Ys: Memories of Celceta is one of the titles in a long-running action role-playing franchise from Nihon Falcom. The player takes control of Adolin Christin who is a young adventurer. He has lost his memory and with the help of his friend Duren they will hopefully retrieve his memories.
Along the way, Adolin is roped into mapping an unexplored and dangerous area known as The Great Forest. As he maps the forest with Duren he meets and befriends many unique civilisations, fights many different types of beasts and even comes into contact with a god.
From my research it looks like Ys: Memories of Celceta along with all the other games other its banner follows this same lead protagonist as he travels across this world.
Adolin is an adventurer and has a thrill for the unknown. We learn this as we travel and find all his memories. Dotted around the vast Great Forest are Adolin’s memories which give him a glimpse into his past and it’s a fascinating and surprisingly addictive aspect of gameplay.
Tools of the trade while you travel in Ys: Memories of Celceta
In Ys: Memories of Celceta players are given a team of three to fight with. I was impressed because when you’re thrown into a fight there is no loading transition. There is also no cap on the number of enemies that you can face. This is because the Great Forest itself is a huge open-world filled with monsters so you can fight multiple enemies in the one area and this can be overwhelming when you’re unprepared.
The combat system is action-oriented featuring real-time combat. The player utilises a single button (square) to attack and another to defend ( triangle). The third button (x) is how players can evade incoming attacks from enemies. Then if you’re interested in playing as another character mid-combat you can press circle.
Holding the R1 button and combining it with the previously discussed buttons allows you to use your skills. There are many skills for each of the playable characters (there are 6 characters) and they give you new ways to deal damage to your opponents. Then there is the EXTRA attack which is basically the Limit Break for each character. They deal heavy damage and can turn the tide of battle.
Remembering all the good times
For those not in the know, Ys: Memories of Celceta is a PlayStation 4 remaster of the PS Vita version and I have to say the polish’s on the game are impressive. The aesthetic of the whole game is compelling with the anime design of the characters and the beautiful world itself coming to life with the PlayStation 4 power backing it.
It’s addictive finding every piece of memory for Adol especially as the world explodes in size as you’ve seen what he has already discovered. It’s also enjoyable uncovering all the various corners of the world. There are two reasons to do this, 1. You get the satisfaction of unlocking all the secrets and 2. You get a lot of money from the person that tasked you with this quest, It’s a lot of money and you need it to help keep your team alive.
I say this because each new area within the Great Forest is surprisingly tough. The enemies are strong, can easily overwhelm with their numbers and the bosses of the dungeons are on a whole other level. Especially if you play the game on Hard mode which I recommend. It was a challenge but it was a fun challenge. So you will need the best gear for each of your party members and the best gear does not come cheap.
Thankfully there is a glut of side-quests that give you extra items, experience and money so you can be prepared if you put the time in.
Watch your step on your travels
If I had issues with Ys: Memories of Celceta it would sadly have to do with the story. There is nothing particularly new within this story. You begin with a simple enough task mapping this unknown region but that slowly evolves into a battle with a god but it never feels like the stakes are raised all that much.
I’ll also say that the side-quests for this game became tedious as I entered the final stage of the story, they weren’t hard just boring and this makes this game somewhat of a dull trudge for completionists.
This is a serious issue for me as I adore JRPG’s and what makes this genre so great is their stories and unfortunately, this story was quite run of the mill.
At journey’s end
Ys: Memories of Celceta is a lot of fun. The combat system is robust, the world is fun to explore and the cost of this title (€29.99) plus its impressive length of 25 plus hours makes it a must for anyone looking to scratch that JRPG itch.