Also available on PlayStation 3 and Windows
I started playing Tales of Berseria because Colin said he was going to play it, so I figured I'd play it along with him and swap stories. Then the jerk decides he's too good to play the same game as me or something and just drops it. What a mean guy, right? It's all good, though, because I actually had a pretty good time with Berseria. It wasn't quite as good as Phantasia or the first Symphonia in my opinion, but it was still an extremely good game.
One of the first things that struck me about Berseria was the art style. Bandai Namco made excellent use of cel shaded visuals to create a stunningly beautiful world with a variety of environments and enemy types. Especially gorgeous are the mountains and cliffs, the draw distance working well with the visual style to give a sense of grandiose while maintaining a fantasy disconnect from reality. This is exactly the visual style I want for my fantasy adventures.
The game's soundtrack is good, although only a few tracks really stand out as more than just "good." The voice acting is what really kept me wrapped up in the game; Velvet's, Rokurou's, and Magilou's voice actors especially were fantastic. Bienfu can die in a fire, though. The concept of the game's story is another highlight as it's fairly unique in its details. Yeah, you end up stopping some horrible plot and saving the world like your typical RPG, but the protagonist, Velvet, doesn't care about any of that. All she care about is killing Artorious to avenge her murdered brother. Burn a town in the process? Oh well. Massacre a whole village of innocents? Shit happens. Oh, I saved the world? That's cool, I guess. The whole driving force behind the game is pure revenge; you kind of just accidentally save the world. I'm sure there are other games that focus entirely around revenge, but I've never played one with the length and depth of plot as this one or one that is as well written and presented as this one.
The combat is fairly standard real time combat with different attacks (or artes) set to the four primary buttons and a couple of special attacks that you need a certain gauge filled to use. The combat is definitely the weakest part of the game. It's not bad, per se, but it gets repetitive and didn't really hold my attention too long. It's the combat that made Colin be a turd and bail on me early on. It's enjoyable enough, but there's not an enormous amount of depth to it.
Tales of Berseria is a competent RPG that offers a well presented story told from an unusual perspective with likable characters. The combat may not be terribly exciting, but the variety of optional side quests, the diversity of environments, and the ancillary dialogue between the characters in the field make it a game well worth playing even for those who aren't fans of the Tales series. I wouldn't say that you need to rush out right this second and pick up a copy, but if you game on PC, PS3, or PS4 and enjoy RPGs, definitely keep an eye on this one for a good price. It's a good way to spend 48 hours.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.