Suikoden - Review

Most likely to win the "most characters in an RPG" award.

By: Paddy Murphy

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 8
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 9
   Originality 7
   Plot 9
   Localization 6
   Replay Value 7
   Visuals 7
   Difficulty Easy/Medium
   Time to Complete

30-50 hours



   Suikoden was the first RPG I played for the Playstation. 5 years ago when I first got my Playstation, not much appealed to me. I even found myself asking "Why did I buy this?". Tekken sucked, Worms was worse, and then out of nowhere appeared this little game.

   Suikoden is an RPG adventure which is set in a fantasy world, ruled by the corrupt empire. You play Hero McDohl, son of the empire's greatest general, Teo. After a number of events, Hero begins to open his eyes to the corruption and evil in the world. He, along with his minders Gremio and Cleo, joins the liberation army, an underground organization, led by Odessa Silverburg, sister of the empire's most famous war strategist, Mathiu. A seedy, adult orientated tale follows, Delving into corruption, love, hate, war, peace, treachery and the compassion of friends.

   Eventually you own a castle and can set about recruiting people into your army. There are 108 in all, and be ready for a surprise if you get them all.

   Okay, the battle system is a tried and tested formula of swords and sorcery. Hardly the most original, but enjoyable nonetheless. You may have 6 characters in your party at any given time. Also, certain characters have unite attacks, where they execute a special attack unleashing devastating damage.

Pest control
Pest Control  
Your magical abilities come from Runes which you can have attached at a rune shop. You may also upgrade your weapon level, and attach certain elements into it; such as wind, fire, earth, shadow, thunder and all that. It works really well, when you are playing the game.

   There aren't many menus, but there is plenty to do with them. You can collect window settings, and sound settings around the world to change the appearance and sound of your menus. The menus are tremendously easy to navigate, and are just right.

   On a musical scale, not many rpg's do it for me. In an rpg, the music needs to be fantastic and memorable, or it's worthless. The Final Fantasys' have always delivered this, and Suikoden delivers on the same scale. The theme song is so memorable, as well as the battle music and the "spooky" song in Neclord's castle. The sound effects are okay for early Playstation quality.

   Suikoden may not seem like an original game at first, but play it for a while, and you will see how tremendously orginal it is. Name one other game (Other than Suikoden 2) where you go around the world recruiting soldiers for your ARMY!!! ARMY!!!! Your castle changes over the course of the adventure from a barren rock in the sea, to a fabulous castle; that is, if you collect plenty of people and special items.

   The plot is great, plenty of twists and sorrowful scenes. I laughed, I cried, I almost died. The only thing is the localization isn't great, so at times people say completely incoherent things. But this aside it is an amazingly told story.

Discussing the future
Discussing the future  

   The game has plenty of replayability. That is, unless you get absolutely everything the first time you play it. I mean, 5 years on and I am still playing this game trying to get all the window settings, and sound settings, as well as all the runes.

   From a visual aspect, Suikoden is dated now, but for me the graphics are fantastic. I love the little 2d sprites, and the pictures of them on text boxes are superb, very manga. But Suikoden's graphics aren't for everyone.

   Suikoden is a fantastic game, which would please many an RPG fan, that is if it hasn't already done that. In my opinion, it is a superior game than its sequel. Roll on Suikoden 3!

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