Review by SSJ1 Mike

Reviewed: 01/30/06

Tales Of Symphonia: A True Masterpiece of an RPG

Tales Of Symphonia: A True Masterpiece of an RPG

Tales Of Symphonia is the single most greatest RPG I've played in my life. I've played a lot of RPG's from FF to others and this is definitely better. I remember first seeing this in a demo for Gamecube at a Gamestop close to me. And after watching it with my jaw all the way to the end of my throat I fell in love and pledged to get this game. And ever since I got it I never regretted a cent of the 50 dollars I spent that day. I had absolutely no clue what I got myself into during purchasing this game. I spent long nights training my team harder and harder just so I can PWN any and every enemy that crossed my path. I didn't run from a fight only when I really needed to get things done. Basically only times I ran away was strictly business. I beat the game twice and I'm going for my third. This game is the epitome of masterpiece. This is my review for Tales of Symphonia.

Story 10/10
You start off as Lloyd the main character of the story and the warrior/living legend in the making. You are in school as you are a teenager being punished for sleeping during class so your ordered to stand holding pans of water but ironically you've still managed to doze off during the lesson. After a class lesson, BOOM! Something happens in which the teacher dashes off to a place to investigate. You gather up your two friends Genis the genius and the wizard in training. And Colette the Chosen. A descendant of the angel race. You go off to help and are thrown into something big. You are to help Colette save the world from declining and being depleted of life. You meet up with many strong people who join you and some who traitorously leave you. The story and missions change after a point putting a whole different turn to the story. Before you know it your saving your friends defeating monsters and battling Gods! The story is a masterpiece with a fair amount of side-quests as well. This captures a beautiful grasp of fantasy and is well written. Bravo!

Gameplay 10/10
The gameplay is perfectly mastered. The combos of the game are endless and are interesting enough to find out which ones can play together easily. The attacks are basically this. Regular moves and moves supported by magic. The regular moves are attacks that are just basic. Take Lloyd for instance. When you use a regular combo with him he slashes up his enemies. But on the other hand with magic moves, Lloyd slices, and dices his enemies. Others like Kratos the wandering swordsman who blends magic with his swordsmanship can use combos that start off with a standard sword combo and finish with an elemental strike. And others like Genis who is better off at the side beating up others with his devastating elemental moves. You can even play up to four players just straight up kicking monsters asses all around the field. The way it's set up is you have to go through the character in question and set it from automatic to manual or vica versa to add in a friend or activate the computer. One thing bad though, the camera only focuses on you so your friends have to stay within the screen or they will be within the computers home field advantage. The gameplay takes a while to master but it's a grand moment when you do.

Graphics 10/10
A truly beautiful masterpiece. Cartoonized it's a beautiful game and has a perfect scenery around it. The sky is defined and the background is perfect. And when the game goes into "Anime Mode" that multiplies itself by plenty rounds. It feels so perfect as an anime that you almost wish this game was a show that you can turn the TV to view. When you're in a cave the description is realistic. Where light doesn't cover it's dark. And the monsters threre are definitely creatures who look like they don't like sunlight much. For the oceanside there are plenty of fish monsters and those of which are creatively drawn up. Places like the mountainside in which you waterfalls are described perfectly and the mountains are sculpted beautifully and designed well. But for the characters that is another story. The character's clothes are definitely old fashions from their time. And other monsters which are just eye candy. Like the behemoth monsters that are immeasurably strong. And the cities are pure perfection. Places like Meltokio are pure beauties. No way else to put it. And the sky is really detailed as well. And the monsters are so well created that it's just eye-candy to look at. Especially the female spirits. And in other cases where you're in dungeons the amount of detail ceases to amaze you. Even when you've made it to Yggdrasil's home you will absolutely love the design. Makes you think Yggdrasil had expert taste. And the weapons? For God's sake they are unbelievable. Even the weakest weapons make you wish they were stronger because of the design and creativity Namco presented.

Sound/Music 10/10
The music to this game is at an all-time high. It seriously couldn't be better. The soundtrack is so excellent that it makes playing the game a lot more comfortable. The music blends in with your environment. When your in the forest a high-strung happy music plays. When your in a village or city a calm music plays welcoming you to the specific place. But when you're near dark places like dungeons a spooky music plays. The amount of variety to this game's soundtrack selection is amazing. I loved this aspect especially. And with Sound effects, they are perfect. When you are using a weapon on an enemy you hear a powerful clash. The sound of the weapons are perfect. When slashing your opponent you hear an actual sword slash. Or when you are using characters that master martial arts the sound effects are realistic. And the character voices are nice. Some people hate things like this but I like it a lot. It's kind of weird hearing the voice of Robin from Teen Titans on this game as Lloyd in a way but I'm not complaining. And everyone else has good voice actors playing them. Zelos' voice actor is kick ass. Same goes to Regal, Presea, and Kratos. And other things like monster cries where every different monster (as much as they maybe) has their own sound. But I'm sure you know what monster cries are. But with those you can distinguish between which is which monster. Nothing to hype over it's just that it's good they were original. But the sound overall is great.

Controls 10/10
This is also really note worthy. The controls as usual when playing a new game are pretty difficult to get the hang of but also like other games once you play it enough you will become flawless with the controls. Like me :). Anyway, the combos in this game is one of the greatest around. You can loop up to 4 different combos in one attack with some of the most deadliest arts in your selected character. With the combos you choose you also have to make sure you don't fumble into a mistake and accidentally choose the wrong move to go into because some certain combos placed with each other can halt you character for up to three seconds making you a sitting duck for any devastating attack coming your way. And when you are moving in the vast world of Sylvarant/Tethe-alla you can easily move around places. And even at times where you find yourself in a glitch in where you are stuck in a certain spot in a curve or whatever don't worry you will end up getting out of it so don't turn off the game at this point. I spent up to 5 minutes stuck on a ledge and finally got out so just keep moving around and you'll find yourself out of the clutch.

Characters 10/10
The characters are excellent. They serve their purpose of being excellently skilled fighters who go around saving the world. Some characters are naturally stronger then the others and others are better suited to play with then others. Like if you are into straight up beat-em-up fighting then Lloyd, Zelos, Presea, Regal are for you. If you're into healing the crew then the Professor is for you. And others with combinations like magic and fighting where Colotte does both. And just straight magic where Genis is the greatest in. But characters like Lloyd, a young swordsman raised by a dwarf is one of the main characters but the main focus is on his development. He starts off as a high strung kid who thinks he can take on anyone and can come out victorious. He grows to be an outstanding swordsman who can take on anyone and a very intelligent man and always seems to buss out with a motivational speech every once in a while. The second main character is Colotte. She starts off as a young girl who is very unsure of her powers and always the first to apologize if she has the slightest thought if she was wrong. She grows to be a stunningly powerful angel who fights for good. And the last main character is Genis. He starts off as a Genius in Magic and education who can do almost anything even if he was tied up and blindfolded. He grows to be a very powerful wizard and stays a very smart boy. Other characters like the Professor who knows virtually anything, Zelos the ladies man, and Sheena the acrobatic ninja to name a few are other very deep characters. They all have something to atone for and end up growing to be very strong and smart people. The characters in this game are simply excellent.

Items 10/10
The items in this game are basically there to make you Gods. Point blank. Especially with Ether that heals 100% of Health and Energy, The multi-color gels that do what Ether does but are not as effective. There are items that can increase your offense, defense, evasion, and speed. And other different types of items that you equip to your characters. There are equip items like the rings the can reduce inflicted damage onto you or increase damage onto the opponent. Other rings can also decrease the use of energy for your character. There are also equip items like armor where there are helmets, chest plates, leg armor. There are actual clothing and things that can increase your speed and defense. And other power ups called EX Skills that you find lying around dungeons. EX Skills can unlock characters special abilities enabling them to do things not only in battle but out of battle. Some EX Skills can let characters move twice as fast around the world others can make them run faster in battle. The items in the game are basically legal cheat ways to get by in the game. But they are useful none the less.

Length/Playtime 10/10
This game never ends........seriously it doesn't. LOL Nah, I'm just playing this game is roughly three days long. So it would take a very long time to beat but still the game delivers. It gives you many things to do which basically lengthens the game. There are extra summon spirits that you've probably never heard about or will hear about in the game. There are only just hints about them but I'm saying to much. There are many different side quests. As a matter of fact, the most difficult trial in this game is an optional side quest. That is the Book of the Underworld where you fight in the game's "Hell". It's optional because it's pretty hard to get by without losing your mind. Completing it gives you a sense of accomplishment. I should know, it took me three tries to kill the main boss. But anyway this was the longest game I've played and I love long games. Especially long RPG's.

Overall 10/10
Overall this game is outstanding. And I say that in Shao Kahn's voice >_>. But anyway this game is excellent. It's an everlasting fantasy fighter where you spend a good portion of your time trying to complete. This game has great characters, devastating weapons, beautiful music, eye-candy graphics, and an addicting storyline. You would play for hours and hours just training your party and even at times that can be fun. But it can be VERY time consuming. And you have to set a high goal of the level you want to train to. The starting of the game is pretty interesting. Seeing Lloyd being punished for sleeping in class but the punishment having zero effect on him because he can sleep while standing. And the ending is amazing but I won't go any further with that. And their are sudden points in the game that can cause you to be so shocked that you won't even notice your jaw dropped. This game is an instant RPG Gamecube classic and I recommend it to any Gamecube owner.

Buy or Rent
If you sat by this whole review and read it then I think my answer would pretty much be self-explanatory....

XD... Seriously though you probably won't be able to finish the game renting this anyway and you'll love playing it the first time and it's even more fun playing it the second, ect. But yes buy, you won't regret it.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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