Review by chunkyliver1204
"Namco has created the greatest RPG ever. Period."
When I first saw this game, I thought, ooo another crappy RPG. You know they haven't been making any good RPG's for gamecube lately. But when I saw the reviews, I went out and bought this game right away. Tales of Symphonia is the best RPG ever made. It's very long, it's a perfect mixture of story and non linear exploring. The story is extremely deep from the main story to each character's back story. The game play is amazing. All RPG's should be this way. It plays out just like an RPG should. I'd recommend this game to anyone, even someone who doesn't like RPG's. Tales of Symphonia is arguably one of the best games ever made and the best RPG ever made.
This is the deepest story I've ever seen. It's got more twists and surprises than a Harry Potter book (haha, not funny). It would take hours to explain the whole story so I'll just explain what the original story that the game follows. It turns into something much bigger and much more different. The game tells how a chosen of mana is to sacrifice him/her self at the altar in the tower of salvation when the world is struggling for mana which is the source that lets food grow, use magic, and any other resource. This would restore mana to the planet. You take on the role as Lloyd (you won't always use him), a struggling school boy but skilled in battle because he has an exsphere. It's a device that increases your natural abilities. that means you would be able to jump higher, survive bigger falls, and become stronger. In the start of the game, you accompany Colette, the Chosen, to the altar in a church to receive an oracle. Along with Lloyd's friend, Genis, you make your way to the monster infested church (it sounds crazy to me too)and receive an oracle from an angle that tells you what you must do. Along your VERY LONG journey, you discover so many huge twists and surprises that it's a completely different story by the end of the game. You'll meet allies who seem like enemies and enemies who treat you like allies. A good example is in the beginning, a very mysterious figure joins your group. His name is Kratos. He acts like he knows much more than they do, and enemies sometimes know him for som unknown reason.
Game play: 10/10
This is the part of the game that turns it from an RPG to a great RPG. The most unique part of this is the battle sequences. First of all, you can put your character that you control on automatic, which lets you sit back and relax while they fight for you. You can put him/her on semi-auto which controls movement but not attacks, or manual which lets you completely control the character. The actual battle game play is very original. It takes place in real time. You move along a horizontal path attacking one targeted enemy or change the target to a different enemy. Your allies will be attacking other or the same enemy as you depending on what strategy you have set. You can tell them to attack a different enemy as you, to heal people that have been wounded, and much, much more. The AI is wonderful, they hold absolutely hold no patterns to figure out, so it makes bosses and even minor enemies more of a challenge. They actually know when to guard to. Up to 4 people can go into battle but you'll receive up to 8 characters, sometimes certain characters are required to be used. But other than that, the possibilities are endless. The world map is huge, the whole story takes at LEAST 48 hrs. to complete. But even after you beat the game once, you can use some type of points to start the game again with upgrades. Stuff like being able to hold 30 of each item instead of 20. There's also stuff like keeping your special moves so you don't have to learn them again. There's much more as well. There are tons of side quests, some of which are unavoidable. Others are optional. The dungeon designs have a perfect balance of enemies and puzzles. To battle enemies, you either run into them which are things that look like monsters in dungeons or the world map, or they run into you. You can even avoid most of them so they're not random like say final fantasy, but tou need to to get your experience up. Once you touch an enemy then it cuts to the battle sequence, that's just what I explained before. You will find small towns, huge cities and lots of different places to explore. In towns, you'll usually find shops that sell food to make dishes that help certain attributes during or after battle. They'll sell armor and weapons, and then there's your traditional healing items, things that you can use to customize weapons when you find someone who customizes them. You'll find hotels that heal you overnight and there's usually a save point in there. You can find save points in dungeons if there long. Your stats play a big role. Your HP and TP (tech points)increase every time you level up. Your individual stats like accuracy and intelligence differ depending on the items you equip to that character. They also depend on what type of fighter they are or the weapon they use. Like a magic user will have very little attack power and high intelligence. Or someone who wields an axe is almost always going to have a higher attack power than someone with a dagger.
Cel shading. I'm not that big a fan of it, but it works here. There are a few glitches, as in all cel shaded games, but otherwise, the graphics are really nice. Each character is quite detailed to not look like anyone else even if they're just an extra person in the crowd. The people have a certain pose they take when they are talking no matter what type of mood or how much enthusiasm. Also, when people hand you something, you don't see the item until the character is done handing it to you. Otherwise, every character looks and moves in a very natural way. There are tons of enemies, all of which look great and move great. They vary from minor fish all the way to Dragons. All the characters look like a masterpiece. Like I said, the detail in each and every character is amazing. They all have a very distinguishable feel to each and every one. One thing they could have done to make the variety perfect was if they made each enemy look different even when it's the same enemy. But even so, the graphics are still beautiful to look at. A great thing about the game's flow is that the frame rate will never slow down except when Genis uses one certain spell. The flow is amazing otherwise. Each city looks like how they're described in the game. Each town is beautiful to look at, and has many interactive side quests, shops or contests to enter.
The music is just great, there are multiple varieties in battle sequences and one great one on the world map. Most towns or cities have their own great little tune. Each one makes you feel however the town is. Whether small and peaceful, or large and hectic, the music does it's job. The dungeon music adds a creepy theme to them. Each and every bit of music is wonderful and suits whatever situation your in. The voice acting is really good. Each character acts or thinks very uniquely. They sound either very creepy or nice depending on what character they are. Whether it's Lloyd, an energetic boy who is quick to jump to conclusions, or Colette, a very polite, yet clumsy Chosen. The minor things like weapons clanging together or foot steps, everything in the sound category is brilliant. The enemies sound like whatever they are. Whether they're an insect or a dragon, they sound just like they should. All the towns or cities look very distinguishable just like the characters.
Amazing. The best part is the battle controls. You can hold R to change the target, the regular attack can be executed with A, and special attacks that take up TP, or tech points. X can guard and Y is the menu. Other than battle, the controls are everything you think would be in an RPG. You move around on the world map, talk to people with A, and Y accesses the menu. Overall the controls work perfectly for an RPG.
This is the best RPG ever made. Ever. Even if you hate RPG's, this game is right for you. It's that good. Anyone can pick up this game and enjoy. The story, the game play, everything about this game is one point shy of perfection. Some features are flawless and perfect, besides that it's only one point shy. So get out to your closest video game store and buy this game, NOW!!!!!!!!!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/01/05
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