Tales of Symphonia (GameCube)
List price: £39.99|
Average customer rating:
4.67 out of 5
Media: Video Game|
ISBN/ASIN : B000670JB2
Manufacturer : Nintendo|
Release data : 19 November, 2004
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A selection of product reviews
Exactly what the Gamecube has been missing.
I have had this game for just over 3 months and I have to say it was definitely worth the import. The moment you start playing this game, you are blown away by the fantastic graphics. Ok, maybe the world map isn't as graphically appealing but hey, it's only a world map and all you want do is get from A to B, not admire it.
The fighting system is somewhatg different altogether from the Final Fantasies or Zeldas. It's like a mixture of the two well-known RPG fighting systems. First of all, I should say that there are NO RANDOM battles. The monsters are there on the screen roaming about and you can choose to either walk into them and thus fight them, or just run past. Once you are in a battle, you get to move your character about on the screen and hit the monsters in real-time. You only can control one character at a time but you can switch to whoever you want. The rest are just automatically controlled by the AI but you can change their strategies if you want (ie. make them stay back). It's really fun trying to link up really large combos and the spells look absolutely fantastic. If you have 3 other friends with you, then you each get to control a character in battles.
The sound is pretty good and fits in with the theme well, although I wouldn't say it was as perfect as Final Fantasy 7 for example. What's annoying though are the American voices. Sounds really cheesy at times. Would have been better if they had kept the Japanese voices and put English subs there.
The game will probably last you over 40-50 hours on your first playthrough and once you complete it, you can carry over your achievements like your max combo, cooking recipes and GRADE points, which are used to buy such stuff.
Even though it's not exactly the best RPG ever, it certainly is the best on the Gamecube at the moment and if you are desperate for a long RPG to play over the Christmas, then I would definitely recommend this game!
The Best for GameCube
I bought Tales of Symphonia at Christmas, and 8 months on, I am still playing on it! It is one of my favourite games of all time, and I have a lot of games. It is an action RPG only for the GameCube.
The plot for ToS starts out simple, you play as Lloyd, a kind of nice rebel teenager, and you have to go around with your friend Collette, the "Chosen" to release the seals in Sylvarant, (their earth) in order to summon the goddess Martel, while being hindered by the Desians, and killing a lot of them. After about 20 hours (including Sub quests, battles and all that) you get to the final seal, and watching the video scene, you'll be thinking, "Is that it, what the smeg do I need this second disk for?" and then the plot turns from being a nice happy save the world type thing into an extreme, twisting plot with lots to offer.
The battle system in ToS is actually fun, and unlike Final Fantasy you wont be dreading going up against a couple of monsters just because of the time it takes. The battles are real time (think LOTR: Return of the king if that helps) where you basically slash your enemies to bits, while getting huge combos doing special moves. You can personally control all 8 characters, all of which are unique and have completely different styles and moves to each other (apart from Zelos and Kratos, who do get entirely the same moves). Lloyd has the most moves, which mainly involve him moving his twin blades quickly. But, as you can guess, it is really boring controlling a character such as Genis, who just stands at the back calling meteor storms in on people. Four characters play at a time during a battle, you control one and the AI control the others. The AI is actually pretty good, but a human could do a lot better, so that's why they programmed in full multiplayer support, up to 3 friends can play with you, controlling one of the 4 on screen characters.
Out of battle, you move in third person about either the world map, or in a town or building, but there are other vehicles that you gain as you progress. You will spend a lot of time solving the various puzzles in the game, which can get very tedious, they are usually found either at the seals or in bases, and usually involve pushing a block across the room to open a door or something. They get impossibly hard to do without a guide, as some things just get really boring.
I personally think that the graphics are pretty good. They are all Cel Shaded, which is that weird cartoony yet 3-D style they can do. There are some incredible special effects on the spells that the characters use, but there not really Final Fantasy X/X-2 quality.
Your characters level up like any other RPG, in 3000 exp you get a few more stats in strength, intelligence etc. It is quite hard to tell the difference from a level 23 character to a level 24 character. You get more skills by using them in battle many times, then if you're at a high enough level, you will get the next version of that skill, (eg sonic thrust goes to super sonic thrust) You mainly increase by getting new weapons or armour, each character has their own individual type of weapon or armour (with a few exceptions). There are also accessories that you find around the worlds. You can craft new weapons out of your old ones + a type of material(s).
There is voice acting, but that only happens at key points in the story, which I think is understandable because of the amount of speech that happens. (I just skim read most of the time anyway) This is most peoples problem with the game. I don't really care about it myself.
To sum up: Namco have created one of the best console RPG games ever, it is better than many of the Final Fantasy games. It is easily the best RPG on the GameCube, and its my number 1 game on my Cube of all time. If you would like a deep, engrossing RPG to get lost in that you can actually enjoy, Tales of Symphonia is the one for you.
Tales of Brilliance.
When I heard that Namco Tales Studio were going to be developing a new installment in the "Tales of..." series, I was naturally very excited, Tales of Phantasia for the SNES was an amazing game. I got this game at Christmas and spent the next two weeks doing nothing but playing it solidly until I had finished it.
The first thing you notice is the gorgeous animé cutscene drawn and animated by Kosuke Fujishima. There aren't many of these cutscenes in the game but when you get one it is a delightful treat to watch. Another thing that many people touch upon when talking about this game is the innovative "LMB" battle system. LMB stands for "Linear Motion Battle system" basically, it is fought in real time, with you controlling the main protagonist Lloyd Irving and the computer controlling the others.
The battle system is confusing at first, especially if you are used to turn-based systems like the excellent Final Fantasy games. However, once you get used to it you'll love pounding a monsters brain to mush and then unleashing a devastating Unison Attack, which you'll learn about in the actual game. Everything about this game is superb, from the Cel-shaded visuals to the superb storyline which is too complex to warrant explaining. The main problem is that the characters are mostly annoying, or at least the main three are (Lloyd, genis and Colette) they have irritating voices and say stupid things all the time.
I have one final gripe which is that the game is far too easy, on Normal mode, but it is very hard on Hard mode, even I haven't finished Mania without upgrades from completing the game once. the final boss is also a massive dissapointment, being extremely easy and not having very devestating attacks, you also dont need to train much, you only need to be about Lv 65 to beat him, I want to have to train to Lv 100.
But all that aside, this game is amazing, you should definitely purchase it right now.