July 7, 2019 at 9:40 PM #1012
Tales of Berseria
Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding
Emotion versus Reason
***QUICK REVIEW: The best Tales game in a while and one of the best in the series. Great story but linear. Lovable cast. Dated graphics. Mid-tier sound. Fast-paced battles. Grindfest. Lots of content. No online trophies. Freebies are available on PSN. No summons. No devil’s arms. Post game dungeon demands patience and endurance. CANNOT do screenshots for PS4share.
***DETAILED REVIEW: Tales of Berseria is my 2nd game for the Playstation 4. Tales titles have, oftentimes, been either a hit or miss. Having been released a couple of months after FFXV, I really wasn’t expecting to be blown away after the spectacular gameplay experience I’ve had with the other. Frankly, I was even reluctant to pick it up after learning that it’s a prequel to the endearing mess that is Tales of Zestiria.
I WAS WRONG!!! This instalment sees the return of a pulse in the series. I’ve played most of the mothership titles and I can confidently say that Berseria is easily one of the best games in the series, and one of the best jRPGs I’ve ever played.
You’ll be following the story of Velvet and her mission to end Artorius’ life. You’ll meet fellow misfits along the way, and you’ll go up against bigwigs and underlings of a certain religious organization. All critical story elements will be revealed to you as you progress. I won’t put any more details here, since I may accidentally spoil the game for you.
STORY - The story is the most linear I’ve ever experienced in a Tales game, but it also makes Berseria really focused on the plot. The game either guides or forcibly puts you where you should be at every point. This game also has the most adrenalin-pumping, gut-wrenching and heart-racing scenes the series has seen. Major events are marked with stars, while side stories are marked with green exclamation points. It’s up to you if you want to advance the story right away, or do some side stuff if there are other areas open to you. SKITS have also received a gorgeous facelift. They’re more animated now, and they’re all highly relevant! This is also a really excellent cast of characters. You’ll really care about them.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND – Overworld areas are more lush and varied this time, with the exception of really identical caverns. I also noticed that I spent quite a deal of time in port areas, since most towns are small, few and far between. Character sprites are okay but they look dated. NPCs are as bland as Monday mornings, and they all look like they’re depressed from lack of detail. The soundtrack is appropriate, but there are still a handful of tracks that lean towards flat or sleep-inducing. Enemies are still on the palette-swapped side, but bosses and sub bosses are meaner and bigger this time.
GAMEPLAY- As a summary, this game is brimming with content and is a grindfest, gameplay-wise. Two to three playthroughs are required!
Make sure to touch and open every SAVE POINT as QUICK TRAVEL between maps is possible if you have the needed item. You can even warp out of a dungeon. Do SIDEQUESTS since certain baddies can only be encountered this way.
Battles and Skills are the core of Berseria’s gameplay. BATTLES are frantic but focused on strategy, giving the battle system awesome depth. Character AI is really good and there is no best party set up. They’re well-rounded but feel free to swap them in and out during battle as needed. There are over 80 pieces of EQUIPMENT for every character. They’re either purchased from shops, dropped by enemies or resting in hidden or not-so-hidden chests. Each of them has a unique SKILL that can be extracted and permanently learned after a set number of battles. The MAXIMUM LEVEL is 200, and I was only at level 107 even after beating the POST-GAME DUNGEON.
There are chests and KATZ CHESTS scattered throughout the world. The latter needs a certain number of KATZ SOULS to open, and there are only a handful per map. They respawn after exiting and re-entering an area so make sure you stockpile on them as early as possible.
At a certain point in the game, you get the ability to send your ship on EXPEDITIONS every 30 minutes. This gameplay feature has a separate world map that, sadly, can’t be explored by the party. However, oodles of goodies such as recipes can only be obtained through this method. COOKING also makes a pivotal comeback. It’s back to how it used to be and, as long as you have the ingredients, you have the freedom to eat whatever whenever wherever. TITLES also made a welcome return as unlocking them is now a chore, but their stat benefits are insanely rewarding.
Also, find all the GEO TREES, so you can GEO BOARD your way through all maps in style while crushing enemies whose levels are significantly lower than yours. Good luck, too, on finding each character’s LEVEL 3 MYSTIC ARTES and beating all the administrative isles (monster arenas), code red enemies and dire foes. You’ll learn important skills from them and these are needed to open up certain features such as UPGRADING your equipment further.
OVERALL: Need I say more? Y’all should get this game!
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