Graphics:
6.0
Gameplay:
9.0
Sound:
8.0
Control:
8.7
Replay Value:
9.1
Overall Rating:
8.5
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
XSEED Games
Developer:
Falcom
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action/RPG
Release Date:
November 26, 2013


Unless you’re a long-time JRPG fan, you don’t recognize this strangely named series. But those in-the-know followers are aware that Ys dates back to 1987 and is developer Falcom’s claim to fame. Those fans also know that these games were often genre-defining titles with a fair amount of charm, style and innovation. The only problem is that up until 2005, only three Ys titles had found their way to the US. Now, with the help of XSEED Games, the franchise is allowed to spread its wings, and Falcom has finally delivered an official fourth entry.

As Memories of Celceta is more of an homage to the legacy of the IP, you probably shouldn’t be surprised at the dated visuals. PlayStation Vita owners have come to expect a certain level of clarity and detail; unfortunately, this game looks as if it was made for the PSP. There’s an old-fashioned graininess to the presentation and the simplified animations are dated as well. The overall design isn’t bad, merely limited in terms of eye-catching environments. That being said, you will appreciate the general world and character design, and there’s plenty of appealing color.

The sound is better thanks to a solid soundtrack that embraces the game’s fantastical adventurous nature. The voices aren’t too bad, either, especially considering that JRPGs have become notorious for including comically amateurish voiceover performances. The balancing between the crisp combat effects and the compelling score is excellent, and some of the intense boss battles take advantage of the Vita’s sound capabilities. Again, though, the general audio presentation may seem somewhat dated, depending on your expectations and experience. The fans will be satisfied and as they’re the only targeted audience, that’s what ultimately matters.

It’s true that Memories of Celceta is really only designed for the veteran faithful; hence, I shouldn’t have to explain the back story. But this is a review, after all, and besides, not all JRPG followers are familiar with the history of Ys . So— Falcom didn’t actually make a fourth entry way back when; they opted to hand out the story concepts to various developers. This resulted in numerous titles that claimed to be “Ys IV” but none were considered an official sequel. Now, Falcom has decided to give us a legit fourth entry, and they put it on the Vita. It’s an action/RPG with a ton of content and although it’s hardly revolutionary, it’s almost exactly what the fans want. In fact, it's what many have been pining for.