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Ys: Memories Of Celceta Review

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John Robertson

Should RPG fans get excited for this latest PS Vita game? Find out in our Ys: Memories Of Celceta review.

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Published on Feb 17, 2014

Initially, Ys: Memories of Celceta feels like an incredibly generic JRPG with little to nothing to get excited about.

Red-haired hero Adol has amnesia, the opening section is overlong and convoluted, his hometown has nothing to get excited about over and above the usual item shop/weapon shop/inn and the dialogue is at times ludicrously bad.

Play Memories of Celceta for only a couple of hours and you'll wonder why it's been released at all.. In fact, those first hours play so much into genre stereotypes that you might even think it's all been designed as some sort of bad parody.

Stick with it for longer and its charms begin to shine through, though.

Do so and you're rewarded with an entertaining combat system, an interesting environment to explore and an approach to crafting/equipment that asks you to think enough so as not to feel brain dead, but not so much that you feel bogged down in endless statistics.

The World Of Ys: Memories Of Celceta

Exploration itself is the primary focus for much of the game, a huge bulk of the story simply tasking you with mapping and surveying an enormous forest filled with monsters.

As Adol is suffering from amnesia, he doesn't need much convincing to go questing simply for the sake of questing - any stimulation that might trigger his memories to return seen as a welcome opportunity.

Duren, a former associate that Adol has no recollection of, accompanies you on your journey; his brute force, tank-like approach to combat complimenting the speedier, nimbler style of Adol.

You're largely free to explore the forest on any path you want in your bid to find treasures, explore dungeons and visit settlements. However, there are some gated sections that require you to complete other tasks before progressing.

Usually this takes the form of having to find and engage with a specific settlement first, completing a small quest within it and earning the trust of new characters that then accompanies you on your journey.

These new characters have special skills that grant you access to previously locked areas and, in turn, completes a piece of the narrative jigsaw, thus driving it forward.

There's a very deliberate and repetitive pacing to these moments that undeniably makes certain parts of the game achingly predictable, but that doesn't really detract from the core focus of exploration and combat.

Really, the story is only here to facilitate such elements.

Combat In Ys: Memories Of Celceta

Combat is entirely real-time and frightening paced once you're past the sluggish early sections, forcing you stay focused and on your guard at all times.

Characters each have their own skills and weapon classes, changing how effective they are against different enemy types.

You're free to switch between characters as frequently as you like, but the AI does a decent job of managing your teammates if you decide to stick with Adol, for example, all the way through.

However, unless you're playing on 'easy', you'll have more success beating tougher bosses by highlighting their weakness and then selecting the character best suited to exploiting it.

These boss battles represent Ys: Memories of Celceta's best moments, as you test your skills against what can be punishingly tricky monsters of ridiculous size.

It's during these encounters that you'll want to make sure you've made best use of the equipment refining/crafting options available in most settlements.

Ys: Memories of Celceta a game that lives and dies on its mechanics, a reality likely to split its potential audience in half. If you play JRPGs for the combat then you'll like this, if you play them for the story then you won't.

Really, it's as simple as that.

Ys: Memories Of Celceta Review

Ys: Memories of Celceta concentrates all of its efforts on a select few elements and it does those very well, at the expense of everything else.

It's a brave direction to take for a genre that is struggling to remain relevant and is seemingly becoming more niche every day.

However, if you're part of that niche audience, Ys: Memories of Celceta is going to come as a very welcome addition to your library.

 

Score Breakdown
Graphics
7.5 / 10
Sound
7.0 / 10
Gameplay
8.0 / 10
Longevity
8.0 / 10
Multiplayer
N/A / 10
Overall
7.5 / 10
Final Verdict
One of the better action-RPGs available on Vita and well-worth spending time with if you're a fan of the genre. Let down by a poor story and underwhelming opening portions.
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Game Details
Format:
PS Vita
Release Date:
21/2/2014
Price:
£29.99
Publisher:
NIS America
Developer:
Falcom
Genre:
RPG
No. of players:
1
Verdict
7.5 /10
A game with an laser focus on a select few elements, Memories of Celceta is likely to appeal to only a small audience - but that audience is going to have little to complain about.
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