Ys Memories of Celceta (Vita)

The Ys series is a long running series of B-tier action RPGs. They have almost always been good enough. They were known for not even having an attack button. You just rammed into enemies. In the early ones you topped-out your level around 70% completion. In the inverse of RPGs for everyone suddenly you couldn’t just grind to defeat the big bad. I always appreciated that.

Looking at the GameFAQs forums for Celceta, it’s easy to find posts about how long the game is and then how long the poster played to max out everything. On the one hand I’m sure people are 14 all the time. On the other I don’t think these posters are 14. Still the game was said to be about 20 hours.

Which is how long Ys Seven is. In the order of video games made, Ys Seven is before Celceta. Ys Seven had a too anime plot that you went through the game world once and then they looked at you and told you need to do it again. I wasn’t 14 at the time, but I did it. Maybe I should have been happy with those first ten hours.

Falcom never made an Ys IV contracting it out to two different studios and three different games called Ys IV. Each game in the series comes down to the red-haired Adol on a small adventure that turns into a world ending threat. Celceta is supposed to be both a first adventure origin story and amnesia story for reasons in my playing never became clear why it was structured like that except to make me mad.

Adol went into a big forest that no one has come back alive from. He stumbled out of that forest collapsed and now has amnesia. Time for him to get back on the horse that is that forest and find his memories. Then he is kind of set loose for two hours on this big forest after being introduced to a bunch of characters he never meets again. He doesn’t need to go back to the starting town unless for want of side-quests, there are often enough save and rest points that fully replenish supplies. Adol can blaze forward.

This is a JRPG. Adol finds a town built on a tree that is supposedly cut off from all civilization. They speak the same language as him. They simultaneously hold the idea of “You are our first vistor ever” and “We pride ourselves on how we treat our guests.” There’s a brother and sister. The sister is an excellent fighter. the brother rejecting the masculinity of his tribe is more interested in arts and history. Adol had been to this village before. Shortly after he left people started disappearing. You as the player are returning to the village and are captured and then through flashback are made to talk to each person of the village as an introduction. Eventually Adol ges permission to go to the dungeon to fight monsters and solve the problem.

After the dungeon Adol learns the brother has been brainwashed and is working for a mysterious bad. He learns that the brother is secretly great at everything including being a better fighter than anyone. The brother only abandoned fighting to not embarrass his sister. I started rubbing my tongue against my upper incisors.

Despite never experiencing trade or contact with anyone else Adol is pointed to a second village along a riverbank. Adol had also visited that village where he was greeted as “Their first visitor ever” and “We always treat guests well.” Upon his second arrival the story repeats itself. There is a problem, it happened shortly after Adol left the first village, you are given a flashback where he must talk to everyone in the town, he is conscripted to go to a dungeon and kill a boss. There are hangsup involving your new party member. Adol finished the dungeon and was told of a possible third town that is also completely cut off from all outside involvement.

I saved and turned the game off. I took the cartridge out and put it away. I could spend a paragraph on the combat; it is fine. I played on Medium because it felt like performing at it would be a hassle. I was about 5 hours in. If it seemed like I stopped for nagging petty side reasons, then I am just going to get further petty and start wondering why they kept pointing them out. If it was about building a world, it was only pointing me to how this isn’t a world. The city you start in is under Roman Rule. The Ys series has many vague connections to almost real world history.

It felt like window dressing to keep me engage and was having the opposite affect. I think about how I never tried Falcom’s “Trails in…” series which has supposedly the best NPCs ever. They change dialog after ever event in the game. I am glad I never tried. That sounds like a hassle if the dialog doesn’t land perfectly with you. Which I don’t think I have ever been engaged by the dialog or plot of an Ys. Didn’t 3 also have an amnesia plot? I don’t remember and that is not a joke.

Within two hours of starting Celceta I was loading up PSN to see how much a copy of Ys VIII was. I still am. Reviews make it sound like it has a stronger loop of exploring and survival base management. Next month here, Ys IX (or Y6) is coming out. Even if I stopped Celceta 5 hours in, I’m thinking about more games in the series. I should just replay Ys Book I and II for the Turbografx or PC Engine CD.

When Celecta wasn’t talking, it was a nice 25 minutes of fighting things before going to bed. When it was talking it wasn’t horribly anime, it was apathetic work in game for. Nine out of Ten


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