Monday, April 10, 2017

It's what is inside that matters

Berseria almost made a fatal error last night: it almost introduced a fishing minigame. Of all possible minigames fishing is the worst. Fishing for real is pointless as I could go to the store and purchase just about any kind of fish that I want. Plus getting drunk on a boat is tremendously overrated. Why would anyone want that cluttering up a game?

There are already several minigames that I have never touched as their rewards are all cosmetic. Putting funny hats on characters is a staple of Tales games, one that I have never paid any attention to. My time is spent killing things and watching amusing scenes, not playing dress up.

...Final Fantasy X-2 doesn't count. Playing dress up was a gameplay mechanic in that one.

Thank heavens the fishing nonsense was just an extended cutscene, a funny one at that. One of the characters, Eizen, suffers from the reaper's curse, a magical version of murphy's law. He deals with it as best he can and warns everyone he meets that people who travel with him rarely live longer than three years. This character of course loves fishing and convinces the rest of the part that the best way to capture a potentially magic (and very important) fish is to go fishing on the open ocean.

And what do they catch? A pair of horns, a plastic mustache, some funny glasses and a fancy pot filled with angry octopuses, water logged zombies and a bad attitude. The pot itself was a boss fight. For a game filled with terrible things and characters who live for nothing more than revenge this kind of levity is welcome.

This comic relief is also done without breaking character. Velvet is dour and bitchy all of the time. She complains about fishing and then complains about the magic pot she catches. She is the absolute straight man in every interaction, up until she is called on to be the straight man in an in game comedy routine, at which point she gets stage fright and storms off the stage (presumable to kill and eat a dozen homeless orphans).

Tales games have never looked the part of the bell of the ball but god damn do they have personality.

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