Tales of Berseria Review – Sometimes It’s Good To Be Bad

With Tales of Zestiria, Bandai Namco concocted a workable new recipe to build the future of the Tales franchise upon, and while it didn’t manifest without a few problems, it still managed to create one of the better and more memorable games in the long-running series.

Having tried so many new systems and methods of progression all in one title, it wasn’t surprising that Bamco left a few lumps in the cake batter, so to speak. The large quasi-openworld layout, the magic point-less combat, the convoluted weapon upgrade mechanic…it all worked once you finally got used to it, but it really need more time in the oven.

Tales of Berseria
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Platform: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PC
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Players: 1
Price: $59.99 (Review Copy Provided)

Which brings us to Tales of Berseria, a prequel to Zestiria that, other than creating a badass female lead, was meant to build upon and improve the changes set forth in its predecessor. Initially – even as a fan – I was highly skeptical that much would change, especially for the better. I loved the first Tales of Xillia, but like its own quickly pumped-out sequel, it lacked the original’s impact.

Systems were unnecessarily dragged out, the new character roleplayed a coma victim through over half the game, and 90% of the world was just copy-pasted from the previous title. Call me pessimistic if you wish, but I was confident the same fate would befall Tales of Berseria. Thankfully, I’m starting to get used to being wrong about a lot of things.

Before I get into the most impressive changes in Berseria, let’s talk about its most shocking: The story.

A lot of anger was thrown at Bandai Namco’s way when it was revealed they would censor the scene where a certain character is killed during the game’s introductory level. While I agree it was a very poor decision, it didn’t mute the overall tone of the title, which is still remarkably dark for a JRPG. After all, when your party is made up of two demons, a pirate, a fallen priestess, a witch, and a young combat slave freed from the church that tried to get him to suicide bomb you, it’s hard to fathom a cheery tale of sunshine and rainbows being crafted from such a mess.

Berseria knows this and seems to revel in the roguish nature of its “heroes”, often having them default to murder or theft as the resolution to their problems without even considering non-criminal alternatives. The only time they don’t, amusingly enough, is when they are confronted with other demons…whom they proceed to let into the merry band of NPCs that make up the comic relief of the party. Imagine having a lizard demon who you were tasked with killing instead get drafted to be your ship’s helmsman, and a headless (and hate-filled) samurai coerced into being your blacksmith. It all makes sense when the stated goal of your outfit is to assassinate the Shepherd and remove the land’s new religion from their seat of power.

The lead character, Velvet, is easily the darkest character in the entire series, even out-throat-slicing Vesperia’s chaotic good hero Yuri, who at least had the common decency to dispose of his targets away from the rest of the group. Velvet extends no such niceties, since the rage she has towards the “Shepherd” is so unparalleled and impossible to contain that she even willingly endangers other party member’s lives to accomplish her deed.

The most interesting aspect of the story is that there comes a time near the end when their assassination plot is somewhat validated and to “save the world”, someone has to willingly plunge it into darkness…which makes Velvet’s murdering ne’er-do-wells seem to be the heroes. The game then balances the idea of granting man free will at the price of producing chaos or maintaining a status quo that grants peace but takes away all freedom.

Though this isn’t exactly heavy story-telling when placed next to a western RPG, it’s a might bit thicker than the usual “evil empire” fare we get from JRPGs. In fact, it’s my favorite storyline in a Tales game by far and the best I’ve experienced in any JRPG since the glory days of the PS2 and Digital Devil Saga. Clearly, doing the “angsty” route was a good choice.

This isn’t to say that everybody is covering their left eye with their bangs, painting their nails black, or listening to My Chemical Romance. In fact, there are many skits in which the characters engage in silly banter…only in this game that silliness is delivered with a clever sense of trolling, all thanks to the party’s resident witch, Magilou.

Oh Magilou…if ever there was a more important comic relief character in an RPG, I’ve yet to find one. Sure, she looks silly and starts off seeming like a completely useless addition to the party, but it doesn’t take long to realize she is the glue that holds the group together.

Unfathomably intelligent, deviously sinister, and a master show(wo)man, Magilou is a supremely skilled professional troll that delights in making the rest of the party look like utter buffoons. This works perfectly with the darker tone of the game by bringing things down to earth and lightening the mood when Velvet and her friends get a bit too grimdark. It also makes for some of the best skits of the Tales of series.

Whether it’s Magilou convincing the party she can commune with canines and getting them to fawn over her as she delivers clever insults to them in her assessments of the dog’s speech, or her fooling a guardsman by convincing him they are simple bards while also embarrassing the hell out of Velvet by forcing her to imitate a pigeon, Magilou is the ultimate shitlord and the only person in the entire game that seems to be “in on the joke”. A dark age Andy Kaufman that makes everyone but themselves the punchline and no one can seem to realize they are the butt of the joke. It’s a shame she doesn’t have a twitter.

One final aspect I feel needs to be mentioned is the voice work. While the dubbing is on point –as usual for a Tales game – the acting done here by Velvet’s voice actor Cristina Vee is off the charts spectacular. Vee has always been my one of my favorite VAs (Right up there with Lisa Ortiz and Jim Cummings), but she seems to have dug deep to deliver a truly bad-ass and frighteningly nasty performance as Berseria’s demonic main hero. Her gravelly voice, low guttural grunting, and the way she seems to capture the strained anger of a woman hell-bent on revenge who also has to somehow hold it back long enough to prevent from going completely insane is a delight to witness. Easily the best role she’s played, if not the best voice job anyone has done for a JRPG, ever.

The other characters may not reach the same peaks as Vee’s interpretation of Velvet or Erica “Orange Heart” Lindbeck’s Magilou, but they all manage to impress in their own way. There’s Eizen, a brooding pirate who wants to kill those responsible for capturing his captain Aifread, Rokurou the man who became a demon in order to slay his brother, the “fallen Paladin” Eleanor who act as the party’s moral compass, and “Boy learning to become a man” Laphicet. They all play off each other wonderfully in the skits and make some memorable moments that fans are already losing their mind over in YouTube recordings this very minute. The chemistry really is that good.

Glowing endorsements of the story and character work aside, the real meat of any JRPG is the combat…and if you read my review of Zestiria, that was the one thing that needed the most work.

I’ve agonized quite a bit over this part of the review because depending on my mood, I could gush excitedly about the combat, or tell you how hideously broken it is and that it destroys the balance of the game. The reason for this dichotomy of views in regard to the battle system is because as unbalanced and easy to exploit as it is, it’s this very same imbalance that makes the game exciting.

Not to bring a totally different RPG into the discussion, but I feel this method of creating an addictive combat system is the same thing that drove the “Souls” series and the first two Gothic games to success. In those RPGs, the combat – at least initially – appears to be difficult to control. Though that changes dramatically after you learn “the trick” and you turn what is universally accepted as a “Hard game” into one that is so laughably easy that you could literally beat it blindfolded.

The “trick” with Tales of Berseria is wrapped up in how they’ve supplanted magic points. Like Zestiria, your ability to perform special moves in combat is governed not by “mana”, but instead by “souls”. These souls, which are gained by afflicting enemies with status effects (or harvesting them on the battlefield) are basically an ever-expanding gauge that determines how many attacks you can chain in a combo. As you gain more souls you get longer chains, which in turn makes it easier to inflict status effects, which means you get into this dangerous (for the enemies, anyway) loop where you essentially become invincible because nothing can mathematically withstand your ever-growing ability to gain “souls” through status-afflicting.

The upside to this is that even on insane difficulty, the hardest of bosses can be wiped out in mere seconds with little effort. The downside, well, that’s *also* the downside.

Battles are decided in the initial five or so seconds of a fight, since whoever nails a status effect first is going to get into that aforementioned loop and getting the combatant out of that cycle is annoyingly difficult. If that combatant is you (and even an arthritic 40+ gamer like me was this fortunate about 95% of the time) then you’ll be screeching with delight over how easily you handle even the dangerous wandering monsters the game claims are outrageously difficult.

However, if the enemy is the fortunate status-inflicter, then you better dig out those gels and hope you can outlast it long enough to turn things around, since even the most mundane of monster mobs can send you to a game over if they drain you of your souls.

Unbalances aside, I love the simplicity of the combat system. Unlike other Tales games, all attacks are mapped to the four main controller buttons rather than being mapped to one button and a joypad direction. What this does is make combat much faster than any other Tales game and combos far easier to pull off, chain, and set up beforehand. Though meant to bring new players into the series, it actually does veterans a favor as well by making combat more about rhythm and planning rather than quick reflexes and move spamming.

All one has to do is find a chain of attacks that have a high chance to cause a status effect and then open up with it during a fight. If it hits and the status effect fires off, you can “stun lock” the enemies into a constant loss of souls that gives you an almost unstoppable advantage. After that, you can turn on Velvet’s “Demon Mode” and get guaranteed hits with an even more profound chance to cause status effects that end in a mystic arte.

See how outrageously unbalanced it can be?

Like I stated earlier, it depends upon how you feel about such a system. I happened to enjoy the unbalanced nature since I could play on the higher difficulties and farm grade/items/experience very easily in a short amount of time. However, I could still easily see people being upset about the exploitative nature of the combat system.

One system I felt they completely nailed this time, when compared to Zestiria, is the equipment upgrade mechanic. No longer tied to a silly graph that requires you to match colored symbols to activate bonuses, Berseria has gone the same route Final Fantasy IX did and tether skills to your gear and have an AP system that permanently teaches you the ability after you wear it long enough. What this does is eliminate the need to carry 50 or so variants of each piece of equipment around and instead lets you pick and choose your equipment according to how you want to build each party member.

Thanks to this system, I built a Magilou who was a frontline tank and damage dealer who had the option to cast powerful AOE attacks and healing spells, making her the most used and valuable character on my team. The same techniques can be applied to other characters as well, giving players the opportunity to mix and match styles according to their need. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to turn everyone into tanks or casters, given enough time and equipment accrual, which is a welcome change of pace in a JRPG series that’s never been known for allowing for much build creation.

Weapons can also be upgraded to +1 and above, given you farm the right components. Most of these smithing materials are dropped by enemies, but you may also obtain them by breaking down unneeded weapons and armor…a method I found to be the quickest and easiest way to get what I wanted.

On the visual side of things, Berseria runs at a crisp 60fps, something Zestiria seemed to have more than a bit of trouble of doing even on the PS4. Perhaps more stunning than the framerate would be the fact that, unlike that other Tales sequel game (Xillia 2), it doesn’t reuse old maps from the previous title to pad out its content. Though you do revisit some familiar locales, the designers took into account that you’re playing in a world that predates the previous game’s land by more than a thousand years…so things are quite different than before. You’ll notice this when discovering the swampy verdant overworld “dungeon” you’ve been walking around in is actually the desert canyon area from Zestiria. A nice little touch that shows someone at Bandai cares about continuity.

As for the music, it’s more of the same brilliance from Sakuraba, only this time many of the tracks feel more “metal” than j-pop. One of my favorites was near the start of the game when Velvet tore up her prison and started feasting on the prisoners. I stood there for a good five minutes simply listening to the music. Later in the game I was required to return there and whenever I did, that same gothic-horror style music grabbed me again, causing me to stop. The soundtrack, overall, is one of his best works and probably the best in the Tales series since Symphonia…at least in this reviewer’s biased opinion.

Every Tales game has a special place in my heart, even the horrible ones, but Tales of Berseria won me over in a way that few have. Though many accuse its dark and gloomy story as being more “edgelord” than darklord, I still consider it to be the most engrossing Tales game since Vesperia. Take from that comment whatever you will.

With such an outstanding story, great characters, a blistering fast (And addictively fun to exploit) combat system, a “less messy” weapon upgrade mechanic and the best visuals in the entire series, I feel comfortable calling this my new favorite “Tales of” game…or at the very least, tied with Graces f.

What’s great about Berseria is that unlike most Tales of games, it acts as a wonderful jumping-in point for new players. Combine this with its ease-of-use and flashy combat designed to accommodate more tactical, veteran players and you have one of the most complete JRPGs you’re likely to find on the current generation’s systems. Tales of Berseria is a must play for any and all JRPG fans.

Tales of Berseria was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a review copy provided by Bandai Namco. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

The Verdict 9.5

The Good

  • Great visuals/framerate (even on console)
  • Easy to learn systems & combat
  • Engrossing story & characters
  • Lots of new environments, very little copied over from Zestiria
  • Feels like a true “next-gen” Tales game
  • Battles are highly exploitable if you know what you’re doing

The Bad

  • Some mild backtracking, which can get tiring
  • Battles are highly exploitable…which may be a turn off to some

FEATURED GAME



  • Will3316

    Well I’ve been interested in getting into this series at some point, and since Vesperia probably won’t be remastered to the PS4 anytime soon, might as well start here.

  • patyos

    Really Loved Berseria the more I play the more I want to announce it as * The Best Tales of game ever made

  • sanic

    Grabbing this when I get my tax return, good to see carl back has a more through descriptive nature too reviews.

  • OSad

    The game’s really braindead on Normal, I would recommend to anybody interested to turn up the difficulty to Hard at least for some adequate difficulty, plus the increased item drop rate lets you have some more fun with equipment upgrading, skill mastering and party min-maxing if that’s your cup of tea.

    Even then, Hard won’t really give you any difficulty if you’re paying attention to your equipment and it’s really only at Insane (what “Hard” actually is on the Japanese version) that you’ll start to be challenged and must build specific arte combos to battle enemies, and even then, this is only a requirement at some of the side-content stuff. You’ll probably power through story stuff with little trouble still.

    I don’t recommend anything above that. The speed at which enemies can attack you increases exponentially, which really only means that one screw-up means you’ll be stunlocked to death, and if you don’t, you’ll probably come out of it with no useable HP and a single star on your break guage to attack with, turning combat into a massive chore.

    Still, a fairly enjoyable and long as hell game, good revengeance story, spotty translation at times but I pity the fool that got the short end of the stick and had to translate Magilou with all her eccentric lines, so I won’t hold it against them. Solid ARPG, got me playing a Tales game when I never played a single one before, would recommend.

  • FreshSnug

    I want to play it, but it’s censored.

    Fuck.

  • KenAyagami

    wait.. your putting this awesome game down because of that one sword scene was censored..? man your really missing out and overthinking regarding the issue.. =.=

  • Kakaku

    Piracy? If you’d feel guilty not paying for the experience at all then buy a used copy. If you want to play the game, but you don’t want to support a localization you feel is subpar then you have other options.

    Alternatively you could just play other games. Lots of old gems out there you might now have gotten the chance to play.

  • scemar

    nice to see the localized dub being reviewed, not that I’d ever play a game that way, but it’s still interesting to read a well put opinion about them

    overall really solid game, everyone seems to have liked it, complains are weak or non existant

  • Mysterious Friend X

    Maybe they should have made Tales of Berseria the X instead.

  • Paladin Joe

    I love this game. The characters are great especially Magilou. Defenitly my favorite tales game. It’s even better than Vesperia imo.

  • Mr0303

    It still boggles the mind why Bamco would censor what seems to be darker themed game and eat all the negative PR. Their censorship decisions recently have been pretty brain-dead. Hopefully this won’t become a trend with the games they publish.

  • Fuck the haters Tales of Zestiria is awesome.

  • Jumanji Joe

    To bad about the random censorship.

  • AuraMaster DX (austin9568)

    That’s why I’m thinking of getting it preowned.

  • KenAyagami

    Is it that important? cause it’s just one scene.. and you can check out the uncensored version on youtube anytime.. I just don’t think it’s that big of an issue

  • Mr0303

    I have a very low tolerance for censorship and Bamco have been pretty terrible with it recently, especially when it comes to swords. I was on the fence about the game, since I’m not a big RPG fan in the first place, so this really put me off and I decided to skip it.

    Censorship is an anti consumer practice that shouldn’t be rewarded. I’d much rather spend my money elsewhere.

  • KenAyagami

    Well.. if it’s okay if it’s a thing that you can’t stand.. but I’m just saying that is kinda waste to judge the whole game base on that 30 sec censored scene.. that consist over 50 hour’s of gameplay

  • Mr0303

    I’m not judging the game. I’m judging the publisher and the treatment of the consumer.

  • Eldhin Hellknight

    I haven’t lost my interest on this game yet, but my (almost zero) low tolerance about censorship still keeps me from buying it. With some luck, it will be on sale with a good discount. It would be awesome to see a mod that fixes it but that would be pretty difficult to make i think

  • orbo

    43$ for pc, no regrets.
    Very good game and the darker plot is very welcome not just next to other tales games but next to the sea of happy and upbeat jrpgs in general.
    Thought the english dubbing was good (except for kamoana, I’m baffled by how bad hers is)
    Really like the combat, especially Velvet. They really got her down pat and feels like a true berserker. She is hands down the most powerful character – if you can keep her fed with souls.

  • scemar

    they did tease us with a PC “uncensor” patch but never delivered

    that would have been one of the most remarkable moves in recent gaming history, and a great step
    instead it was nothing

  • Obbliglol

    I liked Zestiria well enough, but Berseria sounds like a huge improvement. I fucking love the equipment/ability system in FFIX, so that’s a huge plus for me.

  • Malcolm_Ecks

    Glad to hear that the story is pretty dark. Its one of the aspects I liked about Tales of the Abyss as it progressed. The Tales folks have a style of dark writing I very much enjoy. I found Zesteria’s story as waaaaay too light.

  • Malcolm_Ecks

    It’s ok.

  • Ax

    It’s a Good but easy game even on very hard. I like almost everything in it except for the OST and the awful dungeon design( every dungeon is like they made only one room and then just copy/paste it to form a “dungeon”), it’s a 8 for me.

  • MusouTensei

    It’s sad that they had to censor it, I just can’t support this and will buy a used copy eventually, when I have time for another JRPG as I’m currently playing Trails in the Sky and just got Zelda, with Nier on its way as well.

  • EinMugenTenshin

    Well, for this game in particular you could make an exception. I kinda feel it is more of a localization thing, as there’s a very religion based theme with exorcists throughout the game here, and sacrifice by sword was more common in Japanese culture while sacrifice by “hellfire” makes sense in the Western version considering we got the religious history context/understanding to link the dots.

    However, I kind of agree that it would be very childish to censor this if the display is the reason, especially considering what gruesome things Velvet do throughout the game in general (she basically eats people), however I don’t really know if this is the case.

  • You shouldn’t put it all on the publisher. The western culture have no tolerance of a child being killed on a TV screen, for example being stabbed by a sword right in the gut then impaled for a good 10 second before being let go down to a cliff. Just hypothetically speaking. In Japan it’s fine, but North America ist he country that can’t show kid being harmed or killed of on television screen. Not just video game, but TV shows as well. So they had to censor this or face the backlash. I think seeing the original uncensored version does make more of an impact, to get in the mind of Velvet, how she’s hell bent on getting her revenge no matter what, and that’s because she saw her family murdered in cold blood, but boycotting the entire game for this? It’s your loss. When our culture can accept something like this without gazillion of people getting offended left and right, then we can question Bamco’s decision.

  • Mr0303

    “Well, for this game in particular you could make an exception.” – I could, but I don’t think I will. I’ve been pretty busy with other games in the meantime.

    I highly doubt that the explanation you gave is the reason they censored the scene.

  • Mr0303

    “You shouldn’t put it all on the publisher.” – it’s 95% on them. This is a Mature rated game, so anything should be allowed not to mention the fact that this will fall under “animated violence”.

    ” The western culture have no tolerance of a child being killed, for
    example being stabbed by a sword right in the gut then impaled for a
    good 10 second before being let go down to a cliff.” – that may be true, but in the Last of Us there is a scene where a small girl is shot in the gut and dies an agonising death for a good minute or so. In another scene a kid is shot in the head. Same rating as this game and it is much more photorealistic.

    “boycotting the entire game for this? It’s your loss.” – I suppose it is, but it is also the loss of Bamco, who won’t get my money.

  • catazxy

    And with that you give 0$ to the devs, its just like piracy imo.

  • catazxy

    I’m glad to see they actually made a good Tales game this time.

  • FreshSnug

    I can’t say “FUCK YOU FOR SUPPORTING CENSORSHIP” to people if I go and support censorship now can I? I’m sorry Rina Satou.

  • FreshSnug

    I’m not sure removing a copy from the market is much different. It’s just making someone else buy it new.

  • FreshSnug

    Ehhhh. The Tales series has always been censored. I should probably avoid it.

  • KenAyagami

    Well by buying a game does not mean I’m all for censorship.. I’m just saying depending on the censorship.. If the censorship does not affect the overall gameplay than I’m okay with it.. for example

    I’m okay with – TOB censored since it’s only about 30 sec and does not show or go back to the scene

    I’m not okay with – Criminal girl’s censored since they censored the punishment gameplay with smoke and muted voice, this does affect the gameplay which I’m not okay with. since we all know anybody who buy this kind of game are interested in the H-scene

    I won’t try to act like I know how the game production cycle is run, but for me who run’s manufacturing production I kinda understand why they did it.. sometimes compromise has to be made to gain better result, for them is the ERSB rating to help them gain a wider audience and gaining more revenue

  • KenAyagami

    Ya I agree with you for the double standard the last of us and TOB for the ESRB.. I think you can check out this youtube channel to explain the thing about ESRB.. just leaving the link here if anybody is interested.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFItIX8SIs4zqhJCHpbeV1A

    They did point out ESRB double standard for having more strict rules for Japanese game compare to Westen game.

  • Mr0303

    Even if the ESRB had some bias towards Japanese games Bamco could’ve tried to keep the scene intact given that the game is already rated M.

    Yeah, I’m a big fan of Censored Gaming. They are doing great work.

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    Do you like Berserk, Hunter x Hunter, Brocons ,female protagonists and troll witches? With toned down violence ofc? Then Berseria is for you, and it will make you wonder wtf made the characters that appear in Zesteria lame in comparison (even the ones that appear in both) even though it is set in the same world.

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    It is as dark as previous Tales games…

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    I thought it was easy as well until you fight against the “optional” bosses in each area. You still have to stay on your toes.

  • FreshSnug

    Then they’ve compromised my ability to buy the game. It was obviously meant for children who can’t handle violence anyway.

  • yukitron

    lots of Japanese games are censored in some way. I hope you’re okay with not buying a bunch of those then

  • yukitron

    And all that hard work Bamco did on translating and dubbing the game for you, down the drain. Sad!

  • yukitron

    If Bamco decides not to bring the next Tales game to the US, I will happily blame the people who didn’t buy it because of censorship. Then again, you’re just a whiny minority anyhow

    Also, thanks for the review, Carl :)

  • Mr0303

    Yep. I’m completely OK with that. Nowadays there is so much choice and variety in games that I can take my business to games that are not censored.

  • Alex Drake

    LOL keep deluding yourself. IT won’t change the truth

  • FreshSnug

    Besides you just supported censorship with your own hard earned money. Shame m8.

  • KenAyagami

    like I say.. I won’t go crazy from a few censorship, if it does not impact the overall gameplay it’s okay for me since I prefer to enjoy a good game than buying other game that I don’t really like just because of the 30sec scene of the game. and since we got youtube we are able to see the uncensored version anyway.

    This is just my opinion but like people getting rage over censorship like Xenoblade Chronicles them having to censor the boob slider for the underage girl is kinda dumb.. since I would like to play the game for the gameplay and story.. not because of the boob slider.. and people pass out on such a great game cause of the 1 censorship is insane for me.

    I bet if they never reported on the Tales of Berseria censorship in the first place everyone would be okay with it since impaling the boy with a sword or with magic does not matter, the important of the context is artorius is willing to sacrifice a boy for the world.

  • FreshSnug

    It’s not what’s censored that matters. It’s that there’s any censorship at all. Besides perverts like myself like the boob slider, and people like you are keeping me from it. The point of the game is X is just another censorship apologist’s excuse as far as I’m concerned. I want the whole game, not just the parts the west deems appropriate.

  • KenAyagami

    Well like I said I’m not supporting censored if I am.. I would be no different from SJW.. but I know where your coming from.. so I hope you keep up the fight.. but group like SJW definitely have the louder voice, that’s why so many thing are getting censored

  • FreshSnug

    You are the hero the world needs.

  • Mr0303

    Don’t tell anyone, but I am Batman.

  • SiliconNooB

    It doesn’t completely ruin the game, but it is a conspicuous blight on Berseria [which could have been easily avoided].

  • SiliconNooB

    Just buy a used copy – that way you can enjoy the game without supporting bad publishing decisions.

  • flamingo

    We’re talking about 5 seconds of censorship on a 40+ hours (clocked 83 hours on my first playthrough) game. Heck, it’s not even a full censorship, the scene was just slightly altered and I’d say that it’s overall impact remained the same.

    Significantly more of the original content is lost on the translation as the English just doesn’t capture all the facets of the characters. Not really their fault though. That was specially noticeable to me with Magilou as she has quite a few lines that can’t really be translated and are completely different between the Japanese and English. She also lacks that archaic way of speaking that heavily reminds me of Shinobu in Monogatari.

  • Mr0303

    That is a valid solution. I may eventually get it, but I’m way too busy with other games.

  • Mr0303

    While the censorship is small in terms of timespan, they did alter one of the key scenes in the game. Can you imagine if they slightly altered the scene in FFVII where Sephiroth stabs Aerith and replaced it with some magical spell?

    “I’d say that it’s overall impact remained the same.” – if the impact is the same, then they shouldn’t have censored it in the first place.

    Changes in translation are to be expected to a point. As long as they are not deliberate in order to purposefully change the story I don’t have much of an issue.

  • flamingo

    “if the impact is the same, then they shouldn’t have censored it in the first place.” – They censored to avoid a rating increase and I’m actually I’m surprised that this was enough for that as I really don’t think it changed the impact of the scene.

    I honestly think that they did they best that they could without harming themselves and they were open and honest about it. It’s a niche series, I think it’s coherent for them to not want to take any risks.

  • Mr0303

    “They censored to avoid a rating increase” – in Japan the game was rated B by Cero, which is 12 and up. The Japanese rating board is much stricter on violence than the ESRB and there is virtually no evidence that if the scene remained it would’ve bumped the rating to M or 18+. The whole “censored to avoid the rating” excuse is getting pretty old, especially with Bamco games. The Tales series is 20 years old and most of its fans are adults as are most gamers in general. Even if they weren’t kids always can find ways to purchase higher rated games like Mortal Kombat and COD, so the rating wouldn’t affect sales dramatically.

    “I honestly think that they did they best that they could without harming themselves” – I don’t. I’m done giving them the benefit of the doubt. After reducing the blood in God Eater Rage Burst and removing Trunks’ iconic sword in Dragon Ball Fusions “to avoid a rating”, I’m no longer willing to give them any free passes.

    “they were open and honest about it.” – admitting that you are doing something shitty doesn’t change the fact that you are doing something shitty.

    “It’s a niche series, I think it’s coherent for them to not want to take any risks.” – alienating fans with this censorship is a risk in my eyes. They have decided that the number of fans they’d potentially anger is smaller than the possible teens who’d buy this game on a whim.

  • flamingo

    I honestly don’t think it’s an excuse, it’s a waste of time and money to alter the scene for no reason while also making them more susceptible to backlash. I’m sorry but I think it’s likely they’re more knowledgeable in this than you. The issue here likely isn’t related to violence but with directly killing a children, as the antagonist stabs the protagonist with a sword in the same way he stabbed the kid in the censored scene and that scene wasn’t altered.

    Those censorships you’ve mentioned affect a much greater portion of the game. I don’t think it’s coherent to pretend that they’re all equal when they aren’t. Being irritated by those two censorships seems much more reasonable to me than being irritated by a 5 second censorship that doesn’t really alter the experience to begin with.

    Actual fans of niche series tend to be more forgiving towards those issues as they know they won’t get the same experience elsewhere. It’s people who aren’t familiarized with the series or aren’t really into it and probably haven’t played the game that seems to be making drama over 5 seconds.

    I don’t think I’ll convince you that those 5 seconds of censorship doesn’t harm the experience and you won’t convince me that it does either, because you know, I’ve actually played the game and concluded that it doesn’t. So feel free to reply, I’ll still read your post but I probably won’t keep this discussion going.

  • Mr0303

    “I honestly don’t think it’s an excuse, it’s a waste of time and money to
    alter the scene for no reason while also making them more susceptible
    to backlash.” – yes, censorship is stupid – what else is new? They decided that they’d risk backlash to keep the rating low – it’s a business decision – simple as that.

    “I’m sorry but I think it’s likely they’re more knowledgeable in this than you.” – that’s an argument from authority and it’s a logical fallacy. By that logic we should never question company decisions because “they know better than us” – I’m afraid this is not how it works.

    “The issue here likely isn’t related to violence but with directly
    killing a children, as the antagonist stabs the protagonist with a sword
    in the same way he stabbed the kid in the censored scene and that scene
    wasn’t altered.” – that doesn’t makes sense – he still kills the kid, just with different means.

    “Those censorships you’ve mentioned affect a much greater portion of the
    game. I don’t think it’s coherent to pretend that they’re all equal when
    they aren’t.” – I never said that they were equal – I was just pointing out that Bamco have been doing idiotic censorships for a while now.

    “Being irritated by those two censorships seems much more reasonable to
    me than being irritated by a 5 second censorship that doesn’t really
    alter the experience to begin with.” – you know you could be irritated by both to a different degree, right?

    “Actual fans of niche series tend to be more forgiving towards those
    issues as they know they won’t get the same experience elsewhere.” – citation needed. You don’t get to claim that “real” fans are more forgiving. If we take a sample size from Niche Gamer I’d say that most people aren’t happy with the censorship. Either way this doesn’t really matter – even if 99% were happy about it, it doesn’t make it right – this would be an argument from popularity and it’s another logical fallacy.

    “It’s people who aren’t familiarized with the series or aren’t really
    into it and probably haven’t played the game that seems to be making
    drama over 5 seconds.” – it’s not “drama”, it’s criticising a product. This is completely normal on a website for a consumer based industry. And again – you are assuming that all people who are against the censorship are not fans of the series – I’ll again ask for a some kind of proof for that statement.

    “I don’t think I’ll convince you that those 5 seconds of censorship
    doesn’t harm the experience and you won’t convince me that it does
    either, because you know, I’ve actually played the game and concluded
    that it doesn’t.” – well I guess this censorship doesn’t bother you and I’m not here to change your feelings. I’m saying that censorship is a cancerous anti consumer practice and has no place in games.