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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent RPG that delivers at where it counts - gameplay
An excellent RPG that delivers at where it counts - gameplay.
It's a good thing that Namco ultimately decided to bring Tales of Symphonia to North America. One of the best RPGs to come out in awhile, TOS is an all around fantastic game that's well worth your while.
The game itself revolves around a group of people on a mission, including young sword dude Lloyd...
Published on 11 Nov 2004 by maxxxxxxxxxxxxx

versus
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generic, Dull and Boring in Spite of the Lovely Visuals...
This is the kind of game that caused my enthusiasm for JRPGs to fall off extremely quickly: a lot of them are the same! Start with a twee, unimaginative story then develop it every so often while you make the player wander from town to town and dungeon to dungeon fighting battle after battle. There's no depth and no effort has been made to advance the genre from the same...
Published on 30 Mar 2011 by an_sionnach


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent RPG that delivers at where it counts - gameplay, 11 Nov 2004
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
An excellent RPG that delivers at where it counts - gameplay.
It's a good thing that Namco ultimately decided to bring Tales of Symphonia to North America. One of the best RPGs to come out in awhile, TOS is an all around fantastic game that's well worth your while.
The game itself revolves around a group of people on a mission, including young sword dude Lloyd (who you'll spend most of the game as) and Colette, who has been chosen to become an angel and save the world. However you'll discover that nothing is at it seems and discover apon conspiracy. Truth be told, the game's most noticable flaw is that the story itself is filled with cliche JRPG story elements and characters. You can probably pick out most story twists before they happen. That said, the characters themselves are a great bunch and are quite fleshed out not just in cutscenes but in optional conversations that can happen at any point in the game by pressing the Z button when prompted. These convos involve portraits of the characters talking about various stuff, that can sometimes foreshadow the story or offer hints.
It also helps that the game has a fantastic combat system. Fighting is real time. You control one character (usually and preferably Lloyd. You can choose to fight as anyone, but Lloyd offers ideal moves and abilities.) while the AI controls the other 3 who fight at a time. You attack with sword slashes using the A button and use special tech abilities with the B button. Pressing either button in different directions executes different attacks and you can combo various attacks together, and assign different techs to the B button. The AI behaves accordingly to settings determined from an option screen, but at any point you can give orders to use attacks or items. You basically lock on to a target and all your attacks are aimed at that, and you can jump around or block freely to help your cause. There's a good deal of depth to the fighting, including U-Attacks, elemental damage, and over-limits, that make fighting a joy. After combat, you can cook recipes given to you by wonder chefs around the world to heal a little, provided you have the experience.
When you're not fighting, you're probably exploring the game's dungeons. One of TOS's strong points is that the game has many, many puzzles, with most of them being not too easy but not too frustrating. Just right. The game also provides plenty of great boss fights.There's also various typical RPG landmarks like equipment and experience to deal with. On equipment, you can buy your equipment, or use certain supplies to have a blacksmith make even better tools.
Playing straight through, you can beat the game in 30-40 hours. However, the game has a lot of stuff to do, from recipes to hidden items to a whole lot of sidequests that greatly expand the game. On top of that, you can play through the game again bringing over various attributes determined by your grade (points earned throughout the game.) TOS is a highly recommended RPG that every fan of the genre should check out.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Gamecube RPG!, 20 Aug 2005
By 
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
Being an RPG fan since the days of the SNES I have been dissapointed with the lack of RPG's for Nintendo's latest console. If you are like me then be dissapointed no more! This is an absolute corker of a game, hitting all the right buttons.
Briefly, the combat system, while a little awkward at first, soon becomes second nature, the story is entertaining and epic (if maybe a little convoluted), the art style fits perfectly and the characters really do provoke emotion from the player. I defy anyone to not develop a soft spot for Colette.
One thing I really must mention is the voice acting. Nothing can ruin the atmosphere of an RPG like bad voice acting and many games suffer from this. Not this one! The voices really are fantastic and fit each character perfectly and it adds such a personal element to them. I just completed the game today after 50 hours play time and the first thing you see when the credits role are a cast list for the voice actors, just like the end of a film. Thats how proud they were and they deserve to be so.
For RPG fans I can't recommend this highly enough, it is ESSENTIAL. It probably won't convert newcomers to the genre, but then if you don't like RPG's you probably wouldn't be looking at this page in the first place.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST RPG ON THE GAMECUBE!, 9 Dec 2004
By 
C. O'Connor "chrisuk5" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
The game follows a young boy named Lloyd, who goes on a quest with the "Chosen" (Colette) in an attempt to regenerate the world and save it. So on the surface, a normal storyline, but the twists and turns that it takes are wilder than a rollercoaster. Brilliance is the only word i can think of in order to explain it.
Graphically, the game is a mixture of 2d and 3d cellshading. However, it works really well. The locations look great. The lighting is superb, and the villages really reflect thier nature by their appearance. The enemies are incredible to look at and the cut scenes are second to none (despite how few there actually is which on the surface isnt all that surprising.)
The gameplay is brilliant. The fighting allows you total control over the AI of the characters you dont control (you can control all of them or none of them, its your choice.) You can decide their strategies in fine detail, i.e. Stay Back, Use Magic until 25% is left, Cure Party. Plus the combat works well. A is a normal attack, B and a direction is a special attack, Y brings up the menu and X is block. It flows so well it will bring a tear to your eye. Not only this, but there is so much to unlock. You can customise your weapons, go on quests to finds the "wonder chef," obtain higher Grades (done in fighting)and of course LEVEL UP YOUR CHARACTERS. Putting it bluntly theres a lot to this game and a lot of hidden depth which doesnt appear until you really get into it.
The sound is truly amazing. Each location has its own score, which reflects the mood and the nature of each location. Its very Sleazy in the slums and particulally jovial in the fun park. What more can i say but WELL DONE NAMCO! This is by far the best RPG on the gamecube to date. Get it. NOW
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best for GameCube, 4 Aug 2005
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
I bought Tales of Symphonia at Christmas, and 8 months on, I am still playing on it! It is one of my favourite games of all time, and I have a lot of games. It is an action RPG only for the GameCube.
The plot for ToS starts out simple, you play as Lloyd, a kind of nice rebel teenager, and you have to go around with your friend Collette, the "Chosen" to release the seals in Sylvarant, (their earth) in order to summon the goddess Martel, while being hindered by the Desians, and killing a lot of them. After about 20 hours (including Sub quests, battles and all that) you get to the final seal, and watching the video scene, you'll be thinking, "Is that it, what the smeg do I need this second disk for?" and then the plot turns from being a nice happy save the world type thing into an extreme, twisting plot with lots to offer.
The battle system in ToS is actually fun, and unlike Final Fantasy you wont be dreading going up against a couple of monsters just because of the time it takes. The battles are real time (think LOTR: Return of the king if that helps) where you basically slash your enemies to bits, while getting huge combos doing special moves. You can personally control all 8 characters, all of which are unique and have completely different styles and moves to each other (apart from Zelos and Kratos, who do get entirely the same moves). Lloyd has the most moves, which mainly involve him moving his twin blades quickly. But, as you can guess, it is really boring controlling a character such as Genis, who just stands at the back calling meteor storms in on people. Four characters play at a time during a battle, you control one and the AI control the others. The AI is actually pretty good, but a human could do a lot better, so that's why they programmed in full multiplayer support, up to 3 friends can play with you, controlling one of the 4 on screen characters.
Out of battle, you move in third person about either the world map, or in a town or building, but there are other vehicles that you gain as you progress. You will spend a lot of time solving the various puzzles in the game, which can get very tedious, they are usually found either at the seals or in bases, and usually involve pushing a block across the room to open a door or something. They get impossibly hard to do without a guide, as some things just get really boring.
I personally think that the graphics are pretty good. They are all Cel Shaded, which is that weird cartoony yet 3-D style they can do. There are some incredible special effects on the spells that the characters use, but there not really Final Fantasy X/X-2 quality.
Your characters level up like any other RPG, in 3000 exp you get a few more stats in strength, intelligence etc. It is quite hard to tell the difference from a level 23 character to a level 24 character. You get more skills by using them in battle many times, then if you're at a high enough level, you will get the next version of that skill, (eg sonic thrust goes to super sonic thrust) You mainly increase by getting new weapons or armour, each character has their own individual type of weapon or armour (with a few exceptions). There are also accessories that you find around the worlds. You can craft new weapons out of your old ones + a type of material(s).
There is voice acting, but that only happens at key points in the story, which I think is understandable because of the amount of speech that happens. (I just skim read most of the time anyway) This is most peoples problem with the game. I don't really care about it myself.
To sum up: Namco have created one of the best console RPG games ever, it is better than many of the Final Fantasy games. It is easily the best RPG on the GameCube, and its my number 1 game on my Cube of all time. If you would like a deep, engrossing RPG to get lost in that you can actually enjoy, Tales of Symphonia is the one for you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Cube RPG, 13 April 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
The Gamecube is unfortunately short on RPGs however this makes up for that. This game is without a doubt the best RPG on the cube to date. The storyline although slow at first opens up into an entertaining and engrossing one. The characters are brilliant and the battle system equally as brilliant. The game is thoroughly enjoyable and has so much in it(side quests etc) you will find yourself playing up to 80 hours to complete it and I don't think you will be complaining about it.

If you are an RPG fan this is a must
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good RPG, 5 April 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
I had high expectations for this game and i wasn't dissapointed. Unlike most RPGs the battle system is fun, its not the boring turn based battles of final fantasy, but real time fights with tons of combos to learn. The story is excellent but the dialogue is a little bit cheesy, and the voice overs can get on your nerves. Some of the music will drive you crazy while the rest is excellent. This is a masterpiece and should not be missed
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden gem, 31 Dec 2004
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
Seemingly ignored by nearly all major reviewers in this country, Tales of Symphonia is an amazing Final Fantasy (the "proper FF series, that is) style RPG, with all the depth, storyline and characters you'd expect from such a title. If you were disappointed by Crystal Chronicle's very different gameplay style, then this is almost certainly the game you've been waiting for. The side-storylines, the crafting of old weapons to improve them, and little touches (having a different character selected as your displayed one in the world changes some NPCs reactions to you) give TOS a "true" FF style depth. The story is the usual "help the girl, save the world" plot, but presented in a great style. Characters are cel-shaded on to gorgeous looking backgrounds, and skits occur regularly, using simple anime-style graphics to display characters conversing with one another, usually to some humourous, and slightly pointless, effect (important plot conversations usually occur using the proper engine). The only gripe I've really had with it is the lack of a decent tutorial. While the basics are explained to you, the game is slightly difficult to get to grips with at first, but once understood, is as easy-to-use as any FF game.
The game differs from most RPGs of the syle in one main area: Up to four characters from your party battle in real-time, and multiplayer is optionally available. The main player can select which members of his party can be controlled by other players. While this may seem confusing to you, it works brilliantly in game. Fighting is simple and fun, yet still challenging, and each character has an array of spells or techniques that can be assigned to certain button combinations for use in battle. And when one person is playing alone, the AI hasndles the other characters brilliantly (possibly better than human players do!), and you have the option of setting strategies for these other characters (keeping your magic character at the back healing for example).
You may wonder what the point is of allowing multiplayer battles, when the rest of the game is only single-player, but in actual fact, little is lost. After all, there's no real need for extra players to run around outside confusing things outside of battles, and the plot is involving enough to keep other players entertained while they have no direct control to do. The extra people also come in handy when solving puzzles, or remembering routes.
All in all, a fantastic little gem, that really deserves to be rated as one of the best games on the Gamecube.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever, 14 Dec 2004
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
This game has got to be the best RPG I have ever played. The story is great (every section relates to what has gone before), the characters have personality, the graphics are divine and it is totally gripping. There is drama and comedy and wonderful interaction between the characters. There are just about the right amount of non story fights and I really enjoyed every luscious minute. I am a 44 year old mum and this game gave me so much pleasure in my spare time. I am sure it would delight anyone of any age group.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what the Gamecube has been missing., 9 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
I have had this game for just over 3 months and I have to say it was definitely worth the import. The moment you start playing this game, you are blown away by the fantastic graphics. Ok, maybe the world map isn't as graphically appealing but hey, it's only a world map and all you want do is get from A to B, not admire it.
The fighting system is somewhatg different altogether from the Final Fantasies or Zeldas. It's like a mixture of the two well-known RPG fighting systems. First of all, I should say that there are NO RANDOM battles. The monsters are there on the screen roaming about and you can choose to either walk into them and thus fight them, or just run past. Once you are in a battle, you get to move your character about on the screen and hit the monsters in real-time. You only can control one character at a time but you can switch to whoever you want. The rest are just automatically controlled by the AI but you can change their strategies if you want (ie. make them stay back). It's really fun trying to link up really large combos and the spells look absolutely fantastic. If you have 3 other friends with you, then you each get to control a character in battles.
The sound is pretty good and fits in with the theme well, although I wouldn't say it was as perfect as Final Fantasy 7 for example. What's annoying though are the American voices. Sounds really cheesy at times. Would have been better if they had kept the Japanese voices and put English subs there.
The game will probably last you over 40-50 hours on your first playthrough and once you complete it, you can carry over your achievements like your max combo, cooking recipes and GRADE points, which are used to buy such stuff.
Even though it's not exactly the best RPG ever, it certainly is the best on the Gamecube at the moment and if you are desperate for a long RPG to play over the Christmas, then I would definitely recommend this game!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 16 Jan 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) (Video Game)
If ever there was a single game I would buy a gamecube for this would be it, I had bought this game as a reccomendation from a friend and found myself immediately hooked to it for hours on end.

Where to start? The storyline was always full of detail and questions, building up an affinity with characters and partying particular characters at a certain time can influence the storyline in places so it meant there was always a reason to replay things differently to see how things worked out.

The battle system though different was comfortable and very easy to use, additionally the skills and combinations you could put together and discover meant battles rarely got dull.

While not graphically amazing the graphics were still nice and appropriate to the game. The voice actors also seemed to fit the characters well.

Other then the storyline there are other tasks which you can complete in game to gain access to harder fights or better weapons which is always a nice distraction.

Upon the completion of the game it also has a new game plus sort of feature in which it means you can spend points accumulated through your completion to spend at the beginning of the game to give yourself an advantage next run through which can make a big difference on a second run through of the game if you didnt quite finish all you could.
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Tales of Symphonia (GameCube)
Tales of Symphonia (GameCube) by Nintendo (GameCube)
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