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February 18, 2014

[First Play] Ys: Memories of Celceta

A bustling town deep in the frontier at the foot of an endless sea of trees... It is into this wild and untamed setting that a young man collapses, memories gone and only his name to guide him.

Bereft of his past, Adol Cristin wanders the town of Casnan searching for clues to his identity. Joined by an information dealer who claims to have known him, the young adventurer helps rescue doomed miners from a collapse; an act which attracts the attention of the Romun Army general in town. Impressed with their skills, the pair is enlisted to explore the Great Forest and map the vast expanses of Celceta – a task which many have attempted in the past, but from which none have ever returned alive.

Alone in this strange and uncharted frontier, Adol must brave the perilous sea of trees as he struggles to regain his memories and decide whom he can trust, and who is simply attempting to take advantage of his memory loss in order to deceive him...

Initial Review:
It's not often you get a solid action-RPG game on a high graphical display such as the PS Vita. Unlike the 3DS, RPG games on the Vita platform are far too few. Among those titles, are a few they actually stand out to the rest. Ys: Memories of Celceta is one of the must-get titles for Vita owners.
At first glance, Ys: Memories of Celceta seems to be another Jap-RPG game which most likely involve button spamming and endless dialogue. But no, Ys delivers a solid RPG game for the hardcore fans. Ys is no dungeon-crawler and neither is it open world. Think more of it as one huge 'overworld' map where you are free to explore on your own and complete the story as you progress in your mission to explore and complete your map. It's no easy task.

Like many RPGs, there is a lot of freedom in customizing your weapon from refining it with ores, or enchanting them to make them stronger. Not only that, you can exchange any materials you find from mob drops or plants for 'higher quality' materials. These materials can then be used to craft accessories and items.
Lastly, the combat is quite interesting and not all that boring. You don't just rush into a fight spamming attack and expect to get away unscathe. Each monster has it's own unique set of strengths and weaknesses with different attack patterns. If you don't be cautious and run in, you'll just get pounded. Different type weapons have different attack types: slash, strike or pierce. Some monsters are immune or vulnerable to different attack types, so make sure you've got the right gear when you head into battle.

Overall, Ys: Memories of Celceta has left me with a deep impression of solid gameplay and engaging storyline. This game will definitely keep you occupied until Final Fantasy X comes out next month. Oh, and there is a Boss Rush Mode which allows you to battle against implacable foes to keep the challenge going well after the main story has been completed.