Tales of Symphona (Switch) Is a Glorious Mess
One thing you really need to know about me is that I absolutely love Tales of Symphonia. It might be my favourite JRPG of all time, and definitely is my favourite Tales of game from Bandai Namco. Being able to play it again on modern consoles (Switch, PlayStation and Xbox) is unbelievable, but it all comes with one big caveat – the game doesn’t run all that well on Nintendo Switch, which is wildly disappointing. Still, despite the flaws, Tales of Symphonia on Switch is a must own in my opinion. The portability alone makes it a fantastic way to play!
Tales of Symphonia is LONG. Like really long. When I originally played the game in 2003 on the Nintendo GameCube, and then again on the PS3 in 2013, I’m pretty sure I put in over 100 hours for both those play throughs. You play as Llyod Iriving, an orphaned boy living with his dwarf ‘father” Dirk, and hanging out in Iselia with his friends Genis and Collette. Collette, the Chosen of Regeneration, must begin her world renewing pilgrimage to the various seals. Llyod and Genis join the party, along with a host of other fantastic characters. While saving the world is a pretty standard story for many JRPG titles, this one has way more turns and twists than you might realize, making it a fantastic game all around.
The game is built on the PS3 release, and outside of a few updated character models, the game remains fairly unchanged. Poor over world camera controls are still present, but otherwise the game is charming to look at and beautiful to hear. The voice acting is still really great, although the quality of the audio is noticeably lacking. Where the Switch version suffers – and the PlayStation and Xbox version do not – is in frame rate. In many instances, especially when docked, the game would chug along pretty terribly. The issues are MUCH less frequent in hand held mode, which is how I’ve been enjoying this adventure.
Still, having this game on the go is fantastic. It’s a bit shocking that the frame rate is so bad in places, especially when you think of how Bandai Namco successfully ported Tales of Vesperia to the system just a few years ago. But portability is a huge plus for me, even if there are a few issues around the edges. And I fully believe these are things that the development team can fix in a future patch. From my point of view, this Switch version is still a fantastic opportunity to play one of the best JRPGs of all time!