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== SUIKODEN ==
I really cant describe how much I love the Suikoden games. This is where it all started for this role playing game way back on the PS1. This is one of the most underrated role playing games for the PS1 and not too many people would of heard of it because it made its name in Japan and not many copies were released over here. Suikoden was developed and published by one of my favourite companies called Konami. They make some of my favourite games like the Suikoden games and Silent Hill games. Suikoden is a 2D role playing game and some of the 2D ones are better than some of these newer role playing games. The thing that gets me addicted to the Suikoden games is the intriguing story and this Suikoden starts the series off with one of the better storylines.
=== STORY ===
In Suikoden you play as Hero (you name him) who is probably the best main character from a Suikoden game. Hero is the son of a great general and the game starts with father and son in the Scarlet Moon Empire because Teo (your father) has been assigned a mission in which involves him leaving town for a while. Hero is then assigned missions and one of them include capturing bandits with his friends. One of them named Ted has a rune attached on his hand and he uses it in front of Kanan who is Hero's superior. When back home Kanan tells a mysterious witch named Windy about the rune and all hell breaks loose causing Hero and a group of his friends to escape leaving Ted behind because he told them to leave him. Ted gave Hero the rune to stop Windy possessing it. Now Hero is classed as a traitor and joins the Liberation army. This in turn leads to havoc because Hero is on one side whilst his father is on the other. Now Hero must find over 108 stars of destiny and bring peace to the land even if it means fighting his father.
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Suikoden does have a lot to offer especially with the gameplay. The game has you going through a lot of emotions in the story such as betrayal, sadness and happiness. The main thing about the game has to be the 108 stars of destiny and the game revolves around trying to find and recruit them. The stars of destiny are characters that join your cause and help you win the war and put an end to the destruction cause by the empire. I also love the fact you acquire a castle for your army and all your recruits are scattered into it. The fighting in the game comes in three different ways. There is the turn based battles where you can take a total of 6 characters 3 to fight on the front of your formation and the other 3 on the back and in the 6 it actually also includes Hero because you have to use him for everything. In battle you can use magic, attack normal and certain characters that have a connection can do a unite attack to deal more damage. You can also retreat if you feel the enemy is too strong but some battles are impossible to run from. Also in Suikoden there are map battles and these are my personal favourites. The aim is to obliterate the opposite army by destroying all their units. You have to work and strategize to win. There are certain attacks you can do for example charge attack is strong against bow attacks and there are others which include magic attacks being strong against charge attacks. Its complicated at first but easily mastered. There are also one vs one duel battles which involve Hero and an enemy. These battles are like boss battles you have three choices attack, defend and desperate attack. Each one has a weakness to another one.
In Suikoden you can explore so much of the world but most of it opens up as you progress in the main story. You visit numerous places of interest such as towns and villages, mountain paths, caves, secret hideouts and many more. There is a world map in which most places are visible on it and you can free roam it but you do encounter random battles whilst on it. In some of the towns there are many places of interest as well such as armor shops, item shops, appraisal shops and others shops. You will come across many characters but the ones that join stand out a lot compared to normal characters and when you speak to them the ones that join have photos of their face. The characters that join you are really good but not all of them can be chosen to fight in your turn based battles only certain ones can but the ones that can are able to have runes equipped to use magic or you can change their equipment to make their defence better. The inventory in this Suikoden is a major let down in my eyes. Suikoden 2 allows you to carry items in your bag but this game allows each character you have in your party to carry a certain amount of items so you use up space quickly. The good thing is back at your castle you have a warehouse to store lots of your unwanted items or you can just sell them at shops. The money in the game is called Potch and can buy you a lot of useful things.
There are some special items scattered throughout the game some enemies drop them after battle. Things like window sets or sound sets can be found. These change the chat box and inventory box and the sound effects they make when browsing in your inventory. Some of the magic in the game is really good and some of it looks fantastic even for an old game. The game also features several mini games like cards and a few others. Also in Suikoden there are hundreds of different creatures and other enemies that will attack you some of which are very funny looking and some are also ferocious looking. Along with these are some fantastic bosses of all sizes and some include a blood thirsty vampire, a dragon that's guarding something you desperately need and many others. All have different attacks and most fit well in the game. Suikoden is a great role playing game and one that many wouldn't of heard too much about but don't let that put you off. It has bags of potential and a lot to offer gamers. If you love older role playing games like Final Fantasy then this is right up your street.
=== GRAPHICS ===
The game has decent graphics for a PS1 game that's fairly old. Whilst its 2D it actually suits it better than the newer Suikoden games that went into 3D. All of the characters in the game are stunning and detailed really well. The characters that join stand out more than anything and not a single character looks rushed or boring. Most of the dungeons look really well designed and each one that looks similar to another is set out differently and they all look really good. Monsters in the game also look great and some of the bosses are fantastic. Overall the game features some stunning graphics for an old game.
=== SOUND EFFECTS ===
One thing I love about the Suikoden games is the soundtrack to all of them as they all feature similar music and its my all time favourite overall. The songs seem to fit each scene perfect and its the kind of music that grows on you when you hear it more. Other sound effects are fairly good as well and definitely improve the game overall. Battle effects sound fascinating and other sound effects are good as well. Suikoden for me has the best music and some of the best sound effects overall making it something special. Also with the different sound sets you can find the sound can be mixed up with a lot of different sounds but some are annoying whilst some are really special.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
Suikoden games are fairly easy for me because I have completed them numerous times. I do think most of the game will also be easy for the majority of gamers. The controls are very simple to the game and the battle systems are very easy to understand. I would say one of the hardest parts to this Suikoden is the boss fights or one vs one battles because you must study what your opponents say. Other than that its a simple game. The story is simple to follow the world map is easily navigated as is the inventory screen. Overall Suikoden is one of those simple but effective role playing games.
The length of these games can put you on a downer Suikoden games seem to all last around the same length. The main quest to this game lasts roughly about 20 hours which doesn't seem that good for a role playing game but the game has other bits which you can do and that can possibly take the overall time to 25 hours. Still not great but this game can be enjoyed on numerous playthroughs and it never gets boring. There are also multiple endings for certain characters and some enjoyable and sad scenes. All of which cannot be seen on one playthrough.
=== PROS ===
*The story to Suikoden is breathtakingly good and very enjoyable.
*108 characters to recruit and fight by your side.
*The graphics are still really good and the sound effects are fantastic.
*The soundtrack is beautiful and some of the songs are amazing.
*Overall three fantastic battle systems with map, turn based and duels.
=== CONS ===
*Not brilliant in terms of length.
*The price of the game is incredibly high and the game is rare.
*I think the game is a little to easy in places and should be a bit more challenging.
*Some of the characters can be missed and some can only be recruited at certain times.
*The amount of items you can carry is poor.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Suikoden is a great game and in my opinion its the second best of a fantastic game series. Suikoden 2 has to be the all time favourite. I love almost everything the game stands for and everything it has to offer. I actually stumbled on this game and I am glad its part of my life. Suikoden is the type of game that when you start playing you get immediately hooked especially with the fascinating storyline. Konami have done really well with this game its just a real shame it never sold enough and its a shame its not more popular. Definitely one of the most underrated RPG's.
I would recommend this game not just because its one of my favourites but because it has a lot to offer. I think its worthy of being in the same class as the Final Fantasy games back on PS1. If you love a good 2D role playing game that can offer something different and unique then look no further than Suikoden. This is the game for you and you wont be disappointed at all. The manual to the game is okay but nothing special. Suikoden isn't suited or aimed towards the younger generation of gamers because its based on war and contains strong violence.
Now for the huge disappointment which is the price for the game. I was quite lucky back when I was at school to find this on a market stall with the second one. Both at just £5 each. Great value for money back then and even now. However this game has gone seriously rare and will be really hard to find in the UK especially cheap. The game is on Amazon for around £50 which includes postage and to be honest no game is worth that especially a Playstation One game.
One of the best role playing games and I would give it an 8/10!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
Suikoden was an excellent RPG that came out for the playstation in 1996. It is by far one of the most moving and emotional games that I have ever played.
I will not ruin the plot, so I will only give a brief overview of the game. You start out as the son of a great warrior and a respected man in the village, Teo. You have to go to the hall and meet with the emperor. You then meet with a general and accept a mission while your father goes away and fights in a war. This is where you join with the first members of your party and embark on a journey that has tons of twists and turns.
The fighting system is turn-based. You assign your attacks and hit the computer, and then the computer hits you. Most of the time, you have six members in your party and the enemy party can range from 1-6. You can choose from Magic, attack, and a rune attack.
There are a lot of people you can control in this game. I believe that if you want to get every character, there are 128 of them. Some characters you need to be a certain level to obtain.
The game has a great soundtrack and a great gameplay. I was able to beat the game in around 40 hours, and I never lost interest once. It is a must have for all playstation RPG owners.
Suikoden is the first installment to the suikoden series by Konami, it was released in england in march 1997. This game is an RPG. Due to the rareity of the game, it now costs around £50-£80, even on ebay
This game is based on the hero, Tir McDohl, the son of a general of the Scarlet Moon Empire. Tir is starting out in the imperial army. As you go through the game doing certain missions, you learn that the empire is corrupted. There are 27 true runes in the game, and your friend ted come in possession of the rune of life and death, also known as the soul eater. The corrupted members of the empire are trying to get there hands on the rune, that you decide to protect which later leads you to be banished from the city of Gregminister, thus the making of your own army begins...
Through out the game you have the ability to recruite 108 members (108 stars of destiny). You can find these characters whilst going through the game with the story line but others you have to go and find. With some characters you need need things such as a certain level, or a certain amount of people in your amry, others may ask you to do a task for them. Each memeber is different and helps you in different ways in and out of battle. Some of the characters go on and appear in the further games of suikoden.
The fighting scences in the game are a very traditional way of fighting in an RPG game, it is turn based. You may have 6 people in your party whilst traveling and fighting, and w of hilst in a fight you have control of all 6 individually. You have a weapon range, which are short medium and long. To perform magic you have to have your hands on a rune, then rune has levels, the higer the level, the better the move and improves by having more moves. You can also have dual battles in the game, which is one on one, and wars. Your army against another. When in a war you hae the choice of four moves, charge attacks, bow attacks, magic attacks and others. The other section are certain special attacks for example, learnign what the enemys new move is. In the duel you have the choice of 3: attack, defend and special. With the war and duel you basically have to guess what your opponant is doing, so its a bit hard and unpredictable but amazing to watch.
I personally love this game, iv been a fan ever since i was young, though playing the game again quite recently the game does seem quite short and easy to complete. The story line is a little basic but it is still one of my vest games. The war and duel parts of fighting i think are great, guessing what the opponant is gunna do is a little hard at times, but where else have you seen anything like that in any RPG game? and the ability that you have the choice to travel with 108 people.
Released in a rather unfortunate time around which Final Fantasy VII and Zelda: Ocarina of Time had teamed up to almost bludgeon the 2D RPG out of existence, Suikoden was perhaps destined not to turn heads in the mainstream because of its old-skool sensibilities. Sure enough, it has gone down in the annals of time as one of the PlayStations rarest and most sought-after games, at one stage worth £60-80.
Lack of consumer response can perhaps be understood given the unsupportive climate it was released into, but more disappointing was the medias apparent disinterest. The same sources that now talk of Suikoden as if it has always been acknowledged to be a classic were responsible for some very average scores when it made its PlayStation bow in 1997. The main criticism levelled at the game was that it didnt do anything new, a claim that now seems remarkable in its inaccuracy.
Certainly, the storyline itself doesnt reinvent the wheel you assume the role of a self-named hero and after becoming disillusioned with the increasingly authoritarian rule of Emperor Barbarossa, decide to cut loose and join the Liberation Army, ultimately spearheading its rebellion. Its how Suikoden lets you go about doing this that makes it so unique.
Whilst most RPGs allow you to form a party comprising of ten or twelve motley misfits, Suikoden allows you to travel the world recruiting people from all walks of life. Some will join your cause immediately because they are unhappy with the Empire; some decide to help if you deliver an item to them or run an errand, whilst others demand that you attain certain levels of strength before they join your ranks. The great thing is, there are rather more than a dozen characters to find there are 108!
Once recruited, members of the Liberation Army can be conversed with at your Castle HQ. Some recruits make themselves useful by setting up Inns or Item stores, others allow you to make use of some nifty extras such as being able to customise your inventory window or listen to some of the games music at your leisure, and there are several gambling mini-games thrown in to the mix as well. The bigger your army gets, the more the castle expands; its a brilliantly clever and superbly executed idea; its really satisfying wandering about your castle, seeing who and what has been added.
And whilst the enormous number of characters offers a breathtaking level of variety in battle, the story doesnt suffocate to the degree it might have done given the sheer weight of protagonists. There are maybe a dozen or so core characters as well as numerous cameo roles, but overall the mix of odd personalities proves really quite endearing; there are some genuinely sad moments near the end that reflect its success in this area. Another feature that can be seen as progressive and unusual for an RPG is the fact that certain secondary characters can be killed off permanently during the army battles. These basically pit the Liberation Army against the Empire; the side with troops alive at the end obviously being the winner. Simple options such as charge, bow attack and magic are easy to grasp and are complimented nicely by the ability to use spies to guess the enemies next move and you can get some to turn traitor and join your side. These are fun and easy to get the hang of, though opting for the wrong strategy at the wrong time can end in death for one of your allies.
Elsewhere, the basic gameplay mechanics are more familiar role-playing fare, as you go about exploring towns, raiding dungeons and bashing monsters. Everything in the field works as it should; controls are responsive and nippy, menus are easy to navigate and there are no problems with view or perspective. The turn-based battles are well-implemented you can have up to six members in your party at a time, with two lines of three characters; logic dictating that the most effective combinations would include a mixture of archers and mages bringing up the rear and more physical warriors leading the line. The Free Will option (automatically getting all your characters to perform standard attacks) is a quick and relatively risk-free way of winning normal battles quickly and removes much of the potential repetition that would have went with continually having to grind through long-winded fights.
The levelling-up process is very rapid; it seems a little odd that a character can remain in your party constantly for twenty hours and have their level almost matched by another who hasnt fought at all within a dozen or so battles. Whilst purists may dislike this obvious imbalance, it means the player doesnt have to set aside excessive chunks of time getting characters battle-ready. It seems very much in keeping with the brisk pace Suikoden maintains throughout there are no arduously long, multi-storey mazes to negotiate and theres always the feeling that you are making progress and that youve got something to do.
There are just a couple of gripes gameplay-wise. The inventory can be a real pain at times as each character has only a very limited number of slots enough for equipment and four or five other items (and this has to include healing medicine). Having to swap and drop things proves tiresome quickly, and its worse still if you have collected an important item early in your quest and you cant recall which one of your characters is in possession of it. Given that youre in charge of an army, youd have thought it would make perfect sense to have unlimited space.
The additions you can make to characters and weapons also serves more to confuse than to aid the player. Some figures have a rune affiliated with them that allow for the use of some special attacks and magics, whilst rune shards and crystals can produce an array of effects when fused with weapons, though only certain characters can use specific ones. It seems Suikoden is at its best when it keeps things simple, as whilst you have to go through the rigmarole of buying several bits of armour for every single character, the weapon upgrades are handled in a much less complicated way, and all the better for it. Blacksmiths allow weapons to be sharpened, each time costing a little more and allowing for greater power; this mercifully spares you the task of comparing statistics and carting round loads of obsolete swords hurray for common sense!
Visually, its qualities are somewhat reminiscent of Final Fantasy VI. 2D environments and sprites are evidence that Suikoden doesnt attempt to engage the player in any polygon pyrotechnics, but you cant ignore its raw quality something you appreciate more with extended play. Everything is pin sharp and the design and general craftsmanship of the characters and landscapes is delightful, whilst travelling to new areas is genuinely interesting as they offer significantly more variety in their appearance than the vast majority of RPGs. Not only is the attention to detail commendable, but there are a host of well-realised visual effects; including reflection and lighting in the castle interiors, as well as rain and the occasional night-time location that look great. These touches set it above many of its competitors even though it retains the distinctive 2D layouts no mean feat.
More often than not the music is enjoyable, with a range of flute-based efforts that reflect the full range of scenarios theres the downbeat thrums that accompany the exploration of an oppressed village, the chirpy chimes that go with a heated battle and so on. It isnt all perfect though the Liberation Army Castle theme is so mercilessly repetitive youll hate it after just a couple of minutes, and by the end of the game, its almost unbearable. Suikoden offers little in the way of sound effects (though they are only of secondary importance here), though it does at least opt not to embarrass itself with any pantomime voice-acting, though it must be noted that the dragons sound curiously similar to elephants trumpeting!
Suikodens chief area of concern is in its lack of longevity. The main adventure itself will last only 25 hours or so, whilst attaining all 108 stars will probably see the play time creep towards thirty. Though youll undoubtedly want to see it through to the brilliant ending sequence, this is, inescapably, a rather moderate total for a game of this ilk and a concern given its hefty asking price these days.
But on the whole its an experience all RPG fans should invest time in if given the chance though the extortionate price-tag and its short-but-sweet nature make it slightly harder to recommend. That said, Suikoden makes for an unusually successful blend of antiquated gameplay mechanics and pioneering new ideas, and if youre after an accessible and entertaining role-player with a decent story, then there are few more engaging than this one.
A unique strategy RPG, Suikoden revolves around a young hero who is a lieutenant in the king's army. After he stumbles across proof of corruption in the empire, he needs to find and bring together the 108 stars (a group of mortal and immortal heroes scattered across the land) and assemble an army to defeat the current ruler and the evil witch controlling him.
Suikoden is a classic RPG, and like many early RPGs the gameplay is through a worldmap, town areas, and a battle system. The game is purely 2D, but is well-drawn although by modern standards it appears basic. It is purely text-based, and there are no voices, although the background sound is not intrusive and contributes well to the game.
Movement during normal gameplay is controlled by the D-pad as the game unfortunately does not support the analogue stick. One shortcoming is the lack of a "run" function, as you move everywhere at the same rate. You can find chests and hidden items by exploring as in most RPGs, but you also need to talk to everyone to find all the members of the destined 108 stars. As you recruit additional characters your base, initially a ruined castle, expands and develops and part of the game's attraction is watching its progress and gaining new facilities.
The standard combat system allows you to have up to six characters in your party for each fight. The system is turn-based, with "unite" attacks which allow certain characters to combine their moves for more damage. A range of weapons and runes (magic) are available, so the characters' abilities are fairly flexible. For large battles the system is very basic. You select which unit, commanded by various members of the 108 stars, you will attack with and then it shows you the outcome. Depending on the commanders and troop types (and whether you successfully guess the opponent's move) the results and options available will change. The occasional one-on-one duel is handled by, effectively, rock-scissors-stone, although your opponent's speech before moving gives clues about their choice.
The world map is large, but excellently designed, and gives an epic feel to the game. It is one of the few games to allow players to play power politics at the highest level, but by talking to people in the towns you can see how your actions, and other people's, are affecting ordinary lives. As you develop your base, and slowly expand your influence across the world, you can see the impact you are having, and this creates a feeling of real progress as the game goes on.
Despite the game's massive scope, the characters are all well-defined and the plot threads are resolved with few loose thread hanging. The game's tone is dark and its adult themes make it unsuitable for younger players. Suikoden offers about 70 hours of gameplay, possibly more depending on how many secrets and side quests you complete, and there are multiple endings, which enhance the game's replay value.
Behind the lack of voices and dated graphics is a gripping RPG with strategy, plot and character. Overall this is an excellent game for fans of RPGs and strategy games. Unfortunately it is also extremely rare, and one of the few games on the Playstation where second hand copies can go for upwards of £50. Despite the price however, this is an excellent game which deserves a place in most gamers' libraries.
Genso suikoden. This game is for all accounts an RPG. The battle mode, and just how the game is played in general all point to the role playing genre. Of course to me, this game is so much more. This is all about destiny, and life and death....and so many other things. It is a very magical (both in gameplay and story), and is the best game i have ever owned. Compared to the sequel, this game is amazing. I mean, i'm not saying that i don't find the second game just as exciting as this one, but it doesn' have the same appaek upon first playing it, whic hthis game revels in. It is all about the first time you play it. It is magical and exciting nad it wisks you away to a far away land, but a sophisticated one. i am not trying to say that this is a kids game because it is anything but that. In fact it is the complete opposite....it is a sophisticated and brilliantly developed game for the expert player. And that is what gives it it's excitement. The fact that it isn't at all easy, in any aspect. The stroy of the game itself, goes something like this. There are 108 stars of heaven and earth (hence the title of my opinion), who are to be joined together by one of the stars....the lead character. You play the lead character, and it is your job to bring together all 108 characters and beat the empire (which is the place where you live, but also the big, and enemy army). You lead the Liberation Army in this battle, and you must defeat each of the five generals of the Imperial (empire) army. (either kill or get tehm to join you....except the general that is your father, whom you must fight and kill). Then you must defeat teh emperor. Along the way, people will come, and go, and come back again...and in the most extreme case die. All the way through the game there is side adventures (trying to keep the "souleater" safe..i will explain that later, and defeating Neclord and saving a girl). Each one presents a challenge, and of course,
an answer to that challenge. when one of the lead characters dies (about hafway through) there is a chance to get that character back nearer to teh end by having all the other characters, at that point (later on). How's that for a basic explenation? Each character in this game is an individual, but can combine attacks with other characters to achieve a formiddable double/triple attack. Not only that but they each have there own weapons, and special attacks. of course getting these characters may involve other characters, especially for the alternative races (i.e Dwarves and elves, etc). Of course some characters can't be gotten until a certain way through the game, like when you are above a certain level in strength or your base is a big enough size (which is achieved through collecting characters and winning important battles). There is also on this game 'runes'. They are attatched to characters to allow hem to perform special attacks, using that form of rune. for example if a character gets a fire rune attatched to them, then the ycan use special fire attacks that do moredamage then normal attacks, and the lightning rune gives the bearer the ability to so lightning attacks. Of course there are some special one of a kind runes, these are known as the 27 'true' runes. They are (for example) the Soul Eater Rune, hich is the rune of life and death. it eats souls (obviously!!) and grows stronger from them. Then there is the Dragon Rune which allows the bearer to stay young for ever. These runes, you don't get, (except for the soul eater), and they are very powerful. Also when battles are completed, with you victorious (especially BIG battles, against bosses) your rune, no matter which one will go up. Thia can bea great help. Not all the runes have attacks however. Some, such as the 'HAzy' rune and the 'Turtle' rune, which "lower the enemys critical attack" and "lower the chances o
f encountering weak enemys" respectively. During the game there are three modes of batle. The first is where upon you walk around in a group of six, and fight monsters etc, while in that group. Here you can : Attack Defend Use Rune Unite (to attack) and the other i forget right now...but it was something good i promise!! The bosses are fought this way. the second form of battle is one on one. Here you and your opponent fight alone, to see who is victorious. Here you can : Attack Defend and Desperate attack. The latter hardly works, and will get you seriously hurt should your opponent choose to defend on th turn you use the DA. on the one on ones, you can't use runes or anything to that end. Some of the most important fights with individual characters are fought like this. The third form is army battles. Here there are lots of little men on the screen and they attack, bow attack, use magic and other such ways. This is the easiest to use in my opinion, but is reserved for the battles with the imperial army, which is ashame. Graphics wise, this game is pretty basic. It is like a 3D cartoon, but not ACTUALLY 3D. Like....well i can't compare it to another...but it is great. The gameplay is great on this one, and the game is based on times of magic and swords, with NO guns whatsoever...which gives it that much more appeal. So if you like your games mystical and amazingly hard (not THAT hard) then this is the game for you, and you should purchase it as fast as you can. (by the way, expect an opinion on Genso Suikoden 2 soon). Michael