Archive for the ‘PS3’ Category
- Destiny Limited Edition Glacier White PS4 Bundle, available on September 9 for $449.99 MSRP, includes a 500GB white PS4 chassis, Activision and Bungie's Destiny and a 30-day memberships to PlayStation®Plus.
- Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes PlayStation®3 12GB bundle, available this Fall for $249 (SRP), includes PlayStation®3 System 12GB, DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes for PlayStation®3 Avengers-Themed Play Set, Two Power Discs, Infinity Base, Thor Figurine, Iron Man Figurine, Black Widow Figurine.
- PlayStation TV bundle will be available this Fall for $139 (SRP), and includes a DUALSHOCK 3, an 8GB memory card, an HDMI cable, and a digital voucher for Lego: The Movie.
Developer: Namco Tales Studio
Players: Symphonia 1-4, Dawn of the New World 1-2
Console: PlayStation 3
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Launch Price: $39.99 (both games on a physical disc) or $19.99 (each on the PSN store)
Progress: 9 hours of playtime in Symphonia, 6 hours of playtime in Dawn of the New World (Previously beat both original GameCube and Wii versions)
Namco Bandai have recently been showing a lot of love to their North American fan base and the new Tales of Symphonia Chronicles release on the PlayStation 3 is a great example of that. The release includes both Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World for $39.99 on a single disc. These games are also offered individually on the PSN for $19.99 each. There is also a Collector’s Edition for $99.99 (whose features I discuss later) though I am not sure if much stock for it is still available.
When you first start up the game you are taken to a screen where you can access either of the included games. The first time playing either will require an install on your system. It took me roughly 10 minutes total to install both games.
This game is an HD collection of the two older Tales games included, which originally came out in 2003 and 2008 respectively. The Symphonia included here is a remake of the PlayStation 2 version (not the GameCube version) and Dawn of the New World (DotNW) is a remake of the Wii version. The one problem this brings is that the PS2 version of Symphonia ran at only 30 fps instead of the 60 fps on the GameCube. This is definitely noticeable when playing the game, especially for someone like me who was used to the GameCube version. If you haven’t played either of the originals it wouldn’t be too obvious, but to people more attuned to noticing things like that it could be picked up on fairly easily. Some portions of the game are affected by this FPS difference in minor ways, but nothing too major to note.
Even with the HD improvements the age of the graphics still shows through. The most notable improvements come from the anime cut scenes that look even more gorgeous than they did on their original lower-resolution systems. The character models have also been spruced up slightly and look more defined. Other than that I could not notice much difference between the HD remaster and the originals. One qualm I do have is that in Symphonia the monster models on the world map are still the black blobs from the original, it would have been nice to see them turn into full-fledged enemy models even though it doesn’t really affect gameplay.
Comparing the two games, DotNW definitely has better graphics and better technical gameplay in terms of the combat. Both are still extremely fun, but understandably DotNW had five years and new console hardware to use to improve on things. The story remains stronger in Symphonia though, as there are more characters to get to know and the plot is more weighty and exciting than that of DotNW. One thing that does stand out is that in both games your party has four characters. In Symphonia this means that four people can play the game together and each control a separate character, but in DotNW two of the four slots are taken up by monsters (which you collect and add who do add a fairly fun collecting and leveling up/class changing mechanic to the mix) leaving only 2 spots for actual players as monsters cannot be directly controlled. Both games are still naturally really fun and have fantastic gameplay in spite of their combat system differences.
The main attraction of the Tales Of series of games is its Action RPG style of gameplay. It is very role-playing heavy, but the combat is very action oriented in that buttons are set to do certain moves instantly and you control the character directly during battle. Defending yourself, dodging, attacking, casting spells, using items, etc. feel very natural and controlling the characters is easy and intuitive to learn but can be hard to master. Another good aspect is that you have multiple characters to pick from and use in battle and are not limited to only using the main person (though most times they are the most natural-feeling characters).
The music of the series, and of these two games in general, is absolutely fantastic. These aural masterpieces are great to listen to in and out of the game. The game also does a great job of cycling through different pieces so I rarely found that I was growing tired of the music during gameplay. Along with the music comes great sound effects, and though they aren’t completely needed in the games they add a nice touch to them.
If I compare this game to newer entries in the Tales series such as Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2 the most noticeable differences are that the newer ones have better graphics and a much more advanced combat system. Having said that, Tales of Symphonia and DotNW definitely stand the test of time, especially Symphonia whose story still stands among the best of the entire Tales series.
So, should you pick up this game or not? If you’re an avid fan of the Tales series and have never played these games before I would 100% recommend buying this new HD collection. If you’re a newcomer to the series this is definitely a great game to get started on and the fact that you get two games for only $39.99 is a real boon. Even if you are a fan who has played these games before, if you feel like playing them again and seeing Lloyd and gang in higher definition and on a new console I’d definitely say to look into picking it up too. If you’re hesitant, you could always try out one of them on PSN, see if you like it, then invest in the other if your interest was piqued.
In addition to the games themselves the Collector’s Edition has a lot extra to offer the more dedicated Tales Of gamers. It all comes in one big box that has some great artwork on the side of it. Inside you’ll find the game in a regular case, an empty steel book case which you can place your game into, an art book (which contains a code for a free PS3 theme), a novella of the “Tales of Symphonia Successors of Hope” story, a 4-disc soundtrack with a total of 98 songs from both games, and 4 little chibi figurines of game characters (Lloyd, Collete, Emil, and Marta with Tenebrae). This is a pretty worthwhile Collector’s edition if you love these games, and everything included is of particularly high quality and well packaged.
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