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Old 11-12-2004, 05:32 AM   #53
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,044
Tales of Symphonia
Gamecube Nintendo

This box holds 2 discs.
And lots of boredom.

Tales of Symphonia is one of like 3 maybe 4 RPGs on the Gamecube system. As such it is worshipped by Nintendo fanbois as being one of the best RPGs ever. This would be considered average at best on a system with an abundance of RPG's like the PS2. Well, the graphics would be considered damned good if they were intact on the PS2.

Story: 4/10
As with most RPG's, the story here is pretty lame and geared towards children and pre-pubescent teens. As always, the fate of the entire world(s) falls onto the shoulders of a group of whiny teens, just like in most other RPG's. The story is almost somewhat interesting at first, but it gets old and tiring fairly quick due mostly to the lack of decent writing or characters. Then it tries to throw twists at you with members of your party actually turning out to be evil and leaving you, but then joining you later in the game because they were only pretending to be evil, etc etc. The characters like to whine a lot, especially the main character Lloyd, who is about as dumb as many of the kids who frequent internet message boards these days. That's why he needs YOU to control him, because he sure as sh!t can't figure out a damned thing on his own. One thing about this game is that the story keeps going and going and going. They don't know where to end it and it becomes tiresome and dreadfully boring similar to a Kevin Costner movie or something else that is too long for its own good. Ug!

The animated intro is one of the best things about the game.
Lloyd looks like a bad-ass here ready to pound some skulls in!

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are surprisingly good for the most part. Everything in the towns, dungeons and battles moves at 60 frames per second and looks incredibly detailed. But when you go wandering on the map, it drops to 30 frames per second for some unknown reason and everything looks simple and ugly. All monsters are represented by black slugs crawling or walking around. Touch one and you go into battle. The characters are made up of cell-shaded polygons and they look alright, nothing exceptional. This game does not support either 480p or 16:9 widescreen, so that's a knock off in the graphics department.

Unfortunately Lloyd looks like a little baby
in the actual game. He acts like one, too.

Sound: 7/10
The music was done by Motoi Sakuraba (Baten Kaitos, Star Ocean, El Viento, Granada, Shining the Holy Ark, etc) and most of the music is quite good. Typical Motoi. The sound effects are OK, and there is a lot of voice. The voice acting is a bit stiff at times, and Lloyd just loves to overact, that bastard. All of the characters get really chatty in battle as well, and I have never before heard such awfulness. It sounds incredibly bad, with overlapping voices and the tone certainly does not fit the action. Fortunately you can turn off the battle chatter. If that was not an option, the sound score would be 3/10 easily since the battles are frequent.

Battles are quite plentiful, and you can control
your character yourself, instead of via boring menus.

Gameplay: 6/10
Typical RPG for the most part, with your party wandering around, buying crap, equipping crap, battling for experience, cash, and goods, etc. What is somewhat unique is the fighting. It plays more like an action RPG in that you can actually control one of your party members as if he/she were in an action game and damage the enemies yourself. That brings things up a notch. There is also a lot of dungeon crawling, and each dungeon requires a puzzle to be solved. In fact, this game could be described as a puzzle game with a story. Besides fighting, solving puzzles is pretty much all you do, and it gets old real fast. Some of the puzzles are cool in their concept, but many are just annoying and kind of boring, actually. Expect to spend at least 45-50 hours with this game, probably more (if you want to play all the way to the end instead of finding something better to do, that is).

Lots of dungeons with lots of puzzles
to solve gets old very quickly.
At least the puzzles change.

Wrap up:
A puzzle game with a story and lots of battles. If that sounds like your game, well then, go buy it. There is also a PS2 version, but the graphics are far inferior.

Last edited by Joe Redifer; 11-24-2004 at 04:55 PM.
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