We analyze the PS4 version of this title that follows the adventures of Adol Christin to discover the mysteries that surround the Celceta forest.
The Ys saga is one of the longest-running series in the Japanese RPG scene, currently dating back to the beginning of 1987 with the appearance of the first title in the series. Over the years, the series has extended the story through various games in which its protagonist, the young adventurer Adol Christin, lived through different adventures that took him to different remote places in the game world while meeting new allies and adventure companions.
To date the saga has a total of nine main installments, the last one having been released last year in Japan which fortunately we will be able to reach the West next year, in addition to several spin off titles. In the West, a large part of its deliveries have been released, although in European lands the series began to have a presence with the version of The Ark of Napishtim on PlayStation 2 and later the adaptations to delivery notebooks such as The Oath in Felgana or Ys Seven, in addition of the appearance a few years ago of the eighth installment of the series, Lacrimosa of Dana. This time we get the remastering for PlayStation 4 of Memories of Celceta, the game originally released on PlayStation Vita.
The story of the game begins with the arrival in the village of Casnan of an exhausted Adol Christin, who soon ends up passed out in the middle of the square. After regaining consciousness, thanks to the owner of the inn, he meets Duren, an informant and adventurer who discovers that the red-haired adventurer has lost his memory, forgetting all the details regarding his identity. Despite this, the young man’s adventurous momentum leads him to help rescue miners trapped in the nearby mine, which ultimately leads to the appreciation of the villagers and also of Griselda, the village governor-general, who will subsequently propose, in view of his abilities, to explore and make a map of the great Celceta Forest. Thus begins the new adventure of Adol Christin in his search for his memories.
The gameplay of the game will take Adol to tour the different areas of the Celceta Forest, investigating each of the areas that it consists of, to discover the map of the region while facing various types of monsters and bosses that will appear throughout along the way through real-time action battles, while finding diverse materials that will help you progress your journey. The objectives of the story will be marked with blue signs on the map, where they are in small towns where Adol must find clues from his past to resolve the conflicts that will arise in each of them and that directly affect him.
Control of the character is carried out using the digital crosshead or the left stick of the controller while the corresponding actions are carried out through the buttons on the controller. With square the character will make attacks while with X he will make evasion movements, including a dash or rolling on the ground alternately, while the triangle button will serve for defense and with a circle the control will alternate between each of the active characters in the group. In this aspect denote that from the beginning only Adol will be controlled but throughout the game new characters will be added to the group such as the informant Duren, Karna daughter of the head of the village of Comodo or Ozma the young head of the village of Selray. Each of these characters will have a specific attack style among three different types, these being cut (Slash), hit (Strike) and piercer (Pierce), each having greater effectiveness depending on the type of enemy in which they are use in combat. In turn, each of the characters will have a unique ability that will allow them to advance in specific areas where access is blocked by elements on the stage or help them to get loot. Thus Adol will be able to find hidden shiny spheres in certain areas that will contain his memories (in certain cases they will be marked on the map), Duren will have the ability to open closed chests, Ozma will be able to use a piercing attack capable of destroying broken walls and Karna will be able to launch their blades against elements suspended in the air to release them and be able to fill in the gaps in the path.
With the enemies defeated, you will gain experience, progressively level up and strengthen the characters, while gaining new skills that, when equipped from the game pause menu, will allow, by pressing the R1 button along with the buttons on the controller, Execute special attacks of considerable power, each requiring a certain amount of SP in order to activate them, which is denoted by the meter at the bottom right of the screen. The continued use of each of these will allow them to improve their level, up to a maximum of three, and benefits. You can also use the Extra ability, which unleashes a powerful attack, by filling the SP meter that will be loaded with the attacks carried out, pressing the L1 and R1 buttons together to activate it when it is at maximum.
Regarding the equipment, each character will be able to equip a specific weapon at the same time as an armor and a maximum of two accessories, which can be purchased through stores in each of the cities or villages on the map, being able to obtain some of greater power or choose for reinforcing them to increase their parameters and performance in combat using gems mainly. These can be obtained through the materials obtained by defeating enemies or elements that can then be refined to turn them into higher quality materials. Its use in the reinforcement of the weapon will allow to increase one or more of the statistics among eight parameters including attack, critical level, life absorbing power and SP or imbue effects of altered states such as poison, paralyze, freeze and burn, in addition to providing the level of the weapon when performing the process. In Selray, once advanced in the game, you will be able to access a similar store that will allow you to carry out the same process using other types of materials obtained from wild beasts and plants. In combat the effects will be combined when making attacks, especially if the maximum levels are reached (9 for each parameter), leaving enemies at the mercy of attacks. As for accessories, they can be manufactured through a specific store in Comodo where, in exchange for certain materials and a quantity of gold, they can be manufactured and obtain advantages such as protection against altered states, greater attack power or defense, etc. Materials obtained from animals or plants, such as bones or flowers, may also be exchanged for others of greater value that can later be sold to obtain more gold or, failing that, be used to make better quality accessories or use them to reinforce weapons.
Throughout the game you will find various objects known as artifacts that can be equipped from the in-game objects menu, providing some effects that will help advance the adventure and that will also be useful in certain areas of the map, such as This is the case of the Water Dragon Scales which will allow the group to dive and reach submerged areas, some of which may include sunken chests or other underwater passageways flooded by water, or dwarf boots, which will reduce the size of the group to be able to pass through small passageways but with the disadvantage that the damage produced when attacking is less and the damage received is greater.
The game’s dungeons will include areas of different styles, usually caves or abandoned temples, where you will have to face different types of enemies while exploring their bifurcations and nooks and crannies for treasures, which will require the use of the artifacts, until reaching the final zone, where it will usually be necessary to face a boss of great dimensions and power. In certain cases, either to advance to the last room or to gain access to these locations, it will be necessary to solve a puzzle that either includes recomposing a drawing through fragments that will be scattered in different chests or through a lights-type system off in which to press the illuminated holes until the necessary pattern is turned on.
In combat, certain benefits can be obtained by using special actions such as Flash Guard and Flash Dash that are executed using defense or dodging while enemies attack the character. In the first case the nullification of the damage received will be provided while the SP and Extra bars will be gradually filled in addition to making the attacks critical for a limited time while in the second the group members receive invincibility and the enemies are left slowed for a limited time. Attack bonuses can also be obtained that will allow you to obtain certain rewards, such as SP, gold and life, when defeating enemies in different ways, either using an air combo or using skills, in addition to being able to earn rare materials by defeating enemies with the type of attack they are weak against, triggering an Excellent Kill.
The members of the group will act freely during the journey, being able to have a maximum of three active members while the rest will remain in the rear, being able to exchange them from the pause menu of the game through the Party option. It will be possible to change the behavior of the members using the right stick in such a way that when pressing it up the allies will have an offensive behavior while when pressing it down they will encourage the defensive facet. Depending on the members of the group that have been active, it will be possible to activate two types of special abilities in combat, although for this it is necessary to have the entire active combat group. Having a group of characters with different types of attack will increase the ratio of rare items that enemies will drop while having two characters with the same type of attack will increase the damage produced in combat.
In each city, you will not only have access to the usual stores where you can buy items such as potions and other healing items, but also access to a panel of orders for different characters from each of these areas that will require certain specific actions. To perform them, it will be enough to go to the panel and read the available missions, having to go later to the character who has made the request, which will show a visible Quest mark, and talk to him, pressing the square button, to start the order. These will include very basic tasks ranging from delivering a series of materials to defeating a number of monsters, searching for certain hidden objects to taking over a store and controlling prices and discounts, offering considerable variety and to some extent fun in some cases. . Upon completing them, it will be enough to speak to the character to receive the reward, usually gold and even materials, and finish the commission.
At certain points it will be possible to find camping sites where the group will be able to rest and recover, both from altered states and to revive the fallen characters in combat. At the same time, it will serve for Adol to recover one of his memories, in addition to marking on the map the possible orbs of light that are in the vicinity. On the other hand, you can find monuments of the Silver Wings (Silver Wing) at certain points of the mapping, which will also serve as a recovery point and in certain cases of teleportation between areas, although only in the case of those with the same color .
In the pause menu there will be access to different options among which are the use of objects, which can be accessed in the middle of the game by pressing the R2 button to use potions and other healing elements if it is necessary to heal the characters, alternate members of the group in the Party option, configure skills in the Skill option, see Adol’s memories in the Memories menu, game configuration options and also be able to see Adol’s diary through the Journal menu. This last option has a record of different aspects of the game, including a summary of the events of the plot, a bestiary to see the monsters that have been fought, a list of the objects obtained during the game, a summary of quests, both completed and pending, and finally a summary of the statistics throughout the game.
In the playable section, it can be said that the game is addictive as the characters get stronger, as well as their weaponry, they allow them to face the different monsters on the field and continue the adventure more easily through action combats in which the effectiveness will depend, in turn, on the type of attack necessary to strike down the enemies. As for the bosses, they offer a considerable challenge by having to discover their weaknesses and exploit them while avoiding their attacks, which in the long run will be more aggressive at the point of having lost half of their life bar, offering another challenge. How worthy to face them. On the other hand, the exploration of the dungeons is not boring when having to explore the recesses of each of them with the use of artifacts that will give access to areas that would otherwise be impossible to reach, finding in the process new equipment, materials, rare items and even new artifacts.
Graphically, the game shows an acceptable graphic section in which the graphic improvement with respect to the PS Vita version is noted, offering greater clarity for both the scenarios and better modeling of the characters, although in certain cases there is some other texture of Low quality that tarnish the set, although not very prominent. For the rest, it should be said that the game presents areas with impressive designs while the characters are visually interesting, both for their designs in 3D modeling and in the style of the illustrations of the game.
As for the sound section, the Falcom Sound Team JDK once again boasts a compendium of songs of remarkable invoice that include a wide variety of styles and melodic variants, including remastered songs from Ys I and Ys IV as well as new songs for the occasion, being among them a slow and melodic version of the main theme of Adol Christin. In general, there are several themes that stand out within the entire soundtrack. On the subject of voices, the game offers in this new version the option to play with dubbing in English or Japanese, although it should be noted that it is mostly applied to voices in combat since the lines of dialogue during the game are not very prominent.
Ys: Memories of Celceta in this new version includes few news about the original game originally released on PlayStation Vita. However, Adol Christin’s adventure across the Celceta forest region in search of his memories turns out to be a remarkable experience both for the constant fighting against enemies and for following the story and discovering the fate of the red-haired protagonist of the saga. To this we must add an improved graphic section in high definition and an excellent soundtrack, giving rise to a title to keep in mind for those looking for an alternative within the genre of Japanese RPG.
- The plot is interesting to discover the mysteries of the Celceta Forest as well as the memories of Adol Christin.
- The cast of characters, with a wide variety of styles and personalities.
- Addictive gameplay thanks to its combat system and progress throughout the game.
- Remarkable musical section with musical pieces from the soundtrack that are notable throughout the game.
- Texts only in English.
- The functionality of the right stick to zoom in and out of the camera is expendable and impractical for this version.
- Some low quality graphic details.
It meets the expectations of what is a good game, it has quality and does not have serious flaws, although it lacks elements that could have taken it to higher levels.