A whopper: Tales of Berseria released

Catching up on the week’s leftovers, hey, look: Tales of Berseria [official site] is out! The latest in Bandai Namco’s long-running RPG series launched on Thursday night, a bit before the European console release even. Good boy, Ian Bandai. He says Tales of Berseria is a young woman’s “journey of self-discovery”, though from what I saw in the demo she mostly discovers what’s inside monsters after they’re kicked to pieces. That’s a journey of other-discovery. Perhaps this here launch trailer can explain better:

I had a crack at Tales of Berseria demo released a few weeks back and liked the colours. I had no idea what I was doing or why, or what all the different moves in combat did, but I sure did fill the screen with pretty particles and bright colours and murder a beachlizard. Not knowing JRPGs or the Tales series, this is all a big ole mystery to me. I can’t say the characters or writing did anything for me, especially as the first dialogue in the demo is griping about how awful women are, but I did mash out some cool attacks. But, y’know, you’re not me. Not yet, anyway.

Tales of Berseria is £39.99/49,99€/$49.99 on Steam for Windows. Initial player reviews seem pretty keen. The demo is on Steam too (look for the Download Demo button).

From this site

28 Comments

  1. sub-program 32 says:

    “One woman’s journey of self-discovery”…yeah that’s one way to describe it I guess.

  2. Isendur says:

    Heard good things of this one. Pretty decent story supposedly. Will have to check.

  3. geldonyetich says:

    I’ve seen it played. Truly an exceptionally good cutscene generation engine with some game elements.

  4. Shakes999 says:

    Ignoring the utterly wrong post above me, great game. I got back in to Tales games with the last one(Zestria?I can’t keep up all the names sound the same) and enjoyed it except for the utterly dumb and insane story. They fixed that this time around (Not changing the plot half way through development I’m sure helped) and it’s always fun to play the jerks in the game.

    Combat is as deep as you want it to be. In fact there’s so much stuff to keep up with it’s overwhelming at times even hours in. Anyways, it’s good, it’s enjoyable, it makes me laugh. Check it out.

    • geldonyetich says:

      I was being glib. But I am not wrong to say the game has a lot of cutscenes. It has hundreds. It has so many cutscenes that many of them are optional and have to be activated via contextual button.

      • Shakes999 says:

        Fair! It does has a metric F-ton of them. At least the voice acting is competent. Well, the main voice actors anyway. All the rest sound off the street.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        I love when games do that whole “hey press a button if you’d like a cutscene / bit of dialogue here, don’t if you don’t” thing. Even better when you can just do it anytime, like say Peace Walker / Phantom Pain’s tapes or Prince of Persia: We Forgot to Number This One’s “talk to the princess” button. It’s not a technique that’s used often, and I think that’s a shame. If a game lets me explore all that exposition and character development at my own pace I quite often find myself diving into it happily, as opposed to being mildly ticked off when yet another cutscene happens in the middle of enjoyable gameplay.

        • szech says:

          The Heart in Dishono(u)red is the best mechanism I’ve seen for adding optional context and depth to a world.
          The concept was good, but the writing and voice acting made it superb.

          The problem with the ones in MGS V were that they were buried way down in the interface, and that they went on and on and on and zzzzzz

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            They were only a couple of tabs down as I recall, they were of very variable but not exactly unreasonable length, and you could listen to them DURING gameplay. Considering MGS V is a stealth game with pretty sizeable chunks of downtime between the brawls and action, I found the tapes to be a pretty well-implemented system, but sure, your mileage may vary.

            Haven’t actually played Dishounored yet. You did just bump it up a few spaces on my wishlist though, so good on you.

    • sub-program 32 says:

      Yeah, I really liked how (spoilers ahoy mateys!) the world is basically a Bloodborne-alike, but you are effectively playing from the perspective of a sentient beast, with the main antagonist being the archetype of an ‘uncorrupted’ Hunter.

  5. Mikedfd2k says:

    So first of all it was released on Thursday on PC, not Friday. Secondly, it was not the same day as the console version. That came out Tuesday.

  6. King in Winter says:

    I’m fifteen hours into the game and so far liking what I see. Lots of subsystems that should ring familiar to Tales players (combat for example). They’ve simplified some things to make it beginner friendly. For example, equipment. However I doubt anyone really used Zestiria’s equipment combination system, possibly beyond those playing on the highest difficulty levels grinding together a weapon against single boss. It was entirely random so putting together a specific kit was potentially dozens of hours of mindless monster kill grind… of course this was completely unnecessary for a normal playthrough so the system required little to no attention (I did a bit only for the related achievements). Berseria’s weapon mastery / upgrade system is much more rational.

    • Shakes999 says:

      I wish I would have figured that out long before I did in Zestria. It was such a god damn mess and was just impenetrable trying to make something that I needed.

    • Therax says:

      The combination system was far from entirely random. AFAIK it was entirely deterministic, but poorly explained. Skill A + Skill B would always give Skill C. Skill C might not bear any logical connection to A or B, but there were some basic rules explained in a set of skits (the optional cutscenes mentioned above).

      Skits can be optional tutorial content (as here), give background on the world or characters, character reactions to story events, or pure comic relief. The item combination tutorial explains that when combining two skills, which are laid out on an in-game grid, if they lie on the same column, the result is from the same column, and the same for rows. If the two skills are from distinct columns and rows, the result was unpredictable, but still consistent. The system was probably designed based on the common belief that “players love to learn a system by experimentation.”

      What skills were on equipment dropped by enemies was random, in a Diablo-esque loot piñata, but even there you could heavily tilt the RNG by talking to a specific NPC in each geographical region, unlocked through a quest chain.

      • King in Winter says:

        Yeah the skill combination is entirely deterministic; A+B is always C. It’s just getting the right piece of equipment with the right skills and in the right slot (of the four possible) that turns it into a grind. There’s a reason why the achievement for having the same skill on all the slots of all your equipment (“Sweet 16”) has one of the lowest completion rates.

        • Tuor says:

          Absolutely correct. I understood how Fusion worked on a better than basic level, but getting the right skills on the right gear was hard. And that achievement was crazy difficult — I never did get it. To even have a realistic shot at it, you had to play at a high difficulty level or you’d never get the skills doubled up to fuse together. Also, you needed to kill enough of the right mobs so that they would drop equipment that had skills in all 4 slots. You had an ability you could use that would cause certain mobs to appear more often, and particular mobs drop particular equipment. Then you had to set that area NPC mentioned earlier, but you needed to grind to get to the point where you could set him to cause more of the skill you want to appear in the drop.

          To put this more simply:

          1. You need to farm the right mob that drops the piece of equipment you want.
          2. You need to set the NPC make the RNG more likely to have the skill you want appear on the item that drops.
          3. You need to play on a high difficulty level because that’s how you get the gear that drops to have more skills on it. (You can get gear that drops 2x skill on the same slot.)

          Gah… There are even more rules that affect this, so I’m just going to stop here. It was a very cumbersome system, but it *did* help quite a bit if you could master it.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Cough.

      of course this was completely unnecessary for a normal playthrough so the system required little to no attention

      You have no idea how much I want to slap you right now.

      (Tutorials were terrible and explained next to nothing so I ignored them, just picked up new gear from the shops or chests or whatever whenever I felt like it, got through everything by button-mashing with barely any trouble apart from a couple of optional bosses – which I still beat – then got to the final boss, “Do maximum damage in ten seconds or die!!1!1!“… and died. Over. And over. And over again. Turned it down to easy, still couldn’t do it. Gave up in disgust, uninstalled, never went back. I’d probably have bought Berseria by now if it wasn’t for that. It was a stupid, impenetrable system and the game clearly thought it was as intuitive as opening your eyes when you get out of bed and intended for you to master it utterly in the course of a normal playthrough. It was no such thing, and I couldn’t even begin to understand it.)

  7. Ansob says:

    It’s worth noting the PC release suffers from a major bug that essentially disables party AI: link to steamcommunity.com

    • Baines says:

      It sounds like the PC version suffers from various bugs. Which is unfortunately to be expected, and why I decided to wait until summer to buy the game. (Why summer? After already deciding to wait a month or two for bug fixes and potential player-created improvements, you might as well wait until the summer sales…)

    • aepervius says:

      Playing with m/k I have not been hit by the bug, my 3 followers hit and kill as much as I do. Sometimes better than I, because they protect the mages doing their spell while I have tendency to overlook that.

      It sounds like a controller bug, as the work around also involve virtual controllers.

  8. peterlarge says:

    I love it so far, but a little confused how to chain combos without quickly depleting Soul Gear bar. It says I get Soul for killing and applying status effects but it doesnt say how much chance I have for that. Lot of artes, for example, has stun effect on them but even if I have 4 stun artes in a row it rarely stuns and it doesnt tell me what the % of chance is. In videos people are hitting non-stop and I dont know how.

    • aepervius says:

      I don’t have a complete hold on it, but it seems weakness are more important than status effects chaining, if you look at the weakness and use that, it seems to my own experimentation that you have a much better chance to stun. Also if you attack once their guard is down (when they guarded or they have attacked) stun chance seems higher.

      • peterlarge says:

        Yeah, now that you mention it, stun is applied to a lot of different attacks, maybe I just need to pick them accodingly. Honestly, I love how the combat looks a button-smash fest on the surface but combining artes and timming the combos actuallyneeds a lot of thinking and practice, it is gonna be a loooong and fun ride.

        • aepervius says:

          Speaking of fun : i just had a dangerous encounter (more than 1 group) which ended up having a dire beast… Party wipe. The dire beast “add on” actually are invincible, and the beast insta stunned my followers, and hit them for 200-400 damage each hits.

          • Crvnch says:

            I have just been running away from all dire beasts I encounter…

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