Also On: Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
In a world where many classic games get the Remaster or Remake treatment, some developers truly revitalize a game that may or may not have needed it. The Tales series is something I?ve been playing since the original Tales of Destiny on PS One and feel they do deserve a revisit more so than one that has had an HD release some years back.
While it may seem I?m not a fan of Tales of Symphonia, this is where you would be incorrect. It happens to be one of my favorites in the franchise and one of the few to get a sequel. I enjoyed the 80 plus hours I put into the original GameCube release, but I was younger and played JRPGs a lot more than currently.
Another aspect is Tales of Symphonia is a game that looked great for it?s time and still holds up in my opinion. The main gripe I have is we were given a collection of this title and the sequel which released on the Wii, as HD ports for the PS3. This was at a time when the HD releases were the new normal.
The price point was also a selling point at the time to play to games. There were many HD bundles on the PS3 like Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, and Splinter Cell exclusively. I think the biggest issue comes from the unique development of the PS3 architecture and makes it harder to emulate. This may be why we can only stream PS3 games on PS Plus and not actually download.
At the same time, I?m happy to get a chance to revisit this classic on modern consoles. It?s just important to set the proper expectations. With many remasters, there some newer included features or items, but this is not the case here. It?s the core experience for better or worse.
For those not familiar, the Tales series is known for having a hybrid battle system that blends traditional turn-based menu options with real time movement and combat known as the Multi-Line Linear Motion Battle System. That is a mouthful? The idea is you focus on controlling one character while the game itself will control the others during a battle. With the menus you are able choose items for healing, special abilities or even attempt to flee the battle.
This is very accessible and was one of the main selling points for me as I prefer real time action-based combat vs turn based when applicable. The game feature?s various locations and a world map where you can have the choice in many cases to engage in battles with monsters or walk around, another great feature. I?m not a fan of random battles like most traditional JRPGs.
As I mentioned earlier, I played nearly 80 hours my first time around on the GameCube so Tales of Symphonia Remastered is a hefty game. There is tons of story, side missions, cinematics, great VO work, and some of the best plot twists for its? time. Tales of Symphonia was a game I initially went in blind and loved my experienced because of this.
For newcomers, Tales of Symphonia Remastered is a great pickup but for veterans looking for more, you won?t find anything new here sadly. If you are collector of the Tales games it will be worth adding to the collection.
Note: Bandai Namco provided us with a Tales of Symphonia PlayStation code for review purposes.