Honestly I wish I had played this before Zestiria but well it’s too late to change my decisions from 2 months ago. Kanade’s thoughts in blue as usual.
So after ragequitting Zestiria, we decided to play the prequel – Tales of Berseria. The good news is of course the game was 17492834 times better than its sequel, however knowing that the sequel is a piece of garbage made finishing the game a slight disappointment lmao.🤣😭
- Travel was a million times easier because you had items that not only helped you teleport to various parts of the world map, but you had a free ship owned by Eizen’s pirate crew that also let you travel pretty much to every port city. There was no stupid lord of the land grind, no annoyingly large maps to run through, and somewhere in the middle of the game you basically get a hover board that not only lets you fly through the map faster, but if you’re flying through old low level maps you can basically run over enemies and kill them in 1 hit. 🤣
- The easy mode was actually easy, I didn’t have to deal with bullshit mechanics killing my party because the AI is stupid. And well as with all tales games, the AI was pretty stupid (example: Velvet would use her yaoi hand and then run away which would deplete her HP and nearly kill her because she gets HP back by well attacking and if she’s not attacking she’s just dying.) Thanks to this I had no difficulty killing the final boss with my party at level 50.
- The weapon upgrade system was pretty basic which let you upgrade, and dismantle old items. There was a more involved system with learning skills in other gear but honestly I just ignored it. I just focused on putting on the gear that gave me the most attack and upgrade it as much as I could. By the end of the game my upgraded gear from mid game that was +5 was better than any end game item that wasn’t upgraded – save for a few random items I picked up in the final dungeon.
- We actually had funny skits like I expect from a tales series. The skits in Zestiria are an embarrassment.
- There was no weird introduce character – then make them vanish on and off until they are replaced by another character bullshittery like with Rose. Every character that was in my party from the start was in my party in the end, no bullshit or character swaps.
- We had a funny mascot in the party that made funny jokes and added humor to the game. It was a Normin, but he wasn’t just some Normin you found laying around doing nothing that gave you stat buffs and nothing else.
- The story was very easy to follow. In Zestiria nothing made any god damn sense to me but it turns out a lot of things were also references to Berseria. So it’s like they went in Berseria and started adding one by one references from Zestiria so that if you played Zestiria after Berseria, it would actually make sense. Therefore I wish I had played Zestiria after Berseria. It’s weird, I can see why people tell me to play Zestiria as it’s obviously the inferior of the 2 games and would have been incredibly underwhelming to play after Berseria. However it might have been SLIGHTLY less terrible had I played it in the correct order since at least maybe some of the story would have made sense and I probably would have appreciated Eizen and Zaveid (and Edna too) a lot more than I did. Of course Zaveid and Edna were my favorite Zestiria characters anyway so I guess not much would have changed anyway. Also having Slay as the protag after Velvet would have been like going from a 5 star restaurant to Burger King.
Berseria being a more or less “baseline competent” game makes Tales of Zesteria so much stranger. The first things that we noticed while playing this game were like “oh hey, the characters actually talk about stuff that naturally leads to the next point in the quests” or “I can tell which pieces of gear are better without having to break out a slide rule and graphing paper” or “you can differentiate the maps from each other”. The fact that they came out roughly the same time but they somehow un-forgot how to make a game when it became time for Berseria.
So because of the reasons above Berseria was just fundamentally a much better game. However there is one thing that Berseria had a lot of that I really disliked: BROCON/SISCON. Oh my god like the entire game just revolves around Velvet’s brocon obsession with her dead (not really) brother Laphicet. She names a random malak they steal from Teresa as Laphicet, only to find out that he would have been Laphicet’s nephew had her sister not died by demon hand on the night of the red moon. Also the fact that Phi, the malak, had a massive crush on Velvet, not the brotherly kind either which is hinted a lot during their after-bath anime scene and his love confession to her at the end. We also then have the insane obsession with Teresa with her half brother Oscar, who is also a massive siscon, and gave her an earring that one gives to their fiance so yea you can put 2 and 2 together on that one. Especially their death scene was like watching Romeo and Juliet or something.
No, wincest is good, actually. And let’s face it, it’s almost always cousins or siblings, so auntcest is a rare morsel to be savored in the few instances that it exists.
↑ Bro what the fuck. ಠ_ಠ On top of that we have the whole mother obsession from Eleanor which was further underlined by the 2 demons Moana and Medissa. Anyway you know me, I’m all for JRPG ships which is why Tales of Arise is like top tier for me 🤣 but I would have been ok with no romance at all….rather than all the insane brocon/siscon incest shit. The ending credits of the game with a nude Velvet hugging a nude Laphicet (while they are clearly devouring each other per the ending) was also uncomfortable and weird ಠ_ಠ. So that entire overarching theme just was really weird and I mostly tried to side eye it while enjoy the usual tales banter from everyone else and not hating on the game system.
There’s no time for romance, there is only time for REVENGE and KILLING and EATING YOUR SOUL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall I would still recommend the game because I liked Velvet as a heroine, I liked her no bullshit attitude when she wasn’t a depressed blob over her brother. That said not sure if I’d ever recommend playing Zestiria after this, because Zestiria was just bad and I think even if I had played it after, I probably would still have quit around the same point because a random story boss was impossible for me to defeat without grinding like crazy 🤣.
The glib analogy would be “Velvet is girl Yuri”, but the key difference between them is that Yuri has a very droll detachment about everything while Velvet is always seething. So both of them will say, straight up merc someone in cold blood, but Yuri will nonchalantly dust his hands afterwords while Velvet will unleash a torrent of “YOKUMO!!!!!!!!!!”s and “ZENBU!!!!!!!!!”s the whole time. Or how the skits will have Yuri respond with like “Oh boy, the derpwaifu is derping yet again” while Velvet is more about “No. Shut the fuck up.”
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the stream and you can check out my funny moment collection on twitch here.