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Found 9 results

  1. Developer: Nihon Falcom Publisher: XSEED Games Platform: PS Vita Release Date: November 26, 2013 ESRB: T for Teen A download code was provided by the publisher for this review Founded way back in 1981, developer Falcom has a gaming influence so strong that they published one of the very first, if not arguably the very first, Japanese RPG ever with Dragon Slayer back in 1983. Of course, being the plebeian that I am, I barely found out about them only after diving into their most recent iterations and remakes of the long-running Ys series on PSP, which embodied some of the most pure action-RPGs I“ve experienced in recent memory. Continuing Falcom“s recent trend of Ys remakes, they decide to completely overhaul what is sort of the black sheep of the series, Ys IV, with the Vita release: Ys: Memories of Celceta. Bearing very little similarity to its two different and non-canonical incarnations of Ys IV, Ys: Memories of Celceta brings the core gameplay spirit of the PSP release, Ys Seven, but with a new story, setting, and characters. Ys: Memories of Celceta yet again brings the main character spotlight on Adol Christin, or the aptly nicknamed “Adol the Red". To the dismay of Adol, however, he has lost all of his memories at the game“s start after what is believed to be due to venturing too far into the forests of Celceta. In spite of that, by unconditionally helping to protect the local townsfolk, Adol proves that his combat skills aren“t nearly as rusty as his memory, and shortly thereafter is scouted by the Romun military to help out. After a short explanation, Adol is encouraged to chart and explore Celceta“s mysterious “sea of trees” for both his insatiable thrill for adventure and to help recall his lost memories, while his traveling partner, Durren, simply intends to line his pockets with gold in the process. What is particularly interesting about Memories of Celceta is that Adol feels like he has a more deliberate presence in this game through the use simple dialogue choices as well as some as some background flashbacks, rather than entirely being a mute protagonist like in most previous games. Granted, it would still be stretching it to say Adol is a defined character even in Memories of Celceta. Like a lot of Ys games, the overall storytelling will probably fade from the subconscious of most players beyond some light-hearted character exchanges and nods to other entries in the series for fans. The storytelling has some interesting ideas, but, as in Seven, the narrative scenes are more bloated than they should be, particularly early in, for both a narrative and cast that don't make a particularly lasting impression. That said, if you want in-depth storytelling from a Falcom title, you can easily turn to something like Trails in the Sky, or its wealth of currently unlocalized sequels, but when you want fun and fast-paced action-RPG gameplay- that's where Ys delivers. Celceta maintains the three-person party structure system of Ys Seven, but with minor refinements to the controls and additional skills. Combat is easy to learn, with one button relegated to normal attacks and many others for special attack shortcuts and defensive maneuvers. In addition, each character has strengths against different enemy types: like Adol with his slash attacks for grounded enemies, Durren against sturdier enemies with his blunt attacks, and Karna with her piercing attacks for aerial foes. Despite its simplicity, the tight controls, playable characters, varied enemy types, and constant progression of new skills make the general combat pretty engaging. Bosses in particular are quite a treat, due to their variety in attack patterns ,which encourage mastery of the game's mechanics, and they become quite the force to be reckoned with on higher difficulties. My favorite combat mechanics in Celceta have to be the 'Flash Guard' and 'Flash Dodge' skills. Flash guard is a perfectly timed block which completely negates enemy damage while also turning all player attacks into critical hits for a short-time, and while it is not new, it is way more functional control-wise than it was in Ys Seven. Flash Dodge is new to Ys, however, where a perfectly timed dodge makes enemies move slower and the characters temporarily invulnerable to attacks, reminiscent of Bayonetta's 'Witch Time.' You can probably get by without intentionally mastering either on the Normal or Easy difficulties but they become an absolute necessity on higher difficulties, especially against bosses, and when successfully utilized they are super satisfying to pull off. As much as I enjoy the core gameplay of Celceta, I don't feel completely the same about the structure. Since Adol needs to chart a map of Celceta, the game tries to present an open-ended structure by making it more akin to earlier Ys games, like 1/2. This doesn't completely work in Celceta, unfortunately, because progress is made in a linear fashion, like gaining new skills or obtaining party members to open-up parts of the world. This in turn, leads to some pacing issues, early in especially, because it's very easy to wander around aimlessly into one road block after another. After you get past that awkward initial hump, primarily after you gain a couple new party members, the title definitely has a more natural progression. Later on, it certainly does become tempting to check every nook and cranny for that extra treasure chest, or find Adol's optional memory cutscenes, or report to the Romun general for a lucrative reward, and the game only rewards you even more as it progresses. Still, because the meatiest game of the series, it's hard to not overlook the parts where it sort of drags it feet in terms of pacing. On a technical level, Memories of Celceta is pretty underwhelming. While it isn't offensively bad (like Valhalla Knight 3), I'd say it's less pleasing to look at than even Ys Seven. I'm sure sheer polycount will easily point towards Celceta being technically superior, with less deformed character models than Seven, but the environments and overall aesthetic are generally rather drab and usually just not interesting to look at regardless on the OLED screen. Thankfully the visuals don't really hinder the gameplay aside from when using certain equipment that allows for extremely fast traversal that causes the framerate to chug down. I'd say the same goes for the soundtrack, in comparison to the very high-caliber score of the more recent Ys remakes or Seven, which is less consistent and varied, despite its attempted musical throwbacks to IV. It's a solid score with some definite standouts, but maybe I've been too spoiled by other recent Falcom titles. Ys: Memories of Celceta is definitely a fun game as it marries tight, fast-paced Action-RPG combat, engaging design choices, and is very approachable for newcomers as well as fans. Vita owners would certainly be doing themselves quite a disservice by not at least checking it out, especially as it is unquestionably the strongest Action-RPG on the system. As a whole, however, it doesn't really move the series forward in too many meaningful ways, making it feel like a rather safe sequel without quite the heart of other recent titles. It does not represent the series at its best, but it serves it pretty well all the same. Pros: + Fun, fast-paced combat with very tight controls + Great boss fights + Flash guard and dodge mechanics are super satisfying to pull off + Biggest game in the series +Solid soundtrack Cons: - Forgettable storytelling - Lackluster presentation - Rather slow start and has some pacing issues Overall Score: 8.0 (out of 10) Great Without a doubt the best and most fun Action-RPG on Vita, but as a sequel it does little to try to overachieve its fellow brethren.
  2. One of XSEED's most anticipated titles for 2014 is Ys: Memories of Celceta, but for the longest time we had no release date to go by. Thankfully, that ends today as the publisher revealed that it will be released later this month. For fans who love limited editions, XSEED is releasing a special YS: Memories of Celceta Silver Anniversary Edition, which contains a 3-CD collection of original and arranged music that spans the series' history, a cloth map of Celceta, a compass emblazoned with the logo, and 'Adol's Travel Journel,' which contains 130 pages of artwork and strategies. Memories of Celceta serves as an extensive reimagining of Ys IV, and revolves around series protagonist Adol Cristin, who wakes up at the outskirts of the Great Forest of Celceta with no memory of how he got there. The game is said to have the largest overworld map in the series' history, and it uses the same party battle system from Ys SEVEN with a number of upgraded features. YS: Memories of Celceta will be released via retail and PSN on November 26 for the PS Vita for $39.99. The Silver Anniversary Edition will retail for $59.99. Are you excited for Ys: Memories of Celceta?
  3. Jason Clement

    Ys Celceta LE

    From the album: Editor's Gallery

  4. Jason Clement

    XSEED Announces Their 2013 Lineup

    We had known of a few of the games XSEED planned to release in 2013 prior to today (most notably the recently released Corpse Party: Book of Shadows and the recently announced Pandora's Tower for Wii), but today the company revealed its hand as far as what they're publishing throughout the year. “This will be an amazing year for us,” said Ken Berry, Executive Vice President of XSEED Games. “Our portfolio continues to expand and it“s evident by this stellar lineup of titles, so we“re excited to share more details and hear what our fans are most looking forward to playing in the coming year.” The lineup includes Killer is Dead (the details of which you can read about here) and the following games- Rune Factory 4 (3DS, Summer 2013) Being the first Rune Factory game to release on the 3DS, Rune Factory 4 adds new romance options, the ability to select a male or female character at the beginning, and many crafting, cooking, and farming opportunities. The player is a prince or princess that can manage a village and do other series staples such as explore the countryside and tame wild monsters. Valhalla Knights 3 (PS Vita, Fall 2013) This will actually be the fourth title in the Valhalla Knights series published by XSEED despite the fact that it's the third numbered game. The game will feature a robust character creation system, seven-on-seven party-based combat, seven different races, and 20 different job classes to choose from with 2 sub-jobs as well. YS: Memories of Celceta (PS Vita, Fall 2013) Memories of Celceta is not only described as an extensive remake of YS IV, but it's also considered a pseudo-sequel as well. Features include more enemies on the screen, the largest non-linear world in the YS universe yet, and an evolution of the fast-paced gameplay that the series has set the standard in. The story sees long-time protagonist Adol Christin in a distant land, unable to remember how or why he got there as he sets out to piece things together while struggling to figure out who he can trust. YS I & II Chronicles+ (Windows PC, Steam, February 2013) PSP owners already got to experience YS 1 & 2, but this enhanced remake of the first two games will be coming to Windows PC (Steam) for the first time. Are you looking forward to any of XSEED's newly announced games?
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