PSLS Retrospective – Suikoden
Three years after Suikoden landed on the PlayStation, Konami released Suikoden II. The game follows years after the original game and centers around an invasion by the Kingdom of Highland of the City States of Jowston. You are again given an unnamed and silent protagonist who you can have fun naming. You character is the son of a former war hero who along with his best friend Jowy each gain half of the Rune of Beginning.
The game features 108 characters just as the first one did yet there are less playable characters. You can also pull your Suikoden saved file over to the game and it allows you to recruit the hero from the first game. The main antagonist in this game is Luca Blight, heir to the throne of Highland. Luca is bloodthirsty and a complete madman as he will stop at nothing to destroy Jowston.
The combat from the first game returns with your standard battles, duels and battles. Updates however from the first game include a grid and unit based tactical battle system, the addition of a three rune slot system that allows a player to equip multiple runes at one time. Also added is a party inventory system and a dash button for your character which is a breath of fresh air.
Like the first game, Suikoden II offers the player a lot of options for explortation, a lot of characters to recruit, mini games, three different battle systems and a lot of replayability. The game saw a very limited release and thus is a hot commodity on the internet with people at times paying $150 and up for a copy. Just like with the first game in this series, if you can find yourself a copy then you really should purchase this game, it is a gem.
Opinions Around the Web
IGN (90) – A true sequel in nearly every aspect, Suikoden II manages to achieve the rare feat of actually picking up where the former game left off, taking gamers for a familiar ride that proves to be deeper and much more detailed than the original.
GameSpot (76) – Fans of the first Suikoden game will love the sequel – it improves on everything that had made the first game memorable. Suikoden II brings nothing new to the genre, but it executes well enough that no one will really care.