Ys: Memories of Celceta (PS Vita Review)

Ys-Memories-of-Celceta-3Back in 1993, Ys IV was released for the PC Engine and Super Famicom under the titles, Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys and Ys IV: Mask of the Sun. It never made it outside of Japan, and there was another port made for the PlayStation 2 that also never made it outside. With Ys: Memories of Celceta for the PlayStation Vita, gamers outside of Japan now will have a chance. While this is the first time the game has ever made it to America and Europe (in 2014), it is also the first time the game was made by Nihon Falcom, the creator of the Ys series (the previous versions were created by Taito and Hudson Soft).

2247747-a1The game begins after Adol has completely lost of all his memories. It seems that he was traveling along the unknown areas surrounding the island of Celceta, but he returned with amnesia. Adol is enlisted by the army to investigate the mysterious island that apparently no one has ever returned from. With the Duren’s help, Adol hopes to regain his memories and unlock the secrets of Celceta.

Ys-Memories-of-Celceta-2Adol will be traveling all around Celceta, discovering many things for the second time in this action RPG title. Along the way Adol will run into villages and people he already once met, but if you played any of the previous Ys games, you know trouble always follows Adol. This time isn’t any different, only he just doesn’t remember who, what or how, causing even more problems.

Adol will be accompanied by a cast of characters he will meet on his journey, but only three characters can be on the field at anytime. Each character has their own unique weapons and fighting style and unique skills for battle. Adol is a slash-type character with his sword, which is strong against certain types of opponents. Every other character has a unique attribute too, so going back and forth between characters can be a key element in battle. Skills can be leveled up by using them in battle.

1004980_647888568578627_97757222_nYs reboots have been pretty unique on the battle system. You control one character and your other two party members are AI controlled. While in battle you choose which character you are in control of. Your AI friends won’t die, as their life bar will just go down to 1 HP. Going back and forth between character in battle can save your life and restore items. You can also switch out characters in battle (except for boss battles) and order the AI to go into a defensive mode or offensive mode by using the PS Vita’s rear touch screen.

The game features a crafting system where you collect materials from defeated enemies, chests or by attacking bushes, rocks and other items. They can be fused together to create stronger materials, and they can finally be used to create new items, accessories or strengthen equipment. In the end, I took the final weapon in the game for Adol and gave it +37, making it a very dangerous tool. I then took my strongest armor and gave it a +26, giving him some very strong tanking abilities.

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A visually pretty game, there’s quick-paced action around every corner. Ys: Memories of Celceta is accompanied by anime artstyle spread around in a 3D anime-esque world. Aside from being fun, the game is also accompanied by an amazing soundtrack, which alone is worth listening.

Ys: Memories of Celceta is a great addition to the PS Vita library. While short on touch screen features, it’s a very fun RPG to sit back and enjoy. It’s not too hard when trying to collect and complete the game 100% (thanks to the games new game plus features).

Ys: Memories of Celceta
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED
Release Date: November 26, 2013
MSRP:  $39.99 

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XSEED also released a limited edition of Ys: Memories of Celceta that includes a 3-CD collection of music spanning the history of the franchise, a cloth map detailing the lands of Celceta, a limited logo-emblazoned compass, and Adol’s Travel Journal containing adventuring strategies and artwork. It will retail for $59.99.

Grade: B+

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.