Tales of Symphonia review
A Year Before The Anniversary.

The good:

- Perfect Story.
- Perfect Music.
- Perfect Graphics.
- Perfect Gameplay.
- Perfect Battle System.
- "Skit" System.
- Pretty Cutscenes.
- Voice Acted.
- Multiplayer.
- Long Game.
- Interesting Sidequests.
- A Lot Of Replay Value.

The bad:

- Easy Ways To Ruin Your Current Gamesave.


Tales Of Symphonia is the Namco's game that was released a year before it's anniversary (with Abyss marking the Tales' series anniversary). This RPG left a deep mark on the Game Cube; as a game with high rankings and a game that is almost impossible to forget about. The story and the gameplay (as the most important elements) are sweet. These will get you hooked with the game in no time.

The story of the game makes a huge difference with today's RPGs. It is extremely deep and beatiful. The story can be enjoyed by anyone on the family, any kind of people and both hardcore and casual gamers. This game has probably one of the most mysterious storylines ever. It is very nice to see the relations all characters have with the whole story and how some certain events you, the gamer, change in the game while you do some events on your own way.

Below there's a small synopsis of the game:

Lloyd Irving, a young teen lost both parents when he was very young. He was raised with a dwarf and practiced with the sword with him. His best friend, Colette Brunel, is the Chosen One that has to travel around the world to regenerate the world. While Lloyd travels with her and his companions, they will release that a huge darkness, bigger than the one they were freeing the world from, is approaching. Will they be able to stop the upcomming darkness before it is too late?

The music is very nice and blends very well with every background you see in the game. Almost every dungeon and town has it's own symphonic behind. Same with battles. The music fits well with whatever escene you play. Boss battles have more moved music than regular battles, and wether something weird or mysterious is going on, another music plays. It is an awesome way to add suspense to the game and inspire the gamer as well.

Tales Of Symphonia OP (Japanese)
Video showing the Japanese opening of Tales Of The Symphonia. The song was made by the J-Group "Day After Tommorow".

This game uses all the potential of the Game Cube, Graphics Wise. The graphics are extremely detailed, and they are styled using the Cell-Shadding Technic. Every character and monster is detailed to the extreme. All the towns and dungeons are very colorful and it is easy to appreciate all the art behind. What is curious enough is that the details are not close to reality, but even if that's the case, it is good to see a lot of colors all over the place, just to slip yourself out of reality and include you in the game.

The Gameplay is very simple to understand. That's why it can be enjoyed by hardcore and casual gamers. If you have played any previous Tales games, you will know what I'm talking about, but if that's not the case, let me tell you that the gameplay was made for everyone, pretty much. everything you do in the field is to walk with the Analog Stick, ride your "horse" with Y, and examine things with A.

The Battle System is very nice and follows the ideology of the gameplay: to be simple. This is a real-time RPG, that means that it is NOT based in turns like most RPGs. The classic battle system is used in most Tales games and it is called Free Run. When you touch a monster in the world map, town or dungeon, you will enter a new screen where you can move freely around the place attacking the monsters when you need. You can set your best technices to the C-Stick and X-Y buttons to execute powerful combos and to create interesting strategies. Four players (1 the player and 3 controlled by the PC) enter the battle and while you attack, the other characters will heal you, attack, or help you as well.
Your character can be set "Manual", "Semi-Manual", and "Auto" for battles. Manual means that you will control your character freely in the battle field. Semi-Manual lets you move freely, but you will have to stay close to the enemy, you can't move as freely as you would on Manual mode. Finally, Auto means that the character will be controlled by the computer.

Like most Tales games, this game possesed the classic "Skit" system. If you don't know what skits are, they are simply optional cutscenes that you can view when you are prompted to. If you choose to view them, you will see Anime-Styled faces of the characters of the characters talking about random things or tips for your adventure. Do you have to view the skits? Up to you. Some skits can be funny, and some of them may have a lot of information you could have missed before. Also viewing all of them will give you a more clear sight of what is going on with the story.

This game posseses some cutscenes. Unfortunately, there are very few Anime ones, and the rest are done with the game's graphics. They are still very nice, they needed some improvement, but watching the cutscenes can still be nice and relaxing (depending on the case, that is).

Most of the game is voice acted, that's a important fact. Most cutscenes are voice acted, and in battles you can hear the character's voices when they attack or do some other actions. If the voices annoy you in some way, you can activate and deactivate them at any time in the Options Menu.

This game has a multiplayer mode. Four players can play it at once, unfortunately, this is only in battles. When you move around, only one player controls the main character and the rest can only be fight. If you want to play this game for the story, I recomend you to do it alone. If you want to play it for the gameplay, doing it with friends can be a nice experience.

This is a long lasting game. It has over 60 hours, and it is one of the few Game Cube games that requieres two discs.

This game has a lot of sidequests. It is optional to make them, but making them will get you unique items, raise your characters, and uncover parts of the story that you never heard before.

This game has a lot of Replay value. Once you beat it, you can buy other items before starting the second playthough. This items include all your items you had at the end of your first plathough, gain more experience, and so on. You need to have Gald to buy this items. Gald is obtained or decreased on every battle you do in the game. How much you get or how much you lose depends on your stats of the battles (time, damage taken, etc).. Also, playing the second playthough will unblock new Sidequests on the game that are impossible to do on the first Gameplay.

Finally, be aware of what you do in the game. You can ruin your gamesave and the flow of your current game by basically doing nothing. I recomend you to play it with a FAQ the first time. The errors you can commit are to trigger events in the incorrect time or get the innapropiate items in the innapropiate time. This facts can ruin your gamesave totally. I am not saying that it will ruin it at the point you won't be able to play, but it will ruin the current flow of the story and it will cause you to stay stuck forever, unless you use an Action Replay or another cheating device to save you.


This game is a must get in your RPGs collection. The story and Gameplay are already enough to get you in the game in no time, and it can be enjoyed by everyone that plays videogames.

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