Review by InfernoCrossing
"The GameCube's number one RPG"
The Tales of series is a series of games that has dominated the gaming world. Some of their titles ore Tales of Phantasia, Tales of Legendia, and Tales of the Abyss. This game is nothing short of perfect. It continues the legend of the Tales of series. The best RPG for the Nintendo Gamecube has arrived in the form of Tales of Symphonia. The game first implemented the basics of a linear-motion battle system for the Tales of series. Nothing is new in this game except for the battle system and the 3-D look to it. I know this review is a little late, but I'm just doing my part to contribute the the Gamefaqs community. The Gamecube technically had mostly sport and platforming games. Maybe even the occasional out-of-this-world game. Of all of the games I've seen for the Gamecube, Tales of Symphonia has taken the cake. Sure, the story is a little TOO cliche. In fact, there's almost nothing unique about the storyline, but somehow, the game has surpassed that problem and dominated the gamecube world and became the top game of all. Perhaps it even beats every game that was ever made for the Gamecube? Perhaps..but you'll just have to read what I typed down to find out.
The beginning is a little overused for an RPG game. Long ago, there was a tree that was the source of all mana. A war (which you will learn more about in the game) exhausted the mana inside the tree, causing it to wither and die. In order to replace the tree, a great hero of the war ( again, you will delve into this "hero" they speak of) had to be sacrificed in order to take it's place and bring order to the land. This started the process of the "Chosens".; The "Chosen" takes an adventure through the lands in order to protect the lands and "regenarate" it. This game takes place during the final Journey of Regenaration, which you will find out later.
You start out as Lloyd, the main character, Genis, the main character's best friend, and Colette, the main character's secondary best friend. You start out in the village of Iselia. Something smells like trouble in the air, and it's all going to depend on YOU to figure out what is happening to your world, and stop it by whatever means necessary. During the journey, the story takes you through many tasks and places that you have to overcome. The many twists and turns of this game is like a twizzler, you're never going to guess what just happened. As you progress, you encounter many enemies that just keep getting stronger. To aid you in your quests, you also get the help of allies who you've either helped, or ones that decide to join you in your battle against the darkness overcoming the land.
Wow. That's basically what this section is in a word. In a descriptive paragraph or two, this is what it means. Even though you've basically played this kind of style before, you can't help but to grow addicted to it, just like you can be addicted to a fizzy cola drink or a warm melty chocolate piece. You have the basic of jumping, attacking, and blocking, and then you have your skills (or techs as they call it in this game). Techs take up a certain amount of TP. Most Hi-Ougi's (the strongest attack of a character) take up 100TP. You start of with a small amount of TP and 1 basic tech that you can do. (Depending on the character that's described, only the first 3 characters and the 5th one have only one tech that can be used. As you progress, you gain higher TP techs that require a massively huge amount of TP. The good side of this is that you can have a maximum of 999TP. The more techs you can do means the more fun you can have with the battle system.
You'll see why this department got the grade it got instead of a regular old 9/10. You see, the graphics for this game are TERRIBLE......terribly AWESOME that is. Anyways, all of the spell, tech, and attack graphics are superbly awesome. To add an extra effect to the swing of your weapon, you can even equip an elemental stone. The elemental stone gives your weapon the power of that certain element, and it also gives the weapon of the user a cool looking aura that trails behind it. For example, equipping a Fire Elemental stone will give the weapon the fire attribute and a red aura for the weapon. The only bad thing about the graphics are that close-ups are actually pretty bad. Tsk tsk Nintendo, you should know better than to do that. For that, you lose 1 point. Now it's time for the best part of the graphics jar. That's right my friends, I'm talking about Hi-Ougi's. As I said before, a Hi-Ougi is a character's unique and powerful technique that can dish out major pain on everything, including boss battles. There are only 3 in the American version, while there are more in the Japanese version, although the graphics were murdered in the Japanese version. Back on topic, whenever you do a Hi-Ougi, a face slide comes. It's a hand-drawn close-up of the Hi-Ougi user's face. Everyone has a serious expression, except Collete, who acts dumb and sticks her tongue out. Just for these Hi-Ougi slides, the point that was taken away came right back like a boomerang.
Yes, of course. The sounds of ToS. Where do I start.....ah!! I'll start off with town tunes. As you'll notice in the start of the game, each town will have it's own unique tune. Every place except for Houses of Salvation and the Desian bases. They vary according to what's happening there. Another thing to talk about is the battle music. The battle music varies also. It matters whether you are underleveled, or overleveled. The spells that are cast are also really awesome, soundwise. By the end of playing this game, you'll be wishing you had the whole game on a tape recording that you could listen to whenever you want.
For the most part, this is a game for teenagers and older, or young kids with a grown-up vocabulary. Also, unlike many other games out there, this game actually requires you to.....get this...THINK!! I know,"But InfernoCrossing, don't ALL games require you to think?" Well my friend, that's where you are wrong. While most games out there are button-smashers, Tales of Symphonia is a game that requires strategy and timing. The reason I stated that is because young kids are more likely to go wild and smash those buttons like there's no next hour. So, in short, this game is what it's rated; teens and up above.
Now, the "Replayability" section is an area that I don't include often due to laziness problems, but I just HAD to put this section in this review. This game has something unique to it that is just GOLD. The affection plot is what I'm talking about. Due to that, there is no real main buddy for Lloyd because you pick who he pairs up with. But, you get a certain character shoved down your throat so much you'll probably think she's the main buddy, but she isn't. Anyways, due to the affection system, this game can be played over and over again. You can see the scenes that all the characters have, and play boss battles with different characters. There's even a collection book that requires you to make at least 3 playthroughs to finish. That's why I give the replayability part of this review a 10/10.
Tales of Symphonia is a good game for anyone to add to their priceless collection of Gamecube games. Everything is sharp and to the point. Nintendo and the Tales of creators did a magnificent job creating this game. They made sure everything was right on the dot and, at least, near perfect. Buy this game when you get the chance, or you'll most likely regret that decision one day in your life. InfernoCrossing, out.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/15/07
Game Release: Tales of Symphonia (US, 07/13/04)
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