The YS series is one of those JRPG saga’s that I have always wanted to get into, I saw our very own reviews of YS 8 and this affirmed it in my mind as a game series I will eventually get around to, but for one reason or another I just always seem to end up not getting around to it and I don’t really know why.
Well now is finally the time that I have given a bit of time to this series, starting with the remaster of the Vita’s: Ys: Memories of Celceta.
What drew me to starting Adol’s saga with this title is that the game is set only a couple of years after Adol leaves his hometown, before he becomes a world famous adventurer in his own right. This seemed like a good jumping off point.
I was right to think this as Memories of Celceta has given me a very nice intro into Adol and the world surrounding him by largely being a game focused around Adol regaining his memories on a journey of self discovery, meaning that this is a really good point to have as a jumping off point for the saga. I won’t dive too much into the story past this point as I am such a stickler for JRPG stories being fresh and unspoiled that I outright refuse to spoil them for anyone either.
Ys: Memories of Celceta suffers a little bit in my eyes, simply by coming out so closely to the definitive edition of Xenoblade Chronicles. I found myself comparing the levels of gloss featured in YS with the excellent Xenoblade Chronicles and, through no fault of the game really, found myself left wanting on a graphical front. The game is very clearly a remaster of an early 2012 PSVITA title but a extra coat of paint on some of the characters and dungeons would not have gone amiss.
This isn’t to say that everything in Memories of Celceta is ugly however. The character models that appear in animated cutscenes or in the conversations are beautiful but they can often serve to make the rest of the game seem a little bit worse off with the breaks into this beautiful artwork.
Adol is basically a silent protagonist in this title, which I am not sure if this is the case in other YS games but I felt that a bit more voice acting wouldn’t have gone amiss in the games 20 hour runtime. YS does this weird thing that I have noticed a lot with JRPG’s in recent years (I am looking at you Legend of Heroes series) in that it has around 30% of the spoken lines actually voice acted. This would be fine if this didn’t apply to some sentences as well. Having 30% of a sentence voice acted just serves to be incredibly jarring.
The combat in Memories of Celceta is reminiscent of that found in the “Tales of” series but feels a little dumbed down in comparison. I was initially presented with tutorial after tutorial in the first hour explaining the combat to me (I counted at least 15 tutorial menus in the first hour of the game) but found that the classic “Mash Square until it dies” technique was sufficient enough to mostly carry me all the way through the game.
I have enjoyed my time with YS: Memories of Celceta and whilst a little more voice acting would have been nice, the story was more than enough to propel me forwards through the title. I am not a huge fan of the “Mash Square” gameplay featured in the game and I would have appreciated a little more paint to the world and some characters – this is my own fault for the comparisons mentioned above.
Overall, if you are a fan of the YS series there is a lot to love here. The game has got me to instantly boot up YS 8 and purchase the Origin games on my PS4 so it more than succeeds in certain aspects of story telling.
Overall, I would give YS: Memories of Celceta a
Gameplay didn’t sit too well with me but the story was excellent.