NIS America might have stumbled a bit with the PC launch of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, but previous publisher XSeed have stepped up to bat again for Nihon Falcom’s long-running series of consistently entertaining action RPGs. Ys: Memories of Celceta was originally released for the PlayStation Vita, but their new version allows you to play it at full HD resolutions, at framerates as high as your PC will allow and it’s due out in less than a month. Read a bit more about it and watch a generous slice of live-streamed developer footage within.
Ys: Memories of Celceta makes for a great introduction to the series, effectively being a side-story told between Ys 7 and 8. Red-haired wandering hero Adol Christin has gone and lost his memory, remembering nothing more than his own name and how to almost instantly reduce a monster into strips of ultra-fine-cut meat with his sword, so it’s time to make a whole bunch of new friends, discover what ancient evils plague the lands of Celceta, and stab them until they stop scaring the locals, all while learning about what got Adol into the adventurer business in the first place.
As with more recent games in the series, combat is party-based but still very action oriented. Your party members provide some support, but aren’t really much to worry about or babysit. Your main focus should always be on dodging attacks as your freely switchable main character (especially on the punishing higher difficulty settings) and doing all of the stabs. This is a very combat-oriented game, and the combat engine is simple but satisfying, with a lot of focus on perfectly timed evasion.
I’ve owned the PS Vita version since almost the day it came out, and can attest to the game’s quality. My main gripes with it almost all come back to the game being perhaps a bit too ambitious for the limited hardware of Sony’s old handheld system, most of which look to be fixed in this particular release. Looking at the live-streamed gameplay footage, my only concern now is that the textures look a little blurry, but without giving the game’s art a whole fresh pass (beyond XSeed’s purview) that seems unlikely to change.
Ys: Memories of Celceta will be out on PC on July 25th, and you can wishlist it here on Steam.