|System: PS Vita|
|Release: November 26, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 544p||Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes|
There are few negatives to Memories of Celceta. The story has a lot more political possibilities than actually play out, so what appears at first to be a deep plot filled with political struggle ends up being fairly black and white by the end. In addition, it might be nice if enemies had a five or ten minute respawn timer instead of coming back immediately when the player swaps screens or sees a cutscene. Otherwise, the game is strong in nearly all of its elements and was completely bug-free for my playthrough.
Perhaps the weakest overall element in the game's strong field is its graphics. Celceta is full of interesting towns and diverse forested environments, but a fixed camera angle prevents truly impressive views of these wonders. In addition, character models are a bit fuzzy, and the camera's angle doesn't show off the inventive enemy design as well as it could. These graphical tradeoffs seem to have been made in the name of stronger gameplay, however, and the overall graphical impression it leaves is still fairly attractive.
On the other hand, the music in this game is top-notch. It's a title that deserves to be played with headphones on, as the well-composed, energetic music tracks help drive combat forward and provide emotional warmth during quieter scenes. Headphones also allow for a better overall sound balance, making the sparse voice acting more audible and the sound effects fuller and less tinny.
The full Ys Celceta campaign lasts about twenty hours, just long enough to provide plenty of entertainment without overstaying its welcome. Doing side quests posted in the taverns (some of which are quite amusing) and fully exploring the map of Celceta adds extra gameplay value, as does the post-game Boss Rush and the New Game + mode. Note that if you want to fully explore the map on the first playthrough, you'll need to do so before taking on the final boss, because once the game is over, you can't go back to finish exploring.
If you own a Vita, you owe it to yourself to pick up Memories of Celceta. It's a genuinely fun-to-play, feel-good experience that joins Tearaway as one of this year's best Vita games. I suspect that few gamers can resist being addicted to the excellent combat, or fail to crack a smile at the party's banter during conversations. Ys: Memories of Celceta is a game that's all about having fun, celebrating the spirit of adventure, and enjoying the company of the people you meet along the way. How can anybody say no to an experience like that?
Date: December 3, 2013