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"Tales of Phantasia" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2006 by Nintendo. It is a roleplaying game based on an earlier video game series of the same name. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages. The gameplay of this title follows the story of "Cress". One afternoon, he set off on a hunting trip and returned home to find his village destroyed. A notorious dark knight named "Mars" is suspected as the culprit and Cress sets off to slay him. Cress will also recruit villagers and other skilled individuals to his noble cause. The story spans across several urban and wilderness locations and sees Cress doing battle with Mars' army. In a step away from traditional roleplaying games, battles in this title are contested in real time. I felt this to provide an excellent addition to the otherwise over saturated genre, and allowed me to engage with Cress' plight against evildoers. The battles themselves are primarily strength and weapons based but a select few characters will also acquire magical abilities which can prove beneficial. The graphics are presented from an isometric perspective which switches to a side view when in combat. I found both views to be equally as pleasing in terms of aesthetics. When looking down onto the gaming world, the player will be treated to many accents such as wildlife and floral patches which accent the otherwise bright lime green grass and camel tan beaches. Each character sports unique attire and facial features and I found this to be helpful as it allowed me to identify the characters on screen with ease. The soundtrack is also good with an assortment of more gentle musical scores and sound effects following the player throughout. Overall, Tales of Phantasia is an excellent roleplaying game which I would recommend to prospective buyers. The story may not be innovative but the more action oriented combat system was a refreshing experience for me as a player, and is something which I truly enjoyed.
When young swordsman Cress Albane finds his home village destroyed and his parents killed, Cress sets off on an adventure to find those responsible. In his efforts to uncover those behind this evil deed, Cress soon finds himself on a mission that will take him back and forth through time. The game uses the unique Linear Motion Battle System, which allows players to attack enemies in real time, giving the game more of an action feel than the standard role-playing game has. In addition, the game features a Monster Dictionary, where players can collect and record the information about creatures they come across. Finally, with the unique Cooking System, players must earn new recipes and find specific ingredients that allow their characters to restore hit and magic points.