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Tales of Symphonia
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Console: Nintendo GameCube
Year: 2004
RFG ID #: U-076-S-03520-A
UPC: 722674300025 (00100)
Developer: Namco Tales Studio
Publisher: Namco
T (ESRB): Fantasy Violence , Language , Suggestive Themes

Genre: RPG
Sub-genre: Action RPG
Players: 1-4(battle only)
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: GameCube Optical Disc x2
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Collection Stats:

  • 410 of 7622 collectors (5.3%) have this game in their collection
  • 21 of 7622 collectors (0.2%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 2 of 7622 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

  • Standard Controller

Tales of Symphonia is the second good RPG for the GameCube next to the perfect Skies of Arcadia Legends(as quoted by Shimra). The plot follows the traditional "save the world" trend, while including plenty of twists that'll keep you hooked. The Linear Motion Battle System is addictive enough in and of itself to attract players who aren't typically into the RPG genre. Namco serves up a hit with a massive side of kick ass in Tales of Symphonia.

You are Lloyd Irving, a teenage swordsman living in the dying world of Sylvarant. You must accompany your friend, Colette Brunel in her journey to regenerate the world. Colette is one in a long line of Chosen. Born of the Mana Lineage, she alone can save the world from certain devastation. You must release the seals to provide Sylvarant with much needed mana. During this process, Colette undergoes a transformation into an Angel that will save the world. The journey is anything but simple. There are those who oppose salvation and will stop at nothing to prevent Colette from succeeding. This is only half of it, in the midst of your adventures you learn of another world that's fate is intertwined with that of Sylvarant. Soon you'll discover that nothing is as it seems and the fate of both worlds is at stake. There are plenty of interesting characters to meet along the way. Some will aid you in your quest, while others want nothing more than to see you fail.

Tales is graphically stunning. The character work is done by Kosuke Fujishima, a renowned artist who's work is found throughout the manga and anime world. The characters are cell-shaded and the world map is 3D. An interesting aspect of the world map is that you can see monsters approaching and choose to avoid them or engage in battle. The dungeons are equally as stunning, and include physics to match the situation.

The controls are quite fluid throughout different aspects of the game. This is especially important in battle. The Linear Motion Battle System is a Namco Tales Studio signature masterpiece. Battles have a 3D look and a 2D feel, and take place in real-time. You can go wild with combos and throw in Unison Attacks. You can also pull off Compound Unison Attacks for some massive damage. Depending on what type of creatures you're fighting, certain characters are needed. Their strengths and weaknesses can play a huge part in the outcome of boss battles. You can also customize your character by disposing them toward the T-type (technique/magic) or S-type (physical strength/swordsmanship). Character relationships are equally as important as they can impact the game's ending.

The game's soundtrack is definitely appealing. Each character has their own theme, and there are themes for different situations and places. At times the sound has a bit of a midi feel to it, but all in all it's some of the best game music I've heard in a long time. Game music is composed by Motoi Sakuraba, who has an impressive resume of work done on video games. The voice acting sounds a bit dull at times but for the most part it's decent. The list of voice actors includes Scott Menville (Lloyd), Tara Strong (Presea), and Cam Clarke (Kratos) among others.

Tales includes quite a few side-quests and mini-games that'll keep you busy for hours. Officially, there is over 80 hours of gameplay. This holds true if you decide to complete all of the sidequests. If you just run through the main quest there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 hours of gameplay. There are also some very tempting reply bonuses. All in all, Tales has the potential to offer years of replayability.


Tales of Symphonia is currently my favorite game - ever, so I'll try to review this as fairly as possible...

I should start this off by saying that I'm not really an RPG fan at all. I rarely pick them up and it is even more uncommon for me to actually like and RPG much less get into one. I found the storyline so captivating that it left me begging for more. The first half of the game (the Sylvarant part) is interesting enough but the story really takes a twist and gets interesting from the Tower of Salvation on.

As far as characters go, Kratos and Lloyd are interesting and witty at times. Colette can be very annoying, and even sickeningly sweet at times. Frankly I found Colette's goodness to be so annoying that I wanted to kill her. Genis is very cute and comes out with a classically amusing line every now and then. I did find Raine to be quite dry and uninteresting for the most part. For fighting, Lloyd is the easiest character to use though Presea is the strongest physically (but slow). Raine is a great healer though others do have healing abilities.

Fighting is where Tales really shines. In a way it reminds me of Street Fighter II and Namco's Soul Calibur II. Graphically it's 3D but the action is actually 2D. In single player, you can bind other character's techs to the C-stick and "command" them to use the tech(s) of choice. The nicest part about it is that up to 3 friends can battle with you, an interesting feature for an RPG. I know it isn't the first time this has been done, but for a game that doesn't have online capabilities it is pretty slick. The AI controlled characters in single player are actually pretty good. They'll do what needs to be done and for the most part, will take care of themselves and you. When in doubt you can always set up a battle plan and use tech binds. The unison attacks really come in handy too.

Some of the sidequests are really awesome and entertaining, while others I feel are just "busy work" to kill some time. The ones I find particularly awesome are the Abyssion and Niflheim sidequests. Neither will really give you much in the way of storyline, but both will give you a challenge and a tough boss battle. The Sword Dancer sidequest is also pretty tough, he's harder to beat than the last boss of the main quest (as is Abyssion). There are 3 mini-games that really stand out in terms of replay value. The Waitress, Red Light, Green Light, and E.B. mini-games are definitely a great way to spend a few hours. All will help you with your quest as well by giving you a useful prize. Figurine collecting is pretty nice way to kill some time.

There are a few things that lost points with me, though none are game threatening. I must warn you, there are MAJOR SPOILERS in this next paragraph. I encourage you to skip it if you haven't played Tales yet. In order to view it, highlight the text from *** to ***

***I really wish they would have had more to say about Yuan's past. After completing the Yuan's Ring sidequest I badly wanted to know more. I also think they could have said tons more about Kratos's past. Especially where Anna is concerned. Frankly I think they really screwed us with the ending. "This tree's name is..." Ok, so WHAT THE HELL is the name of the tree? You learn the name of the tree if you've played Tales of Phantasia as Symphonia is a prequel. Since Phantasia wasn't released in the US, American Tales fans are pretty much screwed. I was very jacked when I didn't learn the tree's name so I'll tell you - it's Yggdrasil. Come to think of it, they also don't tell you what happened to Yuan after the ending. In the Japanese novels, he stays to take care of the tree.***

Overall, Tales is the perfect mix of a great story, awesome graphics, and one of the best battle systems I've ever seen in an RPG. The battle system could hold it's own as a fighting game in and of itself easily. The mini-games and sidequests are good enough to truly offer more than you bargained for. Something I didn't mention before is that there are 8 different endings and a whole slew of scenes you can get depending on which character favors you the most. The scenes alone are worth playing over and over again just to check out. The most insightful scenes/endings in my opinion are the Kratos and Zelos ones.

RF Generation Review Score


Extra Media:

Tales Merchandise
  • Promo Artbook
  • Promo Artcell & Lithographs
  • Strategy Guide
  • Contest Trading Cards
  • Original Soundtrack (JAP)
  • Precautions Booklet (C/PM-DOL-USA-2)
    Nintendo Power #180- June 2004
    Extra - Promo Art Book (Front)
    Extra - Promo Art Book (Back)
    Manual Back Cover: Ad - Baten Kaitos
    Ad - A Perilous Journey...

    Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
    Nintendo GameCube United Kingdom S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2004 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube Netherlands S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2004 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube Italy S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2004 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube AT, DE, CH S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2004 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube Spain S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2004 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube France S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2004 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube J S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2003 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube U S Tales of Symphonia [Player's Choice] Namco 2006 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube Canada S Tales of Symphonia Namco 2004 RPG
    Nintendo GameCube Canada S Tales of Symphonia [Player's Choice] Namco 2006 RPG
    Related Games:

    Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
    Sony PlayStation U S Tales of Destiny Namco 1998 RPG
    Sony PlayStation U S Tales of Destiny II Namco 2001 RPG
    Game Trivia:

    The Japanese version of Tales of Symphonia has two songs performed by Misono:

    • Day After Tomorrow
    • Starry Heavens
    FAQ's/External Links:

    Game Credits:

    Localization Manager: Noriko Wada
    Localization Producer: Nao Higo
    Localization Engineer: Mayumi Matsumoto
    Localization Associate Producer: Ryota Toyama
    Localization VO Producer: Taiki Homma
    Localization Assistant Producer: Minaku Takahashi
    QA and GS Manager: Glen A. Cureton
    QA Supervisor: Daryle Tumacder
    Senior QA Lead: Jesse Mejia
    Assistant QA Lead: Tim Johns
    QA Testers: Philip Cohen, Geoff Tuttle, Caleb Corey, Todd Shimizu, Merwin Del Rosario, Narciso Angel, Steve Garcia, Joseph Damon, Terence Ramos, Kevin Nardi, Andrew Nicholson, Tim Yokoo, Matthew Bragg, Chris Morgan, Halbert Nakagawa, Jason Sinclair, Scott Pendleton, Ryan Jackson, Sang Lee, Adam Gordon, Chris Sinclair, Ryan Lecha, Brad Trosin, Chris Simpson, Chris Stanley, Brain Su, Kelley Davis, Danelle Sears
    Senoir Product Marketing Manager: Jeff Lujan, Ross Borden
    Associate Product Marketing Manager: Tara Samuels
    Public Relations Manager: Mika Kelly
    Special Thanks: Nobuhiro Kasahara, Robert Ennis, Rod Nakamoto, Garry Cole, Takefumi Hyodo, Masonori Kato, Yoshito Higuchi, Shu Miyoshi, Emi Takeuchi, Jeremy Clark, John Kenzo hickey
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    Michael Collins: Page design, HTML code.
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    Laurel: Review, Overview, External Links
    Anthony Terzi: Part Number Correction, Misc
    Shadow Kisuragi: UPC Standardization
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    Last Updated: 2020-01-19 22:27:35
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