Tales of Symphonia Remastered sees Lloyd Irving and company once again in the land of Sylvarant as they explore temples and uncover secrets alongside the “Chosen,” Colette. The original Tales of Symphonia is an undeniable classic that brought the series into full 3D. The PS3’s version in Tales of Symphonia Chronicles was arguably even better. And while Tales of Symphonia Remastered is still enjoyable, it can’t quite reach the heights of those previous releases.
As a game, Tales of Symphonia Remastered still has a loveable cast, an engaging if somewhat familiar story, and the fast action-combat the Tales Of series is known for. As a remaster, though, Tales of Symphonia doesn’t quite stick the landing. It definitely feels more like a half-hearted revision than a meaningful update to an older game.
Tales of Symphonia Remastered isn’t bad by any means, but it can be frustratingly mediocre. Outside of some slow loading times on Switch, the game runs fine. Skits aren’t voice-acted, which can be jarring at times, and the loading breaks between walking and combat is the most obvious way Tales of Symphonia still shows its age. And maybe that’s the problem here – for better or worse, it still feels like playing a game from 2004.
For its time, Tales of Symphonia was excellent. But all the drawbacks of a first-time 3D entry are still present here – some wonky animations, odd facial expressions, and transitions that look a little rough. So much of Tales of Symphonia Remastered’s effectiveness depends on nostalgia. These quirks will likely remind players of a bygone era they’re sentimental for – or leave them frustrated that there’s not more offered here.
The real issue with Tales of Symphonia Remastered is that outside of bringing a classic Tales Of JRPG to modern consoles, it doesn’t really do much else. As remasters have gotten more common, the expectations over quality-of-life improvements and updates have gone up. If a remaster can be accused of being too faithful to its original sources, then Tales of Symphonia Remastered is just that. There’s nothing really new here; there’s no sequel included like in Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, and no new extras to unlock. Even changes like skippable cutscenes (which are severely limited) come across as half-baked.
To be fair, anyone who loved the original should love this one, too – but it may not win over any newcomers because of how outdated everything feels. Tales of Symphonia Remastered brings a great JRPG to modern hardware, and that’s certainly a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, it never feels like this remaster really rises to the occasion.
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A code of Tales of Symphonia Remastered for Nintendo Switch was provided to Screen Rant for the purpose of this review.