As noticed by someone who’s played each at least half a dozen times! I’d rank Tales of Symphonia easily in my top ten games of all-time and a lot of that came from how familiar it felt. I truly wonder how much I would have enjoyed it if I hadn’t played Secret of Mana over a decade earlier.
Major spoilers for both games, obviously!
- They’re action RPGs.
- They’re noted for great soundtracks.
- At least three-player co-op! Now there’s an RPG rarity.
- Both games have a way to break boss battles with stunlock by exploiting quirks of magic animations. In Secret of Mana you can begin casting a second attack spell before the first spell’s animation ends; in Tales of Symphonia you can cancel a casting animation to reset your combo, giving most magic users near-infinite combos. (Tip: It’s easier to get the timing down for Colette and Sheeena than for Kratos, Zelos, or Regal. Raine can technically pull it off too, but it’s much, much tougher.)
4 down, 19 to go. And most are infinitely more interesting than the first 4!