Still one of the most highly regarded instalments in Namco's long-running series, Tales of Symphonia could be considered a classic. Indeed, it's easy forget that the game's almost 20 years old — and Tales of Symphonia Remastered shows that the adventure actually holds up surprisingly well.
The storytelling's a little ragged, and some gameplay elements — like traversing the world map — have aged poorly, but the main characters remain a fun bunch, the journey itself is always entertaining, and the combat system is solid.
The plot is all about the 'Chosen' — a, er, chosen person who must embark on a pilgrimage to save the world. In this case, the Chosen is a girl named Collette, who just so happens to be the childhood friend of protagonist Lloyd — a reckless young man who stumbles into the role of Collette's guardian as she sets off on her quest. While the overarching story has its cliches, Lloyd and the gang carry the narrative. They're a truly endearing group, and there's great chemistry between them thanks to some sharp and often comedic writing.
Of course, your party members are also key to combat. Symphonia arguably laid the foundations for Tales titles going forward, with its emphasis on combos, quick movement, and diverse fighting styles. By today's standards, it's a relatively basic system — and the controls are perhaps a bit stiff — but battering monsters is still satisfying. There's a really enjoyable flow to fights as you learn to correctly time your attacks, pinning your foes in place with the help of your AI-controlled allies.
Given just how well Symphonia has aged as a whole, it's a shame that this remaster feels so barebones. Aside from an obvious resolution bump, the visual improvements are pretty negligible, with muddy environmental textures and backgrounds betraying an art style that still pops. Even the menus appear to be barely enhanced as text, icons, and character portraits can remain quite blurry. What's more, the game's capped at a disappointing 30 frames-per-second, and the frequent load screens can be just a touch too long — even when you're playing on PS5 through backwards compatibility.
Close to two decades later, Tales of Symphonia Remastered is a reminder of how neatly crafted the original GameCube and PS2 title was. Barring a few rough edges, this is still a great action RPG, full of charm and character. The only real downside is that the remaster itself leaves a lot to be desired.
That's kind of a shame. I was hoping for a more in depth remaster. Guess it will go on the "I'll buy it at a steep discount" pile.
Already knew this is a wait for sale because of the 30 fps cap.
It's just lazy, surely the PS5 could brute force it.
I really enjoyed playing this again after so many years. It's a real shame the remastering job is so basic, as Tales of Symphonia definitely deserves better given its status as one of the most beloved (and successful) entries in the series.
Great game, but seems a lazy remaster cash in.
Any news on whether the trophy campaign is the same. It was one of the more onerous, to the extent that I gave up, twice.
I'm torn because I want to get it but it doesn't have dawn of a new world included with it. So I am thinking I might wait.
Translation: if you own literally any other version of this game, this is a waste of money.
Game makers should learn to step up their game, and make remasters like this worth buying, especially if they don’t actually improve anything. There are, y’know, other options to play these games nowadays.
On a completely unrelated note, I got a Steam Deck for Christmas. 😉
hmmm, so no reason to buy it, if I have a BETTER version on an OLDER system like PS3 -.-'
I know a remaster isn't supposed to be a remake, but I gravely like this trend of selling "remastered" games that are literally "ports" not remasters, just with a few necessary bumps so that it looks like a "port" rather than "emulation." This industry has always been cynical but it's reached a new bar these past few years.
I'm sure it's still a great game but we really need to vote with our wallets on these re-releases. How they can justify charging full price is beyond me.
If it had the 2nd game no matter how notorious it is, it would've been worth it. But at the very least, this alone is still worth owning on a modern console when it drops to like 10 bucks like most of the tales games do. I'll definitely pick it up then
I'll get it on a super discount, I can't reward lazy as possible port jobs. Also if you have the Gamecube version you have the very best of the game, you're actually downgrading if you buy this remaster.
I loved Tales of Symphonia in the Gamecube days.
Unfortunately, this "Remaster" isn't enough for me to get it again. From my understanding, this particular port is based on the PS2 assets as the higher-quality Gamecube version was lost.
I'd much rather emulate this and run at a higher resolution (if I supported such things) rather than pay for this barebones effort.
Isn't the gamecube version 60fps? This is not only an unnecessary remaster as it's a terrible one.
I love the game though. But, i also have the CG copy and the previous remaster. Wth was this about? Lazy.
@NEStalgia I agree. I dont mind a near port but atleast make it run as smooth, resolution boost and fix up the textures not everything needs to be polished especially with the less profitable ports. But a little effort put in atleast.
just another cash grab rerelease
Appreciate the honesty. I'll stick with it on Steam Deck then.
Can we get a remaster of Abyss already please?? I miss that game so much
@NEStalgia people keep asking for XYZ, devs do it for easy $$
If it gets on PS+ at some point I might play it, if not I'd rather fire the old gamecube back up.
@dBackLash @Juanalf @Judal27 @Sil_Am @Svark Same plan here, I'll just wait for the game to hit dirt cheap pricing or "free" with PS+.
I'll also be doing that for Dawn of a New World too.
Namco need to move on from Symphonia now, it's getting ridiculous. Abyss, both Xillia games and finally, Graces F 100% should come out. I don't understand them and their direction. Makes even less sense, when they did a poll and asked what the fans wanted and they STILL went with Symphonia again. Such a cheap shot..
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