Tales of Berseria launches on January 24, 2017 in North America and January 27, 2017 in Europe for PlayStation 4 and PC, but if you want to play it early, Bandai Namco has announced that a demo will be available on January 10, 2017.
Bandai Namco also revealed that anyone who pre-orders Tales of Berseria on PS4 will receive a 15-minute exclusive video skit with English subtitles, a mini soundtrack with three songs, and a theme. The PlayStation Store pre-order page is live in North America, and should go up soon in Europe.
To celebrate these announcements, Bandai Namco Europe brought out a trailer featuring the English voice-over and cutscenes from the beginning of the game, adding, “WARNING: this video contains spoilers, watch at your own risk!”
It didn’t take long for fans to notice that the opening of the English version was different from the opening of the Japanese version (spoiler-filled comparison is here). In a statement on the Tales Series Facebook page, Bandai Namco explained that they needed to change the scene in order to keep the current 16 rating in Europe:
As a company, Bandai Namco Entertainment has to follow the regional regulations regarding video games content to allow the games to be released with appropriate rating. The violence depicted in the original Japanese scene in Tales of Berseria would not allow us to keep our current 16 rating. A major change in our rating wouldn’t have allowed to share the game with as many fans as we’d like and it would have prevented us many opportunities to show the game on social networks, websites and even during events. Therefore, instead of deleting the sequence, we decided to rework a portion of the scene to keep its importance in the story. We’ve ensured its impact in the story is the same. Even if the exact actions are different, their consequences are exactly the same: the defining moment changing Velvet’s Story and opposing her to Arthur Collbrande, the moment it becomes a tale of emotions versus reason. We made this modification out of necessity, be sure of that.
They then referenced an interview where Producer Yasuhiro Fukaya appeared to say that Tales of Berseria wouldn’t be censored in any way. “The statement applied only to the Velvet’s outfit at the time, and we did our best to keep the game as close to the Japanese version as possible,” Bandai Namco said.
“This is the only scene which has been altered from the Japanese version of the game,” they added. “Everything else is exactly the same as the Japanese version including costume designs which you will be able to see for yourself once we release the demo on January 10th.”
Asked if this change would also occur in the North American version of Tales of Berseria, the Tales Twitter account replied, “I can’t talk for our @BandaiNamcoUS colleagues, but the NA rating board was also considered for this change.”