Tales of Berseria Review

「自分の舵は自分で取れ」 — アイゼン、テイルズオブベルセリア

Control your own rudder (of life)” — Eizen, Tales of Berseria

Velvet Crowe is just a normal girl living with her brother-in-law, Arthur, and her brother, Laphicet. She was a caring & loving sister, who cares about her brother a lot. Due to the event called “The Night of Scarlet”, her life is changed completely.

Before we go into an in-depth review of the game, please take a look of the trailer below to get the “feel” of the game.

Alright, as you have seen in the trailer, that was the prologue chapter of the game. When Velvet was still a “normal” girl. She saw her brother-in-law killed Laphicet during the “Night of Scarlet”, summoning something that changed Velvet into a “Gouma”. That’s the beginning of the hatred of Velvet towards Arthur a.k.a Arthorius.

As you have all known probably, this game is the prequel to Tales of Zestiria. I’m still not sure on how many years before, but probably somewhere along 1000 years or something. You don’t have to play Zestiria to enjoy the game. Well, of course if you play Zestiria, you’ll come to understand the references and connection between the two game (not directly but in some way). You can always think of this as a new game instead of a prequel to zestiria. It won’t affect how you enjoy the story.

Okay, let’s get into an in-depth review of the game.

  • Story
    I must say that i’m really impressed with Bandai Namco this time. The promotion of the game is done right. There are like 5 official trailers for the game, and every trailer only shows a lil pieces of the whole story. If the whole story is 100%, then all of the trailers combined is only like 5% of the story while the other 95% is left unknown for us to find out. Not like the overhype promotion of Star *cough* Ocean *cough* 5 which includes almost all of the cutscenes of the game.The game starts with story 3 years ago before Velvet’s life is turned upside-down. Velvet’s characters changed completely after the “Scarlet Night”, she is overwhelmed by her hatred towards Arthorius. Her only life purpose is only to kill him, who is now the highest rank exorcist in the church. You’ll see that Velvet is an anti-hero. She doesn’t hesitate to kill those who stands in her way, and she will use anything so that she can take her revenge against Arthorius. Our journey has been decided since the beginning. But why did Arthorius do that? What happened on that Scarlet Night? Will Velvet succeed in taking her revenge? Why does Gouma appears on the Scarlet Night? What is Gouma Disease? You’ll find out a lot of things during the game that makes you, “Ohhhh, so that what it is!”. I personally enjoy the plot of the game, which is much better than Zestiria & much darker, and sometimes the plot twist is really really unpredictable. This game feels like a hybrid of Tales of the Abyss & Tales of Vesperia in some way which is awesome as i love both games.tales-of-berseria-screenshot-37
    This time we will have 6 party membes including Velvet. It’s too bad that they announced everyone since the beginning.

    • Rokurou Rangetsu, the successor of Rangetsu style who turns into Gouma due to his desire to become the strongest swordman in the world. He follows Velvet around because she helps her find his Katana, “Gouran”, in Titania. Claiming that he’s going to return the favor by helping Velvet kills Arthorius.
    • Magilou, a mysterious magician who was caught in Titania as well. She follows Velvet around because she thinks that it’s interesting. And she’s also trying to find the Malak that betray her.
    • Laphicet, a Malak who was under pact with Theresa. His desire is surpressed due to the pact he made with Theresa. Velvet took him as a hostage to run away from the church and named him, Laphicet, because he reminds her of her own brother.
    • Eizen, the co-captain of the Ifreed Pirates. He is branded as the “God of Death” because he keeps bringing misfortune to those around him. He follows Velvet to find Ifreed that went missing.
    • Elenoar, she is an exorcist who follows Velvet due to the result of some events

To tell the truth there are no characters that i don’t like in this game. Everyone, and i actually mean Everyone, is an interesting characters each to their own. They follow Velvet because they have “reasons”, and most of it you can only see by doing the Character’s Quests. Talking about the Sub-Quests, most of the Sub-Quests are important to the main story and the whole Berseria-Zestiria world. Each character have their own specific sub-quests that show A LOT OF important side story. Yes, it’s important, so if possible don’t miss any of the sub quests. The moral story of the game is to live “freely” in this world that has a lot of rules. Don’t do something because people asked you to do it, do something because it’s what you want. You are the captain of your own ship.
An 8.5/10 for the story.

  • Gameplay
    Seriously, this game is the most player friendly Tales of series ever. Every features in the game is really made for the player.

    1. The battle system is a hybrid between Tales of Zestiria & Tales of Graces F. There are no “normal combo” anymore. Every attack is an arte, and you can make your own combination. You can use Square, Triangle, X, and O buttons to make combinations artes. Also each character have their “Special Ability” that can be accessed by using R2 button. For example, Velvet can use her Gouma hand to “devour” her enemies”, etc.
    2. You can get in-game costumes now! By doing some subquests or by releasing the Katz from the box using the Katz coins, you’ll get some accessory that can be equipped to change your character’s visual.
    3. Moving between maps is easier now. You can now just press R2 and use an item to teleport yourself to a specific map. Of course it’s only limited to town, and depends on your story mission, there are some places you can’t go at that time either. But still, it makes doing sub-quests so easy. No more running around to get to some place, or paying some galds to get to somewhere like Zestiria.
    4. Rare Board is very convenient. You will only get it on the later half of the game. It will make your exploration easier, as riding Rare Board makes your character moves a lot faster and will automatically kill low level enemies.
    5. Map is still large, but they make each screen smaller! The whole map in the fields or dungeons are still big, but they make each screen smaller. They cut the map into smaller pieces so it’s really easy to explore the whole area per screen.
    6. You’ll get a lot of the same equipments from enemy drops, you can change the item to material that can be used to upgrade the weapon with the same name. So, if you have lots of Steel Sword, just turn the Steel Sword to materials that can be use to make Steel Sword +1.
    7. Every equipment has a fixed Skill that can be learned by the characters. Not like Zestiria where every equipment has random skills.
    8. Title in the game has level now. You can see the requirement to reach the next level. And each title have their own unique skills.
    9. Mini-games are back as well. You can play and get the coin that you can use in Nekonin Village to buy stuffs.
    10. No more fixed characters in the game. You can change your party in battle freely, but it will require 1 CP to change them in battle.
    11. Skits are much more interesting. It feels like watching a moving comic, rather than just the faces talking to each others.
    12. Bounty Hunt is still in the game. You’ll find a list of monsters you can kill to get some extra money.

I think that’s about to cover all of the gameplay. I really like the gameplay as it’s really player friendly. Battle is as fun as ever, and sometimes you’ll find yourself fighting a “Wandering Enemy”, which is really strong. And of course you can still run away if you can’t manage to win against it. But again, this game feels like the old Tales of series. It’s good to see a game back to it’s core.
A solid 9/10 for the gameplay.

  • Graphics
    To tell the truth, this game has a better graphics compared to Zestiria. The character designs are much more details. You can see it from the character’s faces and clothes design. But still not something that’s can be considered as next-gen. If you compared the environment to Star Ocean 5, you’ll see that this game isn’t that impressive. But to cover all of it, the fields are colorful. It may not be like something of the “next-gen”, but that’s what makes a Tales of game, a Tales of game.

An 8/10 for the Graphics.

  • Music
    As you have already known, the opening of the song is 「FLOW – Burn」. It’s very energetic songs, and also the main theme of the game is really really great. It’s always there on important scenes.

Most of the musics in the game are made with orchestras, thus the feeling of majestic.
An 8/10 for the Music.

  • The Verdict
    Tales of Berseria is definitely in the line for the best titles of Tales of series. (Tales of Vesperia is still number one for me). It’s good to see that Tales of game is back to it’s core again with a loveable characters and story that’s a lil bit too dark. And of course, i salute to Bandai Namco this time. Promotion done right. Not spoiling anything on the trailer (not like Final Fantasy XV Official Videos). It’s really interesting traveling around the world with Velvet and the groups, with each of them has their own “Baggage”. Also if you played Zestiria, you’ll see someone that you know so well in this game as well. I think that there will be a sequel to Berseria that will connect Zestiria & Berseria completely, as we know that there are still some unanswered questions if you played both games. I finished the game in 70 hours, while completing all subquests, excluding the extra dungeon.

The Score : 8.5/10
Finally there’s an RPG worth to play on PS4 after series of “not so good” RPG. It’s definitely something you want to play whether you have played Zestiria or new to the series. Tales of Berseria will brings back the excitement of playing an RPG.

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