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!
Ryu and Ken may rule their street in the fighting game genre, but monks and martial artists have become a feminine archetype in RPGs. Since the 8-bit era, at least one heroine from a high-profile, genre-important, worldwide million-seller RPG in every generation of game systems doesn’t settle for standing on her own two feet. She kicks with her own two feet, punches with her own two hands, and furthers the idea that in the RPG universe, every lady with working arms and legs should do the same. Forget Beauty and the Beast. From medieval tomboy princesses to prehistoric hut dwellers to modern girls living in dystopias, Beauty is the Beast and her killer instincts are a tale as old as time.
Above: fighter girls across the ages. Chronological by game release date, not her own in-universe era!
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