The Tales series of games have been around for a long time, a series known for their not so typical JRPG gameplay, but some very great story driven games being released since the PS1. A series with a fantastic action based combat system, immensely enjoyable, but a game that isn’t as well-known as other RPG’s coming out of Japan and some that seems to of lost some of its love over recent times.
Tales of Berseria is following on from the games before, a game that has a massive focus on Story, but still that signature gameplay bringing it up for a new series.
Story wise, the game relies on a lot of Tropes of Anime and JRPG stories, but with enough of a spin on it to make it feel a little new. We are not massively used to having a Female protagonist, but we have one, with some very unique powers being given to her. A very dramatic opening cinematic, it feels like the Tales series is getting the more mature story that a lot of fans have been after for a long while now. With the story we get a massively similar gameplay, the action arena based gameplay that got Tales on the map so any years ago. There is nothing new here, you have combos and skills that you can launch at your foes, using them skilfully gives you a massive advantage. If you can get the handle on controlling your team with skills mixing healing and damage makes the game again a much more strategic setup than people are used to when playing RPG’s these days.
For the first while, you can get through most of the game with little problem, just wailing on the low level enemies, some of the first bosses have the same problems at first, but as the game goes on, with stronger enemies creeping up, it slowly starts to take more and more strategy to beat them without having to waste all of your healing items out of matches to keep HP and Mana topped up.
Graphically, I find the same problem I see with a LOT of JRPG’s that have come out since the PS2 era, in that, graphics are just…not that impressive. Ignoring a few outliers, like Final Fantasy, a lot of games environments do not seem to of improved since PS2 era, and Tales of Berseria is no difference. Do not get me wrong, the game looks VERY nice from an aesthetic point of view, but…that is if you do not look at the textures of the ground in too much detail. Textures of floors and walls are muddy and blurry and generally awful to look at, disappointing for something that is being sold for a full priced game. However as is the norm for this type of game, all of the development time seems to of been put into creating the most beautiful looking characters possible, where they probably succeeded. All of the characters have fantastic detail, from the detail in their clothes to how they move around the levels, the animation in faces is especially enjoyable. Honestly, within cut scenes, when the camera is far enough from the floor to see the textures, I struggle to see the difference between the game and the animated cut scenes, maybe not as fantastic looking as games such as the Naruto games, but definitely a step forward in its own way.
Also, some very interesting….game design, very nice to see some unique game design, and not the same typical young, black haired moody main character that we are used to from these tropes.
There’s always a point to go on in Tales games on how amazing the sound tracks always are, I wish more Tales games came with their OST for a more special edition, but there is something relaxing about towns musical scores, and great enthusiastic music during battles, something that I have always enjoyed in the series.
Tales of Beresia is a game that really brings the series back to its roots, this is the sort of game I expected way back when, when the game finally got to 3D. It felt like a lot of the previous games lost a lot of the Tales charm that the older games had, maybe it was a teething problem with newer hardware, or more pressure from other series, but something about them felt…soulless. This is the first time in a long time where I felt like I was apart of the world, the world created feels real, not the artificial areas we might be used too. If you are a massive JRPG fan and want a more old school styled JRPG, this is a game you SHOULD pick up, it’s a game that has great pacing, great combat and a fantastic story, and a thoroughly enjoyable game, and even better finally on PC! 10/10.