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Another day, another comic that’s pretty much just an expositional word dump… Because I haven’t been doing THAT enough times in the past.
So, my life is still in that constant state of nothing important happening in it, so I’m going to ramble on about the game I played for most of Sunday and Monday to fill in this post’s required ramble quota. I spent about a combined 24 hours playing the newest Tales of game, Tales of Berseria while I was visiting my brother those two days (as he has a PS4, and I don’t). I got nowhere close to beating it, but I still want to give my initial impressions, because why the fuck not?
As someone who has been playing the series since Symphonia, I have to say, so far, Berseria could pretty easily be in the top 5 entries to the series. The story has been pretty damn engaging from the first hour, and the all of the characters have been enjoyable and interesting. The biggest strength of the game’s story I feel, is the fact that it so far has been really different from most typical Tales of stories. You’re not trying to save the world, you’re just trying to get revenge, and damned be anybody who gets in your way. And to make it even more interesting, the guy you’re trying to get revenge on, is more or less viewed as the savior of humanity whom everyone pretty much loves. That really changes up the dynamic of your party, as most of you are murderers and criminals who are pretty much only traveling together because they’re all useful to each other in some way or another. And yet, most of your party still manages to be very sympathetic. You just want them to succeed at what they do because the guys they’re going up against are just the right kind of smug and smarmy “good guys”. The main character, Velvet, in particular, I really feel for, considering the game goes to pretty good lengths to show you how nice and caring of a person she was before the guy she wants to kill royally screwed up her life in order to make the world “better” for everyone else. Her transformation from a sweet village girl who just wanted to look after her younger brother, to a cold uncaring LITERAL monster who devours people with her demonic left hand hellbent on revenge is quite chilling, and really makes her a great main character. Her plight by itself was enough to get me invested into the story. Throw in the rest of the pretty interesting cast, and you’ve got a story that could potentially top the other entries in the series (namely Symphonia, Abyss, and Vesperia, which I consider the top 3 in no particular order).
As to the actual game play, it uses a system for its combat kind of like Godhand, if you ever played that game, where you learn individual moves that you can assign to certain hits in your attack strings so that you can essentially make your own combos. It’s not my favorite combat system for the series (that would go to Tales of Xillia 2, purely because I’m a sucker for team attacks, which that game has in spades), but I can certainly see some people really enjoying it. The stage that I’m at in the game, I have mostly been able to get by by more or less move spamming, though I have had to use some strategy changes for a couple of the bosses. Though, to be fair, I have been playing on the default difficulty, which I’m sure is pretty lenient when it comes to combat. I think this is also mostly just a result of Velvet being a very beginner friendly character to play as, and I’ve been playing her mostly. Playing as the other characters, you do have to be a little bit more intelligent with your attacks. All in all, the combat is still fun and is still probably among one of the better combat systems the series has had.
There are some problems with the game, but so far, they’re mostly nick picks. The music isn’t particularly memorable, but it isn’t god awful either. The level layouts are kind of bland and very much copy pasted, but that has been a problem with the series since Graces where they kind of stopped caring about how the levels were designed, though on the plus side, making the areas more generic did make them easier and faster to navigate through, so I’ve kind of made my peace with that. I think my biggest problem so far, is that backtracking in this game makes it feel kind of slow at times. I can’t really defend that, as I even found it kind of tedious at points, but it hasn’t ruined the game for me yet.
Overall, despite not having beaten the game yet, I’m fairly confident with my first impressions of the game that it’s a very good game.I think that if you own a PS4, and you like JRPGs, you won’t regret getting this one. And if you’ve never played a Tales of game, don’t worry: aside from a couple of nods here and there to the older games, the story is more or less self contained and has a lot of fairly non-intrusive tutorials for beginners to the series. To summarize all of that: I like the game so far, and if you’re even a quarter of the nerdy weeb I am, you probably won’t regret playing it.
Now that that’s out of the way, the anniversary post is about 85% done at this point. Everything is colored at this point, and I just have to do the shading for 4 of the drawings, with 2 of them now being completely done. I feel safe in saying that I’m probably going to have everything done by the time the anniversary comes around. At any rate, now that I’m done gushing about the latest entry to one of my favorite video game franchises, I’ll see you next comic.
(FUN FACT TIME: Kaz and Tenebrae’s designs were heavily inspired by characters from the Tales of series. Kaz’s design was inspired by Guy from Tales of the Abyss, while Tenebrae was based off of a character with the same name from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Also, I cannot deny the fact that the basic plot of Night Fox has some superficial similarities to Tales of Xillia’s plot, where a male human teenager with black hair teams up with a much older female Spirit with blonde hair to more or less fight crime. Though in my defense, I had the idea for Night Fox as a story well before Xillia or it’s sequel came out, also, I am exaggerating the similarities a little bit, but still, I had a bit of a chuckle about my “lack of originality” when playing Xillia for the first time.)