While it may not be fair to say that the Vita is on life support at this time, there certainly aren’t enough quality titles being released to the platform with any regularity. Fortunately, XSEED happens to be one of the few publishers willing to throw full support behind it and as a result, there are some things to be looking forward to this year.
Probably the one that excited me the most was Ys: Memories of Celceta. The original PSP system brought Ys back in force with superb localizations of three separate titles and this latest entry seems poised to continue that trend. Memories of Celceta is a remake of Ys IV, which means that after this the only entry in the main series to lack a western release is the fifth. Both the visuals and the combat have been given a vast overhaul though, making it feel more modern than just a simple port.
Players can alternate between Adol and two other characters, much like Ys Seven. Each character not only wields a different weapon, but some are stronger against certain enemy types than others. As I explored the overworld, I not only observed how visually striking the game is, but the combat is just as fluid as previous titles. Ys fans should be delighted, as there also didn’t seem to be any tacked on controls for the touchscreen. Ys: Memories of Celceta releases September 24th, 2013.
Also available on the show floor was Ragnarok Odyssey ACE. If you had a chance to check out the original Ragnarok Odyssey, then you should feel right at home. ACE is an updated version of the first release, introducing new areas to explore and missions to complete. Perhaps the biggest change of all is the ability to recruit A.I. controlled allies to assist in battle. In the original game, if you were playing by yourself and didn’t have anyone online to help you out, you had to carry out some of the more difficult missions on your own.
Valhalla Knights 3 was showcased on the show floor this year, though I didn’t get any hands-on time with the game. The game will feature seven playable races and seven classes. In keeping with the theme of sevens, there will also be 7-on-7 battles that players can compete with each other in. Character personalities will play a large role in their behavior in the game, and there’s even a “red light district” to recruit female party members (oh boy). I suspect fans of the PSP and Wii entries will want to keep an eye on this one. Valhalla Knights 3 will release September 3rd, 2013.
Whether these games float your boat or not, it’s great to see Sony’s Vita console getting some support (and with some RPG’s to boot). I hope we can see more publishers putting together such a solid Vita lineup like this in the years to come.