From a company like Konami many people would not expect an RPG series, more or less one of the best out there. However, the first two installments of Suikoden that were laid down on the Playstation gave the series popularity and when a third installment was announced and was going to make a full-jump into 3D. Anticipation for a Konami RPG was huge and very unprecedented. However, it still had more anticipation than every other RPG released in the year 2002. Suikoden III not only continued, but also lifted the Suikoden series from cult hit to mainstream RPG. Each Suikoden has just gotten better as the creators have learned from their flaws and ironed each of them out to help make the series better. As the story for the entire series deepens, the overall gameplay elements get better. With Suikoden IIIs jump into 3D the gameplay skyrocketed as more freedom and more beautiful scenery made for an even more enjoyable gaming experience.
As keeping with Suikoden tradition, Suikoden III entered a brand new region with new characters and a new storyline. However, the storyline was very quickly revealed to be a continuation of the plot that the first two Suikodens laid out. A few characters from previous installments returned and helped in the development of the story. However, they took a backseat to main three heroes. Yes, I just said three heroes. Suikoden III gives you the Trinity Sight System (TSS) there are three characters who you can choose from and travel through the world with. At certain times you are able to change who wish to view the story as. This is a departure from the typical single-hero style that the first two installments had.
Another departure from the series is the changing of the battle system. You keep being able to have six people in your party, however you now fight in pairs. In other words you can only choose three commands. This creates a much more strategic style of battles. Though the battle system took time to get the hang of, in the end it was lots of fun to work with. Another addition is being able to have a support character. Someone who is a non-fighter can now give special attributes or help out your party as the game goes on. Some support characters heal, others can help you get discounts at stores, others raise magic power, and others even help identify items when you get them so you dont have to take them to an appraiser. The army battles have also been changed. It is much more like a board game instead of rock-paper-scissors. This requires a great deal more strategy in order to win battles, however this change has been my personal favorite because it added a great deal of fun and strategy to the game. Its a shame there werent even more army battles. The third form of battle, duels, has remained the same, which is always a good thing in my book.
As is to be expected Suikoden III has 108 characters or Stars of Destiny. Though many of these characters receive very little character development and more or less just add things to your castle, the TSS helps in giving you three times as many characters to love and that the game can develop. I really liked a few of the characters that I probably wouldnt have even cared about if it werent for being able to view the game from so many perspectives.
The first two Suikodens are also well known for having great soundtracks. Though I didnt find the soundtrack anything special, in fact it was even down a step from the previous two Suikodens, it was still very good. It has a few memorable tracks, but the main problem was that the music never really set the mood down. It was a lot of typical clichéd songs, which is not a bad thing, but I always like a little innovation in my RPG soundtracks.
Now it is onto the graphics. The jump to 3D made the game able to have much more beautifully designed scenery and characters. I shouldnt really dwell on the graphics that much, however the graphics are absolutely beautiful.
The objective to get all 108 Stars of Destiny, to get all the items, and the chance to view the game from many different ways make Suikoden III almost make you feel like you need to play through the game at least twice. Not many games can make me want to play them again and again, but Suikoden III was able to do that. I compliment it the makers on developing a game that can be seen from so many perspectives. It is very original and helps boost my opinion of this game to even higher levels.
In closing, not many games come around that are as great as Suikoden III. I recommend, even if you havent checked out the previous two games in the series, get this one. The writers have done a magnificent job of writing the story so that each game is playable on its own or as part of a series. You must pick this game up, it is a rare gem that anyone should have in their collection.
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.
Suikoden 3 Reviews
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