hendersonman's Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (Wii) review

ToS: DATNW: A Good RPG for a system that lacks them.

I was riding high on the wings of Tales of Vesperia back in the summer. An exception RPG on the 360.  I had heard about this game, but never seen it in my local stores, in fact did not even know it was out until February.

So when I found it at my Best Buy I snagged it. $40 brand new for an RPG. I was a little nervous, this game had no hype, no advertising, and I was buying it at a discount price.

Lets just say I was very surprised.

I may have never given this game a chance if my 360 was not in Texas on vacation with the RROD.

You play as Emil. Who starts out as the most whiny, unlikable protagonist I have ever played in an RPG. Your parents are dead, killed by the great Hero Lloyd, who is the main hero from the Orginal Tales of Symphonia on the Game Cube. You are forced to live with your Aunt and Uncle who seem to hate you, the entire town dislikes you because of your race, and worse, the town worships Lloyd.

Soon you run into a man named Richter who takes you wth him to explore a cave, to find a missing girl, Marta; the other hero in this story. Leading to an adventure spanning several contienents, and an even bigger cast of characters.

You run into every single character from the gamecube game here, each joining and leaving your party as they see fit. Something most RPGs rarely do anymore, and one of the reasons I think I enjoy this game. However its not only just you and Marta, but you also collect monsters to help you out. But this is one of the games problems. I never felt I understood how to make a pact. It was complicated, and I basically only used the same few powered up monsters I had throughout the game. And I rarely used them if I had more "Real" characters. But if you took the time to learn the pact system, you would find a shallow monster hunting game. A simplified Pokemon, if you will.

The story was excellent, there was very few parts that made me feel bored. I wanted to know why the hero from the last game was evil, would Emil succumb to Marta's constant flirtation, would Emil stop becoming a whiny bitch.

There is also the Skit system fom the Tales series, where you occasional have the option to view these scenes done with character portraits, they are key to learning a lot of the back story of the characters. And the games humor really shines here.

The combat was fun, you play each battle in a small arena area, fighitng off the monsters with clicks of the A button for normal attacks, and analog stick direction + B button for special Aretes. he combat my be repeative, but its addicitive and fun. And suprising deep for only usig 2 buttons for attacks.

You level up, acquiring new artes, skills, and stats. Your standard RPG flare. You are also offered side quest whenyou see a member of the KATZ clan. They can be anything from exploring a dungeon, fighting a tough monster, or saving a group of lost adventures. Each rewards you a special item. You can sell these items or synthesize new items from them.

These do seem to get old after awhile. You traverse the same dungeons over and over, fighting more powerful monsters, but they are almost key to leveling your character. And when you face off against some of the bosses, you will need all the EXP you can handle.

The real gripe about this game is, for a modern rpg, and a sequel to a 50+ hour game, its relatively short. I finished it within 33 hours, and I did a lot of the Katz missions. But there is no overworld to travel along so to speak (think Chrono Trigger). And the story stays good all the way, making it feel more solid.

I highly recomend this game if you are a fan of the series, or looking for a good RPG on the wii.

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