By: Uma Smith
With a new line of video game consoles coming about, it’s important to remember our roots. Developers have kept this in mind when releasing titles intended to bring a sense of nostalgia to classic gaming. And while the Ys series hasn’t really seen the light of day outside of Japan, XSEED has still proceeded with remaking one of the titles, Ys: Memories of Celceta, on the PlayStation Vita in hopes of creating new “memories” for gamers to cherish.
Engaging in combat never felt tighter and more reactive with the square button assigned to pulling off combo attacks, the X for dashing, triangle for blocking, and the circle for switching between characters. While the game may appear to be a button-masher at first glance, there’s more involved here, especially when you want to unleash the advanced skills for your characters.
Ys: Memories of Celceta makes use of the PlayStation Vita’s capabilities as well by allowing players to perform a pinch on the rear touchpad in order to get your support characters to step back while the main character does the work during combat. You can also analyze your enemies by simply touching them on screen.
Ys: Memories of Celceta looks absolutely impressive under the PlayStation Vita’s OLED screen. The colors are plentiful and graphical detail is set to a high degree. Sadly, the frame rate does tend to lag at certain points, specifically during panoramic scenes. Nevertheless, the special effects that display during battles are like fireworks. And the animated cut scenes themselves showcase the artistry and creativity behind the talented individuals involved with this game.
As for the audio aspects of Ys: Memories of Celceta, the soundtrack provides the high caliber of melodies and tunes that bring light and magic to the gameplay. Expect a mixture of the sounds of the violin and electric guitar to add comfort to your ear drums. Although English dubbing in a game like this may not sit well with Japanese anime fans, the voice acting turned out alright. That, coupled with some pretty effective sound effects, provide an dynamic overall auditory experience.
The story in Ys: Memories of Celceta is engaging enough to retain players’ attention spans. You have Adol Christin, who enters into the Casnan City after having ventured into the Great Forest. He doesn’t remember what happened as he wakes up in a bar where he meets his friend, Duren. All of a sudden, the city gets attacked by a bunch of underground creatures and monsters. At the request of the governor, the two characters venture back into the Great Forest.
Ys: Memories of Celceta is basically an action RPG with a fast-paced combat system that requires some planning and strategy. Thankfully, your AI characters are smart enough to do what they should without fumbling, thus making the whole strategy aspect desirable and easy to execute. During your journey, you’ll notice that enemies come in nice little groups to keep you well entertained. The boss battles themselves also put up quite a challenge that keeps the game interesting and exciting. However, considering that victory depends on determining the right attack patterns, observation and reaction are important during these encounters.
When you look closely at the mechanics behind the battles, you’ll realize there’s more to it than blindly executing attacks. Specifically, there’s a system where each enemy has a weakness associated to one of three elements, which is tied to three attack types: slash, strike and piercing. Therefore, you’ll want to use the right attack type on your enemy since you get extra rewards for doing so. Timing is key when considering that a good defensive approach involves finding the right moment to counterattack. Additionally, if you happen to dash away from an enemy attack, your characters’ following attack will have a nice boost to it.
Although the whole story can only take about 20 hours to complete, there’s a lot to do in Ys: Memories of Celceta that will keep you really busy. With all the item crafting, weapon/armor upgrades and a number of deep character attribute systems, you get an extraordinary level of customization that ends up feeling more personalized for your specific tastes. Furthermore, there’s a vast amount of side quests provided by each of the town’s board for you to embark in. In the end, the replay factor here can be pretty insane.
Simply put, Ys: Memories of Celceta is one of the must-have titles that will make you feel thankful for owning a PlayStation Vita. With the huge amount of content and outrageously remarkable presentation, this game will ensure that you’ll end up with plenty of fond “memories.”