"Shining Light on an Old Franchise"
Ys, this action RPG franchise has never caught fire into the western masses like other RPGs have (due mostly to its low number of releases here), but the series has always been around, and it’s always been enjoyable. Ys: Memories of Celceta, the latest installment of the series, continues the trend of fulfilling a niche market for us JRPG fans.
Ys:MoC is the game you want to play when you’re feeling like a good JRPG. It’s not something that breaks new ground, it’s not the most beautiful (head over to Ni No Kuni for beauty in a JRPG) but its incredibly perfect regardless.
The story puts us in the role of Adol, where he awakes with amnesia – no memory of his past. Well, it’s not the most exciting plot, yet it’s not completely obtuse or boring either (which is good considering the genre). The plotting moves along in a straightforward matter, and that’s fine with me because Ys:MoC is not that complicated of a game anyhow.
As far as the gameplay, old-school action RPG fans will find it is simple, yet engaging. Characters have three types of attacks: piercing, striking, and slashing, while enemies, in turn, have different vulnerabilities to these. You can charge up special attacks, and eventually fill meters for ultimate attacks. Best of all, the enemies aren’t dull, moronic monsters who can barely focus on what they’re doing. They will play into your attacks and defenses, creating a more exciting environment for a genre that can sometimes get repetitive. Ys:MoC mixes slick combat with an exciting defense system that is easy enough for RPG newbies to handle, and still fresh enough for those who have been playing these types of games since the 80s.
Ys does everything right for what it is. There’s plenty of treasure hunting, looting, crafting, exploring and classic JRPG-ness. The Vita touch screens are perfect for the RPG, as setting up equipment and navigating menus are so much easier on this platform. I recommend Ys for anyone who likes RPGs, and really, anyone who owns a Vita (unless you completely can’t stand anime or RPGs). XSEED really has made Ys:MoC, I feel, more assessable to the western audience than even the Final Fantasy franchise at this point. It’s just a matter of getting people to give it a shot and keeping up the same integrity on their (hopefully soon) next release.
GameDynamo's Score for Ys: Memories of Celceta (PS Vita)
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