By Justin Guillou / November 9th, 2016
I recently had a chance to speak with Yasuhiro Fukaya, the director of the upcoming Tales of Berseria. I asked him a few questions regarding the game’s development and more importantly Velvet herself!
OR: Thank you for coming out and speaking with me! I am here to talk about Tales of Berseria which looks like a VERY good game. First off, I want to talk about the main character, Velvet. She seems like a really big departure form previous Tales of protagonists. What prompted you to change the tone of the game and go in a slightly different direction than usual?
YF: We really got that so many players have loved Tales of series for a very long time. Tales of Zesteria was a 25th anniversary title. So Tales of Berseria should be the first step of a new era of Tales series. To make the new era we decided to introduce many things we have never done before. Actually as you know there are many boy protagonists that are cheerful and curious about everything in the past. We decided to introduce the first sole female protagonist that is not cheerful and curious about everything. She has a shadow of darkness and strong emotions. We totally innovated the battle system. These are the biggest features we introduced in Tales of Berseria as things we have never done before.
OR: I want to get to the battle system actually but before I do that I want to know one more thing about Velvet. I am very curious about her design, like her outfit. It’s kind of a funny outfit and very different from what you would expect from a Tales character, and I do know she has alternate outfits that are a bit more modest, but can you shed some light on the design of her outfit?
YF: Velvet used to be a kind, usual girl who lives in a small village that takes care of her family, but after some accident she unfortunately got demon powers. These plot points provided to the character design. We wanted her experience from the plot to create her outfit. Before finalizing the outfit we had many opportunities to communicate with Inomata-san and I was really glad she didn’t say “I don’t enjoy designing Velvet”. I believe that the design of Velvet’s outfit was Inomata-san putting her biggest effort in designing it. I’m sure the design was so great. Many of the DLC costumes are a bit “sexy” but you can enjoy changing her costume as you like.
OR: Great! Now you had mentioned that we have the new battle system in Tales of Berseria. It is very different from what I have seen in gameplay. What were you trying to accomplish by changing the formula that other Tales of games have had in the past?
YF: One of the reasons of the big changes to the battle system: in Tales of Zesteria we released the game on Ps3, PS4, Steam and we supported more languages like Russian, Portuguese, so we had new users coming to the Tales of series. I am sure that fast-paced action-packed battle systems are highly appreciated by the typical Tales of players but may be a bit difficult for casual or new players. I wanted more people to start enjoying the Tales series and the battle system. These changes can help casual players pull off beautiful combos with simpler controls. To prevent players from thinking it is too easy we introduced the soul gauge system and the break system. These features can deepen the strategy in the battles that both new and core players can enjoy.
OR: You had mentioned that Tales of Berseria is coming to PC and I know a lot of Tales games have been coming to PC. Some users have expressed concerns over previous games being ported to the PC. Is the team going to be able to provide the PC gamers the same experience that you can get on consoles, if not an even better one? Are you running into any difficulties bringing the console experience to PC? What steps are you taking to ensure that it will be great on PC?
YF: The Tales of battle system is so action-packed and it’s best with the game pad. Many users can connect the gamepad with their PC, but many users want to just play with a mouse and keyboard. It is challenging to make the best key assign for the Tales of battle system. We are communicating with American and European teams to figure out what is the best way to assign these keys. So I believe that the current PC is as high spec as the PS4 so we can bring the exact same experience to the Steam users so don’t worry about it!
OR: You had mentioned before that Tales of Berseria is going to be a rebirth of the series. Do you feel that old fans are going to feel right at home here?
YF: The Velvet way of thinking is totally different from previous protagonists. When the previous male protagonists in the series face a problem or have a quarrel with the party members, he and the party seek the best solution for the problem and everyone. Velvet is totally different. She does anything to achieve her goal and she doesn’t ask the party members to follow her. She doesn’t care if anyone follows her or not. Maybe many longtime series fans think “This is totally different from previous protagonists!” I think at the same time it keeps it interesting for them. And of course we keep the biggest features that make the Tales of series the Tales of series in Berseria. I think the long time fans will enjoy Tales of Berseria.
Tales of Berseria will be released on January 27th.
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