The remaster of Tales of Symphonia is a good game, even if not much has changed from the original.
Fans of the long-running Tales series were excited when it was announced that the fifth entry in the series, Tales of Symphonia, would be receiving a remastered port for the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One that released just last week. Considering the original game released for the Nintendo GameCube all the way back in 2004, it was an update that was certainly a long time coming.
Tales of Symphonia, for those not familiar, is set in the world of Sylvarant and follows the young swordsman Lloyd Irving and his friends as they travel across the land in an attempt to restore the flow of mana and save the world. As in other RPG games similar to this type, you eventually control a large party of characters, as you travel across the land to reach the goal.
With the original game being just about twenty years old, I was prepared for a huge visual upgrade of the kind that I’ve seen before when an older game gets upgraded to a newer console, kind of like the upgrade Pokemon Diamond and Pearl received when they were upgraded to the Nintendo Switch. Imagine my surprise then, when I looked up the GameCube gameplay of Tales of Symphonia for comparison only to find that….it’s not really changed all that much. To be sure, the character models are much more crisply rendered, and the menu designs look slightly different, understandable considering I was playing on a PS4 instead of a GameCube, but other than that, the gameplay looked identical to what I’d experienced.
This isn’t to say that Tales of Symphonia Remastered is a bad experience. Far from it in fact. Releasing the game to more modern consoles allows gamers like me who missed out on this game the first time to experience it and have fun with it. The game is absolutely beautiful and very easy to get into, so there’s no real hurdle if you’ve never played a Tales game before. It’s just, with “Remastered” in the title, I went in expecting something more. It’s almost like they would’ve been better off just announcing this as a straightforward port for the 8th generation of consoles.
Aside from the lack of a visual upgrade, Tales of Symphonia Remastered is a lot of fun to play. As hinted before, this was my proper introduction to a Tales game and I was delighted to find that the game was relatively easy to get into. I can’t speak for the Nintendo Switch or Xbox One versions, but it played very smoothly on the PS4.
If you haven’t played Tales of Symphonia before, then I recommend picking up a copy of Tales of Symphonia Remastered. Even if you have played the game before, feel free to upgrade your copy, but don’t expect to be blown out of the water. This is a beautiful port of the game, but aside from some minor improvements, it’s just that, a port.