Tales of Symphonia Remastered Review

Game: Tales of Symphonia Remastered
Genre: RPG
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PS4 & Xbox One)
Developers | Publishers: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Age Rating: US T | EU 12+
Price: US $ TBD | UK £35.99 | EU € 39,99
Release Date: February 17th, 2023

Review code used, with many thanks to BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment.

Tales of Symphonia is an action RPG and one of the most critically-acclaimed titles in the Tales series. Initially developed by Namco Tales Studio for the Nintendo GameCube and later ported to the PS2, PS3, and PC, Tales of Symphonia is the fifth game in the long-running Tales series of JRPGs.

Now it’s been given the HD remastered treatment and is released on the Nintendo Switch. I played Tales of Symphonia nearly 20 years ago when it was first released on the Gamecube. Oh boy, that does make me feel old… anyway, moving swiftly on!

The World of Sylvarant

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The story takes place in Sylvarant, a world in danger of extinction due to the exploitation of mana. The mana was exploited by an evil group thought to be sealed away by the hero Mithos 4,000 years ago.

The game follows the adventures of Colette and her sidekick Lloyd Irving, a brave and daring swordsman. Lloyd is childhood friends with Colette, who also happens to be The Chosen, a saviour who will one day bring prosperity and fortune to the declining world of Sylvarant.

Danger AheadTales of Symphonia LadiesGamers

Unfortunately, the world of Sylvarant is currently in a state of fear due to Desians. The Desians are oppressing and enslaving humans in Desian-operated ranches.

Since Colette is the Chosen One, it’s her responsibility to regenerate the world. However, on the day Colette leaves on her journey, Lloyd and his best friend, Genis, get into trouble at one of Desians’ ranches. They cause an incident that ends with them being expelled from the village. With nowhere else to go, they join Colette on her quest to save the world.

Visit the Dungeons and More

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Tales of Symphonia features numerous locations: temples, enemy bases, mountain paths, forests, dungeons and more, that are well-paced and of adequate length. Most don’t overstay their welcome and are broken up by dungeons with puzzles, so you never feel like you are traversing a pathway or lost in a maze.

It’s hard to get bored in these areas as beating a dungeon often requires solving a puzzle, such as how to unlock a door or to get to a particular part of the dungeon room. Though the puzzles aren’t practically tricky, most are fun. Many hidden chests are available, but it’s not always apparent how they are obtained.


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Skit: short conversations

The cast is likeable and empathetic. The story is enjoyable and, at times, amusing; I especially appreciated the innocent, heartwarming moments. The story touches on some heavy subjects, such as slavery and racism, with plenty of plot twists, surprise villains, and revelations to keep Tales of Symphonia’s story from getting stale.

In addition, you get to know Lloyd and his companions better through unique conversations called Skits. Skits are short conversations between the characters in your party. These skits are not voice-acted, and the characters are shown as little animated images, but they do help to add to the storyline.


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Real time combat

The battle setup in Tales of Symphonia occurs in real-time and, in the usual series style, plays like a turn-based RPG crossed with an action game. During these battle sequences and from a party of four, one party member is controlled by you and the rest by the game’s AI. You can set up parameters for the AI to act before combat, and they stick to the plan more often than not.

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Change the strategy of your party.

In addition, after dealing with a certain amount of damage, you can spring Unison Attacks involving the entire party. The party can use Unison Attacks to interrupt enemy spellcasting and help prevent your party from receiving damage. The Unison Attacks become pretty important during the big boss fights.

EX Gems

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Special moves

It’s all relatively simple but a lot of fun. At the beginning of the game, you don’t need much thought to win in battles. However, later the difficulty ramps up, and a tactical strategy is needed to succeed.

In between battles, you can increase your party skills. Skills work through EX Gems, which allow you to equip abilities. It’s standard stuff we have seen before, but it all works.

Visuals and Controls

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Crisper graphic’s

The remastered Tales of Symphonia has sharper and crisper in-game visuals compared to the earlier Tales game. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as sharp in the images in this review, but on the OLED Nintendo Switch screen, they are much improved. They look good, and the environments and characters have also been given a lick of polish.

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Yep, that looks exactly like Lloyd, Not!

The development team have already announced that the game runs at 30 FPS instead of 60 FPS. During gameplay on the Nintendo Switch, I noticed a few occasional frame rate shudders during battles. However, it’s not game-breaking and didn’t interfere with my playthrough.

The cutscenes are voice acted in English and, for the most part, sound good. The music accompanying your journey is standard for JRPGs and has a few catchy melodies.

For me, the world map is a disappointment. Its primitive design has enemies appearing as generic blobs that pop up a few feet away, and it really shows its age. But then I must remember this is a remastered version of an old game, and that was the graphics of the day.

The controls work well and feel intuitive, especially during battles on the Switch.

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Oh, who is this nameless baddy?


The thing that stands out for me the most about Tales of Symphonia Remastered, though, is that underneath the remaster is the construction of its original game. It shows in the animation choices, art direction, combat and stage design.

The Tales games were intelligently made and genuinely interested in telling a fun story and providing a good time. Helped along by a great cast of characters, a reasonably well-written plot, and a fairly addicting combat system. Tales of Symphonia Remastered offers up a generous portion of an earlier generation’s take on the JRPG genre for first-time visitors to the series.

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot   I like it a lot


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