Okay, we'll keep this one short as we reviewed the US version just a couple of issues back. We awarded it 84% and (surprise, surprise) the score isn't going to change any time soon. If you didn't get a chance to read our review last time, here's the general gist of what to expect. It's a 'traditional' Japanese RPG and a good looking one at that. The characters are all beautifully designed (they're cel-shaded) and the specific locations you enter throughout the adventure are rarely anything short of stunning. The only downer in the visual stakes is the relatively ugly overworld, but you should be able to live with that.
The battle system is probably the best thing about the game (which is a good job as you'll be fighting for over 50 hours in order to level up and defeat bosses). It takes place in real-time. You have direct control over one character plus the ability to influence other characters' behaviour and attacks via a handy Pause menu. If you're so inclined you can also get three of your mates to take control in battle, which is a great touch if you have someone prepared to work through the 60-hour-long adventure with you.
The only thing that really got on our nerves was the rubbish dialogue. There are times when it's pretty appalling and it does kind of spoil the magic a little - likewise, the plot can be pretty cliched and RPG veterans will find it tiresome in places. Still, there's no arguing that Tales of Symphonia is a high-quality RPG, and exactly the kind of thing Gamecube's been in need of for ages.
Tales of Symphonia is out now for Gamecube