Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia is an action role playing game that was developed by Namco and released for the Nintendo GameCube on July 13, 2004.

Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Release Date: July 13, 2004
Platforms: GameCube
JustRPG Score:
+Addictive gameplay.
+Great story line.
+Pleasing graphics.
+Many hours of gameplay.
-Some characters are bland.
-Repetitive combat system.


Tales of Symphonia Overview

Tales of Symphonia is an action role playing game that was released on two discs for the Nintendo GameCube. The combat system was real time which was a rare occurrence for the Nintendo GameCube. The story line was very memorable and well thought out and offered many hours of gameplay for the player. Overall the game was very entertaining and had good replay value.

Tales of Symphonia Screenshots

Tales of Symphonia Featured Video

Full Review

Tales of Symphonia Review

The Gamecube isn’t exactly an RPG haven, but with the recent release of Tales of Symphonia, Namco hopes to fix that. Fans of the Tales series have been awaiting the games release for quite some time, so the game has quite a bit to live up to. So does it succeed? Read on.


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The game takes place in the land of Sylvarant, a dying world suffering from Mana depletion. Another world exists interlocked with Sylvarant, and as one suffers the other flourishes. The legends say that a Chosen will be born who must traveling to the Tower of Salvation and awaken the goddess Martel to regenerate the world. The game does a pretty good job of creating an interesting world with a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The story picks up pretty quickly, and features hordes of plot twists, betrayal, cool characters, and much more!


Your main character is Lloyd Irving. He’s a young man with a strong sense of justice, loyalty and bravery. His best friend is Genis, a half-elf genius who’s pretty powerful with magic. They’re joined by their good friend Colette, who happens to be the Chosen. Colette begins her journey as the Chosen, and Lloyd and Genis decide to accompany her as guardians. Ok, so it sounds like a familiar RPG story to start out with. It’s even a bit predictible at times. The basic “Chosen one must save the world and we’re her guardians,” but it expands to much more than that. Throughout their journey they’ll face all sorts of obstacle, from the evil Desians to the powerful Guardians of the Seals. Their journey to awaken the goddess Martel will take them places they’d never have expected as you embark on an epic adventure to save the world! The characters are all pretty interesting (my favorite is Kratos), and throughout the game you’ll learn a lot about them as more and more information is revealed. You can easily find yourself attached to these characters, which is certainly a goal in any RPG.


Although the characters are very cool, sometimes their interactions aren’t so great. Conversations can be extremely long winded, and sometimes just don’t make that much sense. Not to mention a lot of the long conversations are just completely unnecessary and don’t move the story any further. If you don’t like to read a lot, you’re probably going to be bored. Fortunately, much of the reading is optional and is activated by pressing the ‘Z’ button at certain times. It can give you a little further character/story info if you want it, but it’s often more reading than it’s worth.


The battle system is where this game really shines. The real-time 3D battlesystem is deep, highly customizable, fast paced and lots of fun. You’ll learn a lot of abilities throughout the game, and you can customize them to hot keys for easy access. You won’t have to scroll through a bunch of menus to perform your magic, which keeps the action fast paced. You can even set 2 of your other party members skills to hot keys, so you can control what they do without directly taking control of them. You can even choose what skills you learn by using similar skills. For example, by using Demon Fang a lot you’ll learn Fierce Demon Fang faster. The controls works great in battle, and the whole combat experience is something you’ll enjoy.

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The opportunity to play up to four players is a great feature of the game. Having a friend to enjoy the journey with always makes things more fun, plus it makes the game a lot easier at times. The computer AI is pretty good, and you can customize it in many ways. You can set your characters to never use Magic, set them to run all around, set them to attack the nearest enemy. Their attack, magic and movement are all hihgly customizeable. Of course, the AI still is not as good as what your friends intelligence can be. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of camera issues when you’re playing multiplayer, since the camera only follows the main character. Still, it’s more than worth it and adds a new dimension of fun to the game.


The ability to select from many skills and set them to hot keys is just the start of Tales of Symphonia’s customization. Throughout the game you’ll earn different titles, and by assigning these titles to characters you can affect how they level up. One titles might give an added bonus to their HP, while another might give a bonus to Intelligence and Strength. Also, many of the characters in the world of Tales of Symphonia are equipped with exspheres. You’ll learn a lot more about these exspheres throughout the game’s story, but to give you an idea of what they do, they grant the wearer with new strengths. You can find exspheres of different levels and equip them to your character. Once the exsphere is equipped you can choose from several different skills that you want to equip that character with. One exsphere skill might increase the characters TP (magic points) while another may increase their movement in battle.


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You can also customize weapons throughout the game by trading in items and old weapons. This process is free and is the best way to get some of the most powerful equipment. Some of the items needed for customization are tough to find, though, so it’s not always easy. You’ll also come across all sorts of different ingredients and learn different recipes throughout the game. Once you’ve learned a recipe and have attained the proper ingredients, you can cook it. These recipes can do different things, such as replenish HP or cure status effects. You can go into your cook menu and cook right there, or you can choose to cook right after battle. You get full after eating, though, so make sure to use your cook skill wisely.


Although the game is an action RPG, it’s by no means a simple hack and slash. As I mentioned earlier, there are hordes of skills your characters learn, and using them in battle is a must. Some characters are best with physical attacks, while others need to sit back and use magic. The game can be tough at times, so you’ll actually need to use some strategy. Some magic takes a while to charge, so make sure to use it at the right time. On top of that, some skills are better against certain enemies, so make sure to use the right one.


Outside of battle you’ll run from location to location getting into plenty of battles on the way. All the battles on the world map can be avoided since the enemies appear on the map and you can try to run past them. The world map isn’t so great since it can be hard to see where you’re going at times. Fortunately most locations are near each other, so you won’t have to spend too much time wandering around. There’s a good deal of backtracking involved, though, which can be annoying. You’ll go to one town, then have to run halfway around the world to go to a town you previously visited. There are several modes of transportation, though, and they all make things easier. Once you enter a dungeon there are often lots of puzzles to solve. The puzzles take a bit of thinking and offer some variety to the gameplay.


The game will give you plenty to do. Not only are there lots of mini games, sidequests, and optional bosses but the whole adventure will be around 80 hours! The game is two disks long, so it’s a game you can expect to spend lots of time with. The high quality and fun factor the game has to offer may even have you going back for additional replays rather quickly.

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The world in Tales of Symphonia is brought to life by beautiful 3D cel-shading. The characters are highly detailed, the environments are beautiful and the character movements and effects are very well done. Some of the spells in battle really look nice, so the battle system is no only fun, but beautiful! There’s also a really cool anime opening that’ll get you excited for the game. The sounds are equally as good as the graphics. The voice acting is high quality, and there’s quite a bit of it. Familiar video game voices, such as Cam Clark, are featured in the game. The music is towns and wandering around is fair, and during combat it’s even better.


Overall, Tales of Symphonia is easily one of the best RPGs on the Gamecube. Like any game, it has its flaws, but it’s an epic adventure that any fan of the genre shouldn’t miss out on.


Final Grade: 85%


Tales of Symphonia Screenshots


Tales of Symphonia Videos

Tales of Symphonia Trailer

Guides / Links

Tales of Symphonia Guides / Links

Tales of Symphonia Wikipedia Entry