PSLS Retrospective – Suikoden
In this feature we will take a look at a game series and we will discuss its good points and bad points. There are a lot of great series out there that many of us have grown up playing and it’s always nice to look back and remember them.
The first series we are going to take a look at hits very close to home with me and that’s Suikoden. For me personally this was the first RPG series that I really fell in love with and it presented a ton of hours of gameplay over the course of 13 years. Every game over the series has been developed and published so far by Konami.
Suikoden I released in December of 1996 for the PlayStation console and later in 2008 on the PlayStation Network. Suikoden put the player in the shoes of an unnamed hero as he gathers 108 stars of destiny in his revolt against the corrupt government. As you progress you come to realize that you possess the Rune of Life and Death, or otherwise known as the Soul Eater. This happens to be one of 27 True Runes that govern the world. During the game you will gain insight into more of the True Runes and will encounter other Rune Bearers.
Combat in the game allows you a 6 person party which you control each member and is turn based. The combat also allows for combo’s between certain characters, giving you the task of trying out different party members together until you find combo’s. Other than combat in your 6 person party, you will also fight in duels and have war battles. Both of these two forms of combat follow the Rock, Paper, Scissors formula. In the duels there are three commands, Attack, Defend and Special. Attack beats defend, defend beats special and special beats attack. In strategic war battles, the four major groups are charge attacks, bow attacks, magic attacks and others. Charge attacks beat bow attacks, bow attacks beat magic attacks and magic attacks beat charge attacks. The ‘other’ command acts as a free special command enabling you to for example, learn what the enemy’s next attack will be.
Outside of combat you are tasked with exploring the world map which is a top down. You run your character across the terrain where you have random encounters with enemies. While running from town to town you perform various tasks to recruit people to your cause. Some of these people will help in combat while others will provide much needed assistance in your castle. Some examples being a blacksmith, item vendor and elevator operator.
There is a lot of exploration to be had in the game, especially when you start really searching for a few hard to find Stars of Destiny, and yes some of them are almost impossible to find without a guide. So while the story is nothing to write home about in Suikoden, the combat and unprecedented 108 characters to recruit gave the game a ton of value. If you have 5 bucks to spare then you should definitely purchase this on the PlayStation Network, or if you are the kind that likes physical copies, check online or garage shop. I know that even though I own a physical copy that I still almost purchased it for the PSN and that’s saying a lot, it truly is a Gem.
Opinions Around the Web
IGN (90) – Suikoden is undeniably one of the best RPGs ever made. Not only that, but Suikoden isn’t a game that can be finished in a few days either. Suikoden is long (about 25+ hours) and it doesn’t get boring… ever.
GameSpot (65) – All in all, Suikoden is a fine, albeit short, RPG. Experienced role-players should be able to whip through it in no time. Even novices shouldn’t encounter too much trouble. It’s got an appealing storyline, and tons of characters to experiment with. Even so, consider it a warm-up for Wild Arms and Final Fantasy VII.