A friend told me about this game, and he said it was very good. As you might know, Suikoden II is very hard to find in Europe. (Suikoden 1 even harder, still don't have it) Anyway, I saw it in the store for 13 Euro's (Thats around 15 Dollars I think). I wasn't sure if it was a good game, so I asked my friend again if it would be worth the money. And he said 'Hell yer!!!! Its worth 100 Euro's!!!!' So, the next day, I bought this game and started playing. I have played it every day ever since then. To make a long story short: Go to the local store now and buy Suikoden II if you don't have it already. If they don't have it at the store, order it on internet or something.
So, you're still reading, huh? Well okay, I'll try to explain whats this game about...
The story around Suikoden is really cool. Maybe even the coolest thing is, that every Suikoden game takes place in the same world. It's a big world, so you will only be able to explore a certain area of the world in Suikoden II. Besides Suikoden I and II, there is also Suikogaiden I and II, which are text-based sidestories. Unfortunately, they are only available in Japan, but you are able to download the scripts somewhere. And the scripts are the most important, because you will get all kind of extra information about the characters you won't get in Suikoden. It makes the story really complex and interesting. I heard Suikoden III takes place 15 years after Suikoden II, so we may see some familiar faces there.
Anyway, the story in Suikoden II is like this: You are the adopted son of Genkaku. (who died a few years ago) You have joined the Highland army together with your best pal Jowy. Highland is at war with the City-State of Jowston. (which exists of 5 big cities and 1 knightdom) But, at the moment, there is a peace treaty. You and Jowy are in a camp in the mountains near the border. Your adopted sister Nanami is waiting at home. This is all you are allowed to know now. Prepare for one of the best stories in an Rpg ever, with huge plot twists and side-stories.
Story gets 10/10
The graphics look pretty old. They reminded me of Chrono Trigger for the Snes. But still, it has a very special look. The intro movie is extremely well done. You see all the characters (and the bad guys) with very nice music on the background. Anyway, I think the graphics fit the game very well, and there are a few FMV's spread through the game.
Graphics get 16/20
As you might know, this game has 108 'Stars' who can join you and fight with you (Or help you in another way). I think about 50 will join you automatically. The others you have to find by yourself. This takes a very long time to complete. You should be able to finish the game in 25 hours if you skip all of the sidequests. If you do all the sidequests, and get all the characters, it will probably take you no less than 50 hours. And then you can also add the mini-games. Some of them are really cool.
Length gets 9/10
I haven't ever played an Rpg like this one. The 3 Battle modes, plus the fact that you can recruit people for your castle, make this a very original game.
Originality gets 9/10
The sound effects are standard, but the music is very good. There are many different tunes, almost every town has a different one. My favorite tunes are: The first world map tune, the intro tune and Beautiful morning (When Nanami wakes you up).
Sounds get 18/20
I will explain the Battle systems now. In the party battle system, up to 6 allies fight up to 6 enemies. Strategy is important, as for example characters with S (Small) range won't be able to attack if they are placed in the back row. And if they are placed in the front row, they can attack, but only the enemy's front row. L (Long) ranged characters can attack all enemies from any position. M (Medium) ranged characters can only attack the Enemy's front row, but from any position. Magic can be learnt if you equip you characters certain runes. There are 4 different levels of magic, and some characters may use level 3 magic once while other characters have 3 Mp for level 3. Equip a fire rune to have strong attacks against groups, equip water to have many healing spells etc. In the beginning your characters have only one spot for a rune, but they may gain up to 3 spots for runes. This adds a certain strategy: For example, if you have a water and a lightning rune equipped, and you have only 1 Level 3 Mp left, how will you use it? Will you do a strong attack against the enemy, or will you save the Mp so you can heal your party later on?
In the duel mode, its a 1 vs 1. You have 3 choices, Attack, Defend and Wild Attack. Attack beats Defend, Defend beats Wild attack and Wild attack beats Attack. Based upon what your enemy says, you have to make the right choices, and win.
The Army mode is the most strategic mode. You have a number of units and you have a mission to complete. They are usually pretty easy. If you have a castle, you can talk to Apple to re-arrange the units. You must really do this, because every character has certain abilities. For example, if you put Tsai in your team, you will have +1 attack power and you will be able to use fire spears.
As I said before, you will be able to get your own castle after a while. When you recruit more people, your castle grows and thats really cool to see. Also, some of the characters you recruit may open up a shop in your castle. Thats really handy, because if you have your own Runemaster (who can equip runes), you can equip runes to all recruited characters! Not just the six who are in your party. There are mini-games in your castle, some of them are really fun. The cooking game for example. You can collect Recipes from all over the world, and 4 randomly chosen judges will give numbers from 0-5 to your food. You can also make your menu, so you can buy the food which you can use for healing. And you will gain some money from it (because other people will buy the food too!).
Gameplay gets 29/30
The original, war-based story, and the diverse, addictive gameplay make this one of the best games I have ever played.
Suikoden II Reviews
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