Tales of Berseria

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a game by Bandai Namco Games
Platform: Playstation 3
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: JRPG Games
Tales of Berseria
Tales of Berseria
Tales of Berseria
Tales of Berseria

When Tales of Berseria was released by Bandai Namco Studios in 2016, it had both high and low expectations. Over the years, the Tales series had been trending downward in overall quality. Fans of the series weren’t quite sure what they were going to get.

Not Your Usual Happy Tale

After all, a lot of fans weren’t even able to finish the previous game -- Tales of Zestiria -- due to its quality. The good news is that Tales of Berseria takes the series and flips the script, producing a japanese role-playing game (JRPG) you won’t want to miss, regardless of if you’re a fan of the series or not.

If you’re not already a fan of the Tales series, it’s a popular JRPG franchise that dates back to 1995. For the vast majority of these games, the theme is usually one of a hero and their friends who, against all odds, stop a great evil and save the land. Berseria, however, goes a different route. Instead of following a group of prototypical heroes, you’ll be playing as a foursome of anti-heroes, led by Velvet Crowe.

Velvet’s story is one of loss, betrayal, and revenge. Her story first begins as a loving sister to her younger brother Laphicet. Orphaned at an early age, the two siblings are adopted by their brother-in-law Artorius. When the daemons come back to the town years later, Artorius sacrifices Laphicet to them to help prevent the town from being destroyed. Velvet barely escapes but is turned into a Therion – a deamon that capable of absorbing other deamons. When she wakes up, she’s been left in a prison to rot while Artorius rises in power with his Abbey organization. All Velvet can think of is revenge against Artorius, thus setting up the plot for the game.

The themes in Tales of Berseria may be darker than other games in the series, but you shouldn’t let it turn you away. There’s still loads of lighthearted banter and character development that brighten up this revenge story. The supporting cast each have their own interesting backstory and each one brings something different to the table. My personal favorite was the witch called Magilou Mayvin. Her quirkiness and overall carefree attitude had me smiling throughout.

Battle for the Soul

The Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS) battle system in Tales games returns, although with subtle changes. If you’re in a battle zone, players can move freely around, while rotating the camera. Artes – powerful skills – make their return to the series and can be mapped to buttons on your controllers for quicker use during battle. This is helpful as you’ll want to string together as many combos are you can for higher damage.

The largest change to the LMBS for Berseria is the soul gauge. This replaces the movement-based mechanics that previous Tales games had used. You’ll start a battle with three souls but can earn up to five during a fight. When you use one of your Artes or are inflicted with an ailment, you’ll lose a soul. To earn a soul, you must lower an enemies’ HP to a certain amount, stun them, or inflict a status ailment on them. Once you start to learn more Artes and build up your soul gauge, you’ll be able to unleash massive combos.

Tales of Running Simulator

Outside of battles, the areas you traverse are rather generic. It’s not that the graphics are poor by any means. In fact, Berseria totes the best visuals during gameplay and cutscenes of any game in the series. There just isn’t much to look at in terms of the environment. To add to that, there are only a few puzzles or chests you can find along the way in each level. This is made even worse when you learn that there is limited fast travel, so you’ll be backtracking quite a bit to get between areas. It would have been nice to see more puzzles, unique events, and more challenging areas added so that it would spice up the traveling. Otherwise, we just need more fast travel options.

A new exploration system was added that gives you a ship at your disposal. These ships can find treasure, while unlocking new areas to explore along the way. Sadly, those areas are only explorable via the ship and even then, it’s all done in the background.

It’s one of those systems that can only help and doesn’t take too much effort from you, but it would have been nice to see more depth to it. If we could visit the areas on foot we discover, it would truly add to the experience, given it’s not generic like most of the level design.

8

Tales of Berseria breathes new life into the Tales franchise. You’ll play a story where you control an anti-hero whose sole motivation is revenge, rather than a gallant protagonist whose virtues are true. The addition of the soul gauge makes battles feel smoother, although maybe a bit too easy. If we can see some upgrades to the graphics engine, along with improvements to the level and environment design, I have no doubt the next Tales game will be as good if not better. For now, Berseria is an excellent addition to the series and one of my favorite in recent memory.

Pros:

  • Compelling story through the eyes of an anti-hero
  • Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS) battle system has been upgraded
  • Soul gauge system makes combat far smoother
  • The of characters are all great

Cons:

  • Level design is boring for most of the game, lacking imagination
  • Music wasn’t memorable at all

Download Tales of Berseria

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

Playstation 3 Screenshots

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