A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tales of Berseria is a role-playing game. It has some questionable content, even for young teens. This includes a vengeful female protagonist who hacks and slashes enemies, happily intimidates other characters, and tortures creatures to get her goals met. Weapons are used during combat, including a sword and pistols; plus, there are magic attacks and some blood and gore. The main heroine and other female characters dress suggestively, with ample cleavage showing, and there are suggestive phrases about large breasts, "feeling good" about being whipped, and butts being "bulky." There's also alcohol consumption, with slurred speech, and mild profanity.
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What's it about?
TALES OF BERSERIA is the latest in the long-standing Japanese role-playing game series. Players assume the role of Velvet Crowe, who turns from an innocent girl (and loving sister to her younger brother) to a vengeful and skilled warrior with demonic powers, out to find and defeat an evil lord. You'll travel overseas, through island towns, and across fields, engaging in real-time battles with various characters including creatures who want to do you harm. Gamers can also take control of other characters, each with their own skills and abilities, as they master weapons (swords, lances, guns) and magic, chained attacks, and well-timed combos.
Is it any good?
Despite its dark overtones, this is a fun, action-heavy role-playing game, but it isn't without a couple of shortcomings. While a great amount of attention was devoted to the story, character development, and dialogue, all of it weighs down the pacing and gameplay. There seems to be a lot of unnecessary and/or repetitive exchanges between characters that will no doubt affect the gamer's interest. It's also a much darker story than in previous years. But the action is what will keep you glued to your screen. Mastering attacks during frenetic real-time combat is a blast, and pulling off timed combos and chained moves is quite easy and gratifying. One of the best parts of the combat is playing around with the variety of abilities (called "artes") across all half-dozen party members.
Visually speaking, the game looks dated, and there isn't much to be said about the basic level design and occasional, simple puzzles. The action is intense, which makes up for it, but that also grows repetitive after a while, despite the variety in party members, weapons, and abilities. Consider it a feeling of "rinse and repeat" after a few hours with controller in hand. But overall, Tales of Berseria is a solid game for fans of the franchise. For everyone else, it might be best as a weekend rental or worth picking up once it drops in price.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games such as Tales of Berseria. Are parents OK with this game's violence because it's clearly fantasy-based? Or is it a problem because violence is violence and it doesn't matter whether it's realistic or not?
Discuss the portrayal of women in this game. Are women portrayed as strong characters or merely eye candy? Why do you think the designers portray female characters that way?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: January 27, 2017
- Genre: Role Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses and Fairies, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Pirates
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Partial Nudity, Use of Alcohol, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.