After years of wanting a game many had hailed as the best RPG ever I finally was able to get my hands on it. All I can say is WOW!!! The entire Suikoden series is probably the best series of RPGs Ive ever had the chance to play. The coolest thing I found about this game was that you werent saving the world. It was a refreshing change and a good one I found. Instead of fighting an evil monster you are fighting an evil empire, not an empire that is destroying the world though. Well, I could ramble on about what separates this game from the rest as far as storywise, but Ill just jump in and tell you about everything else.
First off, as I implied earlier, the storyline is awesome. Youll find yourself very involved in the story and what it has to offer. Though the game is only 20 hours or so, which makes the story a quickie, you will find that all that happened in the story rivals that of a game like Xenogears. The difference? The cutscenes are a lot shorter and straightforward. This doesnt deter the storyline at all though.
Along with the well-written storyline you will find lots of characters, 108 to be exact. Now some of you may be asking How can you have character development. Well in all reality there isnt much character development for some characters, however many of the characters receive a massive amount of development. Along with 108 characters comes the difficulty of getting many of them. Though many join automatically, there are good amounts, which dont join automatically and require you to perform special tasks to have them join.
Now, comes the difficulty of using all the characters in battle. There are three different styles of battle. The first one, and one youll use the most, is the basic battle. Well, almost basic battle. You are allowed to have six characters in your party at a time, and all these characters attack at the same time. For instance, you could have someone cast a fire spell, someone fire some arrows, and everyone else attack with swords; and it all happens at the same time.
The second form of battle is the one on one battles. These are pretty fun and in full 3D. There arent many of them, but these duels are a nice change from the six-man battles you usually stage.
Now its onto my favorite kind of battle EVER!!! Army vs. Army. For every character that joins your army you get a few hundred more people in your army and more options in the battle. There arent many battles like this, and the whole system could use some tweaking. However, it doesnt detract that much and Im sure youll find oodles of enjoyment in these battles.
Accompanying the story is a beautifully orchestrated soundtrack that carries emotion in each song. Some songs are the clichéd cheerful songs. Others are the fast-paced adrenaline rush themes. However, Suikoden seems to add something to these everyday songs that makes them completely different from the rest. Its tough to describe, but anyway the soundtrack to this game is awesome.
My only complaint with the game is that in the beginning it doesnt grab with you a action. Instead it gives you a feeling of adventure instead of heroism. Though if you can stick with it for an hour youll find yourself to be engulfed and swept away by the adventure aspect that the game has to offer. In closing, Im going to say this. Try as hard as you can to find this game. It is a rare game that we dont see often. A game that is completely different from all the rest. The Suikoden series are diamonds in the rough, and this game began the legacy that has already been through three installments and looks to surely be through some more. If you can find this game Enjoy!
Replay Value: 10
Reviewers Tilt: 10
This game, as probably previously mentioned, is a game you should have in your library. Not too many games receive a rating of 10, sometimes due to just one area of the game lacking. Thus a 10 means most aspects are truly amazing and a few are almost that good.
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