Ys: Memories of Celceta Review
Ys: Memories of Celceta Box Art
System: PS Vita
Dev: Falcom
Pub: XSEED
Release: November 26, 2013
Players: 1
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.

Ys: Memories of Celceta Screenshot

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.

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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?

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: December 3, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
Nice diversity of environments, but quality has been sacrificed in the name of gameplay.
5.0
Control
Perfectly reactive and smooth, combat is a blast.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack is superb--minimal voice acting.
4.4
Play Value
Plenty of gameplay to enjoy plus post-game activities like Boss Rush.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Experience the Land of Celceta in English for the Very First Time: Its first ever release in North America, Ys: Memories of Celceta will take players on a new adventure in never before seen locales within the Ys universe.
  • Explore the Biggest Overworld in Ys Series History: Eclipsing all previous entries in the Ys series in both size and content, the overworld map metes out battle and exploration in equal measure. A robust mapping system with customizable waypoints and clear, detailed icons aid the journey through this mysterious new land.
  • Adventure Forth with a Party of Allies: The party battle system from Ys Seven makes its triumphant return, but with a host of upgrades such as enhanced flash-guarding, fully configurable party AI and unique abilities for party members to streamline encounters for fast and furious battle.
  • Throw Down the Gauntlet in Boss Rush Mode: Boss Rush makes a comeback, pitting Adol solo against implacable foes or allowing for full-on party combat, to keep the challenge going well after the main story has been completed.

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