The revered action RPG is back, and though visually this remaster works well, its style of play feels limited by modern standards
Bringing classics back from previous generations is always a bit of a risk. In many ways I would imagine development is a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to gameplay and in-game systems. Fans of the original, looking for that authentic hit of nostalgia from a previous era would no doubt be a bit upset with meddling, potentially saying the game they loved has been ruined. On the flipside, genre fans who haven’t played the original may appreciate what it does in the framing of the time of its original release but it will inevitably be measured against its modern contemporaries as well. There lies the crux of the problem for Tales of Symphonia, which undoubtedly possesses a certain charm, interesting characters, and a genuinely novel style of more action-based combat which I’m sure helped it stand out in its time. Through a more modern lens the problem is that the overall genre has progressed quite a bit and more action-based combat has now not just been done by many others, it has also been done better. If you were a fan back in the day and don’t have modern means to play it, I have no doubt that this will please you thoroughly, reuniting you with a well-made game that deserves some love. If, however, you’re not familiar with it, you’ll need to take into consideration that this is still a product of its time and that some of your expectations may need adjustment to truly enjoy it.
Justin Nation, Score: