Tales of Symphonia | GameCube Retro Video Review

Tales of Symphonia is a classic video game that has captured the hearts of players for generations. First released in Japan in 2003 for the Nintendo GameCube console, this game stands out to this day for its engaging gameplay, diverse characters, and captivating story. Considered by many to be one of the best examples of the role-playing game genre, Tales of Symphonia has long been heralded as a must-play for those who enjoy video games.

The graphics of Tales of Symphonia are particularly noteworthy, given that the game was released nearly twenty years ago. Even by today’s standards, the game’s graphics and character design hold up incredibly well, making it a game that is just as enjoyable to play now as it was when it was first released.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the game’s most significant aspects, including gameplay, story, graphics and sound design, replayability, and difficulty. With this review, we hope to help both new and experienced players to better understand what makes Tales of Symphonia so memorable and enjoyable, and encourage those who have never played the game before to check it out for themselves.

Tales of Symphonia – Gameplay Overview and Analysis

Tales of Symphonia, released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2003, is widely regarded as a classic within the action role-playing game genre. As with any RPG, the gameplay is a key component of the overall experience.

In Tales of Symphonia, players control a single character in a party of up to four. The game’s real-time battle system is one of its most defining features. Battles take place on a 2D plane, with enemies appearing in the center and the player’s party on either side.

The battle system is known for its complexity and depth. Players must choose which actions to take in real-time, with the ability to swap between party members on the fly. With a variety of melee and ranged attacks, magic spells, and special moves, combat is always engaging.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Tales of Symphonia’s gameplay is its party customization. Players are free to construct their party with any combination of characters they choose, each with their unique skill sets and abilities. This leads to a great variance of play styles and tactics, as players can tailor their party to their individual preferences.

Compared to other games of its generation, Tales of Symphonia’s gameplay holds up remarkably well. The battle system remains engaging to this day, and it’s clear that the developers put a great deal of effort into creating a comprehensive RPG experience.

Overall, we score the gameplay of Tales of Symphonia an 8 out of 10. Its complex and deep real-time battle system, along with the freedom of party customization, makes it a standout RPG that remains as fun to play as ever.


Tales of Symphonia’s plot takes place in the world of Sylvarant. The game centers on the journey of Lloyd Irving and his friends in their quest to save the world. The game’s story is impressive and unique, with a complex plot that gradually unravels as the game progresses.

The story in the game is well-written and expertly executed. It has numerous twists and turns that engage players throughout the entire journey. As the player progresses through the game, they’ll encounter plenty of sub-stories that help to flesh out the overall narrative.

One of the game’s strengths is its focus on character development. Tales of Symphonia’s characters are incredibly diverse and well-rounded. They have unique personalities and they all come to the table with deep, meaningful backstories that add to the game’s narrative.

The world-building in Tales of Symphonia is pristine. The different locations all feel genuine, and the factions and peoples are all well-developed. There are plenty of secrets to uncover throughout the world, and the game’s story ties everything together in a satisfying way.

Overall, Tales of Symphonia’s story stands the test of time. The game continues to be praised for it and sets an excellent example for how to craft a great narrative in a game. Score: 9/10.

Graphics and Sound Design

Tales of Symphonia was first released on the GameCube in 2003. Despite being a game that is almost two decades old, the graphics still hold up remarkably well. The characters look polished and well designed, and the environments are expansive and charmingly detailed. In addition, the game has a unique 2D/3D style that allows for different camera angles, making the world feel immersive and alive.

However, while the graphics may have aged well, the same can’t be said for the sound design. The background music is typical of RPG games of the era, but it has its moments of brilliance. Some tracks are beautifully orchestrated and will keep you engaged and entranced throughout the game, while others can be repetitive and stale.

When compared to other games of its generation, Tales of Symphonia’s visuals still hold up. That being said, other games like “Final Fantasy X” and “Kingdom Hearts” had more advanced graphics and better sound design, which is something that can’t be ignored.

Overall, Tales of Symphonia’s graphics are impressive and charming, while the sound design could have been better. We give Tales of Symphonia’s graphics and sound design an 8 out of 10.

Replayability and Difficulty

Tales of Symphonia is the kind of game that is designed to keep players coming back for more. The story changes based on your choices, and multiple endings provide further incentive to replay the game. With side quests, hidden items, and Easter eggs to collect, there is no shortage of things to do in this game.

In terms of difficulty, Tales of Symphonia is challenging while still being accessible to players of all skill levels. If you find the game too easy, try adjusting the difficulty level for a more significant challenge. The boss battles are particularly challenging, requiring careful resource management and strategic planning.

Compared to other games of its generation, Tales of Symphonia’s replayability and difficulty hold up surprisingly well. Like other classic adventure RPGs, it has a high level of replay value. Even after dozens of hours spent playing the game, there are always new discoveries to be made and secrets to uncover.

Overall, I would give Tales of Symphonia a solid 9/10 for replayability and difficulty. Whether you’re a fan of the RPG genre or just looking for a compelling game with great storytelling and gameplay, Tales of Symphonia is an absolute must-play.


In conclusion, Tales of Symphonia remains a classic in the role-playing game genre. Its engaging story, strategic battle system, and memorable characters have kept fans coming back for years. As we have discussed, there are plenty of reasons why Tales of Symphonia stands out among other GameCube games of the time.

The game’s narrative, world-building, sound design, and graphics have held up remarkably well in the years since its release. While the game’s difficulty can be challenging, the replayability factor alone makes it worth experiencing multiple times.

Overall, we highly recommend Tales of Symphonia to anyone looking for a great single-player RPG experience. Our final score for Tales of Symphonia is an impressive 8.5 out of 10. For fans of the genre or anyone looking to take a nostalgic trip back to the early 2000s, Tales of Symphonia is a game that should not be missed.


1. Is Tales of Symphonia worth playing?

Yes, Tales of Symphonia is considered a classic RPG that is definitely worth playing.

2. How does Tales of Symphonia’s battle system work?

The battle system in Tales of Symphonia is real-time and emphasizes combo attacks and party coordination.

3. What is the difficulty level of Tales of Symphonia?

The game offers multiple difficulty levels, ranging from “Easy” to “Unknown,” making it accessible to different playstyles.

4. How does Tales of Symphonia’s story hold up today?

Tales of Symphonia’s story is still engaging and holds up well today, even with its age.

5. Can you play Tales of Symphonia more than once?

Yes, with different party customization options, multiple endings, and user-generated content, Tales of Symphonia offers a high replay value.

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