Tales of Symphonia Chronicles Review
Overall 7

Tales of Symphonia, a game with roots extending to the days of the GameCube, has been given a second wind in Tales of Symphonia Chronicles for the PS3. Is this feel-good romp (and its sequel) just as good the second time around? Check out Gamers Heroes thoughts on the game

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Tales of Symphonia Chronicles Review

Bandai Namco’s Tales series is the comfort food of the gaming world. They might not revolutionize the JRPG world, but almost all promise a solid adventure with a great combat system. Tales of Symphonia, a game with roots extending to the days of the GameCube, has been given a second wind in Tales of Symphonia Chronicles for the PS3. Is this feel-good romp (and its sequel) just as good the second time around?

Those who have yet to dive into the world of Tales of Symphonia could do far worse than Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. Packing in the original and its sequel Dawn of the New World, there is more than 80 combined hours of content between the two games. Sidequests, non sequiturs, and more mean that it’ll be a good while before you run out of things to do.

But do these games stand the test of time? Tales of Symphonia’s story about Lloyd, Collette, and the restoration of the world of mana manages to be a simple yet effective way to engage the player through their journey across the overworld and its many dungeons. It’s the little things, like the anime-like “skits” or Lloyd’s lighthearted attitude that really add to the presentation.

Dawn of the New World, on the other hand, feels like a weaker sequel. Between the B-team cast that interacts with the original team and and the lengthy cutscenes that overstay their welcome, it just feels like a shadow of the original.

However, both Symphonia games have something that helps them stand out: their combat system. Rather than use a traditional turn-based combat system, the fast-paced real-time battles in place here are both strategic and engaging. Dawn of the New World manages to one-up Symphonia’s system with a free-run option later used in future entries. It gets to the point where you’ll want to seek out battles, rather than try and avoid them.

Being an HD re-release, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles’ high definition models and widescreen support really help an already colorful game truly shine. The inclusion of both Japanese and English voice acting is a welcome addition as well. There are no bugs to speak of in either release, but cutting the silky smooth 60 frames-per-second framerate of the original in half seems kind of odd when considering the PS3’s superior hardware. Also, as a straight port, the painted-on faces and mouth movements look downright silly at times.

Much like a good book or movie, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is a great way to experience two classic JRPGs in a more modern fashion. They might not be “the Citizen Kane of video games,” but who cares? They are still worth experiencing nonetheless.

Gamers Heroes’ honest game review of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles was done on the PlayStation 3. A review code was provided by the publisher.