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Posts Tagged ‘Tales of Symphonia’

108 Hours In, Taking A Break

Posted by Doug on November 3, 2008

In anticipation of the North American release of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World for the Wii on November 11th, I have been playing through the original Tales of Symphonia for virtually every waking moment for the last couple days. Currently, I have 108 hours invested in this game; I am currently on my second playthrough, ready to head to Mithos’ Castle for the grand finale. I should be able to  kick Mithos Yggdrasil’s whiny butt with ease: my lowest-level character is Colette, and she is level 148. But I rarely use Colette.

Tales of Symphonia

My A-team is Presea (level 150), Sheena (level 154), Lloyd (level 156), and Raine (level 152), not because I think they are a particularly optimal team (I really should have Genis for the spellcasting and Zelos for the backup healing ability instead of Sheena and Presea), but because I like their characters, and their ridiculously high level means I can afford to be suboptimal.

Lloyd I like because dual-wielding is just inherently cool.  Presea is cool because a little girl with a big axe just makes me laugh.  Raine…well, it’s the whole meganekko schoolteacher thing.  And Sheena is just awesome.

My goal right now is to build up my Grade, so on my next playthrough, I can buy up all the special abilities to make a third playthrough.  I figure I need to have about 6600 Grade to get everything worth getting, or about 5600 if I don’t worry about carrying over my learned techs.  I had about 3800 Grade after my first playthrough—and I have learned that if I set everyone’s control type to Auto (in the Tech menu), I earn about 1 extra point of grade from every battle, because the computer controls are much more efficient than I am.  Hmmm…

In any case, if I can average 2 points of Grade per battle (easy), and fight 5 battles a minute (not that hard), for 10 Grade per minute, I will have my goal accomplished in about eight or nine hours.  I’ll just turn on my iPod, catch up on some podcasts I subscribe to, and fight a couple thousand battles.  Easily doable in a day, but not today: I’m taking me a little break from Lloyd & Company.

And I totally need a proper video capture device.  Taking screencaps with a digital camera just isn’t working.

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Revisiting Sylvarant and Tethe’alla…and Spira

Posted by Doug on October 30, 2008

With a sequel on the horizon, I decided to play through Tales of Symphonia on the ol’ GameCube a few times.  This is a game that surprised me—as a diehard Final Fantasy fan, i believed no other series could deliver the RPG goodness like Squenix’s flagship series could.  And I was wrong.

Tales of Symphonia shares a lot in common with Final Fantasy X, which was released a couple years before.  In both, a girl (Colette/Yuna) goes on a quest to save the world according to the beliefs ingrained by the local religious organizations (Church of Martel/Yevon), a task that would result in her death.  Both are accompanied by a badass swordsman (Kratos/Auron) and an older-sister type (Raine/Lulu).  Both are romantically entangled with the male lead (Lloyd/Tidus).  The male lead’s sidekick carries a goofy weapon (Genis and his kodama/Wakka and his blitzballs).  In both, they are eventually joined by a roguish young woman who is considerably cooler than anybody else, and hails from a distinctive culture (Sheena/Rikku).  In both, the heroes decide not to go through with the false path that had been presented to them, and instead kick reason to the curb and do the impossible, and save the world(s) and the girl, too.

Opposing religious dogma is a theme in both; indeed, had the heroes followed the instructions their priests and pastors had given them, Colette and Yuna would be dead and their worlds would still fight for a limited supply of mana/be harassed by a gigantic sea-monster suck.  There might be a moral there, but, really, who plays video games for their morals?

The cel-shaded look and more likeable characters really made Tales of Symphonia stand out to me, and I’m having a blast replaying it, and looking forward to Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World to come stateside.

Another similarity: both games have a direct sequel that picks up two years after the finale of the first game.  Hmmm…

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