Tales of Berseria

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Bandai Namco Entertainment does it again by bringing the sixteenth installment of the Tales series to America, “Tales of Berseria”. It’s the story of a 19 year old girl named Velvet who is out for revenge due to the duplicitous actions of a man named Artorius who wound up killing her sick brother, Laphisat. In a twist of fate she gains demonic powers; her left arm turned into a large hellish claw that is bandaged up) giving her a different air compared to the usual protagonist in a Tales game, along with being female, Velvet is, from my perspective, more hardcore with her motives and development and I can tell that much while still building the story while I am 2 hours in the game.

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*Main character Velvet of this story and she’s bad ass!*

From what I can go by Berseria takes aspects from Tales of Zestiria with the moving of characters when battling but at a decent pace with the story having an edge compared the previous tales game. Though I did like and enjoy Zestiria it did seem lacking.

The battle system has a considerable amount improvement compared to Tales of Zestiria as that required a bit more button mashing to get desired effects especially for Mystic Artes that might require a certain amount of BG count and combo number which, from my standpoint, a pain in the ass to do as a big attack shouldn’t require that much of a breakthrough as 50 combo then press R2 plus circle only to mess up and it goes back to 0! I can safely say, as of this moment, I have no complaints with the battling system.

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*Image of what you will see in battle*

Artes are up to 4 stages where you can equip techniques you learn as the character levels up and can choose any combination that works best for you. By pressing the triangle/square/circle/X button in any fashion you want can bring about a decent combo as long as the soul meter is still blue. The soul counter is your stamina in a way as the more attacks you use it drains it and when you are low on stamina or energy you become sluggish as the character does if which can give damage when hit so try to be conservative when fighting and get some distance.

As you go along with the story you will gain allies to switch between in battle and a style you are most used to like per example if you like getting up close and personal you can use Velvet or Rokurou. If you are in the way of the mystic than ones like Magilou (which I haven’t got to fight yet due to the part of the story I’m on) or Malak for some interesting talisman elemental spells or a cross between the two melee and magic attacks courtesy of Eizen, who has the same blonde hair and blue eyes like Edna from Tales of Zestiria (if it’s supposed to be in the same universe or not I’m not sure as of yet) but whoever you ‘main’ they will best friends however try out some other characters at times to change it up so you don’t get too bored and “meh” with it or you will lose interest fast…

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*It’s okay to switch it up!*

Voice acting as always is good with the VA’s who do the characters match the quality and feel of them. Cristina Vee is Velvet and she is pretty much a veteran now in the anime/game community for what she does. I also hear Erica Lindbeck, who voices Magilou along with, surprisingly Brina Palencia of all people. It’s surprising since she’s mostly in the VA community around the Houston/Dallas area compared to ones in L.A.where you mostly hear ones like Cherami Leigh or Todd Haberkorn, two Funimation alumni who made the switch over to the west coast.

I am enjoying how the story is going and while it is fun to play there are moments of exhaustion fighting enemies until you find a save point or how even some weak enemies can overwhelm you but that is depending how you are feeling at the time. Along with needing to force myself to take a break due to the flashy attacks and button mashing as I get nauseous due to not drinking or eating. It goes into common sense and getting off the system to rest in body and mind to not get sick over something you can play later, despite wanting to PLAY so badly.

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*Another standout character due to Magilou’s eccentric behavior*

Overall this is a game I do recommend  for the anime crew or RPG fans and you don’t have to had to play the previous adaptations, like Abyss, Graces or to go old school (and showing my knowledge) Destiny. It is it’s own standalone story, despite might being linked to Zestiria in some fashion but until I finish I can’t say but if you are that curious go check out that wiki pages.

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*Tales of Destiny*

Score for story, characters, development (which will happen), battle system, music and themes I will give this an 8.5 out of 10!

I hope I can beat this game within the year and not wait two more years to beat it due to another Tales game coming out.

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*Psst remember to try it out!*

Kingdom Hearts II.8: Final Chapter Prologue

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Kingdom Hearts started out as a simple enough game; a 14 year old boy named Sora who wields a keyblade seperated from his home and best friends due to an invasion of heartless destroying his world then winds up in Traverse town where he befriends two disney characters Donald and Goofy to stop the incursion of heartless from destroying the heart of all worlds along with find Kairi and beat the crap out of Riku for stepping into the dark side thanks to Maleficent and her band of evil disney characters who are nothing but a pawn to Ansem, the biggest troll-enemy the likes no one has ever seen before (unless if you play Blazblue and find Hazama aka Yuuki Terumi aka the troll) and you than are plunged into a deeper conspiracy over the keyblade, masters and how the past is linked to the present of all the central characters in the franchise and you have Kingdom hearts in general. Minus the philosphical themes of what makes heart, do you still have feelings if your heart is away from the body and all that is left are memories of what you are emulating as a Nobody and why does Organization XIII wear all black?!

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*Not complicated at all*

Okay so the game went beyond “simple” as we got spin off games to continue the game until we are finally blessed with Kingdom Hearts III but not to worry, Square Enix still has us for our boner for KH with “Kingdom Hearts II.8: Prologue”.

This game adapts the last spin off game, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance from the Nintendo 3Ds, out in 2012, for the first time in a next generation system like the PS4 and it does it a world of good and in HD.

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*Do you ascend out of dreams or fall deeper and deeper into the darkness which consumes you?*

As someone who played the 3DS to continue the story for Sora and Riku, along with needing something avert my attention for 3, this was a good story despite it being a portable one which took advantage of a 3D screen which I personally didn’t use since it made me get a migraine.

Playing this on the PS4 is a welcome edition which I can sink my teeth into from it’s improved graphics and function on a controller. Everything is the same though, you move around either Sora or Riku in battles against enemies called Nightmares in the world of sleep; where some worlds are still asleep needing to be awakened from it’s long dream, there you are helped by good spirits who take the place of Donald and Goofy as your companions as you raise them to gain abilities and fight off bad guys along with the convoluted plan of Ansem, who gets so much expansion you will have to read up on wiki pages just to follow his plan.

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*Yeah you’re going to need it!*

Each spirit animal offers it’s own abilities to aid you and you can improve them by spending dream points you earn from enemies along with bond with your spirit friends in this adventure. From giving them treats to improve stats along with games and even petting them to improve affinity levels, it’s like having a virtual pet but a tad bit refined from the 90s.  You can have a total of 3 with you and 2 will join you in battle. You can also switch them out with the 3rd member however they still get experience as long as they are in Sora or Riku’s party.

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*Your travel companions which you will make with recipes and material you gather in the course of the game. You can also give them names.* 

You can also link with your spirit animals for unique attacks along with join together for an impressive trio attack which will leave your foes blinded by the friendship is magic angle!

The game still holds up from the 3DS if you like the story . Of course that’s not why we are getting this game (well some of us) it’s for the other features KH II Prologue offers and it’s the Aqua storyline that takes place after Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep called “Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth By Sleep – A fragmentary Passage” and the story of the old Keyblade War and the X-Keyblade “Kingdom Hearts X: Back Cover” which explores that.

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*What will you discover when Aqua is in the realm of darkness?*

I haven’t played/viewed them just yet as I’m still doing DDD (to go in order) but I can say it will be cool to see Fragmentary Passage as it will use the mechanics in KH III which will be lit yo!

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*What is the story behind it all?*

I do suggest playing, at least the first 2 games and the prequel to understand what’s going on as this isn’t or should be for beginners for Kingdom hearts. Luckily “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5/2.5 HD” will be out in March on PS4 which will have all 6 games in one bundle to check out!

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*This is the premium edition. If you don’t got the cash you can always nab the regular one!*

That’s it for my impressions for these two games. I’ll try to continue this little series with different mediums (if I can).

Till next time!

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*Take care!*