seems to recover GameCube classics It is fashionable, after the hit that Metroid Prime Remaster has brought. Now it is the turn of Tales of Symphonia Remasteredthe return of a magnificent role-playing game that came to the Nintendo cube exactly 20 years ago (although its premiere in Europe took place in 2004).
To celebrate the anniversary, Bandai Namco launches a remastered version with the essential changes to reach the PS4 and Xbox One generation (There is no own version of PS5 or Xbox Series X, although the game can be run on them) and some quality has even been lost along the way, as we will now see.
The story puts us in the shoes of Lloyda young swordsman who decides to accompany his great friend Colette on her journey to assume her role as the chosen, the one in charge of helping the Goddess to regenerate the world. She along with other allies like Genes o Kratos (He’s also a tough guy, but it’s not like the Spartan), they will embark on a journey of discovery, humor, drama and adventure.
The analysis of Tales of Symphonia Remastered from Hobby Consoles:
Gameplay and gameplay of Tales of Symphonia Remastered
This game took the ideas of the “Thales” before it, but refined the formula in a way that would serve as a reference for future installments. Broadly speaking, it is a traditional JRPGbut it has its hallmarks.
In the exploration parts, we move our character (by default, Lloyd, but we can assign another without affecting performance) through cities, forests and dungeons, while we open chests, press switches and decide what to do with the monsters on the way: face them or dodge them.
Tales of Symphonia Remastered – Tráiler gameplay
If we decide to enter combat, the screen changes to a side and close view so that we attack in real time with our main character, while the rest of the allies execute their movements automatically. As expected, we can assign them a general tactic (defensive, magic from a distance, close attack, etc.) or make them execute specific movements.
As we throw punches everything moves in real time, but to assign commands or use an item the screen is paused. Our character can launch normal blows, cover himself or jump to, for example, attack the opponent from behind.
As we progress, we discover new special attacks that we can assign to the controller triggers, for example. These new movements are “discovered” in the middle of combat, so the character executes them once “as a bonus”, but then we will have to assign it by hand to one of our buttons.
As we said, our default character is Lloyd, but we can decide for him to move alone and control another. Actually, since we have up to 4 characters in combat, we can even decide that all of them are controlled by hand, which allows participate up to four players simultaneously. Of course, only in combat…
In the combats, in addition, we win degree pointswhich we can then use to redeem them for Excited EX that they give us some extra ability for a single character.
Lastly, we have the cooking, one of the hallmarks of the game: If we previously obtain ingredients (bread, eggs, rice, etc.) and if we know the recipe, at the end of a fight we can automatically cook so that the characters recover some health or acquire other advantages.
To discover the recipes, we have to find the “captain cooks” who hides in the cities, disguised as the most bizarre objects.
Outside of combat and exploration, we must talk to the characters we meet to make the main action progress, but also to get other improvements such as items or so-called titles.
There are also times when we canstart a special conversation with our colleagues (something characteristic of this franchise) which can also give us clues or make win titles. We can assign a title to each character (“Mercenary”, “Best Sister”, etc.), which affects their attack, intelligence or defense statistics, for example.
Apart from all this, development surprises us from time to time with minigames of all kinds, such as knowledge tests about what was learned in the game or different skill tests. In that sense, the adventure is most likeable.
If we leave towns or dungeons, we enter the general map of Sylvarant, the game world. From there, we can explore to reach settlements, new roads or more cities, but enemies are everywhere and they will attack us at the first opportunity.
In these areas, the camera has the annoying habit of repositioning itself to prevent us from seeing clearly, although we can rectify its position by hand. In addition, at certain points there is a rock that allows us to activate the “long distance mode” for that area. So, we can ride our dog Noishe to go faster around the map.
Something that can make those who are not used to the “old school” role quite desperate (and rightly so) is the shortage of save points. They only appear in cities and some resting points on the map, but it is advisable to even take a detour to reach them.
We say this because no autosave or checkpointsso if you die in combat, you will go back to the last save, which could have been 10 minutes ago or maybe an hour before… You have to be very disciplined and save whenever you can, because you never know when can the next challenge of stratospheric difficulty come.
Is it difficult Tales of Symphony Remastered?
Actually, the game itself is not too complicated, since most of the fights will be resolved easily thanks to the automatic abilities of the companions. It is important, however, to assign the most effective strategies to each situation.
What happens is that the final bosses usually have a very crazy difficulty curve compared to the rest of the challenges.
In addition, these duels usually arrive without prior notice and in no case do we know their health (we can only find out by spending a special item, as usually happens with Final Fantasy), hence some of these fights can be somewhat maddening. If we die after a long time without saving… you might want to throw the controller out the window.
As we said, actually this was very common in old school JRPGS and it is solved with two routines: saving very often and farming, farming a lot based on non-stop combat in open areas to level up and earn money and items.
Apart from this, we have two levels of difficulty, Normal and Hard, but even Normal will put you in these binds from time to time. Patience and perseverance, comfort.
When exploring, it is also very important be attentive to all the conversations to know well what our next destination is, because the game does not indicate it clearly on the map. We have a section in the pause called Synopsis that usually gives us clues about what to do, but being attentive helps a lot.
How many hours is Tales of Symphonia Remastered?
To be clear: this is a very long game, even more than the average for Japanese role-playing games. Going very, very to the point, the adventure could be surpassed in about 50 hours, but most likely it will take you about 80as soon as you go for a secondary challenge.
100% of the game is almost endless and can take you about 200 hourswithout taking into account the time you add if you ever reach the dreaded Game Over and have to load games.
This duration is largely due to the numerous dialogues, but it is also that there are lots of dungeons, environments and puzzles to visit. Come on, you have Lloyd and Colette for a while. To give you an idea, throughout the adventure we will recruit a total of nine characters in our group, all of them with a very defined personality.
Price and platforms available
The standard version of the game (which is initially available in a digital and physical edition, but many Spanish stores do not have it) It has a price of 39.99 euroswhether on PS4, Xbox One or Switch.
The PS4 version can also be played on PS5 (but without improvements) and, of course, the One version is fully compatible with Xbox Series X and S.
Apart from this, there is a Chosen Edition, only in physical format, which costs 49.99 euros and includes postcards and stickers, for collectors. This is the edition that can be found most easily in stores today.
It may seem a bit expensive for a remaster of a game from 20 years ago, but at least the price / hours of play is more than compensated…
A happy symphony, but somewhat out of tune
After all that we have discussed, surely you are clear that this is a huge and varied game and, in that sense, you will not be wrong. But the truth is that This remastering has its pluses and minuses.
Incomprehensibly, all versions are shown at one 1080p resolution (720p in the case of Switch in portable mode) already 30 frames per secondeven if we run them on a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
What’s surprising (and a bit outrageous, as some fans have already mentioned)… is that the original game ran at 60 fps on GameCube! Therefore, we have lost fluidity along the way…
Of course, and given the difference in resolution, textures have been improvedbut actually one has been used”escalation filters“somewhat crude that from afar they look good, but they look not very detailed and somewhat blurry in parts of the clothing or, above all, on the stage floors.
It’s not terrible, but it sure is. doesn’t seem up to the task of a celebratory remaster like this. Even the occasional anime illustrations or videos are upscaled from the original GameCube material (didn’t the masters keep?) and look a bit “dirty” on a modern screen.
It’s a shame that everything related to adapting to new times is so neglected, because the original material is most meritorious. When we reviewed it at Hobby Consolas back in 2004 (hell if I reviewed it myself, 20 years younger!), we gave him a note of 87thanks to its many virtues.
On one hand we have a story that gradually wins over the player thanks to some characters that, yes, are archetypes of shonen anime (the virginal and charming girl, the somewhat goofy but noble and brave hero, the distant mentor…), but they have a lot of background and very careful relationships between them.
The visual section, although it has many old fashioned today (the almost null expressiveness of the characters or their super basic animations, for example), has a very charming and endearing stylethanks to the use of cel-shading and the character designs of Kousuke Fujishima, author of manga as celebrated as Oh, my Goddess! You are under arrest!
Tales of Symphony Remastered – Trailer
The music mixes some very repetitive and forgettable pieces with others that you will end up humming without remedy (Palmacosta’s music will stay in your cerebellum), which accompany some very convincing voices in English and Japanese, especially in the case of the latter.
Thus, Tales of Symphonia Remastered leaves us with a bittersweet taste. On the one hand, it’s always nice to remember a game that set the stage two decades ago with its simple, but attractive and complete style. On the other hand, it is a pity that more effort has not been put into adapting it to the current times. And more seeing what the saga has achieved recently with games like Tales of Arise…