Publisher: XSEED Games
Reviewed by: Michael Cohen
So, apparently Ys (pronounced “Eeze”) is a long running RPG series, along the same lines as the Tales series (Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Xilia). A true Action JRPG. Going into this review, I had no idea that this series existed…but now I know better. Ys: Memories of Celceta is the game the Vita was missing! It’s the perfect mix of hack and slash adventure, along with RPG mechanics and story.
You play as Adol, a young adventurer who has lost his memories exploring the mysterious forest of Celceta. Along with your friend, Duren, the mercenary information dealer, you are charged with setting out to explore the forest, uncovering areas of the map while you recover your lost memories. Along the way you’ll meet new allies and discover new abilities that allow you to explore even more of the forest.
An interesting mix of action mechanics, coupled with RPG elements, such as leveling up, gaining new skills (powerful attacks and abilities), and managing your inventory of items and equipment, make Ys a pretty solid JRPG experience. Where it gets really interesting is in your ability to refine and reinforce your equipment with a simple crafting system. Killing monsters in the forest will net you some pretty useful materials that you then take into towns, where you can have those items refined into metals, upgraded into sturdier or more potent versions of themselves, and then used to reinforce your equipment, making your swords poisonous, and your armor resistant to ice, among other things.
Although the dialogue can be a bit tiresome or ludicrous at times, that comes with the territory. If you’re an anime fan, you won’t feel out of place in this world, but if not, expect a little cheesiness. The story is pretty standard RPG stuff, but Ys more than makes up for this with its solid gameplay.
This game is perfectly at home on the Vita, where you can jump in and play through a quick dungeon while you’re riding the train in to work, and then pick it up later on to continue exploring. If you’re looking for a game for the PS Vita with plenty of gameplay hours, then I highly recommend Ys.