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Quick Combat Guide: Tales of Berseria

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Tales of Berseria is here to carry on the series and to the delight of many the new battle system seems to be leaps of improvement from its predecessor. So now’s a great time to pick up the title if you ever had any interest. It is not without challenges and perhaps some of you need a few hints to figure it out, so worry not, I’m here to share what I know from being a fan of the series and from the several hours of play I’ve put into the game itself.

Note that this isn’t an advanced guide telling you which does what, or what set will make the optimal damage for this or that boss, but a general guide on how to get yourself in the right state of mind when playing this game, so if that’s okay with you and you’re still game, read on!

Learn to Drive a Manual

You can't flank like this without manual

You can’t flank like this without manual

While beginners would be drawn to using semi-automatic movement in the game, opting for manual movement will allow you to react better to situations. Being able to position yourself slightly better to maybe hit more than one target with your attack, or adjusting and switching between rushing in or retreating at a moment’s notice is vital to maintaining your momentum for the battle. You won’t get weird responses either where your character may take additional steps to start attack, generally anticipating and reacting is possible through manual mode.

 

Training Starts With the First Side-Step

See that cube thing? That means you did it right.

See that cube thing? That means you did it right.

Getting an attack to connect is simple, and from there it’s just a matter of knowing what arte to use for which enemy. But dodging is a whole different story. While it’s relatively easy to stay out of range and wait for the whiff, this isn’t the most rewarding defense you can attempt. You get the most out of defending by dodging attacks with perfectly timed quick-steps. Not only are you getting a sweet chance to begin attacking immediately, but you also produce a soul to be picked up on the field. This is surprisingly precious especially during boss fights as this may be the fastest way to get additional souls to combo with. It’s usually easy to do this when you dodge while guarding multi-hit attacks, but doing it reliably on most attacks means you’ll quickly recover lost souls in combat. So hold that L1 and wait for the perfect time to tilt that Left Analog, and start practicing it with your early battles.

 

Tailor Fit for Everyone, Every Time

You will see this screen a lot, you will.

You will see this screen a lot, you will.

Take some time to read up on what your artes especially on what they’re effective against. Whenever you encounter a new field monster you may end up fighting a lot, consider creating a combo for them. With 4 interchangeable combo routes it’s pretty easy to make these on the go. So take advantage of that particularly if you’re trying to farm.

 

Leave No Arte Behind

Mastery of an arte generally falls to how much you’ve used, as in number of times total through the game.For every star level of mastery, it helps charge the Blast Gauge, which is used for your strongest, coolest looking Mystic Artes. On top of that it also carries the function to switch between reserve party mates mid-battle. So the more artes you’ve mastered, the easier it is to access basically the best options you have in-game. Convinced yet?

 

Break Their Backs With Break Soul

R2 is my favorite button in this game.

R2 is my favorite button in this game.

Break Soul is basically the ‘high-risk-high-reward’ move in the game, giving you some boosts and generally allowing you to attack freely for a limited time. While you lose a soul charge and risk draining your HP, it’s pretty easy to manage if you can guarantee a kill before your Break Soul runs out. It also helps open up to stronger artes, which if you use to finish off your enemy ala-overkill, gets you a boost in drops. So if you’re sure to get a kill, go ahead and spam that Break Soul.

 

Plan Ahead

Instead of rushing into battle immediately as it starts, make use of that R1 button to have a good idea of what would work against which enemy. Remember that getting a grade for the battle means also using your best options possible and ending it as quickly as you can. Make use of these battle-pausing options like checking enemy stats and accessing the artes menu to plan and coordinate your next few moves every so often.

 

It’s All About the Balance

While going berserk is pretty much the theme of battle in Tales of Berseria, the system encourages balanced offense-defense play instead of trying snowball into a grand offense. Note that stocking up on the maximum amount of souls makes you more vulnerable to damage and status attacks, resulting in you losing souls anyway. However being too low on it will give you very limited choices in what you can do for the offense. Always consider the situation and avoid cornering yourself by sticking to offense or defense for too long.

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