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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, '18, 11:24 am 
R-90-2 wrote:Well, after playing the game absolutely mercilessly since it came out for PC, I finished Ys: Memories of Celceta.

I have opinions. They may take a while to write out completely, though.

I'm eager to read your writings ! It's always interesting to read a VERY long opinion about a game I've played and finished some months ago ! :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 1, '18, 8:38 pm 
myau56 wrote:
R-90-2 wrote:Well, after playing the game absolutely mercilessly since it came out for PC, I finished Ys: Memories of Celceta.

I have opinions. They may take a while to write out completely, though.

I'm eager to read your writings ! It's always interesting to read a VERY long opinion about a game I've played and finished some months ago ! :)

Since this isn't a playjournal, here's what I wrote up:

R-90-2 has opinions about Ys? WELL I NEVER

So, I just finished this game (hooray PC release!) about five days after getting my hands on it, and I figured that I should write something, seeing as I may have acquired a little bit of a reputation regarding the franchise.

But the thing is, after dealing with a bunch of other geek entertainment stuff in the past few years, the first thing that the unkind part of my mind blurted out after finishing was "Hey, remember when good guys actually used to be able to stop things from being destroyed?"

So, this game is the fourth attempt at making Ys IV, and the first one actually developed by Falcom, as the previous attempts were developed by Hudson (Dawn of Ys) Tonkinhouse (Mask of the Sun) and Taito (Mask of the Sun: A New Theory) owing to the fact that back in 1993 Falcom may have been even smaller than it is now, and it was some 20 years later that they managed to wrangle a version of their own into the market.

And so I got my hands on it and played it mercilessly. Which is actually a bit of a change when it comes to the Ys games from Seven and onwards, because I had the chance to try Seven and Eight, and Seven seemed a bit full of itself with its "This place is far different than anywhere else you've ever been"... When Adol had already been to Northern Afroca in a previous Ys game, and Eight did the opposite of grab me considering its lack of surrounding NPCs to give a situation heft and the inclusion of the most painfully tsundere character the series has ever seen- I even read a synopsis of that game and concluded that anything Ys 8 was trying to do was already done better by Treasure of the Rudras.

But this is Ys IV! I'm always up for Ys IV.

Boy is it Ys IV. In the good ways.

Because Memories of Celceta is a great big mashup of all kinds of things from Mask of the Sun and Dawn of Ys, from character designs and backstories to locations to plot elements and the overall cast and whoever, plus some new folks just because. Duren in Memories is a mashup of the information broker from Mask with the backstory and treasure-seeking of his character in Dawn, for example.

The actual setup, though, is that Adol has wandered back into town after a month-long adventure bender and can't remember anything, even his own name, but events jolt into him that he is 1.) a swordsman, and 2.) likes to get involved with anything and everything. And the adventure proceeds from there.

So the first part of the game is Adol being let back on the trail with Duren, who claims to be an old friend which makes him immediately suspicious, as this is on top of how shady he was in previous versions of the game. He has also been asked by the Romun Governor, Griselda, to map the great forest because that place be danger.

Now, the Romuns in previous versions of Ys IV were a pretty generic evil RPG empire, but in this version of Ys IV, Celceta seems to be the frontier dumping ground for pretty much all of the misfits that aren't really a fit for the whole "militaristic exploitative empire" gig, such as Griselda and Leo, the latter of which was basically a Romun Zapp Brannigan in Dawn of Ys and is now just bumbling comic relief, intent on mapping the forest himself and being behind Adol every step of the way.

In a 1993 interview about Ys IV, the developers said that the real guide word for the game was the whole "Sea of Trees", but the forest itself didn't actually have that much of a presence as an important feature in either previous version of the game, and was really mainly an early-game area in both versions of the game. This is turned right around in this version of the game, as the great forest is played from start to finish as the "here be dragons" hotspot of the continent. It's a place where the army of the most powerful nation in the world does not go. The people outside generally can't get through, and the people inside are just generally cut off unless you're the real deal, like Duren or Karna or whoever. And this works for me, because Great Forest of Celceta is probably my favorite overworld music ever. This also means that this is probably the most exploration-based Ys game I've played, and there are many more environment-focused abilities that the party picks up.

And speaking of that, Ys IV has one of the strongest soundtracks in the franchise and they used all the old pieces well, except for "Dawn of Ys" which they used for Table Mountain when it really should have been used in the intro, as it always had been, and Theme of Adol 1993, which has always been a final dungeon track.

So the first part of the game is about discovering where Adol went and what he may or may not have done, and gathering Adol's band of allies like a red-headed adventure Katamari. Nad one of the things that got me stoked about playing this game was playable Karna, and I have no complaints about her gameplay.

Other things, however, are a problem. You see, I think they may have made Karna a bit too cute.

This may seems like a strange thing to complain about, but hear me out. In previous versions of Ys IV, Karna was a local leader, either of the Komodo Village warriors (Mask) or of the Wind Village militia (Dawn), and while generally friendly, was generally a tough, perceptive warrior who had her own thing going on. In Mask of the Sun, she actually beats Adol to the inner part of the Silver District in the final dungeon, and in Dawn of Ys, she actually carried out her own investigation and kept on passing along what she found out to Adol throughout the game. In this version she's no longer really a leader, and is a somewhat more generic cute barbarian girl who knows not much about the world outside the forest. And this may not have registered as much if it weren't for the "additions" to her story regarding her brother Lemnos. Lemnos was a relatively minor NPC in previous versions, but in this version they decided that it should be a thing that actually Lemnos is better than Karna at everything without even trying while Karna busts her hump out in the woods every day.

So, Karna is really the only returning character whose stature in the setting is actually diminished by the remake. While I know we can't all be Emerald Dragon, this is not okay, because I expected nothing and got less. I like Karna, I don't like what was done to her story. Hell, even Leeza gets a larger presence in the story than she did in previous games, and that was done by expanding on her role in Mask of the Sun, where she's the one who called Adol to Celceta in the first place.

And it's inexplicable, because all of the other returning characters were handled really well and had some really neat dimensions added to their character, Duren successfully made the jump from background NPC to basically co-protagonist, Leo is actually a character now, Eldeel's split personalities of "Vorlon" and "Shadow" managed to tie in his Mask of the Sun shenanigans with a story where he's actually allowed to be friendly to Adol and company for the very first time out of all the versions of Ys IV out there. and the villains... Well, they haven't changed too much, but that's fine, because I like the villains of Ys IV, and officially tying Gruda in with the Darkness Clan is more or less what I both wanted and expected, as it put him in the same set as Adol's other most dangerous adversaries, Dalles and Ernst.

And the new characters are no slouch either- Griselda occupies a unique role in that she's just a regular authority who's trying to keep order in the wake of the utter chaos that is kicked up by Adol going on an adventure (he takes enthusiastic walks), Frieda is basically a playable Kishgal which is already great, and she's a reminder that Ernst may be even more of a jerk than we had originally suspected, which takes some doing. But what this really ends up with is probably the most likable party I've ever had in a JRPG.

and they brought the roos back

But the surprising thing to me is that this game has what are probably (overall) the least onerous sidequests of any RPG I've played where there is a sidequest system. A lot of times, for the "gather 10 X" sidequests, you'll have acquired everything you need just through normally killing your way through the game, others can be resolved in like, five minutes anyway, and others are just hilarious ("Help me work out the kinks in my Flame Sword!" "Kinks?" "It sets you on fire."). So I ended up doing all the sidequests and have the achievement to prove it.

The game does the usual Ys thing of backloading about 25% of the game's bosses into the final dungeon, which is Iris Tower from Mask of the Sun, but I'm used to this by now.

Now, it's the tradition of every version of Ys IV to have a different final boss, and I was glad to see Gruda get his turn as top dog because he is the prime mover of events in every single version of the story, and the fact that he was originally conceptualized as something of an anti-Adol, something which is brought a bit more to the fore at the end of the game where Gruda summons up all his pluck and will to accomplish something no human should rightfully be able to do, which is basically the hallmark of Adol's adventuring style.

The main complaint I have about the ending, though, is that there's just not enough ending after you finish the fight, which is a pretty sharp departure from pretty much every other Ys game, including this game's distant predecessors, along with Ys I & II, Ark of Napishtim, Ys Origin, etc. etc. etc. The game has too many developed characters to be wrapped up so quickly.

But this game, at the end of it, is probably the best "starter" Ys next to Ys I & II, because the whole thing is that even Adol doesn't know anything about Adol at the start of the game, and then progresses through learning about Adol's past and present. It also has something approaching a modern action combat system and just generally has the expected doodads without being overwhelming. And even though it's a long Ys game, that means my playthrough was still only like, 20 hours.

And it felt like a short 20 hours too, because I played that game mercilessly since it popped up on Steam, which is something I don't really do with fantasy games much- there is an exception now and again, but I think that's what's missing between the games I finish and the games that I don't is the sense of just plain adventure. Legend of Zelda probably still has it, Okami definitely has it, and Ys, especially this one, has still got it too. I'm not expected to learn the complicated relationships between factions, I'm not expected to learn new jargon, all that's expected of me is to just go out there, and do the thing.

So that's what it is, really. Just a big, friendly, colorful adventure. Yes, it's still a game that has powerful and nefarious adversaries with monstrous designs concerning the fate of humanity, but it's also a game that has a little girl NPC whose purpose is to tickle your party to make them feel better.

This has a mechanical benefit.

So yeah.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 5, '18, 2:12 pm 
I beat Mother 3 last night for the second time since the original release of the fan translation.

I can definitely understand why for a company like Nintendo and its family-friendly ethos, they still haven’t localized this game outside Japan. Unlike its predecessor, it wears its darker themes on its sleeve, whereas in EarthBound they’re mostly a constant undercurrent until the very end. Plus some of the things in the game like the “oxygen machines,” the Magypsies, the mushroom sequence, oh and of course, an ending featuring one character committing suicide fall into the sort of thing Nintendo just doesn’t want to touch in the West. I still want an official localization, but I get it.

I’d argue the Mother franchise is Nintendo’s darkest.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 6, '18, 10:19 am 
Wolf Bird : Maybe one day I'll try to ply and try to finish Mother 3 ! Did you recommend me to play it ! (I'm surte the anwer is gonna be a positive one ! ;))

PostPosted: Mon Aug 6, '18, 4:20 pm 
Yes. Yes yes yes. Play it. I do recommend playing EarthBound/Mother 2 first if you haven't, because you will appreciate some references and callbacks, and I guess some things will make a bit more sense plot-wise, but it's not required. It's easy to emulate and you can find ROMs with the fan translation already installed. Since the translation was released, I think it has been translated into a handful of other languages too.

Just be ready for it to get pretty heavy pretty early on.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 7, '18, 1:46 am 
It has been a while since I beat anything because recently I have been playing mostly "unbeatable" mobile games, which are constantly evolving until one day they pull the plug.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 7, '18, 11:16 am 
Wolf Bird wrote:Yes. Yes yes yes. Play it. I do recommend playing EarthBound/Mother 2 first if you haven't, because you will appreciate some references and callbacks, and I guess some things will make a bit more sense plot-wise, but it's not required. It's easy to emulate and you can find ROMs with the fan translation already installed. Since the translation was released, I think it has been translated into a handful of other languages too.

Just be ready for it to get pretty heavy pretty early on.

OK ! I'll get ready asap ! These transolations are great news ! Especially for all those RPG-likes video games ! :)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, '18, 2:36 am 
Well, after beating Ruby and Emerald WEAPONs on Sunday in Final Fantasy VII, Monday, I went and just beat the game. But of course, I don't do it normally, no no no, I decide to beat it the same way I beat the WEAPONs, with Yuffie solo (she's my favorite character in that game, and my avatar as of this writing).

Yeaaaah, Sephiroth, in both his final boss forms (Bizarro and Safer), was a cakewalk compared to the WEAPONs, where one wrong selection could have gotten me killed (and nearly did get me killed with Emerald WEAPON were it not for ridiculous luck with Yuffie dodging Aire Tam Storm, which would have been a guaranteed kill if it landed). The only real annoyance was with 4x cut I couldn't control which part of Bizarro Sephiroth she'd attack, so she'd often attack the core before it was actually vulnerable. But relatively minor, because she still brought down Bizarro-Sephiroth in about 4 minutes. Safer Sephiroth was honestly even easier. Even after he floated up, Yuffie could still attack him as she's all long range, and half that fight is just watching the extremely long animation for Super Nova. Which gave Yuffie her limit break, and that basically ended the fight there.

Strongest member of Shinra's elite military force SOLDIER in history, in god-like form, brought down by a 16 year old ninja girl. That planet and its people better be glad she's on its side.

For now, because with Yuffie, you never know when she'll suddenly turn on you coughmateriathiefcough. Or honestly just thief in general.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, '18, 11:30 pm 
Found myself a bunch of free time and powered through the rest of Nights of Azure.

So... Where to begin?

I kinda find it interesting in a cultural way that one of the problems some Japanese reviewers had with the game is that the romantic leads are too lovey-dovey,when one of the common complaints about JRPG leads, or leads in anime in general in the west, is that they just can't ever admit any ounce of feelings until a time of mortal crisis, so this game does the same kind of thing as Emerald Dragon where the question of "Will they or won't they" (where most leads don't even touch until near endgame, Arnice and Lilysse are cuddling it up and sleeping in the same bed for most of the game) is replaced by "They actually are are, but will it survive the adventure?", which I've considered a more interesting scenario overall. The game also has a nice gothic-fantasy vibe that you don't really see in many places other than, say, Bloodborne, but it's also a much more colorful and sometimes whimsical game. Everyone you meet has their own way of dealing with the potential end of the world- The Professor wants to study it FOR SCIENCE! (and is generally fine with it happening), the "legitimate businessman" is looking to make his final big score against the clock, and so on. And the game has a very strong soundtrack to back up its presentation, being part-Castlevania and part-Guilty Gear.

It also has probably the incarnation of the "best ending" dealie that I find the most tolerable- after you beat the game, you get one of three endings based on certain conditions, which range from "tragic romance sadness" to "Drakengard-level screwup", and then you get to save your game. When you load that game, you start near the end of the final chapter, only now there are two new questlines with two new bosses- when you beat those, and then beat the game normally, you get the actual good ending. So there are no special hijinks involved, the only requirement for the good end is being good at the game.

So, is it a good game?


A couple of reviewers I've seen have compared it to the original NieR, which I think is fairly apt. The gameplay isn't really anything too special, so what people get out of it is really dependent on how invested they get in the characters, atmosphere, presentation, etc. Which is why critics generally have it as an average game, but regular users tend to review it as either a 9 or 10 or a 3, with not much middle ground. I had myself a grand old time, but I can't guarantee the same experience for anyone at all.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, '18, 11:32 am 
The last game I beat was a very old game : Rastan on Master System ! Great game :)

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