Tales of Phantasia for Game Boy Advance

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Tales of Phantasia

Sep 27, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:decent gameplay

Cons:character display sucks, voice overs aren't good, not much replay value

The Bottom Line: Its a decent game but not the greatest, anyone who likes the Tales games should try it at least


After playing Tales of Symphonia I really wanted to play another tales game. While my dad decided to go to Best Buy to look at something he brought me and my brothers along. I never noticed that they actually had video games at Best Buy until I got there. I had always thought Best Buy only had computers and tv's, but they actually had video games too. So I wanted to see what kind of games they had at Best Buy. After looking at the different games for a little bit my eyes rested on Tales of Phantasia. I was surprised to see a Tales game for GBA because I always thought the Tales games were only for the big game consoles not the handheld ones. I wanted right when I first rested my eyes on the game. As soon as I got home I started to play Tales of Phantasia. When I first started to play the game it didn't seem that great but once I played the game more I started to like it more. The one problem was once I beat the game it wasn't as fun after that and I ended up trading it back to gamestop for money towards another game. If you want to learn more about this game just continue to read this review.

Story

The story starts in the peaceful village called Toltus where the main character and his best friend live. The story actually starts with the two young friends who are out hunting in the forest near the village. The forest is where the "Spirit Tree" is and while hunting the two young friends hear the village's warning bell which means the village is in grave danger. They ended up rushing back to the village to find that the village was in ruins and everyone of the villagers were dead and their bodies littered the ground. This starts a whole bunch of questions like, Who were the village's mysterious attackers and what is the secret of the Spirit Tree. And what of the power of magitech. Little do they know the two young friends are about to thrust into an adventure that is beyond space and time. They would also be tied to a very mysterious fate the could be intertwined with all the mysteries of their world. They end up going on an adventure to stop an evil being who as escaped his imprisonment and plans to reek havoc on the world. They will be join by other friends who are willing to help them stop this evil menace.

Gameplay

There are a total of six playable characters in this game including the main character. Here is a short description of each of the six characters:

Cress Albane - He is a 17 year old boy that lives in the village of Toltus. His dad is the local sword-fighting school's master, and Cress has practiced sword fighting since he was a small child. He fights with swords and he has a kind and gentle nature, but he fights fearlessly and with valor when he is up against an enemy. He is a truly dependable friend too.

Mint Adnade - She is a 18 year old girl is a proficient healer and she has a stout heart and her will is unbending. She was kidnapped by the knights from the Order of Black Armor and was imprisoned in a dungeon cell under their stronghold. She is also modest and reserved, and she uses Divine healing powers to help her friends.

Claus F. Lester - He is a 29 year old man who lives in the village Euclid where he studies the art of summoning. He is real envious of the elves' natural ability to use magic.

Arche Klein - She is a 17 year old girl who is a half-elven magic user. She lives in the town of Hamel and she loves to fly through the air on a broomstick. She posses a kind heart, but she can say some harsh things tat times. She is a very cheerful person which brings cheer to the party and its real hard to hate her.

Chester Burklight - He is 17 years old and is Cress's best friend. He was orphaned at a young age and has lived with his little sister ever since. He is a master at the bow and works real hard when it comes to doing work. He has a little of a sarcastic attitude too.

Suzu Fujibayashi - She is a 11 year old girl, who lives in the secret Ninja Village which means she is a ninja too. She was raised under strict discipline of her grandfather who is the village leader. She finds it hard to express her emotions and the harsh upbringing conflicts with her nature, which is innocent.

There are three very important screens used in the game which are the Map Screen, Menu Screen, and the Battle Screen. There are actually two types of map screens used in the game. The first one is the normal map which is displayed while in a town, village, or dungeon. The second one is the field map which is displayed when you leave a town, village, or dungeon. The menu screen is where you can check the state of your characters and other various settings. The battle screen is only appears when you encounter enemies. This screen is where you do all the fighting. Now I will go into further detail of each game screen.

Like I said above the Menu Screen is used to check your characters state and change various other settings. When you open the Menu screen you will see a Menu list on the very left of the screen which list each of the menus in the menu screen. The rest of the screen is taken up by the Character Window which displays the status of each of the characters that are in your party. Only the top four characters can participate in a battle though. The items on the Menu list on the Menu Screen are: Skills, Equip, Items, Strategy, Form, Title, Cooking, Status, Custom, and Save/Sleep.

Skill is the first menu item which shows you all the skills your character has. These skills are either learned by a character when they level up or during a certain event. The setting method and the operation of skills is different between the main character and the other people. This is where you can set up your skills for the characters can use them. For the character you are controlling during battles the skills are set up different. When you are controlling the character yourself you have to set up the skills for the character to use by assigning their skills to the different directions of the control pad. For the other characters you are not using there is just a list of all the skills they have learned. There are two types of battle control in this game and they are Auto and Semi Auto. I will explain more about the battle types later when I talk about battles.

The next menu item on this list is Equip, which is where you can equip your characters with weapons and armor. When the you go to the Equip screen the left side of the screen shows the equipable items that are available for that certain weapon or armor set. The right screen shows the current equipment that the character has on. There are at total of 7 types of equipment you can equip to your characters and they are: Weapon, Body, Shield, Head, Arm, and Accessories 1 and 2. Above the current equipment area there is a long rectangle that has the choices Equip, Remove, and Best. To equip a weapon or armor you have to select Equip, if you want to remove a certain equipment just select remove, and if you select best it will automatically equip the most effective equipment.

Items is the next menu item on the list. This menu is used to use items or equip items which are all the equipment. At the top of the screen is a long rectangle called item sorting. When you select an icon on the sort bar it brings a specific type of item to the top. I can't really tell you what the icons look like or match them to the correct icon. All the items are grouped into categories like all the weapons are in one category and all the food is in another category. There is also a category for all the armors and a category for all the medicine. When you see a green circle by an item that means it can be used at the time. If there is a red X by the item that means it cannot be used at the time. If an item is equipped to some one it will have an E next to it and if an item has a B next to the item that means it can only be used while in a battle.

The next menu item on the list is Strategy, which is where you can give your characters certain commands. Not all the characters have the same commands you can give them. Cress, Chester, and Suzu have commands like At Once, Moderation, and Counter, while Mint has the commands like Heal, Support, and Moderate Support. Claus and Arche have commands like Full Magic, Save Magic, and Long Range. The commands are only for the characters in the control mode Auto.

The next menu item on the list is Form, which is where you can change the battle formation of the characters in your party. The middle of the screen shows a picture of the characters in a certain battle position. At the top right corner is a small rectangle with Back and Swap. If you select back it will revert the formation back to the state it was in before it was changed. If you want to change the order of the characters or exchange characters you have to select swap. At the bottom it shows all the characters in your party and it allows you to exchange characters, like if you don't want to use Cress while in a battle you have to switch some one with Cress so he won't be the first character. The character in the first slot is always the character you control in battles and on the map screens.

Title is the next menu item on the Menu Screen. This is where you can view and change the title that the character is set on at the time. Tiles are usually received when you meet a specific set of conditions and these titles will affect the level and the rate of stat increases. An example of a title is Apprentice which is a title for Cress, and another one is Hunter which is one of Chester's titles.

The next menu items is Cooking which of course lets you cook food. Some dishes can replenish your characters HP or TP or cure status abnormalities like poison. Sometimes you may have a character cook a recipe and they may fail to cook it and you can only cook once per fight or rest period.

Status is the next menu item on the menu list, you use this menu to check a character's status. The status screen shows a picture of the selected character and it shows the parameters of the character. The parameters are: Name, Title, Lv, HP, TP, EXP, Next Lv. Strength, Size, Agility, Luck, Attack, Slash, Thrust, Defense, Accuracy, Evade, and all the equipment they have. Slash and Thrust are only displayed for Cress though.

Customize is the second to last menu item on the menu list. This is where you can change various game settings. These settings include: Message Speed, Window Frame, Window Color, Volume Settings, Display Type, Battle Rank, Encounters, and Targets. The last menu item is Save which of course allows you to save your game. You can only save your game while on the Field Map or on a Memory Glyph which are found in towns and dungeons.

Now on to the Map Screen, like I said before there are two types of map screens which are field map and normal map. You will find towns, villages, and dungeons while on the field map to enter them just travel on the field map and head straight to the place you are trying to go to. The normal map screen is displayed when you enter a town, village, or dungeon. While moving on the normal map you can talk to people, examine things, move things and use the Sorcerer's Ring. When you are in a town or village you will more than likely find various facilities and shops which include, Inns, Weapon Shops, Tool Shops, Grocery Shops, and other shops.

The last screen I am going to talk about is the Battle Screen which is where all the battles take place. The battle screen appears when you encounter enemies. When the battle screen displays you will see most of the screen is taken up by the actual battlefield where the fighting takes place. At the bottom of the screen is a big rectangle which shows each of the characters and how much HP and TP they have. While in a battle you can open the battle menu which has the following actions: Skills, Strategy, Formation, and Items. The battle system in Tales of Phantasia is Linear Motion. To use a skill to attack an enemy all you do is press the B button while tap the right direction on the control pad. Most of the enemies are pretty easy at the beginning. As you get farther the enemies will also get stronger. Most of the bosses are real hard and a lot harder than the enemies in the area. You will usually find a boss at the of each dungeon you go through.

Controls

The control pad is used to select in the Menu Screen and its used to move in both map screens and the battle screen. The control pad also selects items while on the battle screen. The A button has a lot of actions in this game which include confirm a choice on the Menu Screen, on the field map you use the A button to take off and accelerate when using the Techbird. On the normal map screen the A button is used to talk, investigate, and move items. In battles the A button is used to regular attack. The B button is used to cancel and exit the screen on the Menu Screen. On the field map the B button is used to land when using the Techbird which is a vehicle in the game. While on the normal map screen you can press the B button to run while moving with the control pad. In battles the B button is used to use skills. The R button is used to display next page on the menu screen and on the field map screen it is used for fine movement control when using the Techbird. When on the normal map screen the R button is used to use the Sorcerer's Ring. In battles the R button is used to reverse formation and to change target. The L button is used to remove and delete items or equipment on the Menu Screen. When in battles the L button is used to use selected skill shortcut. The Start button is used to display windows on the Menu Screen. On the Field Map the Start button switches the navigation map display and on the battle screen it is used to switch control mode. The Select button is used to switch help menus when on the Menu Screen and when on the Field Map and normal map it is used to open the menu screen. In battles it is used to open the battle menu.

Graphics

The graphics in Tales of Phantasia are are nowhere near as good as the graphics were in Tales of Symphonia, but I can't really compare then because the GBA doesn't have nowhere near as much graphical capability as the Gamecube does. To me the graphics in Tales of Phantasia are not all that great, but I don't really care much for the graphics much I mainly focus on how fun the gameplay of the game is. The characters don't much detail to them and the colors are a little on the blurry side. The graphics on the field map are not all that great either because there is not much detail to the land or cities. The graphics in battles are not all that much better either.

Sounds

I could say the same thing about the sounds then I did at the beginning of the paragraph on graphics. The only time they had voice overs in Tales of Phantasia was when they were in battle and that was when they used a skill. The music in Tales of Phantasia is not all that great either. The music in Tales of Symphonia was a lot better than this but you can't expect to much from a GBA. Still this game could better than it was in the graphics and sounds departments, because I seem many other GBA games that have better graphics and sounds then this game. The sounds of the skills and attacks are no where near as good as they were in Tales of Symphonia either.

Overall this game is a decent game to play if you can get past the graphics and sounds. I recommend this game to anyone who has played a tales game before or anyone who is looking for a new GBA game.


Recommend this product? Yes

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