Tales of Symphonia Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

Nintendo Gamecube
Release date:
July 7, 2004

Tales of Symphonia

One of the most anticipated RPG ultimately leaves much to be desired.

Review by Jesse Jenson (Email)
October 15th 2004

The only real, and unblemished, bright spot is the gameplay itself. The battles are compelling and fun. While they may seem hack-n-slash at the outset, there’s actually a lot of depth to the battle system. You can set character behavior during battles to make fighting a little less stressful for yourself.

The equipment system is also remarkable; you’ve got two separate slots for accessories, which allows for plenty of wicked item combinations to outfit your characters as you please. This is something that has been lacking in a lot of games, which is surprising since it worked so well in Final Fantasy VI.

There’s also an “EX Skill” system, where you can further customize your characters with what are called “EX Gems”. The gems give your characters special powers and enhancements, powers and enhancements that will prove to be priceless when the boss battles come around. Also cool are the combinations that occur with the gems. If you set certain combinations of skills, you can discover special bonus skills that further aid your character. The only complaint to be made about the EX Skills are that they’re quite costly. If you have a particular EX Level 1 skills that you like, but you need an EX Level 2 skill to discover a combo, you need to completely destroy the Level 1 gem in order to replace it with level 2. And then find another costly Level 1 gem to get your favorite skill back.

Another feature that should be discussed is the addition of a multiplayer option during battle. The feature is really quite worthless, because whoever is using the second, third, or fourth character is doomed to an inability to play effectively. The camera only follows the main player, leaving the other players to figure out their screen position and attack strategy while being blind.

But in the end, being that this is an RPG and not just another game, the must-have areas are severely lacking in quality, and force the game down a notch, leaving it a good game that could have been great.

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