Rated T for Teens By ESRB. It’s been about 10 years since its original release, and not it’s back in HD glory. Namco Bandai has released the Tales of Symphnoia Chronicles collection on PS3 for all to enjoy. The Chronicles Collection includes Tales of Symphonia (originally a Gamecube and Playstation 2 game) and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (originally a Wii game). The North American version of this game includes dual audio including the original Japanese voices, along with the English ones. Namco has re-worked and upgraded the visuals for both games, and utilized the Playstation 3’s ability to install games, to ensure the fastest possible load times during gameplay. As far as new content goes, Namco has also thrown in new mystic arte cut ins, costumes, titles, unison attacks, techniques, events, and new monsters. Trophy support has also been added as well, which fans are sure to appreciate, since it gives them even more of an incentive to replay this classic. While this is most definitely the same Tale of Symphonia we’ve all come to love and appreciate, it looks and feels even better this time around with the added content and upgraded visuals.
Content and Review:
Namco gave the visual upgrades to the Tales of Symphonia Playstation 2 port of the game. The graphics do look very polished, especially given how Tales of Symphonia is almost a decade old. Tales of Symphonia runs very smoothly, and the real time battle system still holds up as being very fun even today. A lot of textures in both games still look muddy and blocky, but the colors look much more vibrant than the original, and everything seems much crisper in-game as well. Now comparing the two games in this bundle visually is a bit unfair, since Dawn of the New World came out only a few years. Dawn of the New World runs much smoother, and looks slightly better visually than Tales of Symphonia, but again, that’s because it came out much more recently. However, as far as gameplay goes, Tales of Symphnoia is the clear winner here. Symphonia’s classic JRPG story is one that all RPG fans should enjoy. It’s become a timeless classic, as proven by this remastered version. Tales of Symphonia still holds up very well today, and its story is well-regarded as one of the best in JRPG games. Some even go as far as to call it the best JRPG of all time. You can also play co-op in Tales of Symphonia, where three friends can control the other characters in battle, which was an advanced feature back in its day. Co-op makes Tales of Symphonia even more enjoyable, but only if you can find friends who are only willing to play during battle sequences. Dawn of the New world isn’t quite as good…or very good at that. This “sequel” had so much potential, and for some reason the game just couldn’t deliver. It’s by no means a bad game, but it definitely doesn’t deliver as satisfying of an experience as the original Symphonia does. The writing isn’t nearly as good for the script, and also, for it being a Wii game, I expected the graphics to be much better, and even better on this HD port. Textures and environments just look even more muddled and less vibrant than the Tales of Symphonia port, which was very surprising to me. Gameplay in Dawn of the New World is pretty fun, but it can only be so fun when the story is so sub-par, as compared to it’s much superior prequel. With all things considered, I can recommend this collection to all JRPG fans, simply because the price of this game is well worth it just for this beautiful remaster of Tales of Symphonia alone. I wish the same could be said for Dawn of the New World, but it just doesn’t come close to providing a supplementary or even satisfying experience.
Written by Emma Hu