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Symphony of the Origin

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Music to your ears

Product: Symphony of the Origin | Publisher: Kemco Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
 
Symphony of the Origin iPhone, thumbnail 1
Kemco has already bestowed several decent mobile JRPGs upon mobile gamers, but Symphony of the Origin is one of the first to have been truly built for mobile (many of the company's previous smartphone JRPGs were straightforward ports).

Although the core JRPG gameplay remains the same in Symphony of the Origin, the game represents a massive step-up from its forerunners on the aesthetic front, with smoothly animated, high-resolution sprites, and lavish presentation throughout.

One element that remains in place here, though, is the clichéd nature of the storytelling.

As you will have already no doubt guessed, Symphony of the Origin features a troubled protagonist, a mysterious sidekick, and an adorable female love interest. Oh, as well as a supporting cast packed with strange and quirky individuals.

English lesson

Sadly, the quality of the English translation isn't especially high. Although everything is grammatically correct, there's no emotion in the words and many of the key statements made by the characters come across as clunky and unintentionally amusing. There are dramatic moments in the story, but they're robbed of their impact due to the dire script.

Thankfully, the core gameplay is engaging and addictive, with a surprisingly complex battle system that enables you to use basic attacks, magic, and special combination moves to deliver a devastating blow to your opponent.

IAPs explained
SOP (Symphony of the Origin Points) are purchased with real-world cash and - in the words of the developer - allow you to "proceed through the adventure more easily". 100 SOP costs 69p, while 2,800 SOP is £15.99.

As Kemco says, it's perfectly possible to play through the whole game without using SOP, so it's by no means a necessity to pour additional funds into the game.
The number of weapons and other items available is also impressive, offering a high degree of customisation for each character.

Pay-to-(role)-play

The relatively short play time of Symphony of the Origin means it fares slightly worse than its JRPG stablemates when it comes to the all-important 'value for money' rating. Furthermore, the presence of in-app purchases is slightly obnoxious, considering the game's premium price point.

Even so, JRPG lovers are unlikely to be too put off by these elements, especially when you take into account the high standard of the visuals and the eminently appealing music.

We're still holding out for the day when Kemco employs a proper English translator who can imbue the story with true emotion. For the time being, however, Symphony of the Origin should be regarded as one of the best bespoke mobile RPGs to emerge from the company's studio.
 
Symphony of the Origin
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 16 April 2013
Quite possibly Kemco's most accomplished mobile effort so far, Symphony of the Origin looks and sounds stunning, but suffers from a poor English localisation which has an impact on the quality of the story. Even so, it's worth a look if you're a fan of the genre
 
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