Tales of Symphonia

Yes … Tales of Symphonia for the Nintendo Gamecube. By writing this I have now revealed that I am the proud owner of a silver finished Nintendo Gamecube which many write off because it is not sexy and childish looking. I would have to agree that it does look like a toy but I will have to step up to its defense because the Cube has loads of unique games which the PS2 doesn’t have. Also its sad to say that the PS2 also has a load of crap titles that would make hardcore gamers cringe in pain.

Oops! I’m digressing, this is supposed to be a video game review not an exclusive fevered ramble about the PS2 or Gamecube. Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes … I have officially now entered a state of feverish video game addiction induced rambling. Crud, I can’t make a cool acronym out of the letters F, V, G, A and R.

Anywayz, as I was saying I spent a good portion of August & September playing hours upon hours of Tales of Symphonia. It’s not your regular turn-based RPG but rather an action based when that uses a simple yet challenging combo system in battles with your enemy. Since I’m on the subject of gameply now, let’s talk about it first. The battle system is truly one of the more unique systems I’ve played with in a console based RPG. In any given battle, you control one character in real-time while the rest of your companions act according to a AI settings that you can tweak. I must say that I wasted lots of time running around the world map beating the snot out of all manner of enemies just to get more gald (also known as money in our world) and also to see if I could perform better combos. It came to a point when I didn’t bother advancing the story that much but spent huge chunks of time fighting random battles just for the heck of it. It was addictive and yes it was MINDLESS! My kind of escape from reality.

The plot of the game wasn’t that original but it did keep me engrossed till the very end. The characters were very likeable especially the girl-obsessed Zelos whom I found to be extremely entertaining. The best part of the game was that it never took itself too seriously which was a breath of fresh air compared to other RPGs out there in the market. I shall not give away too much about the plot or characters, suffice to say each of the characters are pretty interesting although not too original.

The graphics are nice and the game engine uses a cel-shaded style to represent all the characters in the game. The backgrounds aren’t really 3D but its all done up a water-coloured style just like in a cartoon. Not the greatest of graphic engines but then again not the worst I’ve seen either. At least it didn’t put me off while I was playing the game (I’m a sucker for pretty graphics, even if a game has great gameplay it’s kinda hard for me to continue playing a game if the graphics suck).

The game has lots of stuff for you to unlock and collect. Everything from skills, items to alternate character costumes; that and a host of mini-games to play. Completists would have a field day with this game should they choose to find all the stuff that the game has hidden in the 2 discs this game comes on.

Overall this game was a fun romp for me. And it certainly gave me a gateway out of reality for a number for a couple of months. I didn’t play it straight non-stop all the way to the end but by ending it, it goes to show that this game was pretty fun. It’s been officially 2 weeks since I ended the game and I most likely will go through it again a second through in the future just to see how much more stuff I can unlock and whether or not I’ll be able to beat my personal best of getting a 103-hit combo. It’s 1:36am now and since I’m not that dedicated a blogger I shall end this review now by giving Tales of Symphonia a 8.5 out of 10!

Good night people … or rather good morning. It’s time to hit the sack!

Fun Factor: 8 out of 10
Addictiveness: 8 out of 10
Graphics: 7 out of 10
Overall Grade: 8.5 out of 10

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