'Tales of Berseria' review: A step in the right direction

Smaller maps, less hassle 

The creators of Berseria kept all the good elements from Zestiria, removed unnecessary ones, improved problem areas, and added new features that made the game better.

The maps are so much simpler and smaller. The world of Berseria is still vast like Zestiria but its been divided to many small maps. The downside to this is that the sceneries aren’t as breathtaking as Zestiria’s, but it removed all the unnecessary running around that made Zestiria feel a little too dragging and aimless sometimes.

  

It can, however, feel a little repetitive as you go through the same places multiple times but the game tries to make up with this by giving players lots of other things to do. This includes the cooking system which allows you to cook several stats-altering recipes and an expedition feature which lets you send your ship all over the world to look for treasures and recipes. 

I am not much of a fan of these two features though, as they don’t exactly contribute much to the game other than giving players short breaks from running around the same places again and again. The exploration feature can rarely give you anything of value and you can definitely finish the game without cooking a single dish.

They also removed the ability to interact in the environment using the seraphims’ powers, but scattered treasures and other interactive objects are all over the place, most likely to provide even more distractions from all the running. There are also different mini-games you can play in almost every port in the  game, so you at least have some unique activities you can do every time you visit and revisit a city. 

But overall, running around Berseria’s maps is not as much of a hassle as travelling back and forth cities in the vast world of Zestiria 

Exciting combat, more customizability

The combat in Berseria has also improved a lot from Zestiria

You get to customize your combos in Berseria and your movements look so much better and cooler. I am in love with Velvet’s flashy fighting style. Depending on how you set her combos, you can make Velvet move all over the place and send flurries of kicks from all directions or deliver slower but powerful blows that shake the ground and hit multiple enemies at once. Battle in Berseria is so much more fast-paced and intense. 

Berseria’s combat gameplay will also require you to be more tactical, so no, you can't just spam attacks. A key element in battle is the "Soul Gauge" which determines how long you can use combos. You usually start with 3 or four Soul Gauge and you get to replenish it by blocking your enemies’ attacks or hitting their weaknesses. You also lose souls when you are hit with status effects or use powerful attacks. 

You cannot "armatize" in Berseria, but you can use "Break Soul" which allows your characters to perform special moves, for instance, transforms Velvet’s demonic arms which unlocks a whole new set of abilities.  

I also cannot emphasize enough how happy I am that they finally let players rotate the camera at will on Berseria. I hated the camera movements during battles in Zestiria which was really hard to tame. 

Overall, I think Tales of Berseria was a step in the right direction for the Tales series. With Berseria, the series was able to veer away from clichès and break free from its usual narratives. It’s proof that a simple yet cohesive story and gameplay can go far. – Rappler.com