Review: Ys: Memories of Celceta (PS Vita)

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Prime, Feb 27, 2014.

  • by Prime, Feb 27, 2014 at 11:34 AM
  • Prime

    Prime Desires Bionic Arm

    Ys: MoC is the latest in the long running, very successful Ys series from the highly talented developer, Falcom. Although there have been numerous Ys titles, this particular entry to the series is a retake of the events from Ys IV, just like how The Oath in Felghana was a retake canonically of Ys III.

    You play the ever stalwart Adol Christin, an 18 year old who is filled with the spirit of adventure and kindness. He desires to see everything the planet has to offer by journeying to different places and extending his help to whoever he finds that needs it. This time around though, Adol stumbles through a the city of Casnan in the pouring rain, exhausted and definitely looking the worse for wear. He looks like he's bitten off a little more than he could chew this time.

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    It turns out he's lost all recollection of who he is, how he got there and after meeting up with a mysterious man named Duren, who claims to be a friend of his, starts off on a grand adventure to map out the region of Celceta for the city's governor, Griselda, while hopefully recovering his memories of who he is and what happened to him. Okay, now that the story's setup is done we can talk about the actual game!

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    Like most Japanese RPGs there's a layer of tedium involved. Some JRPGs have a thin layer, some lay it on thick and make it nearly impossible to play. Ys: MoC is kinda in the middle. There are tons of hugely unnecessary cutscenes that take you out of the gameplay, albeit for a few seconds, but they all add up. Simple things you don't need to know, like you pull a lever, it cuts to a cutscene of a door opening where you can't do anything. You're standing right next to the door. It didn't have to be that way, it could have just cut back to the game and let you run around for the few seconds it takes to get the door open. You may be thinking "but Prime, that's nothing. It's just the system they have in place for mechanisms in the game environment." - This is true, but the game is totally FILLED with these mechanisms of extremely obvious things happening. It takes time, and all of them added up take a LOT of time.

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    Next up, some of the dialogue between characters (even though it is well written) doesn't need to exist and only adds to the tedium - I found myself nearer the middle of the game just tapping the screen, skipping whole volumes of text to get back to the actual gameplay. It's funny because the game itself is so good to play and well made that much of the dialogue I had skipped didn't matter, I still knew where I had to go to continue the story. In terms of JRPGs the game is pretty standard story, except a part of it is finding out what actually happened, so a lot of the revelation is based on finding areas in the game you can recover memories from. But again, in terms of writing it's your typical "bad guy wants to destroy the world so it falls to you and your friends to stop him and his lackeys." Fairly formulaic - so skipping a lot of the text to get back to the game? I didn't miss much to be honest, no offense to the writers of course.

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    Really those are the only two flaws I can really point at Ys: Memories of Celceta. The game itself is a joy to play - the world is rich and diverse, yeah some of the characters are a bit annoying, but for the most part are all likeable, especially Karna's brother, Remnos.

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    In terms of gameplay, there are some contextual actions in the environment that each character in your party is able to use for simple puzzles to navigate the environment. Duren for example can lockpick heavy chests and Karna can use her throwing knives to cut down obstacles, but in terms of combat it's all action based - No Active Time Battle and menus for magics - You run around, hacking and slashing! The R button in the game acts as your shortcut button for mapping special moves to the face buttons. So while square acts as your attack, R+square for example can be one of your more powerful abilities. Cross acts as a quick dash for evasion, triangle acts as your guard button and circle allows you to flick to any of your other party members. There's a small orb in the lower right hand corner as well that, when filled, allows your currently selected character to perform their own personal ultimate attack with the L button. aside from that you can navigate quickly and efficiently by using the touch screen, which also doubles (as we previously discussed) by allowing you to skip through the hefty amounts of text.

    The visuals are really nice. Not the best I've seen on the system, but the best looking Ys game I've seen so far in terms of technology and art style - the good thing about the games is that they're very approachable if you haven't played any of the previous games. I just barely made it through the first game on steam before playing this one and I didn't feel overwhelmed by any of the characters or plot points - it can stand alone as it's own story, really. The music is also not as good as some of the previous games'. The audio quality is of course a lot better, but the music seems fairly generic. Ys: Oath in Felghana had quite a lot of personality and... I dunno... "OOMF" to the soundtrack. Memories of Celceta just seems a bit bland. Functional, but bland.

    So... what? Is this a good or bad game? Is it worth picking up? Well, the guys at NIS were kind enough to send me a review copy of the game - so I can't say for sure if it's worth your money. But I feel it's worthy of your time.

    Do you like JRPGs? This is a great JRPG.
    Do you like hack n slash games like Devil May Cry or God of War? This is a great hack n slash.
    Do you like anime and all that entails, including stereotypical characters, tropes, long winded dialogue?
    I don't ask this as a negative. If you like that sort of stuff this will be right up your alley. But even if it isn't, like myself, I found the game's actual gameplay satisfying enough that I went through and completed it from start to finish!

    Don't avoid this game because of its few negatives, play the game and love it for it's awesome 15-20 hour gameplay experience!

    PROs:
    Great visuals, best in the series.
    Awesome action gameplay that you won't be able to put down.
    Lengthy game even after skipping through text boxes.
    Speedy, well designed interface.
    Save anywhere to pick up and play!

    CONs:
    Unnecessary cut scenes showing obvious things.
    Long-winded dialogue
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Discussion in 'Articles' started by Prime, Feb 27, 2014.

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