Being a spin-off sequel to one of the most popular and legendary games in 'Tales of' history I expected this game to be good. It was supposed to follow the same style of Tales of the Abyss so I assumed we would get all of the Mystic Artes we missed out on and get all the added battle system improvements of Abyss but what I got was a sad excuse for a Tales battle system. The combo system is supposed to be aerial though you don't find yourself in the air much. The added monster capture system was a nice idea but it's too confusing. You don't even get a tutorial on how to do it so you find yourself button mashing when trying to capture and evolve one. Free run is as broken as ever. They fixed it up for other Tales games so why not this one? Collision data in battle sucks. You can't get near the enemy without getting pushed back by the collision data. It's like your kicking, sword slashing and bashing air!
As for the characters, well it's a different story. Emil, the lead male is a sad, soppy and soggy boy that could easily be mistaken for a girl. He even has a high pitched voice! He goes through the game having his angst moments and converting personalities into the Demon Lord every now and then but when he's normal Emil he's afraid to speak up for himself. There is next to no character development because it's always Emil the scared one and Ratatosk (alter ego) the strong one. Marta, the lead female is the most annoying tales girl to date. Tales of has many annoying loli girls but this one just takes the biscuit! Apart from having the most annoying voice actor in the world she has the most pointless character. She yearns for Emil to love and protect her but then turns around on him and starts trying to stand up for him. She's the most contradicting tales character to date!
The original Tales cast of the game has been completely ruined by shoddy voice acting and personality changes to the max. Lloyd is now an evil man who travels alone, Colette is no longer stupid, Genis thinks he's about 80, Raine is too soft on people, Zelos doesn't flirt, Sheena is to friendly, Presea talks so, so much and Regal has become the type of guy who would skip around a field throwing out cookies. A great cast ruined!
As far as the story goes, you will be disappointed. The "Centurions" are beasts that have shrines in the same temple of the Summon Spirits. They have their own "Centurion Cores" which play part in awakening Ratatosk, the Demon Lord who once guarded the Giant Kharlan Tree but abandoned it because everyone "Killed it" as he put it. The Centurion's are basically Summon Spirits. No originality there. Not only are there no summon spirits in the game but there Temples have been taken over and are now known as Centurion Temples. Quite ridiculous. The journey of the story is that Emil, Marta and the Centurion Tenebrae will meet up with members of the existing Symphonia cast to try and collect the Centurion Cores before Lloyd (now evil) and the Vanguard, which is basically the same as Cruxis except they are not thought of as Holy and non of the villains have giant wings. The story, in my opinion had loads of potential but it seemed rush and there wasn't much to it. The spoilers were typical and the lack of character development in it just made it grow tiring.
Would I recommend this game? If you like spin-off, non mother ship titles, then yes. If you like games like Abyss, then no.
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