Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is a HD port of one of the most beloved games in the series that originally graced the Nintendo Gamecube system: Tales of Symphonia. The other Symphonia title, Dawn of the New World is included as well but did not fare as good as its predecessor in terms of market reception amongst series’ fans. This time around, the game features extra artwork, character outfits and the inclusion of dual audio giving you the option of enjoying the game in either the English or Japanese audio.
The story follows Lloyd Irving and his childhood friend, Colette Brunel on a journey to fight for their survival by replenishing Sylvarent with mana energy. Alongside fellow guardians, Raine and Kratos, they meet an assassin named Sheena from a parallel world who agrees to join their cause in trying to save both of their worlds. As for Dawn of the New World, the plot takes place two years after the events of the first game with characters, Emil and Marta. No further details will be mentioned as that would spoil the game for newcomers and other prospective fans.
Combat in the original game utilizes the Multi-Line Linear Motion Battle System. As you attack and engage your enemies, your actions gradually fill up a gauge known as a “Unison” gauge that allow you to unleash simultaneous team attacks on a single enemy. In typical fashion, the other party members will be A.I. controlled and act accordingly to strategic tactics that are assigned to them. In Dawn of the New World, battles revolve around the Flex Range Element Enhanced Linear Motion Battle System. An elemental grid comprises the key feature of this system that is used to allocate elemental attributes to the battlefield that impacts the power and destructive force of your party’s attacks. For both Symphonia and Dawn of the New World, a grade is assigned after each battle with rewards given based on criteria and performance.
During your adventures, you can trigger skit events with your party members that allow you to get to know them better when you converse with them as a group or speak to a party member privately. Though there are serious moments, many of them are lighthearted and comical and adds a nice touch to the pace of the game. Visually, the cel-shaded art in Symphonia and Dawn of the New World look great in HD as Namco Bandai made great efforts to make the game look as graphically pleasing as possible. The soundtrack is a fitting accompaniment to the game that many fans will remember and love.
Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is a worthy addition to every JRPG fan’s library even if they have owned and completed the original game a decade ago. While Dawn of the New World doesn’t hold a candle to the original Symphonia title, it is a bonus added onto what is one of the best Tales games in the history of the series. To be able to play Tales of Symphonia again on the PS3 as an HD remastered game is alone worth the price of admission and more.
PROS – Intricate characters, Comical dialogue, HD visuals
CONS – Dawn of the New World is mediocre compared to its predecessor
SCORE – 84%