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BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.

For me the problem lies less with the length and more with the design. Xillia and Xillia 2 both had very short final dungeons, to the point that it felt stupidly anti-climactic. Zestiria's final dungeon, it turns out, can be cleared in about 10-20 minutes with a holy bottle (which my co-op partner and I found out after being forced to do it THREE TIMES (I'd never had, nor have I since, had a PS4 game crash), but at least they got the look and sound right... Berseria's dungeon just doesn't have anything interesting or unique enough to justify the length. There's no puzzles, the environments feel over-sized, and there's only two variations to the visuals. By contrast Abyss and Vesperia had pretty lengthy final dungeons, but there was a lot of visual variety and a few puzzles to keep changing things up.

That is, ultimately a dungeon should be as long as its design and structure can remain interesting.
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I'm currently playing through Berseria myself, actually.  And I have to say that while I am generally liking the game so far the endless fields (and caves...so many caves...) of enemies really does wear on me at times.  It's like they heard the complaints about the mediocre dungeons in Xillia (maybe Zesteria too but I haven't played that one) and said, "OK we'll make everything bigger".  Not more interesting, not more content, just bigger.  And filled with endless swarms of the same enemies which you feel like you shouldn't even try to avoid because it takes so many battles to get all those equipment skills.

Graces (I always seem to come back to Graces...) actually handled this kind of stuff really well in my opinion.  It didn't have a world map or anything but most of the 'overworld' links between cities and stuff were quite short.  Too short to be truly realistic, honestly, but who really cares.  On the other hand it has some huge, expansive, and actually interesting dungeons filled with puzzles, exploration, etc.  Didn't hurt that when you did fight enemies it was with the best battle system the series has produced to date.  Yeah, that was a really good game...

The plot in Berseria is definitely one of the most interesting I've seen in a Tales game but it feels like they still don't know how to get the gameplay right...even though they've gotten it right before but decided to abandon that direction for whatever reason.

BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.

Now that is crazy talk.  Epic final dungeons is one JRPG tradition I actually like!  It's the final dungeon, it should be epic.  Just hopefully make it a more interesting location than the endless basically identical caves I've been going through so far...
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BTW, is it really necessary for the final dungeon to be this epic 2h long labyrinth every time?
I wouldn't mind a more streamlined dungeon when I'm trying to push on and finish the game.
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I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
Frankly, I think going pseudo open world is what hurt the dungeon and field designs of the Tales series.  I think the best thing the developers can do is to go back to a separate navigable world map with distinct dungeon and village zones.

Its not the open world aspect as it is having battles take place on the field rather than their own distinct battlefield. It was atrocious for Zesty and not much better for Berseria (since at least they did a better job of designing field/dungeon maps to accommodate battle arenas; even if it led to all of the dungeons looking like an interconnected series of boxes; at least compared to Zesty's "what could possibly go wrong?").
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I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
Frankly, I think going pseudo open world is what hurt the dungeon and field designs of the Tales series.  I think the best thing the developers can do is to go back to a separate navigable world map with distinct dungeon and village zones. 
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Playing through this game now, and not only are some locations stupidly huge *cough*that temple you face Artorious in*cough*, but generally speaking your land speed travel is slow enough that if an enemy gets a bead on you, unless you get outside of their aggro zone, you're likely getting into a battle since they're generally faster than you (and the other movement speed upgrade(s?) don't really do much of anything, especially when later enemies scale with it).
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I don't dislike the hoverboard, although you get it far too late. I know the days of getting boats and airships which gradually open more of the map are long-gone, but I feel like, if implemented well, the hoverboard could fill that role. In theory it somewhat did by making travel quicker and opening new areas, but it felt a bit like an after-thought (not dissimilar to using the elemental abilities in Zestiria: that felt like such wasted potential).
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At least Berseria added the hoverboard so you can travel those empty fields faster...
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The sad thing is, I might not have minded Velvet's outfit much if they'd approached the character with an 'I don't give a damn how I look' mentality. Instead she gets embarrassed when somebody draws attention to her attire... in literally the first town of the game. It's baffling that they would go out of their way to draw attention to this contradiction. Then again, I've never cared for Inomata's designs, so any further complaining would just feel like kicking a dead horse.

Sakuraba is an enigma. He composed Dark Souls, which presents one of my favourite final boss themes. He also composed Golden Sun/TLA: both boasting excellent soundtracks for the GBA. On the other hand, his work with titles like Tales and Star Ocean is all over the place. I rather enjoyed some of the Zestiria tracks (The Essence of Adventure Lies in Exploration is a pleasant little theme), but Tales of Graces has some of the most awful music I've heard from an officially published game (not only would I argue the standard boss theme is one of the worst battle themes ever, Sakuraba deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award for Lying in the Darkness). I'm not sure what to take away from his work: he has too many great tracks for me to write him off as a hack, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I think people have been calling for a different composer for a long time: at least since 2012, when I started following the series. For better or worse, I can't ever see a Tales game without him. Legendia was done by a different team entirely, and aside from that he's been involved in every single game. Given the contradiction in quality between Tales and his other work, the question for me isn't so much 'how can we get rid of him' as much as 'does he even want to be there'.  Alas, I doubt we'll ever get a concrete answer. I'm more hopeful that we'll see a return of a co-composer. Funnily enough, I remember defending Sakuraba once (maybe on this very board), but have since found out that the majority of songs I liked weren't his.

My single biggest hope for the newest title is that they will finally work on the field/dungeon designs. They are spacious, empty, and lacking any kind of structure or design to make them feel like a real world. Four games in a row the exploration aspect has been a complete drag, which is a pretty big problem for an RPG. I can recall a lot of the locations in other games by their visual aesthetic and structure, but with Xillia/Xillia 2/Zestiria/Berseria everything that isn't a town just bleeds together into an open field of blah. If nothing else gets fixed or changed from Berseria except this one thing, I'll take it with gusto.
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tales of Discussion 2: Dawn of the New Megathread
« Last post by MonCapitan2002 on June 22, 2018, 07:43:18 PM »
I wonder why wearing clothes is so difficult for so many female RPG protagonists...

And even when they wear clothes, they're ludicrously skin-tight or have "boob windows" or something ridiculous, right? 

Septerra Core seems to mostly buck that trend.  Maya wears full armor.  Okay, so Led (a girl who's maybe 18-20) wears a tank top and there is a brothel in the game with scantily clad prostitutes, but that's about it. 

As for a new Tales of... game, I don't expect too much from that series beyond a fun-to-play, pulpy, summer-blockbuster style romp.  I just hope that it bucks the trend I complain the most about in modern gaming- miniscule text fonts in dialogue boxes with no way to make them bigger.  If I'm allowed complete wishful thinking, I also want to see someone other than Motoi Sakuraba composing the music.  I think Sakuraba is an uninspired hack.  He farts out so much music that it all sounds boring, generic, repetitive, recycled, and completely unmemorable to me.
While I do agree with you that his music is mostly forgettable, it is at least nice to listen to for the most part.  Having said that, though, I would definitely echo your desire to see someone new get a chance at composing a Tales game's score.  Yasunori Mitsuda or the woman behind the Wild Arms scores come to mind.
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