A real treasure for RPG fans,
This review is from: Suikoden (PS) (Video Game)I first got this game when I was 14. I'm 26 now and its still one of my all time favourites. Despite its dated visuals, it is still an awesome adventure with a rich storyline that focuses on war and a corrupt government rather than than the fantasy aspect, but there is still plenty of magic and monsters to keep RPG geeks happy.
The dialogue is quite cliched, but the soundtrack is extremely dramatic and helps bring the story to life.
You play as a young man who is the son of a great Imperial general, and while your father goes off to war, you and your companions set off to run errands to serve the Empire. During these minor tasks, you witness sinister plots and intrigues which inevitably lead your characters to question their own loyalty to the Empire. Thus you end up becoming the leader of the rebellion and it becomes your quest to establish a HQ and gather powerful allies to aid you in liberating the country. At the heart of this story is a struggle of magical powers as you come into possession of a rune with devastating power which, despite it being the cause of many tragedies that occur in the main character's life, you must protect from falling into the wrong hands.
As with all Suikoden titles, there are three types of combat sequences - the most frequent being group battles which occur randomly as you explore the game's vast world and environments. You can your party up with differnet members of your ever expanding army of warriors, knights, sorcerers and martial artists. Some characters are able to perform united attacks together to cause greater damage against enemies, and characters may defend wounded allies if they become critically wounded. The less frequent types of battle are one-on-one duels, which have a rock/paper/scissors type of system in which you have to choose the right action to overthrow your oponent, and finally the major battles in which you muster your whole army against the forces of the Empire to liberate the various regions of the Empire.
Apart from your vast team of fighters and magic users, you also get to recruit craftsmen and merchants to provide services in your castle - an innkeeper, blacksmiths to sharpen your weapons, a rune master to provide you with magical enhancements and various shop keepers and gamblers who hold bonus games to earn extra cash. Your castle HQ grows bigger as your recruit more members.
To anyone who has played other games in the Suikoden series, be warned that this game only allows you to attach one rune to each combat usable character, so if a certain character has a fixed rune attached, he or she won't be able to use any others.
Fans of the current generation visuals may not be impressed by this game, but anyone craving retro 2d RPGs may want to check out Suikoden, and to those of you who have played the PS2 games Suikoden 2-5 and Tactics; since all games in the Suikoden series relate directly to each other and are set in the same world and history (with the exception of the DS game) its well worth picking up this game to expand one's knowledge on Suikoden's over-all mythology.