Review by Bleeding_Seraph

"Words can't even begin to describe..."

Tales of Symphonia

Overview
Released in 2003 for the Gamecube, Tales of Symphonia is an award-winning RPG featuring beautiful artwork, an engaging battle system, and an epic and emotionally charged storyline. Did I mention it's over 55 hours long?

Story 5/5
The storyline revolves around 16-year-old Colette Brunel, a blonde girl from the small village of Iselia. At her birth, the priests of the Martel Temple discovered that she had an item called a Cruxis Crystal in her hands. That, and her lineage, tells the priests that she is the Chosen of World Regeneration, and, on the prophesied Day of the Oracle, the Chosen must go to the temple and receive judgment from Heaven, and release the scattered seals to regenerate the world, and become a true angel. However, Desians, evil half-elves, attack the temple, and the priests are killed. Colette and her grandmother, Phaidra, are saved by the games real main character, 17-year-old Lloyd Irving, a childhood friend of Colette's. Afterwards, one thing leads to another, and soon Lloyd and 12-year-old Genis, Lloyd's other friend, find themselves chasing after Colette, “28”-year-old Kratos, and Lloyd, Colette, and Genis' teacher, Raine (Also Genis' sister.). But at the “end” of the journey, the group discovers that the “angels” of Cruxis aren't what they seem, and the fate of 2 worlds soon rests on the shoulders of Lloyd and his companions!

Overall, the storyline is excellent and emotional, and will keep you intrigued until the epic finale! 5/5

Gameplay 5/5
ADDICTING. The fast-paced and evolving battle system will keep you glued to the game all day, and the varied dungeons, though sometimes linear and straight-forward, make it all even better! The world map could have been better, and is actually quite irritating at first, but you get used to it. The frog-things representing enemies on the overworld are another annoyance, but are also a minor problem. In dungeons, weird things represent enemies until battle, our next topic! The battles are AMAZING!!!!! The real-time frame is very well-done, but at the beginning, it's actually VERY IRRITATING!!!!! But, if you stick with it long enough, though it takes awhile, the reward is a well-made, fast-paced, and addictive battle system. At its core, it's a button-masher, however, the ability to link basic attacks to Techs (special techniques) make it worth while, and trying to pull of the highest- hit combo you can is fun. Another big plus are the Unison Attacks, which utilize all party members in battle (4 max.) to cause massive damage. And, as I mentioned earlier, the game is LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. Over 50 hours not counting side quests, such as Nifleheim, the underworld, and the Devil's Arms, cursed weapons required to fight the hardest boss in the game, Abbysion (who is entirely optional).

Overall, the gameplay is excellent and well-done. 5/5

Graphics 5/5
The game's graphics are cell-shaded, and resemble the anime portraits quite well. The environments are not the most detailed in the world, but still do the job. Enemy designs look nice, and special effects for the spells are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Other than that, there really isn't much else to say. The graphics are just great. 5/5

Sound 5/5
The nice soundtrack really adds tension and drama to the events, and special effects sound great, and are timed perfectly. The voice acting is… well… sometimes pretty good, sometimes cheesy, but none the less adds to the emotional impact of events along with the music. Everyone's voice acting is well-suited for them, and they can sound serious and silly, since the game's sense of humor is seen often, such as the Zelos' lecherous antics, Raine's infamous “Ruin-Mode”, and Colettes' klutziness (check out the classroom wall at the beginning and the corner house in Triet XD!!!!!!!!!!). The great sound and voice work gets a 5/5

Replay Value 4/5
With the side-quests and GRADE shop on your 2nd and on playthrough really add replay ability, and I'm on my 4th playthrough, totaling over 140 hours!

Overall

Tales of Symphonia is (along with the sequel, Dawn of the New World)
my all-time favorite game, and for obvious reasons. If you don't like this game, then you're completely crazy.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/06/10

Game Release: Tales of Symphonia (US, 07/13/04)


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