The Tales games are huge affairs. When you take into account the main story, side quests, titles, and other collectibles, you can easily spend weeks working your way through the game. Tales of Berseria is no exception. This is a massive undertaking. Fortunately, Bandai Namco has implemented a number of game elements that keep your attention. Your focus is always concentrated on what’s important, thanks to things like Katz souls and marked conversations. It always is keeping you focused and, if you’d like, efficient.
Having glimmering items scattered around is one way Tales of Berseria helps make your life easier. These are very visible things you can collect. They’re relatively easy to see in the field, allowing you every opportunity to see where they are when you go from one point to another. In towns and buildings, it saves you the time of investigating every nook and cranny. If something is there, you immediately see it. Even better, they regenerate after a period of time. Should you need specific ingredients, stat boosting items, or materials, just return to an area a few times after leaving it and gather up all that you need.
Katz souls are even more efficient. Like the glimmering items, these are regenerating collectibles found scattered across the world. You turn them in at Katz chests in certain denominations to get accessories. Instead of being hidden among the landscape, like items, these are more like Tales of Berseria’s trails of breadcrumbs. While some are hidden away in optional rooms or places you’ll never look, many are guiding you to places you should go. Some take you out of the way, leading you to treasure chests. Others are impossible to miss, scattered around the paths you’ll be taking. In each case, they’re helping to make your experience better. They’re giving you something to collect for items, while also guiding you to places you should go.
Tales of Berseria avoids NPC burnout too. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it can seem like a JRPG has too many people to talk to. There are so many, I might find myself avoiding nonessential conversations, because the ones I’m having aren’t adding too much to the experience. Whenever you go into an area, there will be exclamation points in speech bubbles on the map. Sometimes, these will indicate NPCs who have something of actual value to say about the world or your adventures. Other times, it’ll indicate a place where, if you go there, your party members will engage in small talk. Instead of stumbling around, you have the option of enjoying a far more efficient experience.
Even equipment gets in on this concept. Not every weapon, accessory, and piece of armor is created equal. They may be the same type, but the boosts they provide and abilities they have can vary. This means every thing you collect needs to be checked, to make sure the items you’re using are boosting the stats that matter to you. There are even times when you’ll come across “weaker” pieces of equipment that are actually stronger. Especially if you’re getting involved with the enhancing and dismantling system, which allows you to improve the current items. This boosts stats and even adds skills along the way. You have to keep checking, because being on top of things rewards you.
While the idea of 100% focusing on a game is laudable, it isn’t always realistic. We have other things happening in our lives. Also, even if we are 100% into a game, we may have moments where we don’t want to linger in certain areas and would rather move along to the next story segment. Tales of Berseria has a number of systems in place to increase your efficiency. It makes sure you’re paying attention to everything important, with glimmering items, Katz soul trails, and other points of interest. These often lead you to other things that you’ll appreciate when you’re there. It goes out of its way to make sure you do the things that count.
Tales of Berseria will come to North American PlayStation 4s and PCs on January 24, 2017. It will launch in Europe on January 27, 2017.