If there is one style of game that has the ability to take you to strange places it has to be the JRPG. What this strangeness gives us though is games such as Tales of Berseria, where you play a Daemon with a blood sucking claw who wages a battle of vengeance against against exorcists.
The character of Velvet wasn’t always like this of course, but we learn just what caused this transformation at the start of the game. There is controversy around this part of the game of course because of the censorship of a certain scene. While this changing of a cut-scene will aggravate many fans, I’d argue that this small change doesn’t affect the game as a whole and the enjoyment you’ll have. Though people will no doubt think differently and have every right to.
In Tales of Berseria you play the character of Velvet Crowe who at the start of the game lives happily with her brother Laphicet and they are protected by older brother-in-law and exorcist, Arthur. With the Daemonblight turning people in the village in which they live into monsters, the exorcists are the only thing that stands in the way of doom. This is of course where the expected treacherous event takes place, resulting in Velvet having a new monster arm, and on the hunt for vengeance. With sights set on Arthur, she must travel the world of Berseria hunting down the once trusted protector of her family.
Being a character that is a monster in many people’s eyes makes Velvet an outcast, which to me instantly makes her interesting. With many JRPG games of course you need a team to fight with, and Tales of Berseria brings together an oddball group of similar outcast characters to aid Velvet in her fight. This is familiar anime and JRPG territory of course, but the darker edge to the characters makes them interesting.
If you want the cuteness of JRPG’s still present in your gaming experience, Tales of Berseria does deliver. With all the daemons and oddballs also comes the abilities to collect cute little kitties and meet all kinds of interesting NPCs. Along with these are also the costume choices which may make some people frown, especially when it comes to the style of Velvet. If it bothers the player, they can choose alternative costume choices that cover more flesh (while still looking cool).
While Tales of Berseria does lack in the graphical quality of some other JRPG titles, it makes up for that in the strength of the story and the actual combat system. While you can set it up with certain levels of automation, when you choose to enter the strategy and combat side of the game, it is surprisingly deep. While at first I found myself trying to stay away from what appeared to be a complicated battle system, the more I delve into it though the more I find myself enjoying it.
What really works well with this title, is the fact that battles are fun. There is a combo system built into Tales of Berseria that allows you to build up to impressive attacks that feel so satisfying when you pull them off, and with battles that further the story the game. There still is that feel though that it is better to run away from some battles that can be repetitive. It is a good way to grind up the levels though.
Tales of Berseria is a JRPG where you’ll become invested in the huge adventure, and most importantly have fun with it. It may be more linear that some other JRPG games, and feel a little dated, but in truth it isn’t always about graphical quality that makes a game stand out. A JRPG for the more rebellious outsiders, it may be a little complicated for newcomers to the style of game, but give it a chance and it’ll teach you everything you need to know.
Tales of Berseria is available on PC (via Steam) and PlayStation 4 in the UK now.