Review by sparklite
"Legendary RPG With An Unique Flair"
I had first bought my GameCube when I was about 12 years old. It came with the console it's self, and, nonetheless, a copy of the Player's Choice Game-of-the-Year: Tales of Symphonia. I remember the look of disappointment on my face when my father had told me, "We aren't getting another game because this system comes with one already". However, that disappointing face changed quickly to a monotone and emotionless one that was awe-struck and addicted to the vibrant world of ToS.
..::How this RPG excelled::..
-[> Character Development <]- : 10/10
This was a key aspect towards the story-line of ToS. From the start of the game we have Lloyd Irving: seems like your average, typical, and heroic Swordsman from most RPG's. Nonetheless, Lloyd was anything but average and typical. An immense amount of character development was placed on Lloyd with all the twists and interactions with other characters in the game. If you're thinking, 'great the story's only going to revolve around him..' then yes, my friend, you are wrong. The game is sparked with many characters such as: the hot-big breasted Sheena, who adds the innocent sexuality that is needed in a lot of RPGs, and the mysterious, self-occupied Kratos who always keeps you thinking throughout the game. EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER had an equal part to play throughout the whole game. This fact doesn't exclude the antagonists of ToS. I have got to say that the coolest looking animated characters (next to Dragon Ball Z) would have to be the Antagonists of ToS. No, not because they're some sort of monster or machine like in Final Fantasy, but because they take the shape/form of humans and are portrayed in the most eccentric manner. No matter what gender, no matter if you're a man of bronze or brains, there is going to be one character that you can relate to and fall in love with in this RPG. If you're like me, then you'll love all of them. Point-Blank-Period, you will feel like you are living this game.
-[> Story <]- : 10/10
Twisting, Turning, Jumping, Running, Flying, Falling, Exploding, and etc. All of these verbs can relate to the diversity behind the story of ToS. Our game, like many others, starts off in a village and then moves on to the rest of the world. However, throughout the world of Sylvarant things will be different from many RPGs. Incorporating the use of technology, the old classic sword fights, magic, and of course special stones. We have an RPG that is as diverse as Chrono Trigger, but holds it's own unique demeanour. Near the beginning of the game, the story starts out to be an amazing adventure as you are put out of your village and placed upon venturing the whole world. Throughout this adventure you encounter many allies, foes, and mysterious characters that all add flair to the story-line. Interactions between party members and the stories behind people's origins are very unexpected, in a good way. I would have to say that, if not all, most of the names for people, places, and things in this game are highly creative on a different level. They aren't typical, yet they're simple to embrace. Characters live up to their potential in the story, and the videos provided from time-to-time by the 2-disc game enhances our gaming experience. All-in-all you will love the diversity behind this story twice as much because there isn't just one world to experience, there's two.
-[> Game Play & Replay Value <]- : 10/10
OMG it's a REAL TIME-RPG! That's right folks, no more watching your character stand around the same place, waiting for him/her to simultaneously act out your commands. This innovative game play is what pushed Tales of Symphonia past all of the other RPGs around it's time. You could control any character you like, you could move around with him/her and do any attack as you pleased. The best part is, the rest of your characters in the party are automatically controlled, but if you do not prefer this option, there's always the option of having your friends come over with their GC controllers to play along-side in your party. The use of Techs was also important, many great games such as Chrono Trigger has used them, so heck, why not use them in ToS right? Nonetheless, this was not just another copy, the innovation of Real-Time and the Techs provided by the game now gave the user the control. Everything was just more real than standing in one place doing a devastating tech because now, guess what? Yeah, it can be dodged or blocked, well most of the time. Much like Zelda games, the dungeons and maps were especially fun in ToS because of the tricky puzzles incorporated throughout the story. Tons of Side-Quests were also incorporated to help push you into playing the gaming even more. This is what enhanced the replay value. The difficulty in this game is set to your heart's content: easy, normal, or hard. If you thought playing on hard was just for a challenge? AND grinding was a pointless waste of time? Then you are once again wrong my friend. The amazing replay value of ToS comes from the two points above. There is an option, once again like Chrono Trigger, to play a 'New Game EX' after you originally finish the game. As you play through the game once, you attain points depending on how well you fight your battles, the difficulty, and the amount of grinding done. These points can later be used in the New Game EX to enhance your new game with features like: 2x~10x Exp, 2x~10x Gold, Having all your items, etc.
-[> Graphics <]- : 10/10
The graphics and video in Tales of Symphonia was remarkably outstanding compared to many games on GC. No this was not in any way comparable to Resident Evil 4 graphics which were pretty outstanding for GC. The graphics in ToS were animated to perfection. Whether it was the set dynamic lighting of all of the maps or the sky-point view of the world map. Everything looked, and felt, fascinating.
-[> Sound/Music <]- : 9.3/10
Alas! The sound and music of Tales of Symphonia just edged away from perfection. However this is considering the fact that we have heard many creative RPG sound tracks in the past from games such as: Final Fantasy VI (III) and Chrono Trigger. Otherwise, there was a unique blend of different sounds and tracks incorporated for many situations throughout the game. Everything new/different had a sound. If not for the amazing classics which undoubtedly have the best sound
tracks, the rating would nevertheless be 10/10.
-[> Overall <]- : 9.9/10
*Note the 9.9 rating because there will be many more greats to come in the near future.* This game was undoubtedly one of the BEST games out for GameCube era of gaming consoles. This is why GameFAQs has ranked it at 2nd place on it's top 10 for the GC platform. I told all my friends about the game after I beat it, and I'm sure you either have done the same, would have done the same, or will do the same. In the end, this game review is clearly based on my own opinions because I have lived my own fantasies. If you do not agree with me, curse you for being blind and cold-hearted. Jokes* It's cool. Just don't choose to argue when it's a matter of opinion. Also don't put my review down because I have compared ToS with legends like FF3 and Chrono Trigger. This was just an honest review of the treasures Tales of Symphonia holds as a modernized legend to follow after the many great games we have seen in the past 20 years. ToS is undoubtedly the shining star out of all of the Tales games. If you get the chance, be sure to sit down and play because I'm sure you'll love the story your getting yourself into.
Sumit Dey (sparklite)
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/10
Game Release: Tales of Symphonia (Player's Choice) (US, 12/31/05)
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