Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jun 212017

After my excitement for Tales of Zestiria changed to utter disappointment, I was a bit wary of the next Tales game.

However, Tales of Berseria is not only leagues better than Zestiria, it’s an excellent game that even tries to patch up Zestiria’s worldbuilding, since they’re set in the same universe.

In fact, Berseria often feels like it was written as an answer to Zestiria’s criticism.

All those loose ends in the lore? Several find a home in Berseria. The ever-changing explanations of malevolence? Berseria picks a simpler one and sticks with it. Zestiria’s “angel of death” seraphim? Berseria uses the concept for more than a throwaway scene. The gun? It gets a better explanation here than Zestiria’s non-answer.

And if Zestiria’s bizarre, inconsistent morality bothered you, you should be pleased with Berseria. It might seem ironic, since Velvet is motivated by revenge and selfishness, but her morality is handled much better than Sorey and Rose’s.

Overall, even though Tales of Berseria is the “darker” game, it ends up feeling more positive and optimistic than Zestiria.

Click for Zestiria and Berseria spoilers
Melchior also felt like an answer to Symonne, since he’s a master of illusion who actually uses his powers in effective ways.

For that matter, I thought not having Michael as the villain was a big missed opportunity for Zestiria’s story, and Berseria even answers that with a child-sacrificing Shepherd villain.

But enough comparing it to Zestiria, let’s look at it on its own.

Berseria’s cast is entertaining and enjoyable, and its villains also take an excellent role. I generally liked the characters and wanted to see how everything would work out. Skits have a new style this time, with fuller sprites instead of just portraits, which gives them more life and lets them work for more important conversations. There are plenty of humorous moments alongside its darker themes, and the plot was entertaining with a few twists I didn’t see coming.

It also has several different types of mini-games, as well as some excellent side quests.

Click for Zestiria spoilers, yes, Zestiria
Of course, getting to know Eizen made his fate even more painful. Come on, Sorey, you didn’t even TRY to find an alternate solution!

That’s not to say Berseria is perfect. It has a few annoyances, such as a few set phrases and ideas the characters like to bring up over and over and over. One would have been fine, but with so many, it starts to feel silly.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the combat system, either, where the number of attacks you can perform depends on your “souls,” which you can gain or lose based on what you do in battle. It was fine, but I’d like to see the next Tales game return to a simpler system.

Tales of Berseria is a strong answer to Zestiria’s problems, as well as a great JRPG in its own right. Zestiria left me unhappy with the series, but Berseria has redeemed it.

If you want posts like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email in the box below to subscribe!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>