Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Final Thoughts

Trying to play through Dawn of the New World was kind of a roller coaster. It has some great and fun moments, but also some repulsive moments, like the Temple of Lightning and some of the puzzles (though I don’t remember those anymore, unlike the ToL; apparently the puzzle near the very end of the game caused my last, year-long retirement from the game, leading me to criticize the game as “horrific” overall in some mostly unrelated ramblings). Overall, the game does have a faint feeling of boredom about it, and I think that’s mainly due to a few things: making a sequel to a game as legendary as Tales of Symphonia in the first place; having the game be a slight retread of the first; featuring the heroes from the first game, but without the ability to level them up or customize their equipment and titles; and, most of all, replacing traditional party members with a mediocre mons system.

This mons system is not very good. You can’t nickname monsters, and they’re fairly generic overall, removing the personalization that Pokemon has. You can’t crossbreed or fuse monsters like in Pokemon or Shin Megami Tensei, nor can you selectively breed them for new skills and attributes of your choosing. Continue reading Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Final Thoughts

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Six

July 28th, 2013: The Day Before

Tenebrae said that he was glad to have known Lord Ratatosk as Emil. Aww.

Marta obtained the title Pact of the Heart

NOOO STOP WITH THE FEELS

Marta and Emil admitted they loved each other and kissed. Emil said that she would always be in his heart even if she found someone else to love. But she said that he would always be the one for her.

When they blush, it’s so cute. Continue reading Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Six

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Five

July 20th, 2012: The Witching Hour

I found a secret Katz village on the map. There isn’t anything mind-blowing there, but there is this Katz pun: “My wife ate a ball of wool and gave birth to a litter of mittens, meow! Get it?”

…ew. Continue reading Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Five

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Four: Tales of the Nadir of Dungeon Design

July 5th, 2012: I love the animations of the Katz Guild member.

The parts where you have to navigate dark stairways with lightning trying to zap you is annoying.

Why does Regal still wear clothes that look like his prison gear?

I missed the part where Regal put his old prison clothes back on in an attempt to snap “Lloyd” out of his madness when we briefly saw him in Flanoir. But it wouldn’t have worked anyway because that was not the real Lloyd.

Continue reading Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Four: Tales of the Nadir of Dungeon Design

Tales of Symponia: Dawn of the New World Part Three: Off the Richter Scale

March 27th, 2012: To Bait a Light-Fish

IT’S HUGE!

Boss: Nazdrovie | Element: Light

Kind of an annoying fight. Nazdrovie can use Seafood Gels to restore over 4,000 HP. Try using juggles to keep it from using the Gels.

Rewards: 3,500 XP, 10K Gald

My lv. one monster gained 10 levels from this battle!

Why did I have a lv. one monster in my party for a boss fight?

Nazdrovie was the one that truly started the fire in Izoold. It tried to frame my man, Regal! :[ Continue reading Tales of Symponia: Dawn of the New World Part Three: Off the Richter Scale

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Two: Regal Didn’t Start the Fire

January 22nd, 2010: I’ve determined that monsters need to be level 14 to evolve.

Why do Ogres look just like Blanka from Street Fighter?

Chimeras are so cute in this game. They’re more like chimera… puppies?

I don’t know why you can’t name your monsters. The names that the game picks for them mean less than nothing to me.

Naming things in games can also help you remember what they are, like a mnemonic device.

Not being able to name your monsters is just one of the problems with the “mons” aspect of this game. The others are waiting in the Final Thoughts. Continue reading Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part Two: Regal Didn’t Start the Fire

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part One: Introduction

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World

Developer: Namco Tales Studio

Publisher: Namco Bandai

System: Nintendo Wii

Released: November 11th, 2008

What Came Before

Once, there was a world called Sylvarant. Its mana was in decline, threatening all life and magic in the world. It was time to begin the Journey of World Regeneration. To that end, the goddess Martel selected a Chosen one: Colette Brunel, a sweet and compassionate young lady.

The cast of ToS. Left to right: Genis, Lloyd, Colette, Presea, Raine, Zelos, Regal, and Sheena

Her friends Lloyd Irving (a slightly ditzy but well-meaning swordsman raised by a dwarf) and Genis Sage (a child prodigy and half-elf) as well as their teacher, Raine Sage (Genis’ older sister) joined Colette on her quest.

The quest required the Chosen to release the seals on the Summon Spirits. With each seal broken, the Chosen became less and less human and more like an angel. The final seal required the Chosen to give up their heart, the memories of their human life, and their life itself.

The party eventually learned that Sylvarant had a parasitic relationship with the mana of another world: Tethe’alla. If Sylvarant’s mana was in decline, then Tethe’alla flourished, and vice-versa. The party sought a way to sever the connection between both worlds by forming pacts with the Summon Spirits of each.

In the end, the party survived a lot of tragedy to stop Mithos Yggdrasil, a half-elf and the embittered brother of Martel, from destroying both worlds to create a new one just for himself and Martel to live in. He said that he had no regrets and would do it all over again before he was killed by Lloyd.

The heroes fused both worlds into one. Lloyd and Colette revived the Great Seed of the World Tree with the Eternal Sword (gained by forming a pact with the Summon Spirit named Origin), which provided endless mana to the fused world.

Continue reading Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Part One: Introduction

Soulcalibur IV: June 9th, 2009 – May 14th, 2015

JUNE 9TH, 2009: I was so surprised to get a “Press Start” Achievement with this game.

Actually, it’s not a press Start cheevo: it’s the cheevo that you get for pressing Start after watching the intro all the way through.

Recently, I recalled a fun feature that Soulcalibur II had: pre-match taunts. More games should have taunts, like Hot Shots Golf.

The criteria for unlocking treasures in the Tower of Souls mode are simple to interpret.

This must have been from back before I really tried to get into Tower of Souls. Some of them are just hard to understand because they’re so vague.

Sophitia’s Sword Shower (←+B) is good for destroying equipment.

I really didn’t do anything noteworthy today.

JUNE 22ND, 2009: I like how Soulcalibur has kept the same font over the years. Game fonts are very overlooked.

I tried to create an evil female character named LaRue, with Voldo’s fighting style!

I’m worried that she looks too youngish, but that’s a part of her creepiness.

There is one character I’d love to create, but there aren’t any suitable parts for him. -.-

I wonder why Amy took up fencing. I don’t think Raphael would force her into it.

Angol Fear is kinda creepy-looking. I’m guessing the manga artist that designed her specializes in hentai.

Hilde’s B costume is pretty.

I unlocked Endure 1,000.

There is a strange strafing element in Soulcalibur

SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2009: I popped the game in and unlocked Violent Storm! I knew I hadn’t unlocked the Wall Hit Achievement yet, but it wasn’t like I was grinding for it.

Now that’s efficiency! Thank you, Setsuka, character that I never play.

She’s pretty.

I wish all fighters had a Command Time Attack like Virtua Fighter.

I forgot how good this game looked.

It’s weird to hear Yoda speak in Japanese.

I wanna unlock the Apprentice. He’s hot.

MAY 10TH, 2010: Picked up the game again and started creating tons of characters, leading to the public outing of Lilith Raber.

Another OC that doesn’t exactly scream Soulcalibur.

Anyway. Today, we tried to create a Lady GaGa character. And I suddenly remembered how there was a rumor that GaGa had a feud with La Roux, that lady with one hit.

Ooh, burn. Actually, it’s a group, not just one person. I didn’t know that for years.

This was an unnecessary swipe because I did like those songs that were La Roux’s mainstream hits. Just not as much as GaGa’s, and not enough to delve into their library.

At least I solved the mystery of how I wound up with a character named “LaRue”. I forgot how/why I came up with the character. 😛

Not that I’m comparing them directly. Anyway!

I think that two “anyways” for what was originally a single paragraph is quite enough.

Who was the character I created before quitting the game for a while? M-hm. Scary. Actually, mostly cool.

I unlocked Smasher, and I did it on LaRue.

Can’t see myself ever unlocking all of the treasures in the tower.

JULY 17TH, 2010: I unlocked The Controller.

I got cheeky and recreated KOS-MOS from Bandai Namco’s Xenosaga III! I think she turned out pretty well.

Xenosaga II may be one of the most reviled RPG sequels of all time, but I loved Xenosaga III.

I’ve found a great weapon against most enemies: throws. Especially throws that put distance between you and your opponent, like Yun-seong’s.

Never been much of a Yun-seong player.

JULY 18TH, 2010: I dared to unlock Wild Run to Tragedy. Now that’s a name for an Achievement.

JULY 19TH, 2010: I unlocked May the Force Be With You. To be honest, Yoda’s scenario was laaame! It didn’t even feature the Apprentice. How am I gonna unlock him?

Guess who I recreated! T-elos, KOS-MOS’ nemesis from Xenosaga III.

I also recreated Emil from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.

I unlocked some new equipment.

JULY 20TH, 2010: Some of that equipment is endearingly… mundane.

Two funny things happened when I tried to clear Story Mode as Maxi. First, one of the lizardmen I fought rang himself out of while performing that move where he goes on all fours. Later, I rang out Ashlotte, but rang myself out after winning! Slipped right off the edge of the stage.

Isn’t Angol a terrible name? It doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t sound cute, and worse yet for this game, it sounds too much like Algol.

Yes, I hate that name. Algol isn’t anything special, either.

I’m playing through Story Mode to earn more gold, forcing me to use characters I otherwise wouldn’t. Maxi is kind slow but packs some cool moves. Zasalamel (another clunky name, but at least it’s cooler than Algol or Angol) did not prove very effective when I used him, but his ending for Story Mode is stunning.

AUGUST 2ND, 2010: I unlocked Gathering of the Best. Yes, I finally unlocked the Apprentice’s hot… self.

Fun Fact Corner: The Apprentice was modeled after Sam Witwer, the actor that played him in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Witwer was originally going to voice Rhys in Tales of the Borderlands, but for some reason, they cast Troy Baker as Rhys instead. Maybe there was a scheduling conflict?

It was a pain to do it. The hardest opponent was Siegfried, for some reason.

I learned how to unlock him from a game magazine.

Ooh. Remember those?! I just get tips from the FAQr app now. It’s a life saver and a must-have for every gamer.

OCTOBER 13TH, 2014: I think that T-elos turned out better than KOS-MOS. I apparently realized that it’d be too difficult to adapt their futuristic weapons from XS, so I just gave them Soulcalibur and Souledge to contrast.

Emil looks OK, but older and less scrawny than his original self, undoubtedly due to SC‘s stubborn refusal to give you different body types to work with.

Huh, I tried to recreate Suzu from Tales of Phantasia and Rutee from Tales of Destiny as well. I forgot that I made them.

I wanted to recreate Sophie from Tales of Graces f, but there’s no hand-to-hand style in this game.

I forgot about all of those weird bonus characters designed by mangaka in the game.

Unlocked 10,000 Strikes of Proof. 24/50

I always seemed to have a relatively easy time unlocking cheevos whenever I returned to this game.

The graphics are undeniably pretty, but the characters have a glassiness to them, weirdly enough.

That was surprisingly fun.

I was fighting with a Tekken mindset, however. I forgot the controls.

I’m not entirely sure where to continue from here. It’s difficult to do a “Final Thoughts” because a fighting game this deep with so many modes is never really “final”, is it? You could probably play this game forever and not unlock everything.

I decided to play this game some more recently to see if I could get more impressions of it for this blog.

MAY 14TH, 2015: I talked about my favorite single player mode, the Tower of Lost Souls.

In this mode, you choose to ascend the Tower for missions where you can unlock new pieces of equipment for your custom characters. On each floor, you can unlock new items by achieving certain goals which are hinted at when you start a floor.

This mode uses a lot of premade custom characters, but on occasion, a Soulcalibur character will be one of your opponents. The silhouette that you see before choosing a floor tells you what kind of character that the boss of that series of floors is.

Unlocked Scorpion’s Sting. 25/20

I never won a battle with a Critical Finish before. It was even cooler because I did it with one of my customs: Millenia. :O

She has Hilde’s style, and I learned that her Lightning Horn move (->B, B, B) is good for ring outs.

Now that I know how to do Cfs, I want to do mooore.

Critical Finishes

Cfs are only possible to do under a certain condition. Your opponent must have blocked so much without landing any attacks on you, that their Soul Gauge begins to flash red. Once they’ve blocked enough, your attack with break their guard and they will stagger. Their body will emit a reddish-purple aura; this means that they are under Soul Crush. That’s when you can trigger your CF by pressing all four face buttons (or by simply pressing LB/L1 on the default shoulder button setup).

The CF is basically a super finishing move, and it looks totally awesome. Winning with a CF changes a character’s winning animation and the victory music.

After unlocking Scorpion’s Sting, my Gamerscore now ends in three sevens. :O

Similar to Street Fighter X Tekken and Tekken Tag Tournament 2, on floors where you choose multiple characters, you can switch between them. However, you can only switch when the meter in the bottom corner has a full bar. When one fighter is switched out, they regain some health.

Sometimes, you faced randomized fighters called Skeletons. They’re kinda creepy, and it’s weird how they roar like wildcats.

Character Creation and Styles

For every fighter that you create, you have to choose a fighting style for them use. As you use these fighters, or customs that use their styles, you have to level up their styles so that you customs can equip stronger skills.

Yes, SCIV has a skill system. They range from automatic grapple breaks and Guard Impacts to nullifying Ring Outs.

The highest level for each style is nine.

The kind of equipment that you give a custom changes the amount of points that they can allot into each skill type: Power, Impact, Boost, Gauge, and Special.

Every character has a joke weapon that you can eventually unlock and buy.