Review by Kratos_25

"Namco, you did a perfect RPG game."

Game Cube doesn't have many good RPG games, but Tales of Symphonia replaces that problem. Namco started this Tales of series a long time ago, but nearly all of those games has released only in Japan. Thankfully this game is released also in US and Europe. Good for me and for many others, Tales of Symphonia is for Game Cube. There's a PS2 version too, but only in Japan. Xbox and most of the PS2 players can only cry on buy the Game Cube if they want to play this absolutely awesome and the best RPG game ever made. Myself, I went to a shop and saw this game on the self. I bought it immediately. That happened about 2 months ago and I still play it. 160 hours and 3 playthroughs played so far, but I'm not thinking to stop it for a long time now. This isn't boring at any rate and I found new things a whole time. I have quite a good experience about video games and this is the best I've played this far. Thank you for this masterpiece Namco! Now I'll tell what makes this game so great and…addictive.

Storyline: (10/10)

The Chosen of Regeneration, Colette must go to the journey to regenerate the world. She must sacrifice herself and release the seals all over the Sylvarant (game world). You make decisions for 17 year old boy, Lloyd Irving. The Game begins from village named Iselia, when Lloyd is sleeping in the class (as always). The teacher of Iselia, 23 year old woman Raine Sage wakes Lloyd by throwing him with an eraser. She's asking some questions and suddenly the class see a strange light coming from the Martel Temple. Raine goes to check it out and orders the others to study in the class on their own. Now Lloyd gets a good chance to slack from the school. He goes too. This is the time when a 16 girl and also the Chosen One, Colette and a 12 year old boy, Raine's little brother Genis joins Lloyd. They'll get into trouble and a mercenary named Kratos saves them. This is how it begins. This game also contains a plenty of side quests and mini games. You can obtain titles, items, weapons and other specialities by doing them.

The storyline is very deep, the deepest what I've ever seen. There are many plot twists. You never know what happens next. It also lasts long and is really interesting. Lloyd's decisions (what you make), affects the storyline and the character relationships. There are different events what are part of the story. Some of them are so emotional that you can maybe even start to cry. And some of them are so happy that you can start jumping in your own room. You can watch different skits during the game. There are humorous conversations and discussions about the different happenings and situations in the game. There are those who deceive, and those who are deceived.

You meet these characters during your journey. They're all very personal. Lloyd is stubborn and doesn't like to study. He cares a lot about Colette and does everything he can to make a way to save the world without having to sacrifice Colette. Colette keeps smile on her face no matter what and is very clumsy. That may be a good thing many times. Colette also apologizes for nearly every thing. Genis is Lloyd's best friend and a mage. He is very knowledgeable boy and good at school. Genis is an elf. Genis' older sister Raine is crazy about ruins and fears water. She has great healing techniques. Sometimes she says things little coldly, but she doesn't mean anything bad. Kratos knows a lot about things and is a very good swordsman. He trains Lloyd and is on Lloyd's side everywhere they go. In the beginning, it doesn't look like it, though. Sheena is a Summoner. She fights with magic cards. First it looks like she's an enemy, but that thing changes. Presea is a silent girl. She wields axe and lives in a small village named Ozette. Zelos is a “pretty boy”. He likes girls and partying and feels like he doesn't take anything seriously. Regal has made a crime. He has those handcuffs all the time and fights with his feet. The all party members (except Colette) have exspheres. They're stones what people attach to themselves to be stronger. The bad guys in this game are the Desians. They're half-elves who make humans suffer because humans have never accepted half-elves. Desians keep Human Ranches where they take humans to work. The Chosen One must beat the Desians too, in order to regenerate the world. Desians have exspheres too.

Game Play: (10/10)

You've never seen anything so great like this! You travel at a big field. There you enter towns and dungeons. It's a really good and fast way to move from place to place. You can find some skit points from the field, where you talk with your companions. These skits affect the character relationships too. You can use a walk mode or a faster Long-range mode, by finding some big stones from the field. You have a map where you can look where to go. Once when you've entered them, you can find the places from your map. Even if you haven't entered them, they look like small orange dots on your map. You'll receive a flying machines called Rheairds in the game. It goes really fast so the traveling is even easier.

Every town and dungeon is completely different from each other and there are a lot of shops, houses and people. Each town has a name and a mayor or elder. Dungeons have their own puzzles and design. When you complete dungeons, you'll receive different effects to your sorcerer's ring (what you received in the beginning). Puzzles aren't boring as in many other RPG games.

You can buy new weapons and armours with your Gald (money) and sell the old ones. Each character has their own fighting style, so they have their own equipments. You can customize too. Customizing is a pretty interesting part of this game. Just bring some of your old weapons and some materials to customizers all over the game world. Weapons can also be found from treasure chests too. It's always nice to find new treasure chests. There are some charms what you can equip to get special effects such as immune to poison, curse, heavy and some elements.

The Replay value is one of the best things in this game. I don't know any games like this. I was really impressed myself too. You can load your old file again and improve your records, inherit data and other things from your previous playtrough. That way this game lives on and you have to finish is quite a many times to get bored (if you even can get bored).

Battle System: (10/10)

This is perfect! Battle system in this game is real time battling. You use one character and the others are automatics. Automatics aren't bad, spell casters are maybe even better that you could be. You can switch automatic character's techs on and off and you can order them to do those moves what you want. Melee characters are fast and they do great combos. Mages do more powerful attacks, but it takes some time to cast those spells. You can learn level 1, 2 and 3 special moves what you can link together to make combos. You can also use Unison Attacks where your characters make their attack at the same time. Make a lot of combos in a row, and you'll get a big bonus EXP. Your battling is rated by a Grade. You'll receive it after battle. With Grade, you can buy materials to customize accessories for you.

There are many enemies and each of them has their own looks, moves and stats. You can find even some rare enemies from specific places. It's a true pleasure to take care of bosses. Levelling up is really exciting. Once you get EXP and you level up, your stats grow. You have 7 different stats plus luck stat. They're: HP, TP, Strength, Defense, Intelligence, Accuracy and Evasion. You can even use some items to raise them, and don't forget titles. You can obtain titles from different side quests and during the storyline. Set them and you'll get stat bonuses for some of your stats. The max level you can reach is 250, so you have much to do if you want to reach the maximum stats.

You can avoid enemies in the game-screen and you can run away from battles. This way you never have to battle normal enemies, but that's not funny. What are funny are those battles! You can improve your skills and set some challenges to you. Switch between three battle ranks to make this harder. This isn't too hard, just train so you learn it.

Graphics: (10/10)

Every little thing has done so carefully. Characters are made by Cel-Shading style and backgrounds looks like in the real life. Even the non-playable characters looks different from each other. Towns has their own style and dungeons have a great design. They're just so great! You can't imagine anything like this. Weapons are made like the real weapons would look.
When you travel at the field, it's breath taking. You can feel the blow of wind in the warm weather and fresh air when you're near the mountains. You surely would like to go to swim to the waters of this game. You see then sun in the sky and waves in the sea. These all graphics together are absolutely beautiful.

Musics and Sound: (10/10)

Musics fit their situations perfectly. You start humming them and can't even get them out of your head, because they're so good. In the battle you can stop battling accidentally when you start to listen musics. Battle music makes you to feel so much better and when there's a sad things and sad music, it makes you cry. Sounds are pretty good. When you equip some lightning weapon and you can hear the sound of electricity. Characters always says what their attack name in the battle, and that sounds so cool! They aren't irritating as in many other games.

Overall: (10/10)
These all things together makes a great, if not a perfect RPG game. This game gives you a great and deep story, wonderful game play, good replay value, breath taking graphics and humming-good music. What else you can wish for the game? This is a positive surprise and I hope you buy this game too. Enjoy playing the Tales of Symphonia!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 05/11/05

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