Review by Barchueetadonai

"Simply put, the best game I have ever played"

Tales of Symphonia, for the Nintendo Gamecube, is truly a work of art. Every aspect of the game meets perfection. It was released as Player's Choice a year later.

Graphics (9.5/10):
Though not pushing the GCN's maximum limits, the characters are rendered by renowned manga artist Kosuke Fujishima in beautiful cel-shaded anime form. The environments are colorful and pretty to look at. There are a few anime sequences throughout the game that look magnificent and engage the player into the story better than ever.

Music (10/10):
Motoi Sakuraba, the music composer, wrote as well for this game as he did for Tales of Phantasia. Every piece flows with flows perfectly with whatever is happening in the story and captures the emotions of the characters. The battle themes are excellent. Fatalize is probably my favorite battle theme ever, closely followed by Fighting of the Spirit, Like a Glint of Light, and Full Force, which are all in Tales of Symphonia. The music alone is a reason to buy the game.

Voice Acting (9.5/10):
The voice acting in the English version of the game is wonderful in most cases. The main character, Lloyd Irving, is voiced exceedingly well by Scott Menville from Teen Titans. Other members of the cast are voiced by other great voice actors, such as Cam Clarke. The only two I didn't care for were Heather Hogan and Colleen O'Shaughnessy.

Story (10/10):
Right from the being, the story is top-notch. It's a unique fantasy story that has many unforeseen plot twists. Some people complain that the story is to cliché, but I beg to differ. It is incredibly well-written. I have no complaints about the story.

Gameplay (10/10):
Perfection. From the battles, to the dungeons, to the world map, it is non-stop fun. The battles engage you into a real-time linear motion battle system where you are on a 2D plane. You are locked into a line extending through you and your target. You can move anywhere on that line and you can also change your target to another enemy and have a completely new line, thus making it a 3D real-time battle system. The dungeons offer interesting and somewhat challenging puzzles. The world map is more than a way of getting from point A to point B; it is a 3D layout of the entire world and you walk on it and can get into battles from monsters roaming the map. It is a great addition to the game and adds a good chunk of hard earned hours to your playtime clock. The engine to the game is written perfectly and it makes the gameplay one of the best ever made.

Challenge (9/10):
This game can be quite challenging at times, and that just adds to the enjoyment. The puzzles can be difficult and the battles will sometimes seem tough. If you ever find the battles to be to easy, you can switch over to hard or mania for a greater challenge. They game isn't that hard that you'll need to level grind, so don't worry, but it does offer an experience of a lifetime.

Characters (10/10):
Enough said. They have immense character development and are just entertaining to learn their personalities and involvement with the story. Also, they can be amusing in the various 400 or so skits between characters.

Replay Value (10/10):
With every battle you complete, you will given or taken a certain amount of grade, which is based upon how well you did in battle. Once you complete the game, you can use the grade you have accumulated and use it in the grade shop to purchase things that carry over to your next game. You can also transfer some of your data from one game to the next via the grade shop. The game is worth playing over and over again, even if it's just to complete the Collector's Book or the Monster List. I have played the game 7 times so far and I am still playing it, so use that as a reference to how good it is to replay.

Overall (10/10):
A masterpiece. A gem. A magnificent work of art. Tales of Symphonia, for the Nintendo Gamecube, can be purchased for about $20 now because if its quick re-release as Player's Choice. I highly recommend this RPG to hardcore and casual gamers because anyone can enjoy it. So go out now and by Namco's Tales of Symphonia.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/20/08

Game Release: Tales of Symphonia (Player's Choice) (US, 12/31/05)

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