Another journey into the Ys universe, courtesy of NIS America.
In Ys: Memories Of Celceta on PS Vita, you’ll start your journey as protagonist Adol Christin, a young man who has the misfortune to be suffering from amnesia and wakes in the land of Casnan. With no recollection of how he arrived at this destination, feeling alone and vulnerable, he confides in a kind hearted adventurer called Duren, who offers him information and guidance in his new found situation.
With little time to find his bearings, the townfolk inform Adol some mysterious events have been occurring inside the local mine. Some locals have been trapped inside with little chance of escape. With no concern for his own safety, he visits the mine, whereupon he finds himself involved in a brief monster battle and is drawn towards a strange light, which gives a reflection of his past life. Eager to explore his new findings, he rescues the people inside the mine and continues his journey. You’ll befriend Governor General Griselda, who wishes you to map The Great Forest in order to record the Romun Empire. Together Adol and Duren decide to map the forest, and in return will receive a hefty reward in gold.
This RPG adventure wastes no time and pushes you into some long winded tutorials explaining the various skills and weapons available to you. The Ys: Memories Of Celceta environment is an expansive world to explore, where you’ll spend a vast majority of your time grinding in charming and lavish surroundings, swinging your sword and slashing your way through a selection of strange looking enemies.
During your adventure, the story slowly unfolds and you’ll begin to piece together your forgotten time and memories begin to fill in the space that has felt so empty in your mind. As you battle monsters in the green undergrowth of the Great Forest, you come across a number of monuments erected in the ground which allow you to warp across the map and give you the ability to use fast travel. The multiple areas to explore are extensive and you can find yourself returning to the same area frequently. I did find myself getting slightly lost at some points – the map offers a general oversight and layout of the environment, but it’s very easy to stray and lose your way. Exploring the world, you’ll discover treasure chests, lots of supplies and gather various memories.
On your journey you’ll discover a small village called Comodo, which has been built around a massive tree deep within the forest. Here, you’re introduced to Karna, a young female hunter from the village, who informs you that their village has been under attack and tells you that you’ve both met before. With no memory of your past life, you remain adamant that you haven’t. However Karna persists with the knowledge you’ve been acquainted before. After gathering supplies from the various shops in Comodo and exchanging conversation with the local villagers, Karna takes you aside to give you some more insight in the misfortunes of her village. Comodo was under attack by a group of masked warriors and a number of villagers have gone missing. It’s down to you to investigate their disappearance. Karna decides she can’t stand around and do nothing, joining your party.
Now you’ll be in control of Adol, Karna and Duren during the next leg of your journey. Each character has various skills and abilities, and you have the opportunity to switch between each party member via the touch screen interface of the Vita or manually through the buttons. For instance, Karna can use her homing knives for distance attacks or poison dagger. Bright eyed, red haired Adol can utilize his rising edge or sonic slide for a perfectly performed attack. Duren is more of a hands on fighter using his shell cracker skill or jaw breaker action to deal damage on the combat field. He’s also the only party member who can pick locks, which is valuable for all those locked chests. Experimenting with each party member is key to advancing the story. Each skill is set to a selection of buttons on the Vita. You’ll learn various new skills along the way and engaging in fights will trigger stronger attacks, which will then go on to unlock new abilities.
Exploring the various lands of Ys: Memories Of Celceta is exciting and very enticing, constantly pulling you into its mysterious world. You’ll discover new pieces of equipment to use and by gathering raw materials you can improve your gear. There’s always something interesting to discover in this game and new ways to enhance your gameplay experience.
Visually, Ys: Memories Of Celceta felt a little bit disappointing and a bit outdated. It kind of reminded me of the days of the original PSP, and I had hoped the graphics would have been a little more detailed and enhanced.
Ys: Memories of Celceta is very much an old-school RPG which plays fluidly throughout. Hunting and slashing monsters to pieces has never been so much fun. However, I did find the storyline a little broken up and arduous at times, and some areas of the game were very exhausting. Having said that though, if you’re an RPG fan or a fan of the franchise who doesn’t mind the heavy grinding and have a great deal of time to invest, then Ys: Memories Of Celceta offers everything you want from a polished RPG.