It’s been nearly 20 years since Tales of Symphonia was released on the Nintendo GameCube in Japan and North America. 20 years later, Bandai Namco has brought the game to modern consoles in Tales of Symphonia Remastered.
Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox, let’s take a look if this RPG-Adventure is as memorable as it was almost two decades ago.
Tales of Symphonia Remastered Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment
Mode(s): Single player
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
An old game that still feels old
Bandai Namco set expectations the moment they announced Tales of Symphonia Remastered. This was not a remake, would not include the DLC, and was simply released to get it on modern consoles. When you first load into the game, you’d be forgiven if you asked, “So what has changed?”. That was my first impression, and after about 45 hours, I’m not sure a lot has changed.
The game is based on the PS3 release of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles from 2013. And, not a lot has changed from 2003. In 2013, character customization, chained cooperative attacks, and a few other minor changes were added to the game. But nothing else. What you saw in 2013 is what you get in 2023, with perhaps a few improved character models and almost unnoticeable environmental visuals.
Still an epic tale
Regardless of how the game looks, it is still one of the best Tales of stories ever created, and one of the better video game stories I’ve ever played. You will play as Loyd Irving, who goes on a quest with his best friend Genis, his teacher Raine, his friend Collette, and others to regenerate the world. Colette, as the Chosen One of Martel, completes the journey of regeneration by finding the various seals and unlocking them.
Each step along the way gives Collete one of her angelic qualities, until she fully becomes an angel and can save the world. It’s a cliché story to be fair, but the twists and turns keep it feeling fresh and new as each hour passes.
The English voice acting for the characters has been lifted from the original it would seem, and the audio quality is not what it should be. Still, for those who played the original, the voice of Loyd Irving and his friends is as iconic as ever. While improved voice acting would have been a major plus, I’m not shocked to see it omitted.
The rest of the game sounds great, and even though it’s from 2003 and hasn’t seen any major graphical updates, the visuals still hold up. The environments are bright and detailed, and character models – which have been improved – pop really nicely on screen.
Where it falls flat
A few years ago, the previously Xbox 360 exclusive Tales of Vesperia was released on the Nintendo Switch, and that game ran fantastically. There were very few issues to be found throughout that 75 hour campaign, and it’s still one of my favourite on-the-go Nintendo Switch experiences.
I assumed a game released before Vesperia, and on a native Nintendo console, would run at least as well. I was mistaken. The Nintendo Switch version of the game is bogged down by poor framerate. And, on top of that, audio often doesn’t match the video. The issues are not just here and there either. During the first few hours of the game, it was frequent enough for me to step away for a bit after trying to walk through a sand storm.
A patch in the future would probably help fix this issue, but it is worth noting that everything isn’t fantastic in this remaster. I did find the issues less prevalent when playing in handheld mode, so perhaps that is the way to go, at least until this is patched. When looking at similar footage from the Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game, however, it is revealed that this seems to be a Nintendo Switch specific issue.
More Tales of in the future?
Even with the issues, I still really enjoyed my time with Tales of Symphonia Remastered. While the story isn’t as fresh as I’ve played before, it was still no-less enjoyable. If you can work past the game’s various issues, and hold out for a patch, this is a fantastic way to enjoy an older title again.
+ Fantastic story is still strong today
+ Ability to relive a GameCube classic
– Not much has changed
– Poor framerate and performance issues
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF TALES OF SYMPHONIA REMASTERED
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating 3.6/5 (72%)
Purchase Tales of Symphonia Remastered on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One
Click here to see the full line of video game software available at Bestbuy.ca
Click here to see digital video game downloads offered at BestBuy.ca