The Y's franchise never really got the traction in North America that it should have, which is really a shame for RPG fans like myself (who couldn't find a copy of the original games for decades). As a result, the fourth game in the franchise never was officially released in North America until now – and it's been updated to match modern sensibilities.
Like the other games, the game centers around Adol Christin; however, this time Adol has been left an amnesiac. After adventuring into the Great Forest, he has lost all of his memories and has no idea what he got up to in the area. Eager to figure out what happened to him, he takes on a job to map the forest from a local magistrate. As you progress through the game, you can find shards of Adol's memories to not only unlock greater portions of the story but more of Adol's skills which have been reverted to very basic levels. When nearby an undiscovered fragment, the screen and sound will change to alert you to investigate with the rewards for the time spent being well worth the additional effort.
The game's battle system is live in the world – meaning you see an enemy, you can attack it without having to "screen swipe" into a battle arena first. Your party is Adol with two other teammates – with the CPU controlling the other two characters for you.
As each enemy has a rock/paper/scissors type weakness to certain attacks, you'll find yourself jumping between characters frequently to make the best of your combat. The combat itself can get quite frantic – especially in the boss fights with a ton to watch for and trying to both dodge and parry a flurry of attacks coming in all directions. Checking your enemies before you attack them is a definite must in some areas since you do not want to go pick a fight before you're ready. The boss fights are an excellent balance between difficult and rewarding – they will put you through the ringer in some places, forcing you to use a little more tactics and imagination that you'd typically expect to find in an action-RPG title.
Y's Memories of Celceta looks dated, from another era. I would dare call in something that I'd expect on my PlayStation 2 or 1 not on my modern hand-held device. The depth of game though gets you quickly looking past this flaw. Just like re-discovering a classic RPG on an older console, you tend to find yourself engrossed in the story and action and quickly forget how it looks. The sound is quite the opposite though – the soundtrack is very good and you'll find yourself head-bobbing along to the beat as you play.
All in all, I'd say that Y's: Memories of Celceta enters the "Must Have" area for RPG fans. It shows it's age in some places and isn't the prettiest game ever, but the depth of game to be explored here is well worth the price of admission.
- Good action RPG's aren't exactly a dime-a-dozen
- Kick-ass soundtrack
- Graphics are a little dated
- Team AI – let's just say, sometimes you can only count on yourself
Score: 9.0 / 10