JRPG’s can come in many varieties, but many can start by embarking on epic journeys with well-drawn cutscenes and a colorful cast. Diehard fans of the genre can discern between good and mediocre titles. Consider Tales of Berseria. Coming from a long-running RPG series in its own right, this game has the story and character experience that a seasoned player may look for while enjoying new facets to gameplay and narrative that the series may not have used prior.
What Is Tales of Berseria?
As the 16th installation of the Tales role-playing game series, this JRPG carries on a long tradition of high fantasy, coexistence themes, and real-time battle mechanics. The story of Tales of Berseria is, in fact, a prequel to the previous game Tales of Zestiria, but even with the ties from previous gameplay and themes, both games are vastly different from a narrative point of view.
A Journey into Darkness
In previous games in the Tales series, the story has centered around an upbeat mood with characters that meet unsurmountable challenges. Velvet Crowe, the main character in this one, makes sure that is not the case from the very beginning. She is thrust toward a demon-infested world where souls are used as servants and emotion is treated as a disease.
As the first woman at the forefront of the story in the Tales series, Tales of Berseria has a radical edge that it has been missing in quite a while. But this is not due to some happy-go-lucky female empowerment angle, but a real path of vengeance led by an emotional yet charismatic rogue.
A Clash of Characters
Tales of Berseria takes much of its strength from the characters in your party. They are not the regular RPG team-up, but a band of outsiders with their own quirks. Velvet makes the story something other than a standard good vs. evil quest. Players are becoming invested in the moral ambiguity of a pack of antiheroes. We would not be surprised if players get invested in the story of the supporting cast and their goals as well.
The Linear Motion Battle System this series is known for takes on some solid upgrades in Tales of Berseria. Players now have added mobility during attacks, and can change camera angles as they move through the battlefield. They must fight using a combat system using souls as your source of stamina — the more souls you increase in your bar, the more powerful attacks you can unleash. It does take a while for new players to get used to this system. It can be very easy for someone to waste all their soul-stamina on missed shots in a few rounds, which can lead into trouble fast.
There are other kinks in the game that can add up to the almost 50 hours of gameplay. The dungeon-diving part of it gets dull from time to time. It becomes the same amount of corridors, caves, and forests that can kill hours of fun. There is also limited fast-travel options, so there are many times you have to backtrack through areas you have been to before.
If you buy it for PC, it requires a 64-bit processor on Windows 7, 8, or 10 for installation. Minimum technical specifications include 2GB RAM and a processor that is either an Intel Core 2 Duo at 3.0GHz or AMD Phenom II X2 350 at 3.1GHz. Graphics cards should be at least a GeForce 9800 GTX or AMD Radeon HD 4850. The recommended specs for Tales of Berseria should be 4GB RAM and an Intel Core i5-750 at 2.66GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 965 at 3.2GHz. The recommended graphics card should be a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 7870.
The price of Tales of Berseria on Amazon is around $. However, there is a Collector’s Edition that includes figures, a prequel, music CD, and more for a whopping Amazon price of around $$$.
Tales of Berseria
- New battle system - Evolved form of Linear Motion Battle System adds new option to map artes to control pad buttons for...
- Powerful playable character options - Play as one of six different characters, each with his or her own unique skills,...
- Beautiful animation movie - Famed animation studio ufotable returns to produce Tales of Berseria's stunning cinematic...
The price on Amazon is around $, which is worth it for a game of its size.
Ease of Use
The size of cities, with their passageways and alleys, can get confusing in finding NPCs and quests. Players might have issues learning how to use the stamina-based combat system from the beginning. This is a solid three-star rating in both points.
In many respects, it is the characters that will keep a player going more than the story in Tales of Berseria. A dark, brooding anti-heroine helms an epic story around emotion versus reason, sacrifice, and misfits coming together to take down corrupt orthodoxies. The real-time battle system of the series still packs a punch by being fast-paced and fun.
The game is a PlayStation exclusive if you want to buy a physical copy. It is also compatible with Windows-enabled PCs for digital download. This gives it a three-star rating.
The game is 15GB in size, so installation on your PS4 or PC should not be much of an issue. We give it four stars in installation.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
- Assassin's Creed Origins: Over 50 E3 awards and nominations
- Unearth the pharaohs' tombs, solve the mysteries of Egypt, and come face-to-face with ancient gods
- Reveal the origin story through a tale of the first Assassin on a fearless quest for redemption
The price for Assassin’s Creed Origins is around $$ for both PS4 and Xbox One and around $$ for PC.
Ease of Use
Like in many other Assassin’s Creed games, you must climb over buildings, trees, and structures. That makes their parkour system a necessary component, and one that has always been in constant improvement. Origins have done away with many of the limitations in movement, lessening the amount of time planning the best route up and around buildings. The ease of frustration on players gives the game a star rating of five.
Fans of the popular Ubisoft series finally get to see the beginnings of the conflict between the shadowy Assassins and the Templars who want to control the world. Before the launch of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, this was the one in the series with one of the most expansive open-world environments. The ancient Egypt setting is equal parts mythic and historical and has a strong level design that makes the missions fun and challenging.
The game includes powerful moments in characterization throughout, despite the story being by-the-numbers a good amount of the time. The main characters hold it together with the way they piece together the foundations of the vaunted franchise’s history. This is worth of four stars from the overall effort.
There are no issues with compatibility with Origins, it is completely cross-platform. It is five-star rated in this aspect.
If you are buying the physical version, it will almost fill up a dual-layer Blu-ray disc with its approximate 42 GB of data. That also makes a digital copy a very serious download and installation, giving this two stars.
The price for the base game is around $$, but as it is still in development you will have to wait. For immediate access to the alpha, you will have to pay around $$.
Ease of Use
The entire point of sandbox games like Dual Universe is to build anything, and they have made that a feature with no issue. However, while you can almost build your entire empire from scratch on one world, getting to that point might be tricky. According to what some players have said in testing, reaching cool endgame points like mega-structures and full political systems might have to do more with learning the Lua scripting language. Some might be fine with picking up a programming language to enjoy a game, but we give it two stars for that.
As a realistic Minecraft-type game set in space, Dual Universe takes the crafting, mining, and exploration that has become popular and added concepts like politics, trade, and warfare into an MMORPG setting. Players have very little issues with editing the world as they see fit (just recently players have placed a McDonald’s on the map). There are no size restrictions when they build any constructions. Central to the game is how players can add or subtract matter on the planet as a resource for whatever they are making, be it a sword or city-wide space station.
In its current state, it is only compatible on Windows-operated PC. This limitation gives it a two-star rating.
At the moment it is still in development (currently in alpha at the time of writing), so not every player has access to it. They can purchase the game at a certain price in order to install Dual Universe. This limited installation gives it one star.
The price for Toukiden 2 is around $ for the PS4, around $ for the PS Vita and around $$ for the PC.
Ease of Use
There are 11 types of weapons to use, which can be equally fun and overwhelming to use at times. Because of the numerous styles, skills, and styles, this allows, we give it three stars.
While many dismiss the game as a pale version of the vastly popular Monster Hunter, what makes this one stand out is its story. You are a demon slayer who must protect lands from a world swarmed by demons that escaped through rifts in space and time. As you vanquish the swarms, new characters and plot points appear in an open-world environment.
As more of the world opens up from the demonic threat, players have access to new villages to explore and defend. Real-time battles against new monsters are waged using new weapons compared to the first Toukiden. In many respects, it is an evolution from its predecessor and deserves four stars.
The game is a PlayStation exclusive on consoles and available for digital download on PC, so that might put off gamers who do not own Sony consoles. This gives Toukiden 2 a rating of two stars.
It takes up around16 GB in disk space, so it should not be much of an issue in installation. We give it four stars in this regard.
Overall, we give Tales of Berseria four out of five stars. Playing as a demon woman leaving a trail of destruction with a group of spirits, pirates, and other malcontents will always be exciting when you’re considered the good guy in the story. This fun exploration on the destructive nature of revenge has its issues with level design, but that should not take away from the moments when you are dodging and stringing together a cascade of devastating combos on monsters and bosses. JPRG fans should put some hours into this one and enjoy the ride.