With already a few games on the PlayStation Vita, the Ys series no doubt has made the portable console stand out with some great JRPG’s and arguably some of the best it has to offer, Ys: Memories of Celceta is one of those games.
A little over six years after it’s Vita release Ys: Memories of Celceta makes its debut on the PS4. Being one of the finer JRPG’s on the Vita it should realistically be as good on PS4 but sadly that isn’t quite the case here.
Ys: Memories of Celceta seems to have just been ported to the PlayStation 4 without any touches to its graphics making them more noticeable on the bigger screen. Ys: Memories of Celceta looks like an early PlayStation 2 project and while you can get away with it on the Vita looking good when you release it on a more modern console with the PlayStation 4 it looks anything but good. There is also some easily seen frame drops with choppy graphics at times. The only redeeming quality is the character portraits themselves and the menu screens, there is voice acting and it’s fine but it’s very minor as not all text is spoken so it isn’t worth mentioning too much.
The game follows the series Hero Adol Christin as he explores the dangerous forests of Celceta with his companions after he wakes up with amnesia forgetting almost all but who he was. As his power becomes known he is tasked with drawing a map of the uncharted forest with Duren in which nobody has ever come back alive from there. Much like the other Ys games, the gameplay has a familiar take with real-time action combat and skills useable by pressing button combinations. The game’s combat is easily the finer aspect of Ys as it is fluid as it is satisfying, enemies have strengths and weaknesses to different forms of attacks, for example, Adol’s sword if effective against certain types while being weaker against other types of enemies. The abundance of resources you obtain through playing is used for upgrading weapons and armour. Although I mentioned frame rate drops these usually applied to cutscenes and not battles themselves which is fortunate considering the battles are the redeeming aspect of the game and the Ys series as a whole.
Ys: Memories of Celceta simplistic nature is nurtured throughout. While it isn’t a simple action button masher the game does require skill later on as you progress onto the tougher fights, being pummeled early on is something you can get away with but later on, not so much. Battles are fluid and fun and a lot of depth to be found in them. Doing a well-timed dodge will result in a slow down which will allow a chance at a critical chance on your foe while blocking will result in critical hits performed post block. The skill gauge itself is self-explanatory and is represented by the blue dial and will deplete depending on the finisher or skill you decide to use, it fills fast so using them freely is always never a bad idea. My only gripe with the battle system is the party AI lets it down, I’ve found myself a few times with Duren mindlessly going around in circles while trying to take down a tougher than usual foe, I did find this usually to be the case when he is at low health but at other times he will go straight for hitting plants or picking up the loot instead of actually helping.
Ys: Memories of Celceta has the most cliche goings-on at almost all points in the game, down to the story and characters but is aberrant in all its exploration. The Giant forest in which you explore is rich in dungeons and settlements to discover, which is great despite it’s short completion time compared to other games in the series.
Despite its shortcomings, Ys: Memories of Celceta is one of my favourite JRPG’s on the Vita and while I appreciate the effort to bring it to the more modern PlayStation 4, personally I just prefer to play it on the go smaller handheld without any downgrades in graphical performance and being able to pick up and play without any restrictions. If the PlayStation 4 is your only option however then without question Ys: Memories of Celceta is worth your time.