Tales of Symphonia GameCube

Tales of Symphonia Image
Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 60 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 201 Ratings

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  • Summary: In a dying village on Sylvarant, legend has it that a Chosen One will one day appear from among the people, and the land will be reborn. Now, you must enter a cel-shaded world in which you command real-time battles. Execute and combine hundreds of special attacks, magic spells, and combos.In a dying village on Sylvarant, legend has it that a Chosen One will one day appear from among the people, and the land will be reborn. Now, you must enter a cel-shaded world in which you command real-time battles. Execute and combine hundreds of special attacks, magic spells, and combos. Each character grows to suit your fighting style, and the storyline changes based on the characters' relationships. The line between good and evil blurs in this immersive adventure where the fate of two interlocked worlds hangs in the balance. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 60
  2. Negative: 0 out of 60
  1. This game, while not perfect, will even attract and hold non-RPG fans with its unique battle system, and interesting story. The game is a great, interesting, and fun experience.
  2. The 3D real-time combat sets this game apart from anything else in the genre and takes the edge off what is typically a grueling leveling-up grind of endless encounters and combat.
  3. games(TM)
    90
    It's through the amount of details, distractions and other additions to the more obvious elements that Symphonia builds itself up from what starts as an above-average RPG into one that'll stand as a benchmark in future. [Oct 2004, p.102]
  4. The devil is really in the details. I was obsessed with collecting recipes all over the world, by seeking out the elusive Wonder Chef, whose dishes provide various healing effects after fights.
  5. A fantastic looking title with a pleasant mixture of traditional and non-traditional RPG elements to create a refreshingly new gaming experience.
  6. Perhaps the only questionable aspect might be the length, but given the game's pacing and the gradual addition of new elements, characters and locations to the gameplay, this never becomes a drudge.
  7. 70
    Continuing a short but respected series, the game does little to broaden the genre, but at least it performs with style and solid mechanics.

See all 60 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 70
  2. Negative: 3 out of 70
  1. BrendanO.
    Aug 29, 2004
    10
    Absolutely Fantastic! Brilliant game! A must-have!
  2. Steven
    Jul 25, 2009
    10
    Closest thing to a perfect game, amazing characters, amazing story, extremely fun battles, everything, the only problem is whan playing with Closest thing to a perfect game, amazing characters, amazing story, extremely fun battles, everything, the only problem is whan playing with multiple people the first player has to be a long range spellcaster othewise the camera will follow first player and leave everyone confused, but if playing with alot of people it isnt really an issue since someone has to be a magic user. Expand
  3. TravisH.
    Mar 28, 2005
    10
    The best gamecube game ive played.
  4. Mar 15, 2015
    10
    One of the first games I played with my sister and THE BEST GAME I have ever played.

    We were both engrossed in the story and I remember
    One of the first games I played with my sister and THE BEST GAME I have ever played.

    We were both engrossed in the story and I remember being so excited to come home from school so I could play this game. Even now, I still feel sympathetic for some of the characters. The game is just extremely likeable - the combat is 'real time' ( LOL I don't remember the actual name for it) which I prefer over turn-based combat, and the storyline is just amazing. Maybe I hyped it up because I played it last when I was about 12, but I love it.
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  5. StevenF.
    May 6, 2004
    10
    Best game of all time.
  6. Jul 1, 2017
    9
    Tales of Symphonia is one of the best JRPGS of its generation. The gameplay is fun and rewarding and the story is long, deep and compelling.Tales of Symphonia is one of the best JRPGS of its generation. The gameplay is fun and rewarding and the story is long, deep and compelling. It is very rare that I find a game that gets me so invested in its world and its lore. The game does have some weak areas such as mediocre level design, bland visuals, childish characters and often jarring anime stereotypes. Those flaws are mostly just cosmetic though, beneath its cartoony exterior is a core concept that is actually very mature. I recommend this game to almost any fan of JRPGs and I think it is even a great starting point for many people who aren't familiar with the genre. It's accessible and fun while still offering depth.

    The gameplay is a cross of old school and modern. Battles take place in a confined field but unlike traditional turn based RPGs the action all happens in real time. This makes combat very engaging, while I like the strategy element of turn based combat I generally prefer real time for the sense of immersion. This game does a good job of balancing the two styles. You can quickly and easily switch between characters and you can also assign strategies and techniques. It allows you to have a lot of control and strategy while still offering the thrill of fast paced action. Combat can get a bit repetitive, as the game is very long but there are a lot of techniques to be learned so that kept things reasonably fresh. Some of the field enemies are pretty mediocre but fortunately there are a ton of bosses and some of those battles are excellent. Outside of combat, there is a lot to explore and there are some puzzles. I thought that puzzles could have been better but there were enough to at least keep me engaged. Another cool thing is the way that you interact with your party. Throughout the game you will have the opportunity for many optional conversations with party members, those scenes help to develop the characters but also add another layer to gameplay since you can make choice to either react to them positively or negatively. Like with most JRPGs though traversing the environment is a bit dull, it would have been nice to have more interactivity.

    Where the game really shines is its story. While the style of the game is a bit childish the story actually has a lot of dark themes, such as persecution, slavery and human sacrifice. All of these topics are tied into a massive narrative that is complex while still being easy to understand. There are some really big ideas and multiple twists that I found very satisfying. Some parts are predictable but I rarely found that detracted from the story as a whole. The middle of the game offers a great twist that I kind of predicted but because of how it was handled it was still totally satisfying. Part of the fun was trying to guess the twists since almost everything is foreshadowed well in advance, figuring it out made it rewarding in a different way. The way that you interact with the story as a player is also very interesting because it extends beyond just making choices in conversations. For example, there are certain bosses that you can lose against and still continue the game but if you win against them it will lead to a different outcome. My only major problem with the story is the tone. I played this game around the same time I played Final Fantasy X and compared to that game this one doesn't do nearly as good of a job when it comes to conveying the tone of important story moments. The deep quality content is there but the atmosphere often feels inappropriate.

    The characters are a bit stereotypical on the surface but as the game progresses most of them get a lot of development. They have to face tough realities about the world they live in and seeing them adapt to that provides a lot of great character moments. One of the parts I found most interesting was how one of the stories primary villains is idealized by several of the heroes and that creates an interesting dilemma when they ultimately learn the truth about what he has done. There are a ton of characters and each one has a meaningful arc. My biggest complaint with the character is that Lloyd and Colette never really evolve beyond the basic tropes. Lloyd never really seems to mature and still seems like a bit of a duffus by the end. Colette's entire system of faith is proven to be a fallacy but ultimately she remains a mary sue. She is the type of character who is shy and clumsy for the sake of cuteness, rather than it actually being a relevant, informed part of her character journey. Despite these problems though, I found most of the characters fairly likable and the diversity of the cast kept me entertained to the very end. This could have been a great story about kids growing up but they never really do.

    The visuals and sound design are both pretty solid but they aren't nearly the best that the genre offers.

    There is also a ton of extra content beyond the main story and most of it is good.

    I give it 85%
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  7. Dec 9, 2013
    0
    einfach nur Scheiße,
    einfallsloser japan Quatsch
    den kein Mensch braucht solche Spiele gehören auf den Index, da sowas unsere Kinder
    einfach nur Scheiße,
    einfallsloser japan Quatsch
    den kein Mensch braucht solche Spiele gehören auf den Index,
    da sowas unsere Kinder wirklich versaut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Expand

See all 70 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

#4 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2004
#5 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2004