The Tales series usually have some fairly big games. While Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is a spinoff of sorts, it is still a pretty immense game. One has to wonder why the guide doesn't really do any justice whatsoever for the game.
All the preliminary stuff isn't so bad. Getting through the basics is almost something a guide has to try to fail at. Bradygames doesn't falter at all. If you're having a bit of trouble understanding the game's mechanics, this section can help you out. Soon, however, this is where a lot of the helpfulness goes away.
The walkthrough, the meat and potatoes of any strategy guide is where the first big issue is. There's a walkthrough that is, for the most part informative. You'll get from Point A to Point B fairly easily as there's actually quite a bit of information. The walkthrough does the step by step thing BradyGAMES has done for nearly a decade now. Where the walkthrough fails however, is providing the player with any sort of detailed maps for the area whatsoever. Not only that, but most boss strategies aren't that great either. The boss strategies being useless isn't that big of a deal, but the lack of maps really is. The screenshots are often really big and blurry as well. On the whole, the walkthrough gets you through the game, but it is definitely not going to help you master it by any means.
Another really big problem with the guide is that there's a total lack of optional content here. There's really nothing about sidequests or anything, and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is quite a big game that has quite a few secrets. The guide doesn't even mention most of them. It's rather disappointing in that respect. There is data on the monsters you can capture at least, but even that lacks a lot of substance. There is data on the monsters you'll fight. There are also several appendices with info on items, weapons and the like.
Unfortunately, the guide is useful for one thing and one thing only: Getting you through the story. Other than that this guide isn't going to help you with much of anything. Much of the content such as extras is completely forgotten about and there are no maps. The screenshots are also very blurry.
In the end, it's hard to recommend this guide. The walkthrough, while informative isn't going to be of that much help considering that Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is a fairly straightforward game. On the other hand, it is rarely, if ever, worth purchasing a strategy guide for an RPG for the walkthrough alone. Without adequate tips for training monsters, secrets and sidequests, the guide is about as useful for conquering the game as the instruction manual the game came with.