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Suikoden Tactics - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Rhapsodia / Suikoden Tactics
Developer: Konami
ESRB: Pending
Release Date: 09.22.2005 (Japan),
11.08.2005 (North America)
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I'm cel-shaded!

Could you please turn on the AC?

Tactical action

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While it didn't nearly gain the amount of attention that its neighbor in the Konami area was getting, one of the more noteworthy titles in an already RPG-heavy lineup was Rhapsodia, better known to most as Suikoden Tactics. The story is a continuation of the plotline of Suikoden IV, although as the name implies, this game is most decidedly a tactical RPG, and is a solid one to boot.

"It's a solid title, but you'll probably get the most out of Rhapsodia if you've played Suikoden IV..."

Unlike Suikoden V's more popular (but more sparse) booth, gamers sampling Rhapsodia had a chance to actually play through an entire battle, which was well worth it. Battles are laid out on an isometric 3D grid like most other TRPGs, and the system is turn-based. Also, players are able to determine the exact amount of damage done on a specific hit and are able to tell what status that will inflict on the enemy, which as simple as it sounds, is an extremely good idea in the game. According to what we saw from the demo FMVs, it looks like combo attacks with other characters will play a part in battles as well.

As a direct link to Suikoden IV, Rhapsodia players will be able to import save data from that game which can be put to use near the closing sequences. Whether this was done as a response to the lackluster reviews of Suikdoen IV is uncertain, but it does differentiate itself from other TRPGs on the market, which this title certainly looks like.

The conclusion? It's a solid title, but you'll probably get the most out of Rhapsodia if you've played Suikoden IV, as the plotline is a direct continuation of the story from that game. It's no surprise that it's the most playable of all the RPGs on display at TGS, as it was released this past Thursday in Japan and is slated for a November 8th release in North America. If you're either a fan of the Suikoden series or a fan of TRPGs in general, this title is worth a look, although RPGamers in the former group will get the most enjoyment out of it.

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