Review by Gamegeek123
"An Excellent Installment to an Underrated Series"
I was extremely fascinated when I saw Tales of Symphonia's battle system in play for the very first time. Right from the start, I was able to duke it out with two other friends and straight-up whack enemies or cast magic from afar. The story was fine and simple, until it became complicated and even more interesting.
I could care less about the graphics of any game. When the presentation is remarkable then I would comment on the positive aspects, but otherwise, they do not hurt the score. The game uses a cel-shaded system, which works fine in my book. The parts that shine the most are the spell effects which are visually impressive. Black magic spell efects are part of the reasons why mage characters are my favorite.
I am very open-minded about the story. If the story was very simple like the first half of the game, I would be perfectly fine and still enjoy it. However, the second part of the game completely twists the plot, which makes it even more interesting. The plot starts out with a dim-witted country boy raised by a dwarf who decides to accompany the heroine on a quest to save the world. However, it gets as simple as that. Later the story escalates into a complicated and twisted sequence that is both compelling and brilliant. The characters are fun and they contribute to the greatness of the plot. From ninjas to comic-relief little kids, the story is overall great.
This is the cream of the crop, in my opinion, and it drove my interests in the Tales series. I was able to set this game up at a party and immediately 3 other friends were attracted to the game. The four of us would sit down and play for hours because the game was so incredibly addicting.
The system is an improved linear motion battle system from Tales of Phantasia, or a real-time action battle where you can simply run up and slash enemies to death. You gain more techs and become stronger as the game progresses, so there are more fun techs to play around with. Each character has a unique playstyle so it's fun to experiment with eight (or nine) different potential party members.
The boss fights are some of the greatest fun and enjoyment I have experienced in video game history. They revolve around my friends and I yelling and screaming when our characters are getting obliterated by a ridiculously tough boss or struggling to beat it. Overall the system pumps a lot of fun.
As with any RPG you can customize your characters in a variety of ways. From equipments to accessories, there is a lot to choose from and a lot to equip to your party members.
The music is really impressive and it contributes to the immersion. Some of the tunes are successful in pumping adrenaline and suspense, while others tend to be soothing and breathtaking. One of my favorite tunes is the one that plays during the Fooji Mountains. Others include one of the boss battle themes which is really awesome. Overall the soundtrack is wonderfully composed.
One can replay this so many times. There are so many subplots and secrets in this game that you will always find something new with each consecutive playthrough. There are so many skits and quests that add more depth to the characters.
Overall the game is great and I squeezed at least 100 hours of pure enjoyment out of this game. I definitely made it worth my time, as with many other games I played.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/07/13
Game Release: Tales of Symphonia (US, 07/13/04)
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