Ys: Memories of Celceta PS4 Review
Nihon Falcom is pretty well known for creating solid games across multiple platforms and genres. But what people may not realize is that Ys was one of the first RPG action games ever created. Adol Christin first hit the scene in 1987.
The franchise has long delivered a collection of action RPGs that focus on fast pace, brutal combat, and incredible aesthetics.
There’s also a story in there, too. So how does Ys: Memories of Celceta represent the Ys franchise? Let’s find out.
This is a remastering of the original 2012 Vita release, featuring improved screen resolution, seamless frame rate, and some classic Ys combat.
Memories of Celceta provides a bit of a reimagining of those other classics: Ys 4: Mask of the Sun and Ys 4: Dawn of Ys. It plays well as a standalone, doesn’t take any backstory education, and allows new players to launch right in.
Nihon Falcom has kept two game franchises in heavy rotation since their inception: The Legend of Heroes and Ys. Ys was always the adrenaline junkie of the pair—fast-paced, violent, and all about the action. The Legend of Heroes was a storyteller—full of world-building and origin stories.
In this latest offering from the gaming giant, developers are clearly working hard to blend a little of Heroes’ storytelling technique into the mix. For those used to Ys sparse narrative, be prepared for a little surprise. Or in the case of this Ys: Memories of Celceta PS4 Review, culture shock.
If the Ys franchise is getting a little too confusing for you, fear not—in this latest series launch, even the protagonist has forgotten the storyline. Adol—our fiery headed hero, starts out with amnesia. He has no idea who he is, where he is, or what his mission is meant to be. He arrives in Casnan, which has been taken over by the Romun government, and promptly collapses in the street.
Cue Duren, stage left.
Adol and Duren pair up and start off on their own adventure. Together, they make a visit to the mysterious Griselda, who has been given the dangerous task of finding gold. She asks Adol to map the forests of Celceta—promising him huge rewards for his troubles. With Duren in tow, Adol begins working his way through the forests of Celceta, encountering dangerous beasts, tempting gold, and killer hazards.
On his journey, he gradually regains his memory.
Whilst this may seem like a lot more narrative than we’re used to from the Ys franchise, it’s nothing over the top. There is no elegantly choreographed video scene. But for the Ys purists amongst us, Nihon Falcom delivers an enticing balance between straightforward gameplay and intriguing plot.
The initial stages in Casnan can seem a little slow and tedious—it takes a while to launch into the signature Ys action—but the lore and humor mostly take the sting out of it.
The game really opens up when Adol and his new companion get out of the city.
Because there’s so much to explore, each area contains a multi-use monument: checkpoint, warp point, and HP restoration point. This makes it incredibly easy and straightforward to move around the area, and warp back to Casnan to trade, shop, or complete side quests.
Settlements are dotted around the Celceta forest, too. As you discover these—and uncover another 10% of the map—you receive rewards.
Anyone familiar with Ys’s previous PS4 entries, like Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, will understand the combat setup. Players control a team of characters for each battle—each with their own specific strengths and skills. Likewise, your enemies are vulnerable to certain attack types, meaning it pays to vary your skillset across the team.
Mercifully, combat is straightforward: kill enemies, earn EXP, level up. As you fight, you earn SP points to trigger skill attacks. Once triggered, you wait until your SP points regenerate. An Extra progress bar also shows how close you are to being able to trigger a devastating attack on an enemy. All of this is similar across most combat games, making it easy for even new MoC players to level the battlefield.
Defeating new enemies earns players materials and gold, but in order to recover HP, your team needs to establish campsites. This has the added bonus of speeding up Adol’s memory recovery.
Special mention in this Ys: Memories of Celceta PS4 Review goes to the underwater combat: although it can feel clunky—what with being literally underwater—it’s a fun and novel way to battle.
If you’re looking for expanded content, it’s time to get passed that. As a remastering of the Vita offering, Ys: Memories of Celceta is almost a straight port. With some solid game time and an understanding of the technical play, a decent player could clock the game in under 40 hours.
In this Ys: Memories of Celceta PS4 review, this isn’t necessarily a negative point. Nihon Falcom’s Ys games focus on quality of play, not quantity. For sheer volume of options, Memories of Celceta may not make the grade—but for addictive content and quality graphics, it’s a definite contender for the top spot.
Gameplay is smooth at 60 fps, the soundtrack is delightful, and the graphics are sleek, vibrant, and rich.
Pros ; Cons
- Available in English and Japanese language settings
- 60 fps graphics
- 1080p resolution
- Challenging, sleek combat
- Addictive overall gameplay
- Impressive soundtrack
- Adol’s new memories translate smoothly into gameplay features
- Weak initial introduction
- Awkward voice-acting
The Last Word
If there’s one thing you take away from this Ys: Memories of Celceta PS4 review, let it be this: be patient!
The initial sequence and storytelling may seem slow and frustrating, but the battle sequences later are worth the wait. New players may be easily lulled into a false sense of security with some simple hack combat, but they’ll soon be humbled in the face of a brutally punishing boss character.
Even without any new content, Memories of Celceta is a thoroughly delightful asset to the Ys series.