Publisher: Xseed Games
Release Date: 11/26/2013
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I have never been much into Ys but I have played past games. Memories of Celceta is the biggest Ys yet and the best traditional JRPG available on Vita right now. You play as Adol Christin, a red-haired boy who loses all his memories and must find them again. Of course, the story is much deeper than that. A god named Eldeel ends up creating a mask called Mask of the Sun and other people want it for its powers. The story gets pretty deep, yet the characters are completely uninteresting. They all have generic dialogue and their personalities all feel stereotypical for JRPGs. While the game isn’t anything new it does what has been done before really well.
The combat in Ys has always been real-time and this helps alleviate the boredom that has come in JRPGs over the decades from random battles. The combat is fast-paced and fun with skills you can use, guarding, dodging, and switching between 3 characters on the fly adds a bit of strategy and depth. Each character has a weakness it can deliver to enemies so you will always change up who you put in your party. Aside from fighting regular monsters, the bosses are a lot of fun and quite challenging, but not so hard you can’t beat them. Honestly, the game is perfectly balanced in which you will acquire the strongest weapons and armor by the end of the game so you’re always one step ahead of enemies.
The whole point of Celceta is exploration. Your main secondary goal is to discover the entire area and complete the map 100%. The sense of exploration is one of the greatest assets of Celceta and you have a hard time putting the game down just to explore one more dungeon. When you’re in towns you can buy items and exchange stuff you find in the wild. Minerals, beast, and plant materials can be exchanged for larger and higher quality items to reinforce armor and weapons. You can also craft items out of these materials as well. There are quite a few towns in this game and each one has 3 quests you can complete. Some are hard some aren’t, but they aren’t hard to figure out. In fact, I never really got lost that much in this game which is normally common in a JRPG. There was a sense of direction without having to hold your hand which is wonderful.
On another note, there are a few puzzles thrown in but nothing that really takes advantage of the Vita’s features which aren’t expected in a JRPG. I do wish the game had local or online c0-op for up to 3 people, but that’s all right. The graphics look detailed but are dated even for the Vita. It looks like a decent PS2 game at best and could have used some more detail. The textures can look really muddy and grainy which is unacceptable on the Vita. At the end of the day, you will just love Celceta for the engaging story and fun gameplay and combat. There are a good 20 hours just in the story alone and another dozen if you want to get 100%.
Overall, Memories of Celceta isn’t perfect but it has some great combat, bosses, and the sense of exploration that will keep you glued to your system. The graphics are dated, the voice acting is awful, and the characters are uninteresting but that’s expected from a JRPG. Could Celceta have broken this trend it may have been one of the best JRPGs in a long time? What’s here is solid and well worth a purchase for any JRPG fan.