Review by SS4Ed
"Over Eighty Hours of RPG Goodness!"
The Tales of Series is a great series of video games by Namco (And later Namco-Bandai)! And Symphonia is just the same, if not better. The Tales of games are RPGs with action type battle systems (Meaning that it is not turn based) with many towns and dungeons that are either straight through or chocked full with brain wracking puzzles.
Most Tales games do NOT have anything to do with each other except a few titles. Tales of Destiny and it's sequel Tales of Destiny 2 are both of the same universe. And so is the Aselia Universe games.
Tales of Symphonia is the third Aselia Universe game, yet the first in chronological order. It is the prequel to the very first Tales game, Tales of Phantasia. A sequel to the game is also coming out this winter. But, let's not go into that, shall we?
So, let us head on into the other parts of the review.
Gameplay - There is three parts to gameplay: The Town/Dungeon Screen, the World Map and the Battle screen.
The Town/Dungeon screen is when you are inside a town or dungeon. You move around and interact to people in towns. In Dungeons you partake in puzzles and sometimes even mini games! And of course most monsters are in Dungeons.
The World Map screen is how you go to other areas. You walk across the world map like you do in the Town/Dungeon screen. You can battle on the World Map Screen or go to other towns or dungeons. You can also ride on three vehicles in the game, one being a giant green dog.
The Battle Screen is where the battles take place of course. You may be fighting a very weak monster. Or maybe even a boss. Remember, this isn't turn based. This is an action RPG, meaning you go up to your opponent and fight tooth and nail, or in this case, Weapon to Weapon.
The game is pretty easy to get used to and is easy to play at the beginning of the game. But the further you go in the game, the tougher it gets.
Two things prevent me from giving this a 10/10: The Alternate Paths and the Synopsis. The Alternate Paths is part of the game where you can choose where to go next. There's the easy path and the hard path. Once you start a path, you must finish the path, and it can get quite confusing on what to do next. The easy path is, of course, quite easy to follow. But the Hard Path can really confuse you, because you go through the areas of the game backwards.
The Synopsis is SUPPOSED to tell you what to do/where to go next if you forget. It's easy to get to: Just go to the menu and it'll be there broad as daylight. But, the Synopsis jumbles up easilly, and it can get quite confusing. In the PS2 version, though, it is fixed. The only problem with that is: The PS2 Version is only in Japanese!
Gameplay Score: 8/10
Story- Okay, our story is about a world that is in peril, like most RPGs. Why? The Goddess is asleep and the bad guys, the Desians, enslave humans and consume vast amounts of mana: The energy in this world. The only person who can save our world is the klutzy Chosen One, Colette.
And with her team: A swordsman named Lloyd (Who is also the main character. No, Colette isn't the MAIN character), a mage named Genis, a Mercenary named Kratos and a Healer named Raine; they must save the world of Sylvarant.
I won't tell you about any other characters or anything else of the plot, because I don't want to spoil you.
Story Score- 9/10
Graphics- Okay, I'll tell you now. The graphics aren't as good as other Gamecube titles such as Super Smash Bros. Melee; but it gets around. The attacks of the characters and the cutscenes are pretty good though. Sometimes the facial expressions of the characters doesn't match the setting at the moment. But, like I said, it gets around.
Graphics Score- 8/10
Music- The music is divine. Simply divine. The three battle themes and the many boss battle themes are great. It makes you just want to jump up and down for joy. When sad things are happening, sad music plays. When something funny happens, hilarious music plays. All of the music is just...just...too much for words.
Music Score- 10/10
Play Time- It is a pretty long game, because it is over sixty hours of gameplay. You'll get the bang for your buck, kiddies. If you add the sidequests..Mmmm...about seventy to eighty hours of gameplay.
Play Time Score- 10/10
Replayability- Okay, aafter you finish the game, an awesome factor called the "Grade Shop" opens before you start a new game. Grade is how well you did in a battle. All your grade is added up throughout the game and you get an extra 1000 grade for finishing the game. The grade shop can buy you special things like "2x Experience" or "10x Experience" and more! Also, you receive a third difficulty option. To add to Normal and Hard, is the hardest difficulty: Mania. Also, many new sidequests open up.
Replayability score- 10/10
Overall score- I give it a 9/10. It is a great game!
Final Recommendation - The game is worth buying, but do NOT rent it. You will not have enough time to finish it, if you rent it. But it's not for the child age range. It is for the Teenager range, hence the T rating. So, adults, get it for your teenage kids. It is really good. Teenagers, give it to your big brother, mother, girlfriend, boyfriend, whoever! It is just that good!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/01/08
Game Release: Tales of Symphonia (US, 07/13/04)
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