Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 28.01.2008 20

Review for Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk on Wii

Tales of Symphonia was, and is still, classed as one of the best RPGs on the GameCube and turned out to be the first ever in the long running series to make it over to Europe. Now a follow-up to it is planned on Wii, in the form of Knight of Ratatosk. Being handled by a different team and taking a slightly different approach to the gameplay of regular entries in the franchise, will this new version be sufficient to placate fans crying out for a true sequel? Let us take a closer look at what has been revealed so far...

The game this time does not centre itself around Lloyd Irving, although he is discussed as part of the back-story and featured in some form later in the game. At the start of Ratatosk, a tale is spun of how a long, long time ago, the lands of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla were brought together to become a united front that used the Giant Kharlan Tree as their source of strength. Sadly, though, nothing is ever simple and 'divine intervention' caused them to be ripped apart from one another once more, leaving the Tree to wither away and eventually cease to exist. Thankfully, back then good old Lloyd came to the rescue and the young lad was able to bestow peace unto the world and restore it to its former glory. To top it all off, a new Tree was planted following the successful mission that would flourish and become a worthy replacement for the Giant Kharlan Tree and join Sylvarant and Tethe'alla together again for the rest of time. This tale went by the name of 'Journey of Regeneration'.

In Knight of Ratatosk, the world has entered a bright new era, but despite this, people still face many problems due to extreme climate changes, with deserts becoming frozen wastelands and lakes drying up transforming into desolate valleys. This originates from how people neglected the fact that following the unification of the worlds the old Kharlan Tree spirit, Ratatosk (believed to be based on Norse mythology), still exists somewhere, with its slumber eventually sending the world into chaos. In addition to this, the people are starting to be at loggerheads with one another, since the inhabitants of Tethe'alla believe themselves to be superior to those of Sylvarant thanks to their more advanced technology, and those of Sylvarant live in fear of the Tethe'alla dwellers' excessive power and brute force. Two years on from the merging of the worlds, the people of Sylvarant, in an attempt to counter the supposed threat, have created a Vanguard with which to rise against the Church of Martel (of which Lloyd Irving is now a key member) and the people of Tethe'alla.

Screenshot for Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk on Wii

As for how Knight of Ratatosk plays, the dungeon crawling aspect of the Tales RPG series remains, but the battle mechanic has once more been tinkered with to enhance the experience for players. The game uses a modified version of Tales of the Abyss's Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System and will support up to four players simultaneously. It has been revealed that players will also be able to capture, breed, and level-up monsters that can then join forces with you in battle to fight alongside lead character Emil Castagnier on his perilous journey. Other changes to the mould include how the Field Map has been scrapped this time round, in favour of a point-and-click system, whereby the Wii controller is utilised as a pointer to navigate the world. And with Symphonia's ties to the SNES game, Phantasia, the world map displayed will be the same as it was back then, with the exception of town names retaining their Tales of Symphonia monikers.

Screenshot for Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk on Wii

On the character roster front, currently only a handful of characters have been revealed from the game, but there is sufficient information out there now to go into some detail about whom players can expect to come across during this adventure that takes place two years after the events of Symphonia on GameCube. First up is the already mentioned Emil Castagnier, whose catchphrase is "F-fine. I'll try, but if I mess up, don't blame me!", which seems to sum up his attitude perfectly. Emil is a sixteen-year-old lad whose voice in the game is done by Hiro Shimono (who also worked on Shadow Hearts 2, Phantom Brave and Eternal Sonata). The sword-wielding young chap sadly lost his parents recently in the blood purging of Palmacosta, and is an honest, somewhat na

Screenshot for Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk on Wii

Other than Colette, it appears that other characters from the original Symphonia will return, with the latest trailer showing that all party members will return, yet Kratos remains unconfirmed. It seems there may be a twist in the tale, though, as Lloyd is depicted fighting against Emil and Marta in one scene, plus Zelos seems to be making a return, which may surprise many. The game is currently sporting some gorgeous looking visuals, with plenty of animated sequences being included and hectic battle scenes, all helping to make this look like a massive improvement over its already aesthetically pleasing GameCube precursor, and comes with a theme song by the same Japanese popstrel that penned the fantastic main track for Tales of the Tempest, misono, with her new, equally catchy song 'Three-Legged Race' being used for the introductory sequence. The game certainly has a lot going for it, and considering the currently barren RPG landscape on Wii right now, it automatically propels itself up to near the top of the interest tree!

Screenshot for Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk on Wii

Final Thoughts

The 'Tales of' games have always excelled in the depth of their storyline and enjoyment of their battle sequences, with lots of enjoyable extras thrown in for good measure, and so far it looks like Symphonia's successor will not disappoint. The game is set for a Spring 2008 release in Japan and is beating the majority of developers to the punch in the RPG stakes on Wii, so could very easily take advantage of the open playing field to accrue strong sales. With Bandai Namco previously telling Cubed

Developer

Namco Tales

Publisher

Namco Bandai

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (319 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Can't wait for this game, absolutely loved ToS. Deserves a 5/5 anticipation rating to me. Smilie

I docked a mark due to the amount of stuff we still don't know - like side quests, length of the adventure, whether skits are included, if cooking makes a return or even if the Guild system is going to be incorporated (like in Tales of Innocence) :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

I hope there isnt too much mandatory waggling :P

It's looking good so far,

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Other than the pointing and clicking aspect of the world map, I'm not sure about motion controls in the game. The videos seem to show a cursor even in towns and villages, so maybe an option is to move your character in the same way as in Zack & Wiki...who knows? I think I also read you can shake the Wii Remote to temporarily ward off enemies in battle. Again, not sure, though, so I didn't include it in the preview :Smilie

Between this and Fragile, I'm really liking Bandai Namco's RPG support for the system! :-D

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Been watching the ToS anime recently....now I want this game even more. :D

Oh dear god...a game is preaching to us about climate change.

Nice one, Raz!

What with this and ToI on the DS, it’s all looking good for the Tales franchise in the near-ish future! I’m playing through ToS again at the moment, but which of the other Tales games would you recommend I look into next?

I’ve never played any of the other entries in the series (not least because of their lack of availability in Europe), but I’m definitely interested in exploring some of them if I get the chance. Finger crossed this comes to Europe, though. :D


Cubed3 Staff [ Retro Editor :: Previews Editor ]

If you've got a PSP, I highly recommend both Tales of Eternia and Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology - both excellent entries into the franchise. I'm hoping the remake of Tales of Destiny makes it over to Europe as well via Ubisoft's current deal with Bandai Namco on Sony formats!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

I loved ToS. Spent over 100 hours in it! :P I can't wait for this game. The Wii certainly has a lack of RPGs. I hope Japanese publishers send some of their our way. Like ASH, for example.

Well, it seems that this is getting quite a strong push in Japan with lots of media being released lately. And considering how good Tales of Innocence is, all signs are positive for this to have great success over there.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

i wonder what the tree name isSmilieSmilie

I can't wait to learn more about this - I'm hoping we can score an interview, so if anyone wants questions asking, feel free to post them here and I'll see what I can do Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

this game looks awsome i wanna buy it kwllllllll!!!!!!!!SmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilie

CRAP YA! ToS is finally coming out! I wonder how might they implement Wii features on it... *drools*

Gaming, gaming, and gaming, plus more gaming, with additional gaming, thus the result of gaming is more gaming, and perpetuation of endless gaming.

AHHH i need that game!
well, when it's released in the UK.
andddd when i get money.
andddd when i get a wii T_T lol
tos on the gc is my favourite game ever so this better be worth the wait XD

Nakushin said:
i wonder what the tree name isSmilieSmilie

Alot of people believe the tree's name is Ygdrassil, because in norse mythology which the game reffers to alot the tree in that is named that also.

ToS is one of the greatest RPGs to date, and IMO beats out even may of the FF games, including the all Praised FF VII.

I cant wait for ToS2, as it combines monster catching into the mix, and I personally love monster catching games.

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I seriously hope Nintendo brings this out in Europe sometime during Autumn...September sounds like a good month to me Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]


YAY! GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Smilie

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