GAMES - Review
10:00 - 8th June 2014, by Matt Kamen

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles

The original Tales of Symphonia remains a highlight of the GameCube's catalogue, a deep and engaging RPG with intriguing characters on a classic quest to restore the world. Its sequel, Dawn of the New World, was equally important for the Wii, with a slightly more philosophical take exploring the nature of heroism. However, both are tricky to acquire nowadays, and were produced for standard definition, making this high-def collection very welcome.

However, compared to the more recent Tales of Graces f or Xillia, both of these titles show their age. For Symphonia, the bulk of the visual restoration work has gone into towns, with its overworld still comparatively plain. True to series fashion, enemies are on screen before combat but, as in the GameCube version, represented by indistinct grey-black blobs. New World looks better overall, but being five years younger it already had a technological edge. Given its Wii origins, New World also gets the most radical overhaul of controls, but playing on the PS3 controller feels natural.
It's the inclusion of Japanese language dialogue and songs that provides the biggest delight though, providing a new experience for returning players and a welcome choice for newcomers. Overall, a solid and eminently enjoyable collection.

While we'd have liked to see a more thorough remastering, with sharper textures and a more detailed overworld for Symphonia especially, the simple fact that two of the finest J-RPGs ever crafted are available and playable again is worth celebrating.
SCORE: 4/5
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