|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Alfa System||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jul. 17, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology is a fun-filled romp. It would make a decent action game, but as an RPG it caves under the weight of its own lightness. How's that for a contradiction of terms?
True RPG fans aren't into aiming, shooting and clobbering, and action fans aren't into counting, rationing, and strategy. There are fundamental differences between the two camps although many games are straddling the fence between the two genres. Such a game is Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology which employs a real time battle system that brings more action to the table while still retaining the strategic, number-crunching premise of a classic RPG. Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology combines a lot of popular elements into one title, but the results is more like an impersonator than something with an original voice.
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology suffers from gameplay redundancy. While I admit the gameplay is solid and fun, it's possible to have too much of a good thing. The entire premise of the game is built on a foundation of side-quests. There are hundreds of them, and they aren't very well balanced in terms of diversity. Expect lots of dungeon crawling, battles, fetch quests, and backtracking.
This game says everything that it has to say in a couple of hours. The storyline manages to drag things out considerably longer. The story could easily be condensed, since most of it is filler. It's amusing to be sure, and well done in terms of production values and character development, but you really have to be a fan of the series and the characters to want to spend so much time with them.
I'm not a big fan of the series, but that's only because my experience with it is limited. But as such, I enjoyed the characters. I found they have more depth than your average cliché heroes with a sense of awareness and humor that makes them endearing. Developers Namco are obviously aware of this and have included characters from the past series. They will join your party once you're deemed popular enough to hang with.
At the start of the game your character is totally anonymous, to the point where you have to create him or her from scratch. You will determine the body style, hair, wardrobe, name, occupation, and voice. In this way, you feel as though you have a vested interest in your character since it is in essence your creation. Through the completion of various tasks, you will acquire varying degrees of fame. This fame will determine which popular characters from the previous games in the series will join your party. Characters such as Stahn and Leon will add a significant amount of firepower to your party, but don't expect them to tag along until you pay your dues.
As a newbie character brought to life in the world of Terresia, a mentor in the shape of a strange looking cat named Mormo explains that you are one of the chosen ones. It's your destiny to protect Terresia from a monstrous threat named the Devourer. Beginning with a party of unknowns with questionable skills, you embark on your quest to save the world. And for the first couple of hours, all seems well. Action is around every corner. Battles can be avoided or instigated. Dungeons are abundant and are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and treasures. Battles allow you to move your character in real time to execute various attacks and combos. The gameplay is fun and exciting, but slowly you begin to sense the black cloud on the horizon. As it envelops you, you suddenly realize that you've entered into a Groundhog's Day vortex where the only consistency is redundancy.