This is a follow-up to my post on general Tales games from last year, so read that first if you haven’t already.
So, wow, Berseria totally blew me away. My favorite Tales game of all time, easily. What made it so great? The story. Last year I talked about how really, all Tales games had the same bland story about saving the world, with the only thing that distinguished the different games being the cuteness of the girls and the amount of bad puns. Well, those are still critical factors, of course, so let’s discuss them first.
This game has some excellent bad puns. I especially appreciated all the jokes about the headless blacksmith.
There are a lot of bad puns. Top marks in this category.
Berseria made me a shotacon. Top marks here.
I wouldn’t really call Magilou or Velvet “cute”, but I definitely like them both. Magilou best girl. It’s always the old ones. Although I guess since this is anime, as a mysterious older grandma she’s probably, what, 22? Eleanor is a normal cute girl, but she’s good because the other party members slowly corrupt her.
It’s mostly the usual Tales gameplay. The change here is that you have a number of stars which you get more of by stunning people, which determines how many times you can attack in a row. I liked it, since it made you take advantage of the weakness, as well as the corruption attack that consumes stars but does a lot more damage. One thing about it though is that you’ll either drop down to one or two stars and get totally owned, or you’ll have five stars and you’ll keep doing corruption attacks and do tons of damage while getting more stars at the same time. It’s either destroy or be destroyed and not too much in between.
For the equipment, you learn skills by equipping items for a certain amount of time. It’s definitely better than the grid thing in Zestiria, but it has the effect of making you not care what the equipment stats are. I just equipped whatever I hadn’t learned the skills for yet. Honestly I’m fine with that, life’s too short to worry about stat points.
What Makes Berseria so Great
I had complained that the story in Zestiria was fucked up. Well, Berseria corrected that. This time you get to be the bad guys!
Your party consists of: the main character, a mass murderer who escaped from prison and whose only goal in life is to murder her brother; another prison escapee who who wants to kill his brother; a leader of a band of pirates; a shota who you kidnap; a witch who doesn’t give a fuck about anything and likes to just watch things explode; and a pure and innocent girl who you beat up and turn into your slave, and corrupt and lead into a life of piracy. A great party.
My party razed several villages to the ground and ate hundreds of humans, including the best incest ship and your best friend who you get to kill twice. You’ll talk to random people in towns, and they’ll happily chatter about how they hope that one day you’ll hang from the gallows.
And you know what the best part is? I didn’t feel much remorse. In Zestiria, when I was saving the world, now that was fucked up. I always wanted to drop my weapons and join the bad guys. Because the bad guys might have done some bad things, but they weren’t wrong. The good guys did even more bad things, and didn’t even realize they were wrong.
In fact, Berseria is a prequel to Zestiria, so this contrast is intentional. This game puts the events of Zestiria in a somewhat different light. I do recommend you play Zestiria first (although, really, not the greatest Tales game, maybe just read a summary) just so you can experience this perspective switch.
Rita is cute.