuned to see if Spencer's sharp eyes are correct on this one. We're pretty certain that he is.

Worldwide PSP releases for the week of Jan. 20

After a few weeks without nary a release in any region, we're back to seeing the normal flow of games. While Rainbow Islands Evolution may not be the big-name release that some of you have hoped for, we're sure a few people out there have been anticipating its release.

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If importing is in your nature, you might want to check out Yggdra Union, which is a remake of the GBA version released in 2006. It's a tactical RPG, so if you've already beaten Jeanne d'Arc and Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, this could be right up your alley.

Yggdra Union trailer, filled with epic 2D fights

So you finished Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics (how did you manage that?!). And now you want something more. Yggdra Union is hitting Japan very soon, and will offer PSP fans yet another opportunity at tactical RPG action. This remake of the GBA original features brand new cutscenes and widescreen presentation. It goes to show that good 2D will always look good.

Confirmed: Yggdra Union intro is pretty

Before, we could only presume that Yggdra Union's anime intro was going to be pretty. Now, we can confirm that it is. This PSP remake of the cult GBA RPG features high-quality anime cinematics that expands the game's universe far from its humble GBA origins. But that's not all! There's more videos to be discovered at Sting's official website.

[Via PSPHyper]

It's too pretty: the Yggdra intro

The upcoming PSP remake of Yggdra Union is getting a brand new opening cinematic. And like most anime introductions, it's stunning. Yukio Takatsu, director of animation for Persona 3, will also be helming work for this intro.

Go to Gpara for more screens from the game. If this much effort is being put into the cinematics, we're hoping the rest of the game will look just as vibrant.

[Via PSPHyper]

Yggdra Union remade for PSP

The cult Game Boy Advance RPG Yggdra Union is being remade for the PSP, according to the latest issue of Famitsu [via IGN]. The hard-to-pronounce game plays similarly to the Fire Emblem games. The PSP version will feature enhancements, such as new characters, voice acting, and a new widescreen presentation -- but won't be available in Japan until January 2008. There's a lot of time to add new content before then.

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