Tales of Symphonia 2, a fail of a sequel.

It's Bob again with my second last post here until further notice. This is going to be a very hateful post, I warn you. The reason for such is that Fory wanted be to do a post about a game I really disliked. Now I dislike few games, but TOS2 as I'll call it, is, in many people's opinions, an utter disgrace to the tales series. Now, you could bring up Tales of The World, but that doesn't count. This is the sequel to the original TOS, which was an amazing game, yet for some reason, Namco screwed us all. Onto the hating.

Story/characters- This is what all good RPGs have; a good story, and deep or realistic characters. TOS2 screws that in the face. First off, your character is a wimp, and I don't use that word lightly. Here's an example of your character, Emil's pitifulness.
Marta: (The other protagonist.) I love you Emil~ Swoon~
Emil: I..I'm sorry... *Cries.*
Yes, this almost happened. Now another thing, in the original, it was a fairly light game with a bit of racism toward the in-game people by the other people in-game. TOS2 however, starts off by the original protagonist sacking a town and burning it, not to mention a heavy amount of discrimination between the two warring groups. Now all of a sudden it's a dark game. Way to go Namco. The plot is just...sad, and most people predicted what was going to happen before the characters did, myself included. Another thing is that the only good line in the whole game was: "You *$&%@!" Yup. And despite all the new characters I only liked two, Decus, and Alice, because Emil's pathetic and Marta wants to talk to her father who tried to get her executed. I give it a...3/10

Gameplay-Well, the original Symphonia battle system has seen some tweaks from Abyss, namely the free run and mystic artes, while keeping the unison attack gauge. if you didn't understand what I just said, here's a rundown: You fight on a 3D plane, locked onto an enemy in 2D. By pressing Z you can break the 2D plane and move anywhere. You attack, use specials and unison attacks to destroy your enemy. In Dawn of the New World though, the game seems to lack a certain element of strategy. While in previous games you had to use a little strategy to block and defend, here it degrades into a button masher, where you just press the attack button a lot, and use mystic artes whenever the gauge is full. It feels a little more mindless here than in other games. Speaking of which, the meter fills up too fast. It's not unusual to get a Mystic Arte every battle, which is overkill. Yup. I never had any problem expect for one boss who was nigh invincible.
A noticeable change in gameplay is the forming of pacts between monsters. After you defeat your opponents and meet certain requirements, you can make a pact with a monster and have it join you. A bit like Shin Megami Tensei's games in fact... All in all, the battle system actually got worse. I'll give it a 4/10 just because I found it bearable.

Graphics-Going from a soft, decent cel-shading to a realistic style just screams agony. What were once colorful and easy on the eyes levels are now dreadfully lifeless. The most obvious change is the lack of color. Where did it all go? We have muted colors everywhere, and brown and gray dominate the color spectrum. The game takes on a much darker tone, and loses a lot of it's charm. There are a couple cool effects, but most of it borders on boring.
If there's anything good here, it's the animation, which is top notch. It's obvious motion capture was used here, and it's used to great effect. Now if only the rest of the game was up to par...
The lack of color leaves a muted, barren wasteland for your eyes to see. Grrreat. I cringe when I just think about the graphics...

Audio- The sounds are awful and cringe-inducing. And Namco screwed the voice acting. The voice acting is all over the place. Most of the cast has been re-dubbed, which is both good and bad. Some, like Colette, have the same voice actor and still sound great. Most of the cast changes still sound very good, such as Regal, Genis and Raine. Some voice actor changes leave me wanting the original guys, like Zelos and Sheena. Then there's Lloyd, who sounds nothing like Scott Menville and nothing like the character. Shame on you, Namco. 3/10

Overall- 3/10 My final opinion, and this is the only way I can put it, so please forgive me Fory, is this; Namco @#$%ed what could have been a great sequel, and made me lose my faith in them. I'm more sad than angry that such great potential was wasted... Well, tomorrow me and Fory are doing a co-op post about A legend of Zelda game. Ahh, sweet nostalgia...

Posted by Utopiasaur | at 8:24 PM

2 Guys talking about me:

Forten042 said...

From the pic I posted graphics don't look too bad. 'Cept, yeah, the background.
Lol, It looks like he is just standing in front of and Art piece with random blotches of green, brown, and grey.

Sean Joudry said...

"I'm more sad than angry that such great potential was wasted."

This is how I feel about every Harvest Moon game since the GBA's 'Friends of Mineral Town'.

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