Tales of Symphonia is the truly redeeming game of the RPG deprived Gamecube.
felix72 wrote this review on .
The game is set in Sylvarant, a land whose mana is beginning to run out. The story begins on the Chosen's birthday. The chosen is the land's only hope to bring back their waning mana. On this day she must begin her journey to the temples of the land to release the seals on the lands mana. The journey, however, quickly becomes much more than just a trip to save the world, which I will not spoil here, that will take you at least 50 hours to complete doing only the story and no excessive powerleveling. There are 9 playable characters total, but only 4 may be taken into battle at any time.
The graphics are nothing short of beautiful. The entire game is done in cel-shading, which allows the characters to show emotion in much greater detail. Another awesome graphical feature is the anime cutscenes and skits. There are around 5 full-blown anime cutscenes in the game. There are also the anime skits, which are optional scenes that show the faces of the characters in anime form talking to each other. Although these are not required by the story they allow a great way to relate to the characters on a whole new level. Now for one of the most important aspects of any RPG: the battle-system. If you've ever played a Tales of game the battle system is similar to others in the series, although the series has finally made the jump to 3-D. For those of you who have never played a Tales of game the battle system is in complete real-time except for when picking items and changing attack strategies. All enemies can be seen from the main game area so you can try to avoid battles if you choose. Once you come into contact with an enemy the battle begins. From there you walk forward to the enemy and begin your attack. You can use basic attacks that change depending on what direction you hit as you do them, but you can also use tech attacks. Techs are your abilities used in and outside of battles. The battle abilities are usually magic and attacks but some, like healing magic, can also be used outside of battle. You only control 1 of the 4 characters while battling, which is Lloyd at the default, but you can change it to whoever you wish. The other 3 attack based on parameters that you set. They can be set to be on the frontlines, use magic from the back, heal, attack magic users, attack the same enemy as you, retain their Tech Points, go all out, or, if you want to take the lazy route, just attack as they see fit. The A.I. does a very good job of doing as you set them to do. You can change the settings at any time during battle. The music is your average RPG fare with separate music for different cities, the overworld, what you're riding on, battle music and such. The music really shines during the boss battles, though. The music playing during those fights set the mood perfectly, whether you're fighting it just to get to the last room or fighting for the fate of the world, it sets the scene perfectly. This game's replay value is also incredibly high. When you beat it once there are many extra sidequests to tend to, such as collecting figurines, beating the colosseum, collecting data on every enemy, or obtaining every title, tech, and weapon, this game has it all. It also gives you the option to start a new game +. This allows you to spend GRADE, a sort of money earned in battle, to purchase the ability to start a new game with all of your levels, techs, titles, weapons, or other data so that you can build to it in your next playthrough. This feature makes getting the 100% completion a little bit easier.
Overall this game is worth playing by anyone who has a Gamecube, RPG fan or not. It will last you 50 hours at least and I enjoyed every single minute of it.