Tales of Symphonia Chronicles: A Timeless Tale

By Jenni . March 22, 2014 . 5:01pm

If someone is in love with Bandai Namco’s Tales series, odds are it was Tales of Symphonia or Tales of the Abyss that did it. The problem is, the former wasn’t as widely available as the latter. The PS2 was more popular than the GameCube, after all, and Abyss saw a rerelease worldwide on the 3DS. Symphonia‘s improved PS2 release remained trapped in Japan, and it’s only now that we all get to reacquainted with Lloyd and Colette thanks to the Tales of Symphonia Collection.

 

Which is fortunate, because Tales of Symphonia is easily one of the best installments in the Tales line. Perhaps even the absolute best. The story starts out familiar. The world is in danger, and coincidentally enough our hero, Lloyd Irving, happens to have grown up with Colette, a girl dubbed the Chosen who must awaken the Spirits to preserve the peace.

 

Yet, the journey is anything but stereotypical. Being Chosen is more a curse than a blessing, and questions of identity and balance are brought into play in one of the best JRPG “reveals” you’ll ever see. Tales of Symphonia has drama, love, moral dilemnas and life lessons, accompanied by skits to flesh out the characters and make the player feel like one of the crowd. It’s a story that has proven it transcends time, as I found it just as enjoyable now as I did originally. In fact, I think I loved it more, because it reminds me of the kinds of amazing stories we don’t often see anymore.

 

The result is a world that isn’t quite peaceful yet, despite everything that Lloyd, Colette, and their friends fought for in Tales of Symphonia. Which is where Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World‘s story begins. Emil watched Lloyd kill his parents, and has naturally held quite a grudge. He meets a young woman named Marta, who is on a quest to awaken the cores of the Centurions that should be regulating the flow of mana into their world.

 

However, these cores are in some demand. Lloyd is searching for them, as is a man named Richter that seems kind, yet cruel, all at the same time. Not only that, but Emil and Marta keep meeting and working alongside people from the original Tales of Symphonia, causing more confusion as to what’s really happening. While it may seem less intriguing than its predecessor, the more you play, the more depth Emil, Marta, and their story gains.

 

Within the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, it’s really Tales of Symphonia that’s getting the most extra love. It’s visuals are almost always crisper and more detailed, which is only natural. It is over 10 years old, and something would be wrong if the PS3 upgrade didn’t look remarkably better than the GameCube original. That isn’t to say Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World doesn’t look good, but it’s only a about six years old and isn’t that different from its Wii release. Both games do seem to run more smoothly as well.

 

Tales of Symphonia has more additional content as well. Bandai Namco relied on an improved version of the PS2 version of the original game, which makes for a richer experience for the rest of us. I learned more about Mithos this time around, though I don’t think I noticed any other additional story elements. There were also mystic artes for each character, many more costumes (some from other Tales games), and a few extra fights. Honestly, I couldn’t really pick out all the changes, because it’s been so long since I beat the original game. But I will say that Tales of Symphonia seemed fuller and richer this time around.

 

Which makes the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles version of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World seem even more bare. Frankly, it had a rough time competing with the original to begin with, as the first game is just so incredible. But here, there’s even less of a draw for people who already played it once before, as there really isn’t much new. It is the European version of Dawn of the New World, so we do get extra accessories for Emil and Marta and a Gallery, but that doesn’t compare to the frest coat of paint and bonuses Symphonia has.

 

Especially since one of the changes gives us something Tales fans loves in the games – voiced skits. Sadly, the English versions usually aren’t voiced. However, the Japanese versions are. So, if you decide to go with the Japanese language option, you’ll hear those dulcet tones during those extra moments. Not all skits are voiced though, even if you go with Japanese voice acting. There are some, ones that alter character relationships, that have none. Still, some voice acting is better than nothing.

 

Still, I noticed that the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles only further cemented my belief that Tales of Symphonia is an exceptional game. It’s just a wonderful adventure, and holds up as well now as it did over 10 years ago. At the same time, I think this compilation actually made me dislike Dawn of the New World more. I suppose I appreciated its storyline a bit more, since I was coming right off of the previous game, but it’s new characters, monster collecting, and general concept didn’t feel as strong and inspired as the first.

 

That doesn’t really matter, though. Tales of Symphonia alone is more than enough reason to pick up the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. Think of Dawn of the New World as a bonus, something extra you can play sporatically if you’re really interested in seeing what happened to the characters you’ll absolutely grow to love after the original ends. Tales of Symphonia is exceptional, and thanks to this collection, it will finally get the audience it deserves.

 

Food for Thought:

 

1. There are dual-audio language options available for both games.

 

2. Aside from the dual-audio and the remixed opening songs, it didn’t sound like anything special was done for either games’ soundtracks or voice acting.

 

3. You have to have save data on your system for Graces and Xillia if you want the costumes.


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  • Joshua Myers

    Hey your forgetting about Tales of Vesperia

    • Anthony Birken

      Tales of Vesperia was one of the greatest rpgs I’ve ever played!

      • Pyrofrost

        Definitely my favorite all-time Tales game, followed closely by the Team Destiny titles (and Phantasia).

    • Sesshomaru

      Still my all time favourite.

      • Razvaille

        Why? Best combat system, best history????

        • andref

          Speaking for myself, the story isn’t necessarily the strong point of the game not that it isn’t bad. The characters are what makes the game so memorable especially the fact that the main lead Yuri isn’t the typical black and white protagonist or I would like to say, a “goody two-shoes”. He operates to the beat of his own drum regardless of the opinions of others especially *spoiler

          The major bosses of each arc survive and Yuri takes it upon himself to basically finish them off later even when said characters are important nobles*

        • Suriel Cruz

          Best Battle System = Tales of Graces f
          Best Story = Tales of Symphonia
          Best Characters = Tales of Vesperia
          Best Female Character = Milla(Tales of Xillia)
          Best Male Character = Yuri(Tales of Vesperia)
          IMO!

          *edit:
          Best Antagonist = Duke Pantarei(Tales of Vesperia)
          Best Mascot = Teepo(Tales of Xillia), when you realize that he’s *spoiler*, there’s no other way than to love him, tbh.
          Best Quirky Character = Pascal(Tales of Graces f), without a doubt.
          Best OST = Tales of Vesperia
          Best Opening = Tales of Xillia, Tales of Xillia 2 is VERY close, but without a Xillia, there’s no Xillia 2.
          Best Rival = Asch(Tales of the Abyss)

          • Notquitesure?

            I’ll agree with Graces f, but Abyss has some of the best character building ive seen.

          • Pyrofrost

            If you were to ask me, I would say:

            *Best Battle System = Tales of Graces f

            *Best Story = Tales of Rebirth

            *Best Characters = Tales of Vesperia

            *Best Antagonists = Tales of the Abyss

            *Best Female Character = Rutee (Tales of Destiny) and Patty (Tales of Vesperia)

            *Best Male Character = Leon (Tales of Destiny and Destiny 2) and Yuri (Tales of Vesperia)

            *Best Mascot Character = Repede

            *Best OST = Tales of Vesperia

          • ZEROthefirst

            I’d replace Vesperia’s OST with Legendia’s any day of the week. Not saying it’s a bad OST, but imo it’s a bit forgettable.

          • Anthony Birken

            In agreement with that Legendia OST, although I kind of liked graces f as well, but Legendia ftw!

          • ZEROthefirst

            I liked Graces F’s OST as well. It was kind of lacking in most areas and random battles, but boss battles like Mad Dance (Emeraude) and Dance Fantasia (Little Queen) are great tracks to not only listen too but really get you into the fights with them.

          • Pyrofrost

            Legendia’s tracks were really hit or miss for me. Not as bad as Rebirth’s or Graces’ though. There were some tracks I really loved and some I personally just didn’t care for.

          • ZEROthefirst

            That’s honestly the only flaw I’d give Rebirth is that soundtrack. There were some great tracks in there, but everything else was just kind of generic or a bland track you would hear in an anime at times.

          • Pyrofrost

            Yeah, I loved the game but that OST for the most part wasn’t that great, My ears are pretty musically tuned, so when an OST is not to my liking, it really sticks out to me, big time. More so than something like bad gameplay, or mechanics (especially in an RPG).

            Thankfully, There is no outright bad Tales game or bad Tales OST.

          • ZEROthefirst

            Well… I wouldn’t say Tales of the Tempest is a bad game, but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s anywhere close to being a good game.

          • Pyrofrost

            I’m personally not a fan of any of the Tales spinoff games. None of them are good to me.
            Or in this case, should I say, I’m not a fan of a mainstay game that sucked so bad that it was used to coin the term “Escort Titles.” Personally, I’d say Tempest is a turd that is better left buried though. Unless it’s completely remade, from the ground up, including the story.

            Tempest was a lazy effort imo though, and was every bit deserving of its demotion.

          • ZEROthefirst

            The Radiant Mythology games are fun (ignore the story though) and so is Narikiri Dungeon/X which is a sequel to Phantasia. Spin-offs for a franchise are usually hit or miss and in the case of Tales games the spin-offs are usually a miss.

          • Timovisch

            Meh…Tales of Graces was to much spamming or holding down a button to win. Way to easy for me. I like the combat in ToS, ToX, ToE and TotA better.

            ToS story is great yea but I liked the story in Abyss better (and a better plot IMO).

            Can’t say much about Vesperia since I don’t own it. :S But I think I like the cast in ToS the best.

            I also think Milla is the best female character.

            Best male character goes to Luke (though many will probably disagree with me :P). He had the best character development.

          • Kornelious

            Best Battle System = Tales of Xillia
            Best Story = Tales of the Symphonia
            Best Characters = Tales of the Abyss
            Best Antagonists = Tales of Xillia
            Best Male Characters = Jude (Tales of Xillia) Yuri (Tales of Vesperia)
            Best Female Characters = Tear (Tales of the Abyss) Rita (Tales of Vesperia)
            Best Mascot = Teepo (Tales of Xillia)
            Best OST = Tales of the Abyss

            This is my opinion anyway. I have never played Vesperia (Because most JRPG players on a Playstation >:( ) so I;m just going on what i heard.

          • https://www.youtube.com/user/BaoZakeruga BaoZakeruga

            Hmm can’t disagree

          • ZEROthefirst

            Because everyone else is doing it

            Best Battle System – Tales of Graces F/Rebirth (I don’t know what it is about Rebirth’s combat system, but it’s always been extremely satisfying to me).

            Best Story – Tales of Rebirth

            Best Characters – I’m actually kind of tied between Innocence/R and Vesperia’s casts. They’re both diverse and have good development and traits.

            Best Antagonist – Tales of Innocence/R (mainly R because Mathias has a more fleshed out character and an extra 2 forms… that third being ridiculous after 2 straight fights lol).

            Best Main Character – Without a doubt Ruca from Tales of Innocence/R. If you can’t figure out why due to his character and development and such then I can’t help you.

            Best OST – Tales of Legendia, I swear put this soundtrack into Rebirth and either keep Rebirth’s combat system or replace it with Graces F (they’re both great) and you have a near perfect game. This fully orchestrated OST is just too good to pass up.

          • Samsara09

            Since we are listing this,hope you guys won’t mind me adding my opinion to the list.

            best battle system:Xillia(vesperia a second)

            Best story:Symphonia(abyss a close second,a really close third)

            Best caracters:Abyss(had vesperia better antagonists…symphonia is tied to it)

            best antagonist:Xillia/Abyss(symphonia a close third)

            Best female caracter: Milla(tales of xillia)

            best male caracter:Kratos(There are many caracters,like Lloyd,Zelos,,Alvin,Jude,Luke,Jade,Gaius…etc)

            Best mascot caracter:Teepo(well,Mieu and Repede are great too.Couldn’t Tenebrae be considered a “mascot”?)

          • Setsu Oh

            i can’t stand a story built around suicide like ff x and symphonia so best story for me, not symphonia. ^^

        • David García Abril

          This seems to have become a thing.

          Here’s mine. Although I can only speak for those games that have been released in Europe (except Xillia, which I haven’t played yet):P

          *Best Battle System = Tales of Graces f

          *Best Story & Characters= Tales of the Abyss

          *Best Female Character = Tear (Tales of the Abyss)

          *Best Male Character = Yuri (Tales of Vesperia)

          *Best Mascot Character = Repede

          *Best OST = Tales of the Abyss

        • Sesshomaru

          Sentimental reasons, it was my first Tales game. I played it a lot. 250+ hours a lot. That’s a few playthroughs in my defence. Aside from that I loved the characters (especially Yuri), the story and the style of the game. I found it funny and engaging and well acted. There was a lot to do in it. Or at least there seemed like there was. I liked the secret missions in boss fights as well. I have all the statues that Alter have released and the trading figurines…so sad. I like them though.

        • Izzeltrioum

          Combat System: TOGF

          Best OST: Legendia, Radiant Mythology 2 and Destiny 2 (Why is everyone not talking about the mythical, harpsichord/pipe organ-based magistral ost TOD2 has?)

          Best antagonist: Creed Graphite hands down.

          Best Event Battle: Ludger, Rowen, Jude and Milla vs FuturLud–Victor.

          Best Loli: A tie between Beryl, Elle and Patty

          Best right-hand enemy: Barbatos Goetia

          Best Mascot: Tie between Coda and Teepo

          Best Protagonist: LudgOP hands down.

          Best Womanizer: Innes

          Best Middle-aged man: A tie between Galando and Manlyk (Malik)

          Best White Knight: Calcedny

          Best Opening: Xillia 2. Xillia 2 and Xillia 2 ****!

          Best Final Theme: Xillia 2 again

          Best Final Boss: A tie between Fortuna, Creed Graphite and Yuris.

          Best Ending: TOPNDX and Xillia 2

          Best guest character: Don from Taiko no Tatsujin in ND3.

          Best Hot Springs Scene: Xillia 2

          Best Dual Hi-Ougis: Xillia 2 tied with Rebirth

          Best 2D Graphics: Rebirth and NDX

          Best single hi-ougi/blast calibers: Graces F

          Best in-game costumes: Vesperia PS3. It featured cameo costumes WITH unique, attainable artes from them,

          Best Traitor….: Kratos, I suppose…

          Best Battle System gimmick: Enchants from TOD2

          Best Optional Boss: Spiral Draco. Because it can be raped in so many ways.

          Best female protagonist: TEENAGER ELLE (If she were to appear in a delusional Tales of Xillia 3).
          In al seriousness: Kohak Hearts

          Best Plot: Rebirth and Xillia 2

          Best fictional language: Legendia (Relares)

          OK I’m done. You guys continue.

          PD: Just a little reminder–don’t forget to pleasure yourselves listening to Falcom music. Open your ears now!

    • TempestTwin

      inb4 people start complaining about vesperia getting localized for PS3.

      • Pyrofrost

        You should read down the thread :p

    • David García Abril

      Vesperia has some of the best characters in the series and the arguably the absolute best protagonist.

      However, the plot lacked focus, and as a result, it feels very disjointed. Which is a shame, since it had some very interesting themes, but they are dropped half way through.

      That prevents it from being among the best installments in the series.

      • Pyrofrost

        Yeah, that’s were Rebirth ends up stealing the crown for best story, in making racism and self-loathing the central focal points of the plot.

        It really bothered me in Vesperia that they had such an awesome plot-point with the protag (Yuri) actively committing murder, only to forget about it when the “end of the world” crisis comes. Then they never revisit it.

      • piichan

        I loved Yuri and Judith, everyone else was so-so but Rita turned me off from the game altogether. I might pick it up again soon, just have to find a way to mute Rita.
        I have Xillia but I guess I can blame symphonia for reminding me about old man Maxwell and getting weirded out that Milla is a girl.

    • MVRK HNTR

      Vesperia is my favorite Tales game.

      Because Rita Mordio <3

  • zblues

    Tales of Destiny. Will always be the best and my favorite.

  • Setsu Oh

    LOVED phantasia and destiny2 (NOT ETERNIA!!!)
    hated ervrything else. xillia 2 looks mildly interesting.

    • ogopogo

      I’m in the same shoes as you, absolutely loved Phantasia when I first played it on SFC and later the remake on PS1. Destiny was alright but Destiny 2 was awesome as well. However I could never really get into the later games. Tried Abyss, Vesperia and Xillia and none of them could hold my attention for long.

      • Setsu Oh

        i actually love vesperia without having played it (yet!) the movie was so good and fun, i have to play it.
        for once a character who isn’t a wide eyed adventure seeking halfwit (lil poke at destiny :d:d).
        i mean not playing a stereotypical goku character but a (destiny’s)Leon, is GREAT.well, seems to be.
        its like playing sephi-chan instead of cloud:some real badass with cred.

  • DesmaX

    “You have to have”

    heh

    Oh well, my copy should be arriving this week. Been a while since I’ve last brough a game for my PS3, so I can’t wait

  • Zoozbuh

    The Tales series can be hit and miss, and kinda cliched most of the time BUT I have to say I really enjoyed Symphonia, Abyss and Xillia a lot. Each for different reasons. Mostly though, when a Tales game is done right, it gives you that satisfying anime narrative feel that most RPGs just don’t have anymore. Nothing like voiced skits with great actors to aid character development.

    • Zoozbuh

      I would probably say Vesperia too but I never owned a 360 (and DAMMIT, a lot of people say that’s the best Tales game ever made!)

      • Razvaille

        Tales of Vesperia PS3 version???

        • Zoozbuh

          Yeah there is that, but I mostly play Tales games for the story, so I wouldn’t like struggling through an RPG that I only understand 5% of what’s being said :( Also, I hear the english dub for Vesperia was the best in the series (with the best main character), so I’ve always wanted to try it… I just wish they had localised the PS3 version.

  • GH56734

    This specific port isn’t really… the best treatment that could be reserved to this game. While it has the extra scenes from the PS2 version and a dual dub… the lack of cel-shading and 30FPS plus slowdown (while even the original unenhanced GC version has 60FPS) is very disappointing and definitely takes away from the experience and charm.

    The cruel irony is that they did a GC/Wii to PS3 direct port just fine in the second half of the compilation, but not where it mattered. It’s not that it was impossible to just port the superior GC version and inject the PS2 bonuses, and it would even have been far more cost efficient than doing two ports of two wildly different hardware architectures.

    Another complaint reserved for the English version would be the awful font with no way to change it (unlike in the original), and the Rename Gem still being not localized.

    The same could be said about the Phantasia definitive edition being in English… on iOS, that, beyond the awful controls, were butchered with skits and save points cut because they’re in the way of IAPs. not to mention the cheap proofreading job.

    • Fronkhead

      Agreed. Regarding the font, I believe they used the font from the PAL version of Symphonia GC, which I am familiar with from the original so no big deal on that front, but it’s a shame they didn’t include the font from the NA version (which really does look quite different and probably lends the game a different feel) as an option :S

    • Fronkhead

      Cheap proofreading on the iOS port? Did someone call?http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/Ricky?file=Ricky.png

  • Samsara09

    Bull’s eye,miss jenni.You are right.Of all tales of,few have the magic that tales of symphonia has,the same can be said for the other major rpg franchises.but man,it is too mean to consider dawn of the new world as just a bonus.It is a great rpg,obviously not as much as symphonia,but still…

    Well,honestly,the only reason i fussy about the skits is because of the dual audio.it is annoying to know that in the eng it is mute and on the jap original it isn’t.But that is spilled milk.

  • Yan Zhao

    Played this right after completing Lightning Returns and realized how much more enjoyable this decade old game was for me. Especialy since I never played the original Symphonia as I never had a Gamecube.

    Definitely loved the game, hell to me it was more enjoyable than the newer Graces F and Xillia.

  • Anthony Birken

    I’m in agreement that Symphonia was definitely high up in my ranks, but I can’t necessarily chose “the best.” Abyss was also amazing, but Vesperia was the shit! 360 version was some form of godly, but I fell in love with it all over again on the ps3!

    *Edit: Xillia and Xillia 2 were amazing, but I don’t feel they were on par with some of their predecessors. Graces seemed to disappoint many. I’m a sucker for any Tales game, but even I have preferences.

    BTW, anyone a fan of the Radiant Mythology series?

    • Tyler Beale

      Haha, yeah. I never got around to playing Symphonia (though I read the millions of previews/articles in all the Nintendo Powers of that year), so my first games were actually Phantasia (fan-translated SFC tom followed by the less-than-excellent GBA version) and Vesperia.

      And I would be a Radiant Mythology series fan if the last 2 entries crossed the shores. Which they didn’t – the one that did get a localization (which is, as far as I know, the only Escort entry to have an official release in the west) kinda sucked IMO.

      • Grape Monet

        Dawn of the New World is an Escort title, technically. Not that Bandai Namco recognizes that distinction outside of Japan.

        • GH56734

          They simply don’t localize those, except for a rare experiment in 2007.
          For the better, I suppose, they are damaging to an underexposed IP dare I say.

        • ZEROthefirst

          Dawn of the New World like Tales of the Tempest was originally a flagship title, but due to backlash the games were demoted. IMO though DotNW is much better than the original, the problems are that being a sequel to Symphonia is like a remake for FF7, people expect way to much out of a game that arguably isn’t the god tier game everyone makes it out to be. If they made it its own original story (meaning not tied to Symphonia or even a 100+ years down the road where the events of the first game are more told in stories) in a different world and removed the original cast that honestly felt very forced in the game then the game would have not only been better, but not having to deal with the “Symphonia is the god tier game of the universe crowd.”

      • Anthony Birken

        The rest of Radiant Mythology wasn’t localized, but there is a menu translation out there, definitely a good play! I played the remake of phantasia twice: ps1 remake fully translated, and Narikiri Dungeon X (which also comes with the ps1 xD)

      • GH56734

        About Radiant Mythology 2 and 3, you’re not missing much. The writing for those sucked even more, it’s like an awkwardly contrived fan-fiction, and it’s not even funny. Same pattern for the Narikiri Dungeon ones… save for the first, which is at least a continuation of Phantasia, in the same way the Wii Symphonia sequel did its job. The PSP remake is decent enough, and it has the full Phantasia definitive version minus IAP to boot.

  • Revorse

    Man, I truly loved Abyss. Bought it for the 3DS, but I just couldn’t get into playing it on there. Broke my heart I had to get rid of Abyss.
    And playing Chronicles has got me feening for more Tales. Specifically Vesperia. But that ship has sailed.

  • Fronkhead

    “Both games do seem to run more smoothly as well.”

    I hate to nitpick but this can’t be true — both Symphonia games were a flawless 60fps on GC and Wii (with some minor instances of slowdown in battle when things get hectic), but Symphonia Chronicles halves the framerate to 30fps on PS3 for Symphonia, as it’s based off the PS2 version, whilst dropping the gorgeous depth of field effect which softened the visuals to make environments (at least that’s how I found it) prettier.

    I’m quite disappointed in Namco for what is a budget port, which, to me, doesn’t really do the original justice. There’s too much compromise over how the game was intended to be played for me, alongside various typos and dumber AI as well as other things.

  • ZEROthefirst

    Tales of Symphonia was the first title in the Tales series that I ever played like many in the West, however it actually almost turned me away from the franchise. Symphonia isn’t a bad game, but in the entire franchise it is my absolute least favorite (really it’s Tales of the Tempest, but that’s not considered a flagship title anymore so it doesn’t really count). I got into the series when I found a copy of Tales of Destiny at a pawn shop about a year after that. I actually prefer Dawn of the New World over the original, and the story imo would have been much better if it didn’t tie itself to the first game and basically force the original cast in there.

    I am a big Tales fan though with Rebirth and Innocence R in the top 2 spots, so of course I had to get the Collector’s Edition for this… even if it was mainly just for DotNW, the box and other goodies lol

  • Chardo

    More like everyone is forgetting tales of Eternia, the actual classic.

    • LustEnvy

      Yup. Eternia is better than Symphonia on almost all fronts. I don’t understand the hype… and I’m a huge Tales fan in general.

      • GH56734

        It has to do with Namco US ditching the 2D entries by then (and not allowing Atlus to pick them).
        Also, Symphonia was the first ever in the series to be localized in Europe, where above-expectations sales contributed to save the series recently. It introduced the series for many in the US and Europe during the GC software drought.

        PS: I love Eternia too, and I’m disappointed by 2D gems like Rebirth being simply forgotten.

      • Ladius

        I’m not really a big fan of Symphonia and I heavily disagree with those that consider it the best game in the series, but honestly I can’t see Eternia as a better game as much as I try.

        I felt the story and setting had a lot of potential but were underdeveloped (on a lesser degree, I feel the same about Symphonia, especially concerning Sylvarant and the way some plot twists were presented), out of its six characters two of them barely had any dialogues and interactions, the combat system was a big improvement over Destiny PS1 but was greatly surpassed by the 2D Tales games that came after it and the dungeon design isn’t really anything to write home about, while Symphonia still has great puzzles. The decision to remove skits from the localized version didn’t help either, especially considering the interaction issues mentioned above.

        On a more subjective note, while I’m not a big fan of Lloyd I think Reid is a far worse lead, and even his growth felt a bit off considering how apathetic and insensitive he was for most of the game.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/BaoZakeruga BaoZakeruga

    Still my favorite game of all time.

  • Marcus J. Hopkins

    I’ve played this game on both platforms, and frankly…I’ve just never gotten why it’s so popular and revered. Obviously, it’s always down to personal preference, and whatever games you like, you like; that said, I find it virtually impossible to relate to any of the characters in Symphonia, and though I related to those in Abyss, the game always felt clunky, to me.

    The game that got me hooked was Graces f, much as everyone who hates it for the voicing and story. The art was great, and the battle system was very well designed (FAR better than some of the other games – even the creator agrees with that).

  • Anewme…Again

    I use to love Tales of Symphonia, but when i tried the HD version i found out that i don’t really like it anymore.
    I guess my taste in games changed a lot in the last 10 years or so.

    • 하세요

      I feel newer gen Tales games have just improved so much that going back to this simply feels like a downgrade unless you just really, really loved the story / art.

      It’s the exact same combat, so using “gameplay” doesn’t really work in this series besides 2D and 3D.

      That’s the reason I skipped out on this. I played it once and was satisfied. Went right back to Vesperia.

      • Pyrofrost

        Spot on here.

        Even after beating Xillia 2, I can still go back and pick up any of the old “Team Destiny” Tales games anytime. Just because I love them so much.

        For some people, once improvements are made, things are just “too dated” to go back to. I know people that won’t game on a 6th gen console or a Wii because they see the games there as “too dated.”

        That’s just how it is as time goes on and things improve. Some people can go back, and some people can’t. We are also at the point now that we have 3 generations of gamers, going on 4. This is also a factor.

        • Samsara09

          if you really love a game,no matter how old it is,you can always return to it,regardless of how many featres and tecnical aspects it lacks compared to newer ones.

      • vileBrenman

        I dunno about a downgrade because I started Playing tales of Games with graces then xilla. So symphonia chronicles is my first experience with symphonia and I’d have to say it holds it’s own against the newer games quite well. Personally i like symphonia better than abyss even though symphonia is an older game

        • Pyrofrost

          I can understand you on this, I like almost every Tales game more than Abyss xD

      • Samsara09

        When we begin to buy games from a same series,we don’t expect them to be degrades…But…there is a charm in this game,that always makes me want to replay it…even though it is lacks the tecinical quality of xillia…

    • Rogerrmark

      The game didn’t age well in some aspects, in my opinion. I feel the same.

      The quality of the HD port didn’t help either…

      I’m replaying FFX HD now and having a blast.

      If they had improved some stuff like FFX/X-2, I would probably beat it again…played the original ToS way more than FFX…not sure if I’ll do that with ToS Chronicles, though.

  • Spirit Macardi

    “If someone is in love with Bandai Namco’s Tales series, odds are it was Tales of Symphonia or Tales of the Abyss that did it. The problem is, the former wasn’t as widely available as the latter.”

    … Um, Tales of Symphonia sold enough copies that it ended up getting a Players’ Choice re-release, where as Abyss pretty much vanished from shelves not long after coming out. I don’t mean that as a slam against Abyss (I love the game to death), but clearly Symphonia did better in sales figures and thus saw wider availability despite being on the less popular Gamecube.

    Frankly I’m rather disappointed with Symphonia Chronicles. While it’s nice that they got the original actors back to voice for the new content, they clearly didn’t feel like spending a bit extra to add audio to the Skits as well. The new outfits also don’t give any stat boosts, and there aren’t even any new Skits that reference them. Plus, even though the original game is now in HD, that just makes the old textures and character models stick out more.

    It just feels lazily done. If this was a port to 3DS like with Abyss then I could understand leaving the graphics as they were, but this is the PS3 for crying out loud. I don’t blame Tales Studio though, since I have a feeling the higher-ups were the ones who didn’t feel like spending extra to up the quality.

    • GH56734

      They ported an inferior version (the PS2, I mean from a technical standpoint) in a not cost-efficient fashion (two different archtectures Wii+PS2 instead of a single one Wii/GC).
      The port was a simple cash-in, no more. The crippled PS2 version had the cel-shading, for crying out loud; and they messed up on that one. Plus slowdowns everywhere.

      About Abyss, the author may be referring to the 3DS port. It sold like hotcakes in Europe, compared to the series’ standards.

    • David García Abril

      “Abyss” still sold more than “Symphonia”.

      Although, to be fair, most of those sales were in Japan.

      But on the other hand, “Symphonia” was released in Europe as well, while “Abyss” didn’t make it until the 3DS version.

  • Ladius

    While Symphonia isn’t my favorite Tales game, I had a really good time revisiting it with Chronicles and appreciated the new features introduced in the PS2 port and in Chronicles itself. Now I’m even more hyped for Xillia 2′s release, hopefully Namco will start marketing it soon considering how Tales of Symphonia Chronicles has been out for nearly a month.

  • Fidelis

    Man, this game was a punch in the gut for me.
    Symphonia’s always been cherished in my memories, but playing through it again..
    MAAAAAN is it boring. I kept telling myself it’d pick up after the seals…
    Just beat volt, the narrative’s STILL slow.
    The only reason I’m still playing is because I’m planning on picking Kratos this time around. Never did that before. Can’t wait for dat judgment costume.
    I guess a person’s really easily impressed with a game if it’s his first RPG..

  • Razvaille

    I have no favorite Tales. Most did not like the Graces, but has the best combat system. I think Tales of Destiny was the best in 2D. I’m hoping that Tales of Zestiria bring a fresh air to the franchise and become as big as the others.

  • DragKudo

    Dawn of the new world was my first Tales game had a lot of good memories with that game. Funny last year I traded the game in and I promised one day I would get it back, then Chronicles was announced.

  • Tsukino

    Tales of Symphonia is the Final Fantasy VII of the “Tales of” series. A very good game that is completely overrated by people who hadn’t played any before it.

    • LustEnvy

      I’ve played most of the Tales games before it at the time, and Symphonia didn’t do anything for me. Even now, trying to give it a second chance, it’s not as great as I wanted it to be.

      As for FFVII, I’ve played all of the ones before it, and FFVII is still my favorite. I don’t think it’s the best (FFVI is the best, no question), but I loved the characters in VII. Tifa is my favorite game character, period.

    • CirnoLakes

      I actually do agree that Tales of Symphonia can be a bit overrated. Like Final Fantasy VII, it was probably many people’s first Tales game. Likely because it was one of the only Japanese RPGs for the Gamecube, and many people really wanted Japanese RPGs on the Gamecube.

      It’s still a very great game, though. Tales of Symphonia is actually my favourite Tales game, even though I definitely agree that it is a very overrated game. While my favourite Final Fantasy game is actually Final Fantasy IV.

      I do wish more people would discover Tales of Eternia. Tales of Eternia is an amazing game and one of my absolute favourite RPGs for the PlayStation. Also, in terms of being overrated or underrated, I think that Tales of Graces is a very underrated Tales game. Especially in its story and characters.

  • Anko Is Furious (King T.G.P)

    I only consider Symphonia my #1 favorite because Ku.. I mean Johnny Yong Bosch voiced Emil while gameplay and everything else was a plus lol. Favorite voice actor ever since I knew of him from the .Hack G.U days and not ashamed to say it xD.

    • Firarosa

      I consider the sequel to be one of my favorites (though not my top favorite, the first one holds that title for me) for this exact reason. Johnny Yong Bosch is amazing, as is Laura Bailey. My two favorite voice actors playing the two main characters, is just too awesome. I got my Wii copy of the sequel signed by JYB himself :D so, even though I now have the HD, I can never bring myself to part with my Wii version.

  • Brandon001

    This and Metal Gear Solid Psx are the reason i am a gamer today. One of my ALL time greatest games.

  • Ric Vazquez

    A masterpiece just like FFX HD

  • KingGunblader

    It’s honestly quite hard for me to play this after having exhaustively gone through more recent entries… the combat is quite archaic compared to Graces, Xillia/2, and hell, even Vesperia.

  • http://blackstar2661.deviantart.com/ SilverSpades

    I’ve never played Vesperia before, and please don’t see me as shallow, but the art style seems so off putting compared to DotNW, and since I’ve played Xillia, I haven’t really felt the desire of the the older games other than Vesperia, really…

    • LustEnvy

      Vesperia is easily the best, especially it’s characters.

  • ER_Mac3

    Vesperia would be my main reason for loving this series… And now finally getting the opportunity to experience the awesomeness of Eternia.

  • brian

    I think you forgot the foreshadowing.
    eg. “Genis. I’ll probably end up in a fight with Lloyd soon because of my actual identity as the big bad of this game. Would you side with me or him?”

  • JuVu

    I was extremely disappointed by the factthat they didn’t care to optimize the framerate for the first game, it’s actually very sad how a ten-year old game runs more smoothly on its original platform than a HD capable console. Really, the worst part of the whole package, the japanese voiceovers were great and the overall gameplay is still awesome. Of course, the diminishation of cel-shading was also a bummer, but it was in no way as severe a problem as the frame rate, at least in my opinion. Almost ruined the whole port for me.

    The port of Dawn of the New World, on the other hand, was nearly perfect. It’s a shame there was no extra content put in there (I live in Europe), like additional costumes for Emil and Marta (those head accessories are really not worth it), but not counting a few hiccups (like the first Unison Attack performed in the area stopping to load the first time) the framerate is solid, the voice acting is so much better in Japanese, especially Hiro Shimono as Emil, the skits might be the best of the whole series because of Tenebrae and with the ability to play the game with an actual gamepad, not the Wiimote+Nunchuck combo, made this port way more enjoyable to play than the first one. The free-running battle system from Abyss has also stood the test of time way better than the original Symphonia’s more traditional system.

    It just feels like Dawn of the New World is highly underrated because the first game was so highly praised. It’s a real shame.

    • GH56734

      IMO DoTNW was lacking polish everywhere, even as a standalone game (I actually played it before Symphonia and couldn’t bear it). But sure, being associated with Symphonia didn’t help. At all.
      I feel Namco was going for something like the Narikiri Dungeon escort title, that was also a sequel for Symphonia on the Game Boy Color. That one’s shortcomings were forgiven on account of being one of the most solid games on the weak handheld, but even then it still holds up a lot better than DotNW, actually enough to receive a PSP remake.
      Needless to say, they messed up. Pretty hard. I can say it was damaging to the series outside Japan even.

      No matter how overrated Symphonia may be, beyond the nostalgia goggles, it still has one of the most solid dungeon puzzle designs in the series. While a little bare-bones, its plot is decent, its longeviety is very satisfying, its graphical direction is artsy enough to be still good to watch even now, and it still holds up as a whole well after all those years (unlike a certain overrated 3D-leap Square RPG).

      Also, AVOID the Japan-only PS2 port. The one thing they fixed from it for the PS3 version are the maddening loading times.

      • echokanon

        Although I have not played it before, but I think Narikiri dungeons were sequels of Phantasia instead

        • GH56734

          The first one actually is the direct sequels, the two others are a proto-Radiant Mythology, essentially a glorified fanfiction serving as an excuse to do a crossover.

  • LustEnvy

    My love for Tales stemmed from Tales of Destiny. That game REALLY did it for me. Then came Eternia, which further put Tales as one of my fave series of all time.

    However, the Tales game that stands above the rest to me is Vesperia. It has the best cast of characters bar none. Yuri, Raven, Judith, Repede, Rita? I mean, COME ON. Estelle and Karol are standard fare, but the others were standouts, especially Yuri.

    Vesperia was like the spiritual successor to Abyss, and much better in all aspects. Dat Jade though…. he’s too awesome for words.

    • Eilanzer

      Only Jade tough…All cast from abyss was horrible! full of cliche anime stereotypes =.=” and the WORST friends i ever see in a story…

    • CirnoLakes

      Hey, that was my first Tales game, too!

      If Tales of Phantasia had come out in the West for the Super Nintendo, I’m sure it would have become one of my favourite 16-Bit games. But unfortunate it had to wait until the 32-Bit era to discover Tales and many of my other favourite franchises.

  • LustEnvy

    They really should’ve used the Japanese audio for the skits when using the English option. It’s better than not having anything at all. I’m forced to play in Japanese just so i don’t miss the skit voices.

    Yes, yes, I know Japanese is better, blah, blah, but sometimes when I play games, I prefer just listening to the voices instead of reading everything, especially in RPGs where you do a lot of reading.

    • echokanon

      Have you tried going to option setting? You should be able to change the voice language there. Unless I have mistaken what u mean

      • LustEnvy

        Of course. I’m referring to the english option having no voices for the skits. it’s a pain to play the game in english and having to constantly change the language to Japanese just so i get SOME audio for the skits.

        • InfernoCommander

          You could always wait til you’re near the end of the game and watch all the skits on Katz Island. But I agree, the constant switching got hella annoying.

  • echokanon

    After playing the later Tales games, I’m still trying to get used to playing it without free running. But the game is still nice tho

  • Jazlynn Lim

    I’ve never played Symphonia, but I did watch its OVA and the Abyss anime. The game that got me into the series though, was the spin-off game Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology. Anyway, I don’t have a PS3, so looks like I still won’t get to play Symphonia. :/

  • megaten666

    Honestly, I don’t think Symphonia is THAT great. I had more fun with the story of Abyss, Graces f or Destiny DC than with Symphonia. ToS not a bad game… it was the first 3D Tales, but nearly everything after ToS just better gameplay-wise. The story is more or less just typical JRPG stuff Tales is known for, so no surprise or anything genius there. Please, take off the nostalgia googles :(
    I like ToS, I bought it, I play it: very enjoyable game. But not the best Tales IMHO.

    • Pyrofrost

      Yeah, while I like Symphonia a lot, I definitely don’t see it as the best. For me, Tales is one of those series where I love every mainstay entry, but the games by Team Destiny (+ Phantasia) and Vesperia are definitely my favorites.

  • piichan

    I was excited to buy this port when it was 1st announced. Symphonia holds a special place for me and always wanted to try out the ps2 version, but after some thought and reviews I backed out. I just recently finished dotnw and I still have a copy of gc tos along with my save, I just need a gc controller for my wii. But I guess for those who’ve always wanted to try it but never got to, 2 games for that price is a steal.

  • Pinkemon

    As much as I love Symphonia cause it was my first Tales game and favourite Gamecube game, a part of me wishes they would have done this for Tales games that never made it to the west before. If I’m not mistaken, Tales of destiny got an upgraded port that stayed japanese while the original version that did get to the west had a bunch of stuff cut out. And I believe there also was an actual destiny 2 that never got here, and there’s also Tales of Rebirth. Of course, I suppose those aren’t gonna get localised anyway because there’s no guarantee they’d sell well so I probably shouldn’t think about it… (Though, if I ever feel like playing Symphonia again I’ll get chronicles. I sold my original GC copy back when I needed some quick money.)

  • landlock

    If your old enough it’ll be Tales of Phantasia.

  • raphael

    I prefer only Symphonia too.

  • DanielGearSolid

    Beat Symphonia and now a couple hrs in to Dawn of the new world…. And honestly I’m liking this Pokémon esque monster catching.

    Tip: In the beginning when the Vanguard invade Luin, there will be scenario where you have to run from them. If you attempt to run to the field, two vanguard guards block your way. And you have to fight them. After beating them, if you attempt to go out to the field again you’ll have to fight 2 more vanguard. You can repeat this process over and over and over to lvl up pretty fast. I didn’t stop until I was lvl 10

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    I stopped reading after that first sentence. Really, queen? Really?

  • http://www.staticshin.com/ Akshat Jiwan Sharma

    My favorite is tales of rebirth.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/narutops2xbox/videos Black Koshinomi

    LOL i was playing this morning

  • Ziggy Wish

    I love ToS and was so excited to get my hands on the game bought the collector edition and all. But I was kinda of disappointed when with ToS HD remake compare to FFX remake when I received my copy a couple of days ago. SE went all out for there remake, with updated soundtrack and character sprites. Don’t get me wrong it still looks like a polish update, I just wanted a little more umpf to it after seeing FFX.

  • Based Ignacio Puppo

    Symphonia is fantastic, but Dawn of the New World is terrible, certainly the Tales of game I dislike the most, I blame Emile, having to play as such an annoying character for 30 hours before he FINALLY develops is annoying. At least, I understand what they wanted to do with the character, and he becomes tolerable during the last 10 hours of the game, but it was too little too late. And Monsters easily outclass other party members(Since they can’t level up…)…
    Ah well, Symphonia is easily worth the 40 bucks, regardless of DotNW being ther or not, it’s a fantastic game.

    • DesmaX

      Well, you can buy each of them separately on PSN for US$20, so no need to worry

      • Based Ignacio Puppo

        Oh! But I want to support the physical release, as I said, 40 bucks is more than fair for Symphonia alone. And I own the original GC Symphonia and Wii DotNW :P

  • Bojan Njegomir

    Never played Tales Of Symphonia before and now, after few hours it’s really fun so far! :) Also, really loved Tales Of Graces F while i thought that Xillia was a big letdown, at least story wise!

    Though really suprised with negative comments here, it’s like i am reading about FF VII lol!

  • Izzeltrioum

    Good ol’ Tales of Fanbase.

    Nah, I think Rebirth, Hearts and Xillia 2 wear the Excellent Plot ribbon if you ask me.

    Hearts R has a supreme battle system, even better than anything Team Symphonia related.

    And, people, admit it–Team Vs Victor was the best battle in the entire series, let alone the awesome battle theme. I made a separate save for that battle, and I still keep replaying it once in a while.

  • vileBrenman

    This game aged well I’d say I never played the original symphonia but this version is amazing it holds it’s ground against the newer tales games which are the ones I started with and I have to say that symphonia is definitely my favorite up their with tales of graces

  • shit

    the only reason i wanted this was to see regals hot bod in hd

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Tales of Symphonia was my first gamecube game and crazily my first action RPG.. because of it I’m hooked on action RPG. I remember replaying to full the monster log , all titles and alt ending.

  • http://nisekami.deviantart.com/ NiseKami

    I feel like the nostalgia is blinding this review since it highlights nothing but its goodness. I mean, the 30fps issue should’ve been noted, some textures just look really grainy (I’m not one to really care but it’s just so visible), the ever missing voices in skits (the reason I chose Japanese is because the skits are voiced, even though the dub is stellar!), etc.

    But I also feel that the comments are just slammin’ Symphonia :c It’s an age old game so I’d say it would feel archaic, it would be like playing the old FF’s over again. While the premise follows a typical JRPG I think that the overall story was great and different, or that may just be the fact that I wasn’t exposed to enough JRPGs back then.

    I’m not saying everyone should forgive it for all its flaws but I don’t think it’s fair people are comparing it to the newer games such as Graces or Vesperia, since that’s when the team stepped up its game.

    • Nanashrew

      Playing the GC version of Tales of Symphonia recently, they are the same textures. About the only things Namco updated looks to be the hair and faces on the characters.

      And yeah, the 30fps limit and stuttering is frustrating. I’m surprised they couldn’t even update it for the newer hardware. There are also a bunch of typos, messy audio issues like audio ripped straight from the GC version with weird cutoffs or too loud compared to the new audio, or the wrong voice coming from the wrong character, wrong names for attacks, a bunch of glitches like talking to a night as Lloyd but getting the Dog Lovers title for Colette, etc. Etc. Etc.

      You can tell this remake was handled by an outsourced team.

      To be honest though, I never understood people’s want for the PS2 version of the game. It never added anything other than a few more costumes and giving some people Hi-Ougi’s. Nothing more. It didn’t add to the story like they do now in some of their games like Xilia Directors Cut or Graces F. You essentially got the best version on the Gamecube (also Namco never optimized the PS2 version even then, so there were even more frame rate problems.)

      • Senka

        Wow, those problems really sound awful and just stupid. I don’t think I’ll get this. I do like Tales of Symphonia, but it can stay as a nice memory, one not to be ruined by things like that. I like Tales of the Abyss a ton more anyway.

  • AlphaSixNine

    What I like most of about Symphonia is the characters and character interactions. I just loved every single character, their interactions and connections with each other and the world. To me, that’s the most important aspect of any JRPG and Symphonia does it best for me.

    Affection system and having to pick a soulmate at the end was also something I love about Symphonia (I spent hours trying to decide whether to pick Presea or Sheena, eneded up with Presea though lol). I really wish every Tales game had this.

    This is the first time I’ve played Symphonia, back then I was piss poor and couldn’t even get the game so I’m happy I got the chance with Chronicles. Admittedly, first time I started Symphonia the graphics bothered me, it was pretty bad with cutscenes and stuff but I eventually got used to it and in a few hours I ended up liking it anyway.

    All in all Symphonia now has become my favorite Tales game to date. I have yet to finish Dawn of the New World though I started it already. I’m not really fond of the monster pact thing and the lack overworld exploration. It pales so far with the first one. I kinda wish they just brought the old team back together and did the same. Oh well…

  • Neppygear

    It was Symphonia that got me into the series, and Graces made me fall in love with it.

    I never even played Abyss due to Namco’s complete refusal to ever release the thing in both my region and a system I own. (Europe never got the PS2 release because lolnamco)

  • holyPaladin

    Tales of Destiny is the one that make me the fan of Tales series..
    I can play ToD again if Namco want to remake it..

  • http://so-very.me/ Jenny

    I started playing it but the battle system is… frustrating. You can’t move around like you can in more recent Tales games. Other than that I like it.

  • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

    Man, I remember how hyped I was for Tales of Symphonia back in the day. A combination of ANIME and VIDEO GAMES in one package blew my 12-year-old mind. I never got past the first disc, though… but I loved every minute I did play of it, and the big plot twist rocked my naive little world.

    Too bad there isn’t a Vita version of this, because I’d love to revisit Symphonia but don’t really think I could commit to playing a 50+-hour RPG on a console right now.

  • Nanashrew

    I’d still very much would love to play Tales of Phantasia. I mean I played Symphonia which is the prequel game, why wouldn’t I want to play its sequel? The only versions to make it outside of Japan have been the terribly mistranslated GBA version or the phone version which actually isn’t good at all.

    But yeah, Symphonia is really great. It’s one of my all time favorites in the series. Except for Symphonia 2… That should have never happened, Namco didn’t even use a normal Tales budget and they don’t even consider it to be part of the mothership series.

  • CirnoLakes

    I’ve been a fan of Tales since Tales of Destiny. Tales of Destiny and Tales of Eternia are two of my favourite games for the PlayStation.

    But yes, Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the Abyss are both very compelling games and I’m sure that many people have discovered Tales though how amazing there are.

    I’m so glad that Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is getting a lot of attention, and that a lot of people are discovering Tales though it. I’ve noticed that a lot of people are finding out about Tales though this game. And the more people who discover Tales, the better. Tales of Symphonia is absolutely my favourite Japanese RPG of its generation and my favourite RPG of all time.

    Just like other beloved RPGs, Tales of Symphonia is a classic game. And I’m really so happy that so many more people are finding out how great it is.

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