This Tales of Symphonia Remastered evaluation ought to include a disclaimer: Tales of Symphonia is, by fairly some margin, my favorite recreation of all time. It’s necessary to notice as a result of I went in with extremely excessive expectations, to not point out a powerful emotional attachment. That will have skewed a few of my emotions when scripting this evaluation,

Earlier than entering into the thick of it, the remaster is a totally combined bag. The sport itself holds up remarkably, and that is one thing I used to be involved with stepping into. Would the rose-tinted glasses come off taking part in the sport almost 20 years later? Fortuitously, that’s not the case. Certain, many points of the gameplay are dated in design, however the story and, most notably, the characters nonetheless maintain up in any case of this time.

Nonetheless, the remaster itself is, fairly frankly, a whole and utter mess. It’s baffling to me {that a} writer as enormous as Bandai Namco would enable one among its most treasured releases from yesteryear to launch in a state like this. It deserves higher.

Tales of Symphonia Remastered Assessment

We’re going to interrupt our evaluation down into a lot of completely different sections so you possibly can skip to the bit you’re most fascinated with in order for you.

What Is Tales of Symphonia?

Tales of Symphonia is the fifth instalment within the Tales sequence, and the primary to launch in totally 3D. It takes place in the identical universe as the primary entry, Tales of Phantasia, and centres round protagonist Lloyd Irving, who’s on a quest to regenerate the world along with his buddy Colette, the Chosen one.

With out digging into spoilers, this takes you internationally, battling monsters, bosses, and taking up side-quests. You’ll discover an overworld and numerous dungeons and cities, collaborating in side-quests and extra.

The actual spotlight is the battle system although, which is fast-paced and filled with motion. It’s often called the ‘Multi-Line Linear Movement Battle System’, and sees you and three celebration members pulling off mad combos to defeat the enemy.

Does The Remaster Characteristic New Content material?

No new content material, no. It options AI-upscaled HD visuals, widescreen assist, and the entire content material included within the PS2 model of the sport. For context, it initially launched on GameCube in 2003, then in 2004 a PS2 model arrived completely in Japan with new additions.

So, in case you’re taking part in this model for the primary time, there might be new content material for you. However there’s no content material in right here that’s unique to this remaster.

What’s Good?

Essentially, regardless of the issues (which we’ll get onto quickly) that is nonetheless Tales of Symphonia. It’s an absolute masterpiece and one of many most interesting JRPGs of all time. Not solely that, that is the primary time it’s formally arrived in handheld format, and it lends itself very properly to this.

For people who by no means had an opportunity to play the PS2 model, and that’s everybody who doesn’t dwell in Japan or owned the PS3 or PC remasters, will get to expertise model new content material. That features a HD model of the sport.

What’s Dangerous?

Okay, so this isn’t an exaggeration: that is the worst model of Tales of Symphonia that at the moment exists. For a begin, it’s 30 fps, which is half the body charge of the GameCube unique – and that’s when it hits the cap. It repeatedly options stuttering and body charge drops.

It’s so unhealthy, actually, that when sure particle results are on the display, the sport slows to a crawl. This occurs in lots of areas of the sport and, maybe most irritatingly, at any time when you’ve gotten Colette within the celebration. At finest it’s distracting, and at worst it could possibly actually hurt the expertise.

It’s additionally the ugliest model of the sport. That is subjective, in fact, however when evaluating to the PC model – which I performed on Steam Deck – this model pales compared. The AI upscaling appears to simply apply a very ugly sharpening impact to every thing, which, for my part, is much less visually interesting than the unique visuals upscaled in HD.

It additionally appears to be lacking the cel-shaded impact from the unique, which gave the visuals a pleasant cartoony look. In case you look actually carefully, a really faint gray define is utilized to the characters, nevertheless it’s far much less efficient than the daring black define of the unique. Curiously, this impact is utilized once in a while – notably on weapons and different objects.

The colors are additionally extremely washed out. Fortuitously, in case you personal an OLED Change you possibly can pop on ‘Vivid’ mode to mitigate this. Additionally, that is the one Change recreation that I’ve ever needed to flip off ‘automated brightness’ so I can see elements of the display. It’s actually darkish in locations.

Maybe the largest grievance although are the myriad lacking visible options. The screen-shattering impact while you enter battle within the unique is totally lacking, changed with a white display. Additionally, everytime you open a menu or watch a skit, reasonably than see a clear view of the gameplay display behind, it’s simply a completely black display.

Neither of those are game-breaking, however additionally they weren’t an issue within the unique model, now nearly 20 years outdated at this level. Additionally, what’s game-breaking is the lacking dialogue in quite a few scenes. That truly will get in the best way of story and character improvement.

Lastly, there are terribly lengthy loading screens between battle, transferring between new areas on the map, and launching and shutting skits. Mainly, any time there’s a loading display, it takes extremely lengthy.

Tales of Symphonia Remastered Assessment: Verdict

Whenever you take a look at the variety of paragraphs in good in comparison with unhealthy, it’s not trying good, is it? Properly, you in all probability discovered that from the very fact our solely actual optimistic was that it’s nonetheless Tales of Symphonia.

However, that’s the one actual upside of this remaster. It’s objectively the worst model of the sport. At finest, it’s an terrible port. At worst, it’s a damaged mess. It runs poorly, it’s lacking a ton of options, and it’s the ugliest model of the sport. What kind of remaster is uglier than the unique?

I can solely advocate this model if, like me, you wish to replay Tales of Symphonia on a handheld and also you don’t personal a Steam Deck. If this isn’t you, keep away from this – not less than till a promised patch fixes the sport.

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