Tales of Berseria
In Tales Of Berseria players embark on a journey as they assume the role of Velvet, a young woman whose once gentle nature has been replaced and overcome with a festering anger and hatred after a traumatic experience three years prior to the events within Tales Of Berseria imbued her left hand with a special ability. Velvet will visit a wide range of breathtaking environments as she travels the world in an all-new adventure developed by the celebrated team behind the Takes Of-series. Along her journey, Velvet will meet a whole cast of characters, including a young boy named Laphicet. If Velvet is the embodiment of “darkness,” then Laphicet is created in the image of “light” and will be an important ally to Velvet.
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I don't care about Tales stories that often, but this one made me. Cast is good, but Velvet and Laphicet are great.
Originally expected this to not be as dark as people were claiming, but it did feel pretty consequential, which I appreciated.
The worst part about this is that I have to associate this with Zestiria
Cuando no es Shonen cutre promete bastante su historia.
El ser una de venganza donde allá por cada ciudad y pueblo que pasas dejas desgracias a inocentes. Que no te importe nada ni nadie con tal de conseguir tu objetivo.
El problema es que el 80% del juego es Shonen cutre.
Tales of Berseria is an absolute dumpster fire on all levels that is so impressively bad, I'm suprised I finished
It's cons are so long that you could write a novel on it:
-Voice Acting: This cast was the most abhorrently and intolerable English voice acting in a video game, it puts even the worst of anime dubs to shame. Bienfu, Laphicet, Velvet, Magillou, and Zaveid are impossible to listen to and take even somewhat seriously. It sounds like they're doing the intentionally worst job they could.
-Characters: The characters and their one note tropes are all awful, especially when you play as the Tsundere Velvet. Playing a character that is as boring and full of monotonous mumbo jumbo as her for ~60 hours makes for an all encompassing bad time. Your main party is filled with some extremely tropey characters that have zero redeemable qualities, especially becasue they all turn to comic relief throughout the story yet none are funny and definitely not endearing.
-Environment: This game reeks of low budget JRPG with visible skybox boundaries and extremely low res copy-paste zones. Running from area to area and seeing the same drab of barren wasteland with repeated textures is a kick to the groin. You're not rewarded for progress in the game or grinding because every single damn area feels the same. There's no area that feels or looks anything special, which is impressive because even FFVII managed to do that 20 years before this game came out. From start to finish the game just looks like a drag. The towns feel like lifeless low budget trash with the basic NPC's filling the areas and recycled building assets all over. I'm not asking the game to be hyper-interesting in every nook and cranny but man does it feel like a chore to explore. Also there are too many enemies EVERYWHERE which makes running around the areas even more mind numbing. Because of the nature of non random encounter JRPG's, I like to fight every enemy in my path so that I can stay at a proper level, however in Berseria I realized too late that this was a miserable idea. There are tons and tons of enemies per zone that are have uninspired designs and require the same strategy to beat (see the "gameplay section".)
-Gameplay: Berseria's gameplay loop is legitimately the worst in a video game that I've ever played. From hour one to hour fourty, my gameplay loop literally did not change. I'd run into an enemy, literally slap my hands on the arrow keys, and would be victorious. There is legitimately no reward to learning the combat, if that can even be done, because you can just as easily run through the game by mashing any "combo" you want. I got to hour fourty five-fifty before realizing the game had an auto battling system, which I'm thankful for because otherwise I wouldn't have finished the game and got to catch up on some TV I'd been wanting to watch.
Story: I lost interest in the story after the intiial sequence because I soon realized it was generic JRPG good versus bad with some extremely unecessary filler arcs and convoluted lore thrown inside. Seriously, there was absolutely nothing captivating about the story or the character motivations to complete their journey.
Tales of Berseria, as someone who played it as a new person to the series, is one of the worst gaming experiences I've ever had and erased any thought I had about playing the other Tales games.
This review contains spoilers
From its opening scene, Tales of Berseria carves out a unique identity within the Tales franchise. Ask almost anyone and they'll tell you that Berseria is the "dark one." Provided that you let go of your reservations, you'll feel intimately connected with the protagonist, Velvet, with relative ease--something that very few games manage to accomplish. Actually, Berseria has the best cast of any of the Tales games I've played so far (those being Symphonia, Abyss, Vesperia, and now this). Laphicet, in particular, is the most endearing "child character" in any JRPG I've played. So why didn't I love this game?
From the jump, Berseria introduces a lot of mechanics that lead almost nowhere. Combat is fast and frenetic. However, combat focuses on proccing stuns through elemental artes, as doing so will raise your soul gauge and allow you to extend your combo in turn. Because of that combat basis and Velvet's "Therionization" mechanic, the game is an absolute cakewalk, to the point that it becomes mind-numbingly boring by the second half. There is almost no incentive to experiment in combat, other than to flex, as you're always going to be working towards the same result--proccing stuns. On top of that, Velvet is unkillable when she's Therionized, and she will almost always be Therionized if you're halfway engaged in combat. The game has a random loot system in the vein of Diablo, ensuring that your character progression feels inconsequential. Finally, your reward for defeating powerful bosses--"code red" encounters and Class IV authorization zones--are incremental upgrades called ventites. I lost track of how many times I unlocked these items, and the item description was always along the lines of, "This ventite has a 40% chance to trigger a random skill when playing on Hard Mode." In the midst of all of this, you are asked to explore countless unimaginative and, frankly, unattractive environments, with the only real incentive for doing so coming from thousands of meaningless collectibles. From a gameplay perspective, Berseria piles unpleasant system after unpleasant system upon the player.
I've already praised Berseria's cast, but what about the story? The game manages several character moments that are both effective and well-earned: Shigure's last stand against Rokurou, Laphicet releasing Velvet from the Earthpulse, Eleanor's defection from the Abbey, and Arthur's death are moments that immediately come to mind. Unfortunately, Berseria's narrative often buckles over its own jargon. By the end of the game, your mind will be spinning with all sorts of in-universe terms--Malakhim, Daemons, Therions, Reaper's Curse, Scarlet Night, The Opening, The Advent, Empyreans, armatization, malevolence, Earthpulses, Innominat, blah blah blah blah. The game's incessant compulson to establish and discuss these concepts often clashes with what the game does right--Velvet's struggle against Artorius and her satisfying transformation from soulless, bloodthirsty Therion to brave, compassionate human.
Ultimately, Tales of Berseria is a decent game with numerous shortcomings. Still, I absolutely love these characters. I just wish I loved their game too.
I didn't like Tales of Berseria very much at all.
The story is very melodramatic and the characters are fairly standard JRPG fare. I didn't find a lot to like (or really even understand) in any of their motivations. Feels like the characters were designed and then shoehorned into the story, rather than having an actual part to play.
The world itself is pretty generic with a group of people that are "demons" who arbitrarily have supernatural abilities and are hunted/enslaved by humans. This is conveyed with a lot of jargony lore, which people in game talk about as though it makes sense (similar to FF13), without much that is compelling or even understandable going on to make me care.
Combat doesn't stray too far from what has been established in past Tales games.
The game presents a bunch of combat options (custom combos, exploiting weaknesses, guarding and guard breaks, etc...) but engaging in those systems isn't that necessary or rewarding, so combat just ends up feeling very spammy.
This is on top of the fact that the combat itself lacks impact and feels floaty and unresponsive.
I found myself feeling like I was missing something fundmental, but also spamming my way through fights without any problems.
The world is high contrast and can be visually appealing at times, but is mostly fairly boring and generic. The few dungeons I played also were just unengaging, with puzzles that didn't make much sense or have much coherency.
Similar to my past experiences with Tales of.. games, I ended up just not having much reason to continue playing, so I dropped this one pretty quickly.