Review by RPGFan1289

"Tales offers exactly what the Gamecube needed"

The minute I heard Tales of Symphonia(hereby referered to as ToS) was announced for Gamecube, and that it was an RPG I was excited. The only really memorable RPG to date on the Gamecube is Skies of Arcadia Legends(hereby refered to as SoAL) which although was fun, wasn't enough for the RPG genre on Gamecube. Thankfully ToS offers a whole new RPG experience.
Story: 8/10- Not the strongest point of ToS simply because so much of the story elements are used over in countless other RPG's. Not that this makes the story a bad thing, quite the contrary. The story is quite engaging and several plot twists throughout the game keep it interesting. In my opinion SoAL offers a slightly more interesting story, however that game has many overused story elements too. However if you want an RPG for its story look elsewhere, like Xenosaga Ep.1 (My favorite personal RPG)
Gameplay: 10/10- This is the strongest point of ToS. The battle system is very unique and allows for almost endless battle outcomes, and strategies. You will rarely get tired of battling although some of the bosses may make you a bit frustrated.(See further ahead for more on that) SoAL's battle system wasn't nearlay as original or as fun as ToS's. If you want a game for it's fun battle system then this is the game.
Sound: 7/10- Sound in ToS is not extremely memorable, but that does not mean it is bad. The opening of ToS displays the best music in my opinion. The battle music is catchy at first but after about 50 battles I began to grow tired of it. SoAL's sound wasn't the best either, probably about the same as this. Overall, nothing too great, nothing too bad.
Difficulty: 9/10- The difficulty in this game is strange. When you aren't fighting bosses, regular enemies really don't pose any threat, but when you get to a boss watch out. Usually the first boss is a piece of cake, not so in this game. The difficultly spike is a bit too much in this game, no matter what level of difficulty you are playing on. SoAL's difficulty was a bit more balanced, although the ship battles were always a challenge. You may have to level up a bit before bosses, but other than that you should be able to get through.
Originality: 8/10- This game's battle system is very original, it can't really be described to any other games. However the story is a bit overdone, and that is why I dragged the score to 8. Other than the story however, this game is original.
Overall: 8/10- This game is very engaging and will keep you up for countless hours in the night. I just take the score down because of the weak story(weak in the sense of originality not interest) If you want a slightly offbeat RPG then this is your game, but if you want something more traditional go for Final Fantasy X or something.
Rent or Buy?: If you are a RPG fan then I reccomend you buy this game. There is alot of play time here, at least 40 hours, 50 or 60 if you partake everything. If you aren't into RPG's too much then I recommend you rent it first, as this isn't a typical RPG.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/19/04

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