Bandai Namco’s most heralded JRPG franchise has been going strong ever since 1995.
The Tales of… games have introduced new worlds, dangers, heroes and even continuations of past adventures along the way. Japan already got to enjoy the 16th main entry in the series, but now we’re also getting the chance to finally do the same. Tales of Berseria (which takes place in the same universe as Tales of Zestiria) will take gamers on a swashbuckling adventure fueled by revenge. This mature take on the JRPG franchise’s more lighthearted elements introduces a brand new heroine, a new party full of allies and plenty of evil monsters for you to vanquish.
It’s time to get into everything that’s admirable about Bandai Namco’s Tales of Berseria.
1. This Entry’s Plot Takes Place Within the Tales of Zestiria Universe and Focuses on a Woman Named Velvet Crowe
Tales of Berseria shares its world with the same one featured in the last series entry. However, Berseria takes place plenty of years before the events of Zestiria. The Holy Midgand Empire is home to humans, magical spirits known as Malakim and destructive creatures known as Daemons. The rulers of the land task their soldiers (“The Abbey”) with ridding the world of Daemons after learning that a dangerous disease turns people into such vile monsters. The Abbey take extreme measures towards accomplishing their goal, which is something that crosses over into the plight of the game’s main character.
Velvet Crowe is placed into the main protagonist role of Tales of Berseria. After being transformed into a Daemon, she ends up being jailed due to the events that transpired in her village three years ago. She soon finds a way to break free of her imprisonment and sets her sights on several individuals: the Abbey, their Exorcists and a man named Artorius. Velvet has close ties to Artorius, as he happens to be the brother-in-law who sacrificed her younger brother during the very same incident that took place in her hometown.
2. The Game’s Open World Introduces New Elements, Such as Code Red Daemon Hunting and Wandering Enemies
The open fields of Berseria will pit you against Daemons of all shapes and sizes. The more dangerous ones you’ll encounter are marked as “Code Red.” This moniker applies to the introduction of a new mechanic dubbed “Code Red Daemon Hunting.” Defeating these extra tough foes will help you gain “Potentites,” helpful pieces of gear that gift your characters with extra abilities during battle. You’ll usually come across such Daemons after speaking with a sidequest giver or randomly finding them around the world.
Berseria introduces another new feature called “Wandering Enemies.” If a certain party member happens to fulfill a certain requirement during battle, a special Daemon will pop up. This Daemon type tends to be way more dangerous than your usual Code Red Daemon, so you’ll need to adopt an all new way of defeating it. Wandering Enemies tend to come in multiples and also remain invincible for a limited amount of time, so destroying them is quite the challenge to overcome.
3. The Linear Motion Battle System Throws in Two New Standout Mechanics
One of the more fun and frantic JRPG battle systems (the “Linear Motion Battle System”) makes its return for this latest adventure. Like before, characters can pull off special moves known as “Artes” that correspond to assigned controller face buttons. Which Artes and how may you can pull off in quick succession depends on how full the “Soul Gauge” is. When the Soul Gauge is completely filled, character’s can perform more powerful moves known as a “Break Soul.” You can check out each character’s Break Soul ability at the following link.
Along with the new “Break Soul” attacks, Berseria introduces another battle mechanic – the “Switch Blast.” After consuming a certain amount of Souls via the Soul Gauge, the character in control gains the power to switch to an ally who’s currently not in battle. Once this switch takes place, the summoned party member pulls of a special Arte upon arrival. If you’re curious about each party member’s Switch Blast attack, check out this link.
4. Velvet’s Party Consists of Five Equally Powerful Allies
Velvet isn’t alone on her journey, of course. She’ll fight alongside five of her closest allies as she ventures through every part of the Holy Midgand Empire. The game’s unofficial Wiki page offers descriptions of each party member that fights by Velvet’s side (click on their names to see them in action):
– Laphicet: A 10-year-old boy of the Malak race who is considered to be the “light” to Velvet’s “darkness”. He possess a compass that is a key item in the story, as it points the boy to the places that will help his mind and heart grow. He fights using paper sheets, similarly to Lailah.
– Rokurou Rangetsu: A black-haired man wearing samurai garb who, despite turning into a Daemon, has retained his sense of reason. He follows Velvet to pay a debt to her and fights with twin daggers.
– Eleanor Hume: A compassionate, caring woman. Eleanor is an Exorcist from the Abbey, a group that keeps the world safe from daemons. After a certain event, Eleanor joins Velvet and her team to discover the truth behind this world.
– Eizen: A man who, despite his appearance, is actually about 1,000-years-old. Eizen is Edna’s brother. Known as the “Reaper,” he is the skipper of Aifread’s pirates, who is on a search for his missing captain, Van Aifread, on the ship called the Van Eltia. Eizen joins forces with Velvet against their common enemy, the Abbey and its exorcists.
– Magilou: A mysterious woman who introduces herself as a “great sorceress” and the “Head of Menagerie,” Magilou is an extroverted and chatty woman on the outside, but there is something sinister about her.
5. Tales of Berseria Comes in a Standard and Collector’s Edition
Tales of Berseria can be picked up in its Standard Edition form. But if you’d like to go all the way with a true Collector’s Edition of the game, that option is definitely available. You can check out everything that’s included with this special package in the list posted below:
– a physical copy of Tales of Berseria
– Collector’s Edition Packaging
– a special set of Chibi Kyun Chara Figures
– a Hardcover Prequel Novel titled “A Witch’s Tale: A World Full of Daemons”
– a physical version of the game’s soundtrack
– a mini Starter Strategy Guide
– an 8-Bit Retro Keychain Set
– a Steelbook Case
– a set of character trading cards