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GI Reviews

October 1998 Issue

Tales of Destiny

Quit Talking To Me Ya' Dumb Sword!

  • Size: 1 CD-ROM
  • Style: 1-Player Role-Playing Game
  • Special Features: Real-Time 2D Battle Scenes; 9 Characters To Play As; Interesting Storyline; Really Fast "Run" Button; 6 Swordians To Collect; Memory Card Required
  • Replay Value: Moderately Low
  • Created by: Namco
  • Available: Now for Sony PlayStation

    Tales Of Destiny comes to the table with lots of original story styles, and a unique game engine. For starters, the main character, Stan Aileron, is a stowaway on an important ship, a ship that just happens to be carrying a very valuable sword. After the ship is attacked, and Stan is discovered, some monsters try to steal the sword. Instead, Stan finds the sword, and to his surprise, it talks to him. Apparently Stan has been "chosen" by the sword (named Dymlos) to be its master. The sword is sentient, and has many abilities, like spellcasting and special attacks. After Dymlos helps Stan escape, it explains the existence of other swords like it - a race known as the Swordians. Thus begins Stan's quest to seek out the other Swordians, and to thwart his competition - a mysterious evil menace also trying to acquire the swords.

    The game is similar to many other RPGs in a physical sense; walk around, talk with people, acquire items and gold to get you equipped for whatever may lie ahead. However, this game does stray from the norm in a variety of ways. First, along with gold, the party acquires lens - crystals with energy properties - that are sold for money. Many people seek out the lens; they are valuable to a corporation that buys them for use in industry. Although supplying the towns with heat and lighting is the major use of lens, there seems to be other uses as well, for the company is acquiring far more lens than it could ever use. Hmm...

    Another unique characteristic is the fighting interface. Instead of the typical menu, you are treated to a 2D side view of the characters and their enemies. Then, you attack and cast spells, all in real-time. It's kind of like Guardian Heroes for the Sega Saturn, only simpler. This is a pretty entertaining way to do the battle scenes, as you will not be completely bored by the time you have entered battle for the billionth time.

    Andy, The Game Hombre

    Concept: 7
    Graphics: 6.5
    Sound: 6
    Playability: 7
    Entertainment: 6.5
    OVERALL: 6.75
    "Tales of Destiny isn't necessarily a bad game, but it ain't great either. Using an action-styled battle engine, Tales does have something new to offer RPGers. Unfortunately, the members in your party really don't do that much, so the battle basically falls on the shoulders of your character. This makes getting new characters almost completely uneventful (though you can use them in battle). Throw in a slow-moving storyline, Super NES-like graphics, and Tales isn't much to write home about. It's better than Granstream Saga & Beyond the Beyond, but it isn't nearly as good as the Suikodens or Final Fantasies of the world."

    Jon, The Greedy Gamer

    Concept: 7
    Graphics: 7.25
    Sound: 6.5
    Playability: 7.25
    Entertainment: 7
    OVERALL: 7
    "Nothing's worse than an RPG with a cool story and lame battle interface. I'm totally bored with the "action" battle interface. I basically sit there and pound the circle button, while watching my useless party members hack on some wimpy beast. The encounter rate is pretty high, so I surfed the Web while exploring (note: this is a bad sign). I do like the different areas, from beaches to forests to shrines, everything looks different, but the graphics almost seem like you're watching the game through waxed paper - basically everything lacks definition. RPG fanatics should play this game through because the translation's good, the end secrets are cool, and there are lots of items, but others should spend their RPG time elsewhere."

    Reiner, The Raging Gamer

    Concept: 6.5
    Graphics: 6.75
    Sound: 6
    Playability: 7.25
    Entertainment: 7.75
    OVERALL: 6.75
    "Mediocre. This one word sums up Tales of Destiny perfectly. The overall look and animation is as generic as it comes and not very lifelike, and the story itself is often funny, but more times than not campy as all heck. The combat scenarios are interesting, but choppy in execution. If Namco could have implemented in more user control, these scenes would have shined as innovative and a fresh change from all other RPGs. But not all of Tales is bad. The game does manage to stay mildly entertaining and engrossing enough to play all the way through. If you consider yourself an RPG nut, then by all means give the Tale a tug, but otherwise, there are better tales to be yanked."

    The Bottom Line: 6.75

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