For those of you who never played Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Legendia, or any of the other outstanding “Tales of” games, this PSP-exclusive may seem less than interesting. Nearly all of the content in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology is borrowed from other Tales games, with a few standard RPG trappings tacked on. There is nothing really new or innovative to make the game memorable, but for fans of the franchise, Radiant Mythology is a nice trip down memory lane and a breath of familiar (if not fresh) air for the PSP.
The big deal in Radiant Mythology is the illusion of control - the title is supposed to be pronounced “MY-thology” to emphasis that this Tale is all about "you." Character customization enables you to choose details such as class, coloring, and even voice tone. Character interaction allows you to affect other characters' opinions of you, which factors in to whether or not they choose to join your party (supposedly - sometimes they just don’t feel like joining, or are never around when you want to invite them). And throughout the long, drawn-out and mostly voiced-over conversations, you occasionally get to choose a response that just might alter the course of the conversation (keyword: might).
Ultimately, Radiant Mythology comes off as a run-of-the-mill RPG, right down to the obligatory beautiful bad guy with his long, white hair and half-open collar (so evil and yet so sexy). The combat follows the real-time hack-n-slash of other Tales games, and doesn’t make much of the Unison attack system, whereby all characters in a party can attack an enemy at once. And even with everybody’s favorite angst-bucket Lloyd, or the standard amnesic damsel in distress Kanonno at the heart of most plot-points, the story is a paper-thin excuse for fetch-quests and monster-bashing.
It’s all in good fun, though - like a high school reunion. Characters from Tales of Eternia, Tales of Destiny, and even Tales of the Abyss parade across screen constantly, and even if you’ve never played those games, the ensuing crossover comedy is interesting to say the least. We can’t say the same for gameplay (unless you like button mashing) or the crafting, or the music; but we can say that Radiant Mythology is an easy game to pick up and play - and equally easy to put down and forget. The choice is entirely yours.