Reader Review: Tales Of Symphonia: Dawn Of The New World

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Cameron does, as he flexes his range, enhances his elements and battles his motions.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Cameron Chu. If you’ve played Dawn of the New World, or just want to ask Cameron more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (Wii)

The epicly cliched story of mana, trees, elves, humans, and those in between continues. Now with added monsters!


Skits: In the original, the lack of voicing in skits for western versions meant it was like watching paint dry. This is no longer the case; and while it's not a ground breaking feature, it adds that little more to a game so dependant on character interaction.

Characters: The thought and care put into the characters continue, with most of them being genuinely interesting and funny. Running jokes from the original, like Collete's' knack for falling or Zelos' flirtatious affairs with Sheena bring back a sense of nostalgia, while new characters such as Marta and Tenubrae keep things fresh.

Flex Range Element Enhanced Linear Motion Battle System: Despite the ridiculously long name giving it the impression of complexity, fighting is it is in fact simple, fast, and fun. While the addition of monsters may be convoluted, they are vital for higher difficulties and even then there is still the option of picking human characters. And as always, being able to avoid enemy encounters is a blessing.


Emil: If you thought Lloyd was annoying, just wait until you see Emil. Not even Johnny Yong Bosch, a.k.a Ichigo the Mighty Morphin' Black Power Ranger, can save this abomination of a character. While Lloyd was an agreeable twit, Emil is the combination of two personalities: an unlikeable coward and an unlikeable hothead.

Inferior: The original, developed five years prior is in nearly all respects superior. While they may be little, things in this sequel like the lack of deep battling customization, the removal of stylish cel-shading, the absence of an explorable world, a weak story and the addition of unnecessary cutscenes make them many and grating.

A whole lot of recycling and a whole lot worse, Dawn of the New World is still one of the best RPGs out there on the Wii. Not exactly saying much, but despite its many flaws it is a solid game that fans of the original should play.

Reviewed by: Cameron Chu

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    i loved the original, beautiful game.

    voice acting was luls but the combat was fun. If i had a wii, i would not buy this :D

    Hotheaded *and* cowardly. I haven't played the game but you've just given me the mental image of someone who blindly runs into the heat of battle and then curls up into the fetal position.

    Which, yeah, would be a pretty unlikeable character.

      Haha it's not exactly like that, he's got two alternating personalities which shift depending on the circumstances. It's still very unlikeable though =\

    For me, the biggest issue was that the old characters joining you were fixed at a specific level and couldn't be raised further. I was finding that I would out-level them fairly quickly and end up swapping a lot of them out for my own monsters. I would have preferred it a lot if they had scaled up with you, or been added to the battles in addition to your own normal party. Also not a fan of the whole monster-raising concept in the first place.

    The other thing that annoyed me was the save-pointing was very roughly done. Most Tales games are very well tuned, so there's always a save point before a boss and so on. This would throw you into boss encounters (which always seemed to be WAY harder than the trash in the dungeons - I suspect they were scaling the bosses up to your level) with no warning. And usually after a lengthy unskippable dialogue-heavy cutscene.

    Way too heavy-handed with the cutscenes too. Lengthy dialogue scenes every few meters. I didn't mind that they were there, but a lot of the time it felt like they could have just done it all at once rather than splitting up the scenes into multiple segments separated by a few steps.

    As Tales of Symphonia fanservice the game is great. As a Tales game, it's fairly poor. And with third-party sales crashing hard on the Wii, I suspect we won't be seeing Tales of Graces for the Wii in English too, which is a huge shame since it seems to take the battle system for this one and use it in a proper Tales game.

    i pumped 100+ hrs in to tos on GC, but knowing: tales of graces is coming and well reviewed in japan, DS RPGs are filling the gap very well, i don't want to spoil my love of TOS and Monado, Fragile and Arc Rise Fantasia are out in 2010 should I bother with this?

      Fragile will spoil your love for TOS without this game.

      Played the Japanese version, starts out good then becomes a wasted oppurtunity.

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