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Tales of Symphonia

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Full Review for Tales of Symphonia by Ultima(elite)

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For a few years I was wondering, "Will the Gamecube ever get a good RPG?" It seemed like it was the worst system to have if you ever wanted to play RPGs, but soon afterward, a game called Tales of Symphonia was released, and all of our cravings for RPGs were solved.



The graphics in Tales of Symphonia were rather odd to see at first sight. The characters seemed almost too cute and cel shaded to even be considered a serious RPG. However, as you progress through TOS, you'll learn to like the art style of the game, and realize that the anime look of all the characters really does work. The backgrounds look like they were painted in watercolor, which gives it a very rich and colorful look, and also accompanies the character models well. Spell effects rock, monster are full of cel shaded detail, and everything looks crisp and sharp.



My only outstanding complaints with the sound in TOS were that for one, two thirds of the game does not have spoken dialouge. When an important event occurs, the characters speak out loud. However, most of the game's voices are typed out for you to read. This, in my opinion, was a large mistake. The developers should have just made the game complete with everything said in spoken dialouge, instead of forcing you to read through pages of text. Also, there was a HUGE segment in the middle of the game with absolutely no spoken dialouge at all. This really detracted from the whole expieriance. My other complaint is that some of the music is WAY too cute and fun for the situation happening in the game. Music is ALWAYS playing in the background, and in my opinion, it should not, to help flesh out the story. My solution was going into the options menu and turning the music off. Other then these two glaring complaints, you shouldn't have any problems with the sound in TOS. Maybe I'm just too picky...



There was absolutely nothing wrong with the gameplay in TOS. The story, which spanned a large two disks, was superb and well done. The dungeons are really well done; they are not frustrating at all, but weren't too easy also. The battles were exciting and thrilling. The controls are smooth, and the AI is perfect (especially your teammates AI.) I can't think of anything wrong with the gameplay in TOS, so I'm giving it a 10 out of 10.



TOS's story will keep you hooked until you beat it. It is full of hidden goodies to find, along with dozens of sidequests to take. Character development is great throughout the entire game; you'll be able to see all nine characters change and grow during the course of the events. However, when you beat the game, you will be able to purchase bonuses that will continue on through your next game (like abilities, maps, and items.) This feature alone is worth playing through the game at least three times. However, this is the only reason to play the game; other effects are non existent that will change the single player expieriance. The ability to play with up to four friends is an unbelievable feature that was added, and makes the longevity of the game increase ten fold.



TOS really had me hooked to the very end. I enjoyed every minute of this game. Everything about this title is just as good as any other RPG out there, stacked right up with big hitters such as Final Fantasy and Golden Sun. I fully support my sentence when I say that Tales of Symphonia is THE BEST RPG on the Gamecube.

Final Score: 88%

Review by: Ultima(elite)


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