Review by Cornell
"A game to make all the PS2 owners Jealous"
Tales of Symphonia is a game in Namcos long running Tales series. I've never played any of the other Tales games, but this game is NOTHING short of incredible.
The graphics found in Tales of Symphonia are stunning. It carries an anime look that can be found on Adult Swim or Anime Unleashed, but to actually play in that environment is crazy. There are a large amount of cutscenes, but not nearly as many as Xenosaga or Final Fantasy X, which of course can be a good thing or a bad thing, but I believe it works perfectly.
The musical score in this game is orchestrated (obviously, come on its an RPG), and about half of the cutscenes have voice overs (by a stellar cast by the way. If you have ever seen Powerpuff girls, Justice League, or played any of the Metal Gear Solid games you will recognize some voices). The sounds found in battle are what brings the sound down. Although the battle music is cool, the sounds get extremely repetitive (Demon Fang! Demon Fang! Demon Fang!), but I guess thats to be expected from an RPG.
For an action RPG, this game is EXTREMELY easy to control. When not in battle, you run around with the control stick and use the A button to talk to people or examine stuff. The Z button triggers cutscenes when given the option, which can be skipped if you don't feel like watching them. The menu in and out of battle is controlled by the Y button, and it works wonderfully. Inside battle, you use the control stick to run around (you can only go in a straight line towards the enemy, but you can switch what enemy you are looking at by holding R and choosing the enemy with the control stick). The A button controls the attacks, and the B button controls the Special Attacks and Spells. When in the menu, you can choose what character you are controlling, what spells and special attacks you have equipped, what armor and weapons are equipped, what items you use, and all of the regular RPG stuff. Works wonderfully.
Usually when you play an action RPG, you basically run around and fight stuff, pick up there loot, and fight bosses to make the story progress. Although it can be fun with multiple people (Which by the way you can do in this game by plugging in 4 controllers, but the other players only control your team members in battle), solo play can get old FAST. This game is much more story driven than regular Action RPGs, and of course its cool to have 3 other characters backing you up. Many of the cutscenes have voiceovers, but the ones that don't bother me. It seems they would easily be able to put the voices in, and it wouldn't have taken more than a month (I could have waited). The game plays like a regular RPG (until you get into battle) by having a world map in which you move from town to town, dungeon to dungeon easily, a town map kind of thing where you run around in towns talking to people and buying items, a dungeon map where you fight monsters and solve puzzles, and a battle screen where you.....uh, fight monsters?
What an awesome experience. I havn't had this fun with an RPG since Kingdom Hearts, and I HIGHLY recomend this for anyone who owns a Gamecube, but of course I would wait until August to buy(This is IMPOSSIBLE to find).
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/15/04
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