People familiar with the Tales series will know there’s always something comforting waiting for them at the end of a run. While there’s always an EX Dungeon to traverse, even more comforting is the Grade Shop. Your hard work and effort is rewarded with an opportunity to be in a better or more challenging place the next time around. There’s something about earning your way to a stronger, or maybe even weaker, place. It makes you really feel like you’ve accomplished something when you invest all that time and have something to show for it the next time around.
Of course, before you even get to the Grade Shop, you’ll need to earn the Grade to spend there. This is earned by participating in battles and doing exceptionally well. Don’t mess around. Don’t slack off. Always be on top of your game, and you’ll be able to acquire Grade for your efforts. The EX Dungeon is a rather great place to get yourself in a good place, You’ll find the Heavenly Steppes by heading to the Empyrean Throne and going to the right corner near the throne room door. A Katz will be waiting there.
Tales of Berseria’s Heavenly Steppes will have six areas that are made up of alternating random and fixed zones with opportunities to participate in ember hunts, collect Katz souls, find treasure, fight standard enemies, and encounter bosses. This dungeon has a final Mystic Arte for Velvet, Laphicet, Rokurou, Magilou, Eizen, and Eleanor. There are also three Dual Mystic Artes for Velvet and Laphicet, Rokurou and Eizen, and Magilou and Eleanor. Each one of these involves beating a boss. The third Mystic Artes for each character are optional and triggered by collecting the EX Dungeon orbs and bringing them to pedestals to fight bosses. Defeating the bosses on the second, fourth, and sixth floors in the Heavenly Steppes will give you Dual Mystic Artes. Of course, you can’t carry over the third Mystic Artes, so you might not want to go for that, but the Dual Mystic Artes can.
Once you feel like you’ve acquired enough Grade to get the Tales of Berseria new game plus experience you want, it’s time to start making your decisions about what to do. Now, you would need 13,010 total Grade to buy everything in the Grade Shop, but I wouldn’t recommend that. Certain things serve to make things more or less difficult, so it’s better to focus on boosts or debuffs that will best benefit you. In general, choosing to carry over the arte use count, cooking, equipment proficiency, exploration, fashion items, herb enhancements, library, shop levels, special items, Tales Coins, titles, and Potentites (Acerite, Glacite, Ignicite, and Ventite) is a good idea. Maybe picking up the item capacity expander too. These are all things that will be handy in runs where you want a leisurely stroll through the story or a major challenge.
The other Grade Shop items are best picked depending on how you want to play. If you want your second Tales of Berseria run to be easier, picking up double gald, half-price enhancing, double arte learning speed, double or triple experience (which stack, by the way, if you get both), enhanced drops, double Grade, max HP +1000 boosts, level up bonuses, and the Character Changer that lowers the Switch Blast cost. People who want to test themselves should go for Always Wandering, which increases the Dire enemy appearance rate, and half experience, which gives you half the experience you’d normally earn.
With Tales of Berseria, the new game plus Grade Shop is rewarding you for all the effort you have put into your current run. Granted, it doesn’t let you do things like carry over equipment or most Mystic Artes, but it offers some options that can make your next playthrough significantly easier or more difficult. And, with an EX Dungeon that can help you perhaps earn some extra Grade, you get plenty of chances to be at your best.
Tales of Berseria is available for the PlayStation 4 and PC.