Namco has re-released the two Tales of Symphonia games in a 2 in 1 package for ps3 with better graphics and some extra content!
Tales of Symphonia is an incredible game and I recommend it to everyone. Though I hear the second one is a bit lackluster, I am definitely going to get this just to play the first over again, and see how bad the second one really is.
I wouldn't say the second one is bad by too much of a stretch. Like many sequels, it certainly doesn't hold up to it's predecessor. The first ToS game is certainly much more nostalgic to me, and has better story and moments, but the sequel isn't terri-bad. I don't like some of the voice actor replacements (yes, there are some), but some of the skits are genuinely really well-done, and it's interesting to see how times from the first game have changed. The whole monster as team members thing is different for a Tales game. It's kinda neat, though I don't remember much of it from when I played it. Though... I remember Mystic Artes not being as useful. Might just be me, though. :v
You can also take on some side-quests, though the majority of them are pretty much like Tales of Radiant Mythology, with the same, certain type of dungeons being used and implementing different requirements to fulfill them - beat the enemy at the end, find a treasure, find someone, etc. Nothing special about most of them. Though there are a certain few that lead to some pretty nice rewards, if done in the right order at the right time, apparently. Never managed to do them, myself. v_v
Well you make it sound less bad :P
I've honestly only read reviews, this will finally be my chance to get to try it and decide for myself whether it's the piece of crap the rest of the internet says it is or not!
I am 110% looking forward to replaying the original first though :)
I just started playing Tales with the release of Xilla, but since then I've played Graces F, Abyss 3DS and Vesperia 360. I'm now onto this one and like all the rest I'm really enjoying it thus far. The one thing that I really dislike about the three older ones(Abyss, Symphonia & Vesperia) is the voiceless skits in Abyss & Symphonia, as well as the timed side quests and lack of ability to skip cut scenes or a battle re-start. It really makes it tough to play on harder difficulties cause you don't wanna watch the same long scenes over and over again lol. That's just me nitpicking though, cause I love all of the Tales games and I actually enjoyed the older three more than the newer ones for the most part.
You can skip the symphonia scenes fairly quickly by hammering the start button :P
More things are voiced if you play with Japanese voicing and english subtitles (Like those scenes where it's just the characters faces talking to each other), I guess they cheaped out a bit or ran out of time to get the English voice actors to do everything the Japanese voice actors did.