[Vita RPG Review] Ys: Memories of Celceta
Unable to remember even his own name, Adol Christin awakens to find himself in a city called Casnan, on the eastern end of the Ispani. It is here that he meets Duren, an information dealer who claims to have encountered him previously. Evidently, Adol was last seen heading into the Great Forest of Celceta, a massive expanse of woodland filled with such danger that even the mighty Romun Army fears to tread within.
What happened to Adol inside the Great Forest, and how did he lose his memories? The only way to find out is to step back into the foreboding woods and brave its dangers once more. But Adol will need to have his wits about him, or his second trip into the Great Forest may cost him more than just his past…
Ys: Memories of Celceta is an Action RPG in which you follow amnesiac Ys series hero Adol Christin in his quest to recover his memories. This game was originally released in Japan under the name “Ys: Foliage Ocean in Celceta.”
Playing Ys: Memories of Celceta was my first time in a Ys game, although a few people had already told me that they were great RPGs. I had the chance to review this game, and I’m glad to tell you that it is a perfect addition for the PlayStation Vita RPG library, and you should not hesitate to pick it up… even if you haven’t played a Ys game beforehand!
Ys: Memories of Celceta – E3 Trailer
Ys: Memories of Celceta is separated in exploration phases and battle sequences. One of the cool things I noticed is that the map itself is pretty big (and is said to be the biggest of all Ys), and can be explored with relative freedom. I liked that aspect of being able to wander quite far early in the game instead of having invisible walls that prevent you from going into a zone that obviously should not be visiting, and instead you’ll be met by big bosses that require you to be stronger to pass through some paths.
Traveling the world of Ys: Memories of Celceta by foot takes some time and is made easier by a fast travel feature that allows you to move to a set of pre-defined locations. If you stop moving for a few seconds on the field outside of dungeons, you’ll recover your HP and even heal your status effects! I liked this idea, but while it’s a nice bonus (you get free HP while being inactive), the replenish rate is relatively slow and you might still want to take a potion to heal instantly instead of waiting to get some HP back.
The dungeons of the game are particularly huge and (luckily) feature fast travel points that allow you to get back to the closest town easily when you’re deep exploring them. Speaking of dungeons, I thought that some of them had a pretty confusing design, and I spent a lot of time in a few of them just to get oriented. I also once reached the end of the dungeon and got greeted by a door that needed to be opened with three items… and I had only found two of them. You can imagine how much time I spent finding that last piece!
On the bright side, the save function is really well implemented and allows you to save everywhere. I found this great and created a lot of different saves to see if I was able to beat a boss or even when I wanted to try a path and had the feeling that I might have to backtrack.
All items found either in dungeons or as enemy drops can be exchanged for better ones (usually a few bad items can be exchanged for one of a higher tier) that can then be used to reinforce weapons and armor. Reinforcing your sword even a little bit will yield stronger damage and adds the possibility to inflict status ailments (paralysis or poison for instance) to the monsters.
The battle system in Ys: Memories of Celceta has you inputing commands that are executed in real-time. The action button hits enemies with the equipped weapon and skills can be attached to the buttons on the right. You have to learn to block early in the game, because even the first bosses are relatively hard if you don’t defend enough!
Most of the enemies have weaknesses that are attached to the fight style of the playable characters (Slash, Pierce, etc…), and you can change the character you’re playing with at anytime by pressing the Circle button. Finishing an enemy with either it’s weakness or a skill gives a combination of Excellent Kill and Skill Finish (both pictured below) which yields more money and items drops. Finally, using skills builds up the Extra Attack gauge that can then unleash a devastating attack (as in, half of a boss’s health… gone!) when it’s full.
Finishing an enemy using a Skill
As for the game’s difficulty, I found it to be fair on the normal setting since, while some bosses were long to fight, the battles never felt unfair. While fighting enemies on the field, I did notice that some of them have annoying patterns that make their fights longer than they should be, especially in underwater sequences.
I’m really glad I got to play Ys: Memories of Celceta. It is a very good RPG for the PlayStation Vita with a fast-paced battle system, and expansive world, a great soundtrack and a very enjoyable weapon crafting system, all of which I loved. I would definitely like to see more iterations of the Ys franchise on the console, and I’ll definitely be getting the 3 PSP Ys games available on the PSN right now!
If you’re a collector, you’ll also be glad to know that a special Anniversary Edition is available for $59.99, and you can see what the package contains in the image below.
PSN Game size: 785Mb