Many years ago, Gamecube owners were treated to an exclusive Tales game, Tales of Symphonia. Spanning two discs and four player support, fans immediately ate this one up on the RPG starved system. Years later on Nintendo’s latest hardware, this Gamecube exclusive now has a direct Wii sequel.
There are two types of people that are going to play Dawn of the New World: someone that has played through the first game, or someone looking for an RPG on the Wii. If you are not one of these people, you should be looking elsewhere. Dawn of the New World’s gameplay is similar to any other Tales game with its heavy JRPG plot, unique real time combat, and bright cel-shading look but suffers overall because of slowly paced gameplay and translation issues.
The first problem with this sequel is its storyline, the driving force of any good RPG. If you have not played the original, plan on scratching your head more often than not. Additionally, this game could have also used an upgrade in the translation department. Mixing poorly translated text with a story that builds off an older title that didn’t sell to large numbers in the States is one recipe for a giant piece of confusion pie. Even after spending hours with this game, players will still be wondering what the hell exactly is going on. Sylvarantis, Tethe’allans, the Church of Martel, the Blood Purge – all these strange words and names will make players button mash to scroll through the text just to get to the next fight.
Dawn of the New World is definitely a direct sequel as the game looks and even feels like its predecessor. Graphically, the game looks like it is a Gamecube game, giving it an outdated look. But not all is bad as the menus are clean and there are some decent animations. Negatively, the load times are atrocious, making the overall speed of gameplay even slower. On the other hand, the voice acting is decent and the wiimote controls work just fine.
When you take a look at this game as a whole, even fans should be able to see the basic gameplay, last-gen graphics, and linear plotline. The main character is one of the whiniest bitches to ever be in a video game too. If you spent dozens of hours on the first game, then spending time with this sequel might not be a total waste. But if you have not played the first GC game, you should probably skip over Dawn of the New World…that is unless you track down a copy of the first one and play it first. On a positive note, you can play the Gamecube game on your Wii for a one stop shop. But that is kind of like saying that the dump I took yesterday was better than the one I took today.