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Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World

by wdarkk

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Original Thread: Shut up about courage! Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World

If you liked this LP, you might also like Final Fantasy IV by Mega64, Tales of Symphonia by wdarkk and Final Fantasy Legend by ddegenha

Introduction

They say you should only LP a game you love, or a game you hate.

Animated Intro
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is the sequel to the (in my opinion at least) pretty cool Tales of Symphonia. At the end of my Symphonia LP I mentioned I'd do a Dawn of the New World LP, and here it is! In honor of Namco-Bandai's "No Tales for you baka Gaijin" policy and the extreme likelihood this will be the last Tales title in English this will be an "angry" LP. In honor of Tales of Graces' impending localization, this is now merely an acerbic LP.



Namco-Bandai fuckery aside, Dawn of the New World annoys the hell out of me. Its plot is the primary cause of this, and it's not just the low quality. It's the content. The whole thing is like a giant Tales of Symphonia self-insert Fanfic that ended up being published by Namco-Bandai. The "courage" thing didn't help either. Dawn of the New World is considered an Escort Title by Tales Studio, which generally means "side story or weak sequel" and also "not as good". Tales of the Tempest (which I haven't had the "fortune" to play) is particularly legendary for being moved from the Mothership (main) category into the Escort category for being so goddamn bad. You see where I'm going with this.



About Previous LPs
I mentioned I did a previous LP of Tales of Symphonia, and you can find it here.
The thread can be found in the archives here



Who are these morons?


This is Emil Castagnier. His parents died in the Blood Purge of Palmacosta, and he's a bit mad at Lloyd Irving about that. He's also a colossal wimp, when the game came out I compared him unfavorably to Shinji (of Evangelion fame). He uses swords (one at a time) and has sword attacks.


This is Marta Lualdi. She's really, really in love with Emil because she thinks he saved her in Palmacosta (despite the fact that he doesn't remember doing so and is too colossal a wuss to help). She uses some kind of razor-disk thing and has melee, light-elemental magic, and healing.


This is Tenebrae. He's the Centurion of Darkness and probably the only new character who's any good. He knows a lot more than he's letting on. He doesn't actually fight.


This is Richter. Is it just me or does he look a little like Kratos? And fight a little like Kratos? And  betray you at the start of the game  like Kratos? Honestly I think the marketing team designed him after seeing Kratos's popularity. When I said he fights like Kratos, I mean that he has melee, elemental melee, magic, and healing.


This is Aqua. She's the Centurion of Water, but has broken ties with Ratatosk to work for Richter. I can't entirely blame her.


This is Alice. She's a bit of a bitch. I mean a lot of a bitch. I mean bluh bluh huge bitch. She's massively cartoonishly evil, and I'm sure has some contrived backstory about why she's evil. She's also a half elf, leading support to the "contrived backstory" theory.


This is Decus. He's a huge bitch (bluh bluh) as well, and hopelessly in love with Alice. He buys gimmicky love-fortune devices to try to win her heart. I try to avoid thinking about it.


This... both is and isn't actually Ratatosk. Note the red eyes. Emil gets the ability to let Ratatosk's power take him over in combat to overcome his "total wimp" problem. In the Eva analogy earlier, think of Ratatosk as the berserk suit. Ratatosk is not (Eva spoilers)  actually Emil's mom - or dad either . Ratatosk is referred to as the "demon lord" but isn't actually one, he just acts like one sometimes. By that I mean he's all angry, all the time.



Anyway, it's been two years since Tales of Symphonia ended, so I'll give a rundown of what's happened in the interim.



Mechanics

Tales games after Symphonia introduced a system called "free run" where characters can now move in directions other than towards and away from the enemy! REVOLUTIONARY! You can use this to make enemies chase you around while your mage(s) obliterate them or your healer(s) heal, and it actually is kind of cool. I wish it used a button other than the "block" one. If you hold the block button down while not moving the controller stick, you block. If you move the control stick, you free run. Unfortunately you take more damage when hit while running.

The process of spell/ability acquisition is simplified, there's no multiple paths, you just get a new ability every few levels. EX Skills are replaced by regular skills, which you get every few level ups. You also get points every few level ups that you use to set skills. You can have way more than 4 skills set, but most of them aren't as useful individually and none of them match up to some of the better Compound EX Skills.

Since this is a Wii game there's waggling. Waggling your Wiimote or Nunchuk in a certain direction is used as a shortcut for certain commands. The pointer is also used to interact with dungeon items via the sorcerer's ring (which is actually useful, since trying to line up shots in Symphonia can be a little hard).

Finally there's your party, which is a departure from most Tales games. Instead of having a stable of 6-8 characters you level up like a standard RPG, you instead have two "normal" characters, up to 8 guest characters (WHOEVER COULD THEY BE), and a whole bunch of monster characters.
Monster characters are a lot like Pokemon, but not quite enough to make this fall under the Pokemon LP ban (I hope). You have to capture them, level them, feed them, evolve them into new forms, and buy sweet special abilities for them.
As for guest characters, they're part of the complaining focus for this game because they're pretty gimp compared to "normal" or monster characters. You can't give them better equipment, and they can't gain levels except when the plot calls for it. So they're totally useless in the postgame and frequently useless elsewhere.
On the other hand, monsters have drawbacks of their own: they can't be controlled by a player (so if the Tipping 40s do this, they'll frequently be limited to one or two playing), they can't use items, and they don't count as being "alive" with regards to whether or not your party is defeated. This means that if you go into battle with one human and 3 monsters, you lose when the human dies, even when all three monsters could resurrect.



The LP
  1. First off, I'm not as good at this as I am at Symphonia. I won't play on Mania unless things are way too easy, and I certainly won't play on Unknown.
  2. Second, I'll be using a new game+ in order to keep my collection of monsters from the previous game. I'll try to avoid using anything TOO overpowered though.
  3. Third, I don't actually know as much about this as I do Symphonia (it's a game I hate, so I try to avoid thinking about it too much). So please correct me if I fuck anything up!
  4. Fourth, I'm going to be more efficient about things here. Doing different portraits for each emotion in Symphonia was cool (to me at least) but with no skit viewer it would be a tremendous pain. It was also a bit time-consuming. Also, there's no model viewer like in Symphonia (unless I missed one) so I won't have portraits for people except for the most major of characters.
  5. Fifth, there's going to be more viewer choice. I'm going to let you guys pick my monsters every so often. I'll post a list of monsters that I have and the top 4-ish will be included in my party (while you can have up to 250 monsters in your stable, you can only have 4 with you at any one time).
  6. Sixth, since Namco-Bandai was actually willing to shell out to the voice actors for the skits, skits now have videos.
  7. Finally, I'll endorse the HDPVR 1212 by Hauppauge and HDPVR Capture by Steven Toth as my capture setup of choice.



Notes
: This is real dialog that I actually say.
: This is real dialog that I actually think, and only you and I can hear.
: This is in-character narration, but written by wdarkk.
This is out of character narration or information.



Extra
Here's an interview with the creators of this "game" found for me by Midnight Moth:

Midnight Moth posted:

Apparently, they don't really have a good reason why they named the demon lord after Ratatosk either. They just liked the name.



Click here for the full 460x990 image.




Click here for the full 740x1016 image.




Click here for the full 734x1026 image.




Click here for the full 740x1028 image.

A little reading between the lines (especially where the talk about how well Symphonia sold) will explain much about this game.


Thanks to SystemLogoff for finding this one for me.


Thanks to Anaxite for shopping this.


Anaxite again. Thanks(?) Anaxite.


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