This PC port of a thirteen-year-old game is locked at thirty frames per second. That should tell you all you need to know about this one, the very fact that whoever was tasked with porting this to a new generation can’t get it to run at the full sixty frames the Gamecube was capable of. Really, more than anything else, this is the kind of unmitigated disaster, which has gradually eroded trust in HD Re-masters, and modern re-releases alike. Unless the developer is taking the time to rebuild the whole game from the ground up, it seems we’re destined for another flop.
As one of those sadly underrated JRPGs of its era, Tales of Symphonia was a shining gem of the Gamecube’s library. Following a small band of heroes, it was a story exploring the themes and impacts of twin parallel worlds, how they were linked by the flow of mana and how easily their regenerating processes could be disrupted. While that has thankfully been translated without any real issue, just about everything else here will just leave you screaming “how in hell did they manage to screw things up this badly!?”
For starters, Tales is downright unplayable. Unless you’re willing to spend half an hour sorting through root folders, looking up solutions online and do most of the developer’s work for them, this is already a game you should skip. Even then, if you’re willing to somehow actually get the game to work on modern systems, forcing it to chug along in some ramshackle state, you’ll bump into multiple failings that make it nearly unplayable.
Along with having no mouse option or even many basic control elements besides rebindable keys, this Tales port is prone to crash at the drop of a hat. Simply changing the internal volume caused it to bug out and black-screen at one point, forcing a total restart, and even then some options have been thrown together in a shockingly shoddy state. If you’re an English speaker expect typos galore on everything from dialogue to options menus, leaving you not only wondering what the hell is going on but why it keeps prompting you to use PlayStation controller prompts. Oh, and Windows 7 users? Your operating system is a death knell for this port, as loading and saving times will be stretched out for minutes at a time.
Even if you can stomach all that though, you’re met with VMprotect, an intrusive and extremely temperamental DRM system which causes a new .exe file to be created every time you load the game.
Avoid this one like the plague folks; it’s simply not worth the money.
TALES OF SYMPHONIA / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: NAMCO BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW