First impressions of Ys Celceta

This is my first time making a blog post so please bear with me, this game has gotten me excited and I wanted to share information on a brand new game from my favorite developer, Falcom, in one of my favorite series, Ys.

This was my first time importing anything from Japan and I was super nervous. The Yen has grown stronger against the Dollar which has made importing extremely expensive and I'm not lucky enough to be one of those people who live near a Little Japan or Little China that have stores that import foreign games. But regardless this was a video game release I couldn't pass up on even if it eventually came out in America as it was Ys' 25th Birthday. Yes, the Ys series is 25 years old. Starting back all the way in 1987 it's been going strong, having its up and downs along the ways. Maybe I connect so well with Ys because I also turned 25 this year? Who knows! Back onto the topic.

The moment they announced they were selling a special edition of Ys Celceta no Jukai I immediately pre-ordered straight from Falcom. I didn't even look at the price tag, which was a whopping 7,900 Yen. Which totally to 9,760 yen with shipping at a later date. Price didn't matter for this game though so I went again with it.

Before I start talking about the game itself here are some pictures of the 25th Box and its content, as well as a bonus item that was packaged in all Falcom sold games, which was a surprise! I had totally forgotten that Falcom would throw goodies into items that were bought straight from them. Also sorry for the somewhat low image quality and the annoying Flash but room is quite dark even with lights on.

Falcom sent out a random folder to each person who purchased Ys Celceta. I received a Xanadu/Xanadu NEXT one. I've seen Sora no Kiseki Second Chapter (Trails in the Sky), and heard of someone receving a Boss Zanmai folder (which is the new Falcom Boss Super Arrange that they're releasing soon.)

From top to bottom, left to right: Ys 25th Anniversary Soundtrack (9 Super Arranges from Ys and 5 MSX tracks), Ys Celceta ~Prologue~ Drama CD, High quality map of just Europa and Afroca that doubles as a cloth cleaner, Ys Celceta Manual (Yes! A vita game with a physical manual! It's small but better than nothing), Ys Celceta Game case, Ys Heronies Calendar (Has the females from every Ys including Celceta for the months), Ys Celceta 25th Pack Box.

Here's a picture containing a comparison of the Ys Seven Limited Edition cloth map from the American release and the Ys Celceta cloth cleaner map. While the Ys Seven map is obviously quite larger the Ys Celceta map just feels of higher quality. Although I do quite enjoy seeing that giant Ys on the Seven map.

Now for the game itself. I will say out front that I don't speak a lick of Japanese at all. But that hasn't stopped me from playing numerous Japanese games, especially ones like the Ys series where the story doesn't hinder you massively by making you do odd things to continue on. So I can't say a thing about the story of Ys Celceta besides the fact that you're retrieving the memories of Adol and finding out why he became an adventurer and the savior of so many lands.

Falcom has added quite a bit of depth to the combat this time and has tried to make 'Flash Guarding' a little harder and more consequential as you get stuck in an animation longer if you miss doing the 'Flash Guard'. They've added a 'Flash Move' to the combat to make it a little more quick and less people just standing around, this slows down time instead of giving you critical hits, letting you obliterate people without them even being able to move. This makes me guess there are actually attacks you can't block but I have not come across any of those yet.

The SP Gauge, Special Moves and EXTRA moves make a return to Celceta but with a few changes. Every 2 seconds if you're not attacking you automatically gain a power attack which so far for the first two characters is a decent lunge attack that does great damage but it also gives you about 2 SP bars if you land the hit. This sort of cuts the SP drain away from Ys Seven where you would dump all your SP and it would take forever to get it back. This may change on higher difficulties as well. Special Moves also now have Skill Finishers attached to them when you defeat an enemy, this makes them explode into even more items for the item upgrading, so it's always a good idea to finish an enemy or better yet multiple at the same time with a Special Move. Aerial Combos were also added in which give more items on an enemies defeat. So you're really persuaded to try to pop enemies up and finish them off before they hit the ground.

You start off like you did in Ys Seven except there's a white haired man instead of Dogi although he's basically just Dogi as he uses fists and has sort of the same attitude as Dogi does from the way his voiced lines have sounded. But he's a great character and actually starts with way better skills than Dogi did in Seven which is awesome. And unlike Dogi in Seven who had the special ability to break boulders open, he has the ability to open locked chests. This is something new they sort of pushed for in this game is that everyone you encounter can do something useful. Adol at this point can only pick up his lost memories, Dulen I believe his name is opens locked chests, someone can break ropes, someone can activate machinery, another person can break things underwater and they're normally all used during your trips inside dungeons. So they've sort of found a way to make people use some characters they didn't like. I'll be the first to admit that I basically used Adol with Slashing weapon, Dogi, and Misha in Ys Seven. All I really needed honestly. Bit me in the ass during the final boss but hey it was fun.

Another big thing that they did for this game was sort of leave it open world in a sense. Right after you beat the first boss Dulen basically tells you we need to go here and then here. Puts 2 blue flags on your map and then boom you're given control. You just have to explore the Forest of Dawn and try not to die while getting there as they've added in some higher level creatures in certain sections to catch people off guard. To the right you'll see a screenshot of the map system used in Celceta. At first glance it looks awesome but it's actually one of my complaints so far of the game. It got a little bad at indicating paths correctly as I got further into the forest and had to stop because of either super high creatures or just roadblocks. I suppose I could sort of pass it off as a quick scribble from Adol and the ingame mini map, which can be tapped to bring up a full screen version, is the accurate map that we also got in Ys Seven. Also as you can see there are Red Flags on the map, these are side quests. They will show up on both maps, even if someone is in a building, so you know exactly where the quest giver or quest enemy is that you need to take. Veins, logs, and plants also show up on the minimap and you can scroll over them to see exactly what you got from them and to see if you even got all the items that they can drop. In a game with a very indepth reinforcing segment to it that needs lots of materials this is quite a welcome addition after having to deal with it in Ys Seven.

The reinforcing is interesting in this game. Gone is the crafting your own weapons/armor (I believe so anyway) and here is the reinforcing. You buy or find your armor/weapons from the merchants or chests and then you get ingots, which are either found/bought or smelted from ores from veins. Each ignot has a certain property on it out of 8. I believe some of the higher ones will have multiples at the same time. The easiest one to get only has 1 on what I believe is Attack. The 8 from what I can tell are. Attack, Life, EX Gain?, SP Gain?, Poison, Paralysis, Fire and Ice. Yes! You can give yourself status ailments on your weapons! Not only can you upgrade weapons but you can actually find already upgraded weapons from chests in dungeons/forest. I found a 1 Attack and 1 Ice Fist weapon which every now and then will Freeze an enemy leaving him wide open for combos.

Also as I mentioned earlier there is actually swimming in this game!. Not just walking underwater with a special item to breath but actual swimming. At the current moment I don't think I have the ability to dive yet but it's Ys so it'll give it to me when they want me to go to some Water dungeon probably.

Well, that should draw a close to this blog post about Ys Celceta. It is a wonderful game of what I've played so far and it makes me happy that Falcom has lasted this long and that the Ys series is going strong and finally regaining the momentum that it had back in the Turbografix days in the West. Sorry if I sounded like I was ranting or disjointed was doing this on the fly because of how super excited this game made me. Here's to hoping that we do get a Western release of Ys Celceta!