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sarisasenshi's Tales of Destiny Game Review

Tales of Destiny game Review

Story & Playability

While any ordinary RPG around this time period would probably start in the middle of some quiet, countryside village or in the middle of a battlefield, Tales of Destiny begins uniquely on the airship 'Draconis' and in the middle of a conversation between two crewmen.

While checking up on some cargo, they discover a stowaway sleeping on the floor of the main storeroom and haul him up to the captain of the ship. The stowaway, Stahn Aileron, was seeking passage to Seinegald, but the captain insists that he is really after 'IT'. Not knowing what 'IT' is, Stahn hastily admits that he has nothing to do with the mysterious cargo onboard the Draconis. But no one believes him, and he gets beaten up before anyone starts to believe that he really is just an innocent stowaway. He is then forced to swab the decks by one of the crewmen, until a fleet of monsters begin to attack the ship! After the crewman supervising him is tragically killed, Stahn, without a weapon, runs into the airship to find a weapon. In the main storeroom, he finds 'IT', which turns out to be a Swordian, a magical sword that was created during one of the ancient wars long ago, which possesses the ability to 'speak' and to cast magic... Then the real adventure unfolds.

Tales of Destiny possesses a unique storyline, while centering around the age-old plot point of war, doesn't make it its main focus. Instead, it becomes an important part of the storyline's history that helps to explain many of the different artifacts of the world and the Swordians. Throw some unique character development in the mix, including some truly hilarious exchanges that don't come off as being too corny, and then you've got a well-rounded story that can easily become a classic!

Rating: 7

Graphics

There is a little bit of personal bias that I have for the character designs of Tales of Destiny, since I simply adore the beautiful art stylings of Mutsumi Inomata.

Her style is somewhat "flowery" and graceful, making you think of a well-done painting when you look at the raw images of some of her works. They are sometimes very colorful and imaginative, especially when you look more closely at the character designs of Stahn Aileron and Rutee Katrea, for example. Nothing seems odd or out of place, although I have heard mixed reviews on how people tend to interpret Chelsea's character design from time to time.

In the opening sequence and finale images, the smooth animation further adds to Tales of Destiny and its anime-esque flavor. The colors are vivid and a great amount of detail is given to each character and their atmospheres, never sweating the small stuff like shading. Even in the status screen overlays, the character portraits reflect how the characters are portrayed in-game and in their art, while lacking just a little on color restrictions pressed on by the PSX format.

Rating: 8

Sound

The music of Tales of Destiny has its good points and bad points, and may easily turn most RPGs fan toward or away from it.

As a game released in the beginnings of the Playstation, much of the music is synthesized. But this doesn't take away from much of its charm, as the overall mood of the themes that play throughout the game are still preserved very well. In my experience, this especially rings true for the themes of "Unfinished World" and the normal battle theme, "Bare its Fangs." The music goes up and down, never staying in the same melody for too long. This makes many of the songs especially catchy or soft.

But if synthesized music isn't your bag, then you can always find relief in the Tales of Destiny OST. The OST for the game features each of the themes of Tales of Destiny with as much full sound as composer, Motoi Sakuraba, will allow. I know that I have listened to a few of the tracks myself, and it does add a new element to the age-old themes of the game. Still, the original format of the themes are classy, and you should always try to give them a listen as you play through the game. I don't have a lot of doubt that they will start to grow on you after awhile.

Finally, there is the voice acting and opening themes for the game. The voice-acting was an element that was largely removed from its localization to the US, as overworld "skits" were more or less cut until you can attain them again at a specific point during the game. Otherwise, it still exists in its original Japanese, untranslated format during the battle modes, featuring the voice talents of Tomokazu Seki, Yuka Imai, Hikaru Midorikawa , etc. If you are a fan of anime (like me), then this might delight you a little, otherwise this might seem as a bit of a turn-off. But all attacks are translated in an un-screen display, and many of them sound like they would in English (Ex: "First Aid!", "Pico Pico Hammer!"), so you are not missing much. The "skits," however, are only available within the sound test and untranslated, and so unless you understand Japanese, you'll be missing out on a lot of character development just like the rest of the US.

The opening theme for Tales of Destiny, like other localizations, features a symphonic composition that matches the sequence very well. Althought replacing the original Japanese theme by DEEN and resembling it in no way whatsoever (surprised?), it still matches up to the beautiful animated sequence very well and will keep you on the intro just for awhile before you decide to press that start button.

Rating: 7

Fun

All in all, Tales of Destiny is a really classic game. While not being on par with modern games like Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts, Tales of Destiny stands by itself as a really fun RPG from the Playstation generation. Not overly popular due to its lack of word-of-mouth advertisement, unlike Final Fantasy VII, it still strikes many game players as being a cult hit and leaves many of them wanting to replay it (including yours truly) when they start to feel a bit nostalgic.

The presentation of the storyline is not overly cliche, and features some very original aspects. There is a lot of character development in the game, even though many of them are not part of any big mysteries. Still, there will be some moments that will completely surprise you as the plot unfolds. All the while, our heroes are busy getting into sticky situation, laughing it up, and finding out more about themselves as each day in their adventure comes to a close.

My thoughtss? If you find this game in the section of used PSX games, don't just stand there. Buy it. If the thought of 2D and sprite gameplay don't turn you off, then definitely pick this one up off the shelves. You won't regret it.

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.17 (above average)

Reviewed by sarisasenshi, Apr 03, 2006

Comments

  1. Pisaro Apr 03, 2006

    Good Review. Actually i'm a Super fans of tales series... not only tales of destiny... The ending for this tales is is very sad, which they have to sacrifies their lovely sword to save the world. After they put all the sword they and escape from the castle, Stahn cry and this part is very touching.
    For those who are tales fans... here is the link which provide mp3, picture, video, tips, info and walkthough. www.tales-central.com

  2. shoujoboy Apr 04, 2006

    I am still a firm believer that the best RPG's were released on the PSX. Problem is a lot of the best ones went by the wayside and never even got a second look from most fans. Tales of Destiny was one of those that only now is getting a look because of the recent releases of other Tales games. Very well written review, and I can agree with you completely.

  3. Rhyme097 Sep 14, 2006

    Thank you for your review .... I like this game ...

  4. rukasu04 Mute Member Feb 08, 2010

    Nice review

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