More Suikoden IV information has emerged, this time from the mouth of Junko Kawano. The noted character designer and producer discussed her project at length in a recent interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly.
According to Kawano, Suikoden IV entered development before Suikoden III was finished. However, even though she was not involved in the third title in the series, its development did not escape her watchful eye. Her hope was to take the series in a new direction with Suikoden IV.
Indeed, the game will introduce new features to the series, namely voice acting. Kawano said that she wanted to use voice acting to bring passion to the story and to draw players completely into the game. In addition, the developers will use in game visuals, not CG cut scenes, to propel the story. The focus is the Rune of Punishment, which burdens the game's hero, and themes of forgiveness, atonement, and punishment will permeate the story. Regarding characters, Kawano explained that she did not create all of them, but instead approved the designs submitted by a team. Her personal favorite is the catlike Nekobold tribe.
Even though fighting in battles will be similar to combat in the first two titles of the series, the development team plans to throw in some unique features. As the game is set mostly on the ocean, players will be able to pilot ships and engage in battles at sea.
Konami intends to release Suikoden IV in Japan this summer. North America should see the title sometime this fall.