If you've played other Ys games before, you'll be familiar with Adol Christin the "Adventurer", the heroin in this game. I happen to have some 15 years of memories with this red-haired dude.
Ys: Memories of Celceta's story is set during one of Adol's earliest adventures two years after the events of Ys II and before the events of Ys: The Oath in Felghana. Adol arrives in the town of Casnan, exhausted and with his memories lost. If you knew Adol, you'll think that he must've been through something really, really rough to make him lose his memories! From the point where the player picks up control, your initial goal is to reclaim your memories. But then, as with many good guys in this world, you get hooked up to other people's problems.
Adol eventually finds himself working with the military Governor General (Griselda) together with an information dealer named Duren, you'll be instructed to chart the map of the huge forest of Celceta. Adol also hopes to recollect his memories along the way. As you progress in the story, you'll be collecting a lot of Adol's memories which manifest in round, blue color objects and the environment suddenly flickers when you're around one.
It'll be quite a long introduction and the least you want to do first is talk to people. Fortunately, although past RPG experience might drive you to do so, you don't really need to talk to all the people (or NPC's, if you prefer). To save yourself from necessary asking around, it's crucial to understand the map. Remember blue flags indicate your main mission and red ones are side quests and you can ignore everything else if you want to, just focus on your main mission.
You are allowed to participate in conversations by taking choices. It's mostly just a simple yes or no, and although it mostly changes the response of the character you're talking to, it doesn't affect the outcome of the story.
As soon as you are sent out into the wild, the game begins to feel more like the old Ys games. It's a fast-phased, real-time action-RPG.
Enemies come in different forms and sizes. They're smart enough to provide a hefty challenge. Some form of attacks, depending on the character you use, can either be more effective or less effective on certain enemies although as you go along you'll find this element of the game more trivial than it is from the start.
It's a hack n slash game, but you'll enjoy grinding by just moving along with the story. Even when you eliminate all enemies in one area, if you get out and then go back to that area then the enemies are re-spawned again which makes leveling up really easy.
You can get creative with all the skills that you can learn and you can mix normal attacks with skills which makes it feel so free. You can map each move to a corresponding button (triangle, circle, x or square) and execute them by pressing a button together with the R trigger.
In Ys: Memories Of Celceta, each character have their own type weapon and skills. As you probably want it, the weapons that you equip change looks in battle. Each character also have their own unique actions. For example, one character will be able to open treasure boxes that are gray colored and no one else in the party can do that but him and you need to make him the point character in order to execute his unique action.
The individuality doesn't end there. Each character also have their own super moves which is called "Extra Skill" in this game. Think of it as a Hyper Combo in Marvel vs Capcom 3 or an Ultra move in Super Street Fighter IV. Only your point character can use it and you have to fill up a yellow gauge in order to use it. The yellow gauge fills up really slow, so you can't really abuse it.
Similar Ys: Seven, you are accompanied by many characters but it's mostly easy to just stick with Adol. You can replace Adol as the point character or even take him out of the battle party if you like though. You are not in total control of your support characters but it's possible to instruct your party to go on attack or evasion mode by pinching on the rear touchpad.
Aside from regular items, there are special kind of items called "Artifacts". Artifacts are not only required to progress in the game as they are mostly part of the plot, they also greatly enhance gameplay. For example, a certain artifact allows you to get really small and another one allows you to run at exemplified speed.
It's not all about slice and dicing your enemies in this game. There are actually a few puzzles in this game, most of which involve using the touchscreen. However, the experience you get from solving puzzles isn't quite as rewarding compared to games like Zelda. In that sense, the puzzles feel like they are more attached to the story than trying to challenge wits.
The bosses all look very bad ass, but depending on your difficulty level, most of them are easy to defeat. It doesn't require a lot of thinking to be honest, you just have to make sure that you keep on attacking, earn enough SP to use skills and make sure you have enough healing, recovery and revive items with you.
There's a lot of things to complain about this game's graphics. First is the obvious low resolution the game is set at. It feels like playing on a 800 x 600 resolution — It can really hurt the eyes! The characters aren't well-polished as one would expect from a PS Vita game, they look somewhere in between the PS1 and PS2. Square hands anyone? Thankfully, the graphics isn't bland and still brought to life by dynamic shadows and lighting.
The low resolution did not stop the developers and designers however from delivering a stunning experience. The environments are vast and awe-inspiring and there are times when you stand over a hilltop and it brings a gratifying experience like in real-life.
When running over the map, the camera sometimes change angles. Although most of the time, you are stuck with an isometric view and the only option you have is zooming the camera in or out.
Aside from the outstanding gameplay, the Ys franchise has always excelled in the musical area. Ys: Memories Of Celceta's music has a powerful way of stirring your emotions. So, when you're in a peaceful village for example (remember the name Selray), it feels like you just want to be in that place and live peacefully all your life. During battle, the music is very engaging that you want to shout in every slash you make with Adol's sword. Some of the cutscenes are fully voiced-over while some fully rely on text. They used some pretty talented actors in this game. The voices fitted each characters's personality.
Before we give the final assessment to this game, it's good to mention that you will enjoy treasure hunting in this game and the game will help to make sure you don't miss any. You can go back to previously visited villages in case you want to complete all quests and other stuff needed to collect all the trophies. The replay value is fair and square.
Ys: Memories of Celceta is a fantasy adventure at its finest. As soon as I finished the game, I felt an overwhelming desire to play or re-play other Ys games. You will surely have the same feeling. Available in both digital and game cart distribution, Ys: Memories of Celceta is an action-adventure game that could give you an unforgettable experience.
Rating for Ys: Memories Of Celceta
|Game Info:||Platform: PS Vita|
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date: 11/26/2013
Price: $39.99 (Buy It)
Rating: T (Teen)
No. of players: 1
- Beautifully illustrated characters
- Vast and awe-inspiring environments
- Fast-phased action
- Compelling story
- Beautifully composed music
- Intuitive Controls
- Different difficulty levels
- Simple item and equipment system
- Good replay value
- Low-resolution (hurts the eyes) and low polygon count
- Minor glitches, sometimes the characters just run around in circles
- Only one camera angle during battle (that can be zoomed in or out)
- Very few puzzles, most of them are easy
- Bosses doesn't require a lot of thinking to beat