The Tales series is one of those that are hard to keep up with. You either know what is going on in the series, and manage to play through them all, or miss them. We have not played a Tales title in a long time. In fact, the last one we played was on PS2 called Tales of Legendia. Although we have not played the latest ones, we were happy we got a review copy of the latest entry in the series, Tales of Berseria.
Platforms: PS4, PS3
Reviewed On: PS4
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Distributor: Megarom Interactive
Release Date: 27 January 2017
Price: R1 069
Tales of Berseria takes on a darker, more emotional vibe than we’re used to. Really, we have not connected to characters like we did in Tales of Berseria in a while.
The game tells a fantastic story, and does it so well that we could not put it down. Even though the combat system gets a bit mundane at times, and dungeons become mindless, the characters and force of the story, kept us intrigued throughout the 50-hour campaign.
Tales of Berseria follows Velvet Crowe who starts off as a humble, loving heroine, but after a few terrible events, vengeance is the only thing she wants on the man who destroyed her life. She gets locked up for a few years. When she emerges it seems that the same man has taken over the land, and has caused disease, war, and famine to rise. All the more reason to kill him, right?Tales of Berseria does just that – it drives the player on a path of vengeance.
While Velvet is the hardcore, anti-heroine in some sense, the characters you meet along the way balance her aggression and cold attitude. All the characters show great development throughout Tales of Berseria, which adds to the connections we formed with them. Magilou is a cute and fun-loving witch that is full of humor, while Rokurou is a very serious pirate who often clashes with Velvet in intense dialogue scenes. No matter what was going on, we always waited for another notification to tell us that there was a cinematic waiting to be played in Tales of Berseria.
A Tales game would be nothing without an awesome combat system, and Berseria features a fast and fluid combat experience. When you see a monster in the field, walking up to it will trigger a battle, this will then take you to a small battlefield where the fight will take place. Each action you have is now set to a character’s Soul Gauge, which depletes every time you attack. Different attacks take more Souls to perform. The attacks and skills vary, depending on your play style. Each attack can also steal a Soul from an enemy too. At first this does not make sense, but as the game’s difficulty spikes, the battle between who has the most Souls and who is dealing the most damage, becomes more important.
All these attacks, or Artes, can be changed during combat, and are applied in a combo system-like manner, where pressing “X” a few times will trigger the fourth skill we set in the menu.
This all boils down to equipment too, as different swords will give you a new attack if you have it equipped for long enough in battle. You will “learn” these abilities. All this is found in the game as you explore the linear dungeons.
While Tales of Berseria has a great story, its locations become dull and monotonous after a while. Run here, kill these enemies, open some boxes, and onto the next area. This can get a bit tedious after a while, especially if there is no real reason to do it all other than pushing forward for the story’s sake. There are some minigames and a cool combat arena that will keep you occupied when you need a break from the world, but the lack of a dedicated fast travel system was frustrating.
Berseria is a Tales game you don’t want to miss. It is a great RPG, and we are sure if you ever loved the series before, you would find Tales of Berseria rather intriguing.