A young red-haired man suffering from amnesia awakes in the town of Casnan. It’s not long until he meets a burley information dealer named Duren. It turns out that they have actually met before and Duren tells him his name – Adol Christin. After a few beers (usually the cause of my memory loss), Duren offers to assist Adol in exploring the forest of Celceta to find out the cause of his forgetfulness.
At first, Adol is charged with charting a map of Celceta and it doesn’t take long for him to discover dungeons and other towns. Entering these can be tense as you’re never quite sure how they will receive Adol. He may have forgotten the past but the inhabitants most certainly have not and you can guarantee they’ve encountered Adol before. The plot is predominantly told through the JRPG staple of blue dialogue boxes, of which there are far too many. They’re particularly frustrating when you power up your Vita to slay a few monsters on the bus and haven’t got time to read a novel. A few hundred pages of dialogue could have easily been cut without ruining the story, which is uninspired at best. The more interesting narrative was my own in uncovering the forest and discovering new areas and monsters to stab in the face. This is what kept my attention.
The Vita may not sport the power of home consoles but Memories of Celceta still falls short of the visual benchmarks set by the likes of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway. Shoddy textures, fixed camera angles, repetitive music and basic character models with limited animations all contribute to the sensation that you’re playing a classic from yesteryear. Quite appropriate when you consider it’s a reimagining of Super Nintendo title Ys IV. The visuals wouldn’t look quite so ropy were it not for the crisp anime slides that are interspersed throughout. These make you wish the gameplay was rendered in that same beautiful art style. Sadly, the retro theme continues with the soundtrack; containing a few overused tracks, standard sound effects and minimal voice dialogue.