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Berserk: We Reveal The Release Window And Our Thoughts On The Latest Animé

For anyone interested in Berserk, I've got the Western release window down and have some thoughts as a fan of the series, which I wanted to touch upon. Read on as all is revealed and be sure to read to the end, as I also share my thoughts on season 2 of the Berserk Animé.

To jump straight in, Koei Tecmo's Berserk Musou title by Omega Force will be releasing this fall (Autumn to us UK gamers), with a potential release on Xbox One (with the studio currently looking into it) for US gamers only (so far).

The game will start at the beginning of Guts' adventure, showcasing the Band of the Hawk and running all the way up to the point where the current Animé ends. Whether this will include the full Black Swordsman and Lost Children arcs I don't know, but this decision has been made to accommodate fans who are new to the series.

Berserk is also looking like it'll get a CERO D rating (17+) and not a CERO Z rating (18+). According to Koinuma this is company policy, though I doubt overall it'll make a huge difference and at least it's not going to have a 15 rating. This gives me a little hope it'll remain true to the original Animé and Manga, skipping only bodily fluids that aren't blood or saliva (most likely).

Shit's going down when Guts readies his Arm Cannon.
For me, this is going to be an interesting one because I'm really not a fan of base capture and now that's been confirmed to not be present, that's already a huge step in the right direction. On top of that I'm also not a fan of any Warriors titles, preferring instead, hardcore and unforgiving games such as the original Devil May Cry, where every enemy is a challenge on their own, even more so in a crowd. This is because I find it very unsatisfying slashing through crowds of weak enemies. Still, this is Berserk and Berserk is my favourite Animé (and Manga) of all time.

The game itself looks incredibly accurate to the original Animé/Manga and what I'm really looking forward to is being able to hack through a huge army of Apostles in the "Sacrifice". I'll say no more on that, but it's shaping up to be an amazing looking title and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

As for the recent Animé, I have several thoughts on that, so below is more a shout out to fellow fans.

Lidenfilms are the ones producing the latest Berserk Animé. They're responsible for both seasons of Terraformars (the first being good, the second being absolute trash) and The Heroic Legend of Arslan. They've been given a budget large enough to make 70% of the new show 3D, only there are a lot of problems with this.

The 3D is very wooden. The character models have little to no shading on their face, with almost completely untextured, flat expressions on their face. Their armour and weapons however look good.

What the show has done right is given Guts' attacks a real "oompf" behind them. His sword swings feel really hefty and devastating, with sound effects prominent behind every clash, slash and collision, while his one shot Cannon arm also feels suitably powerful. This is all great.

One of the main issues I have is that the 2D parts look incredibly good, but they're always let down with the incongruous 3D visuals, preventing me from finding the show anywhere near as enjoyable as the original run 19 years ago (yea, it's been that long). It crushes my immersion and the Dubstep soundtrack really doesn't help things.

Zodd is suitably huge and intimidating, as he should be.
Don't get me wrong on the music front however, as it's not all bad. The opening is really fun, but the score for the original Animé is still far superior and considering how well funded this project must be, it's a real shame they didn't get Susumu Hirasawa to perform the score for this season as well. Instead, we get some recycled tracks from the 2012/13 movies and some glitched up Dubstep trash.

Berserk is a very graphic Manga with a lot of adult themes and I find this new Animé season to be more or less a Shounen show, rather than the Seinen show it's supposed to be. They're afraid to show boobs, or to be more precise nipples, instead giving us awkward nipple-less, bouncing sacks of flesh and both the Lost Children and Black Swordsman arcs have been skipped. Both of these arcs have very pivotal points that are essential for Guts' character development, so this is a real shame. At this point they could make the fight with The Count a flashback episode, having already covered part of the Black Swordsman arc in the first episode (Undead Skeleton Warriors), but it looks like they just want to focus on the Conviction arc. Though, I am surprised they kept the horse scene in and they did it in such a way it didn't betray the thoughts and feelings of those who read the Manga (myself included). This is good and what they have covered has all been fairly true to the original content, with certain events just happening in a slightly different way and order (episode 3 is a great example of this).

Most likely the scene at The Battle for Doldrey, here's a playable Judeau!
If I could have my way, I'd have used the 3D budget to make an exceptionally good 2D animation with high production values. Many fans absolutely despise the direction of the new show, so this would have been a wise decision and if Kentaro Miura himself insisted on there being 3D elements, MAPPA would have been the best choice for production. They're responsible for the Garo: Honoo no Kokuin and Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis Animé shows and are incredibly good at blending 2D and 3D animation, seemingly the best on the market right now.

The new show isn't perfect but each week it seemingly gets better and is at least fairly watchable, even if the 3D animation is jarring. Still, as I'm on a bit of a rant here, I have to say "tut tut, Crunchyroll" because they barely ever do dub casts and have secured the rights for the show themselves (at least while it's airing). Considering the English dub was better than the Japanese voicing, this is a major problem for me, but I can and have been putting up with the Japanese voices for this. They're not bad, but Marc Diraison is Guts, Kevin T Collins is Griffith and Carrie Keranen is Casca. Without them, the experience is lessened myself and many others out there, so fans wishing for the English cast to return can only hope it'll happen when the series comes out for mass distribution on Blu-Ray.

Guts saving the day!
Be sure to watch this space for all upcoming news on Berserk and many other titles as we share our views and give you the latest on all things game related. As for Berserk, what do you wish to see? Will we get the English dub back for the game? Agree with the article? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box or hit me up on twitter @CaptainCortez.

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