If Cartoon Network can’t satiate your desire for full 3D anime, then you’d better pick up a copy of Namco’s “Tales of Symphonia,” released this July for Nintendo GameCube.
In typical role-playing game (RPG) fashion, “Tales of Symphonia” (TOS) starts with a basic premise but grows into an addicting and unpredictable plot.
“TOS” ranges from ironically silly to outright slapstick with some sad and sentimental moments.
The most noticeable aspect of this game is its opening scene utilizing cell-shading graphics, which add a movie-like feel.
Unfortunately, there are only two or three such scenes in the entire game. Otherwise, graphics are average. The colors look watered-down and the shading is weak.
The controls are difficult to get used to at first, so button-mashing is the best strategy at first.
Another notable feature is the four-player feature, which is drawn back by the camera’s annoying habit of only focusing on the main character.
Overall, the camera and the mini-games were the most irritating features. Most mini-games were pointless and simple, but luckily there is no real incentive to play them.
Light-hearted humor keeps things interesting along with odd, little quirks that pop up in the strangest places. Random cut scenes keep gameplay from getting monotonous and help guide the player through the plot.
With a broad range of features, challenging game play and a wildly twisting plot, “Tales of Symphonia” is a delightful electronic diversion that is well worth the price of a player’s soul.