Chain of Memories.

Title: Ys: Memories of Celceta
Platform: PC, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 (reviewed)
Developer: Nihon Falcom, Marvelous Inc.
Publisher: Nihon Falcom, XSEED Games, Nippon Ichi Software, Marvelous Inc.
Release date: Out now.
Tl;dr: Remaster of the PlayStation Vita version giving players the chance to see Adol’s adventures to restore his lost memories in full HD at 60fps!
Price: £25/$40
Family Focus?: Click here for more information

In the 1990s, Nihon Falcom outsourced the development of Ys IV: Mask of the Sun and Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys; and before 2012, Mask of the Sun was considered the main canon of the two. However, as mentioned in 2012, Nihon Falcom released Ys: Memories of Celceta for the PlayStation Vita and it soon became the official 4th entry in the Ys saga. Now, here in 2020, we have received a PlayStation 4 port of the game with an upscaled resolution, 60fps and the choice of an English or Japanese voiceover.

The story of Ys: Memories of Celceta follows series protagonist, Adol Christin, who stumbles into Casnan with complete amnesia due to unknown reasons. He later meets Duren, an information dealer, who apparently knows Adol but their reunion is cut short when an incident occurs at the mine. Adol being Adol – even without his memories can’t help but rush in to help much to the dismay of Duren. However, the two save the miners from the creatures and emerge from the mine to be greeted with cheers from the people of Casnan as well as Governor-General Griselda, who invites them back to her office to offer them the job of mapping the Great Forest of Celceta. Adol agrees in hopes that his journey will help restore his memories – as that was the last place he apparently headed according to Duren and the townsfolk. Thus, Adol embarks on another adventure and it is a great one!

Graphically, Ys: Memories of Celceta is definitely great for the platform it originated from, but the story and gameplay are so good that you don’t need incredible graphics. The graphics are enough to make the story beats land with the correct emotion and the attacks and special abilities in combat still look super cool! Each locale in the world also bursts with life, from the treetop town Comodo, to the riverside town of Selray, they have their own unique characteristics from the houses and buildings to the townsfolk.

Speaking of gameplay, Ys: Memories of Celceta is an action RPG where you have up to three people in your active party at once with each character having one of the three attack types, slash, pierce and strike with enemies weaknesses being attributed to these types instead of your typical elemental weaknesses. It’s kinda like Final Fantasy X with Tidus, who was the character for taking down evasive enemies, Wakka, who could take out aerial monsters and Auron, who took down the more tanky enemies. It’s very much in the same vein, Adol is a slash type character who deals with the more squishy enemies, Duren is a strike type so his gauntlets crack the hardest shells and Karna is the pierce type who slays the flying and fish enemies. Thankfully, bosses don’t have attribute weaknesses so you can just go all out with any of the characters!

Celceta isn’t just about fighting through enemy after enemy but you must clear different dungeons whilst solving puzzles which may end up using a characters unique skill or one of many artefacts that help you out in various ways. Let’s talk about character skills first, for example, Duren has a lockpicking ability, which he can only use on chests not actually on locked doors because what would be the fun in that, after the key to that door is usually locked in a chest, it wouldn’t be any fun if you didn’t have to explore, right? Whilst other characters like Ozma can break through cracked walls with his spear, Karna can knock down rocks suspended by vines to create paths and so on.

Now, artefacts can be used to progress certain locations, usually, they are used in the dungeon you found them in, much like the Legend of Zelda series. For example, in the water dungeon, you acquire a dragon scale that allows you to breathe underwater so you will be diving under and through lots of underwater passageways or in the bug dungeon, you acquire a bracelet that turns you into bug-sized versions of yourself to allow to go through ant tunnels to make it into rooms that would be otherwise inaccessible. As you go through the game, you have to use each of the characters abilities and the various artefacts to solve the many puzzles in the later dungeons and it never felt at all tedious.

Sound in Ys: Memories of Celceta is amazing! The battle themes are awesome and I found myself tapping my foot along to the boss themes a lot during my playthrough. As I also mentioned earlier, you get the choice of an English or Japanese voiceover, which in my opinion isn’t really a big deal as a vast majority of the dialogue isn’t fully-voiced. Usually, the introduction of a character is voiced and then you only hear them say “hey” or “maybe” as you read the various dialogue boxes – which is understandable for the Vita version but if they wanted a true remastered port they could’ve had more, if not all dialogue voiced.

Overall, Ys: Memories of Celceta is an incredible game and if you’ve never played it, you should definitely pick it up, but if you’ve already played it then there isn’t anything new to bring you back, not even a separate trophy list. So unless you want to revisit it for nostalgia’s sake or maybe you sold your Vita version and want to get back to it then it’s your choice.

The Good

  • A solid 60fps throughout.
  • A great and enthralling storyline that had me hooked from start to finish!
  • An amazing soundtrack and great gameplay!

The Bad

  • Dialogue isn’t completely voiced in this PS4 version.

Family Focus

Ys: Memories of Celceta is rated PEGI 12 and T for Teen by the ESRB. Contains mild violence as well as some suggestive comments but other than that I think Little Jimmy can handle this.

This review is based on a retail code of the game supplied by PR for the purpose of review.