Best Game Ever: Suikoden (Series) Pt. 1
By Akodo On 25 Nov, 2012 At 09:21 PM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments

A story written based off the Chinese classic, “Outlaws of the Water Marsh” by Shi Nai’an & Luo Guanzhong. The story revolves around a brotherhood and the circumstances that destine them to become heroes for the people in the most extraneous circumstances. When corrupt governments foul the land, and bandits rove the countryside terrorizing the people, and government officials skimming off the top while others starve. The Brotherhood of the Outlaws of the Marsh will respond with Justice. It’s a great book; read it however you can get your hands on it.

Suikoden is loosely based off the novel mentioned above, but it takes the best elements of the story and turned it into an amazing story, with colorful characters, back story of the more important ones, fleshed out history and simply, just amazing writing. The basis of the Suikoden series: The main hero, being thrust into circumstances out of his/her control and their destiny, pushing them towards the final confrontation with the overarching Big Bad of the story. The game has produced many installments in the series, albeit, in a weird chronological order, but they all have their place. And here is the timeline for the main 5: Suikoden IV (143 years before Suikoden V & 150 years before Suikoden) ? Suikoden V (6 years before Suikoden) ? Suikoden (3 years before Suikoden II) ? Suikoden II (15 years before Suikoden III) ? Suikoden III. I’ll be primarily focusing on the main Suikoden titles mentioned in the timeline.

The story does follow a pattern, which I realized as I was writing this. The unlikely hero, has a traumatic event sparked by the all encompassing, all-powerful True Rune. And the True Rune is the catalysis for the Big Bad’s organization or their anger, to allow the government to be toppled or supplanted with their own. And during that time of consolidation or advancement by the Big Bad, the hero and his crew are forced into exile, to regroup and to take the fight back to the Big Bad. But it’s never an easy road, riddled with the deaths of loved ones, betrayal, sacrifice, and more. Each of these events in the game’s story is never seen coming, and simply just well written and timing, pinpoint. But all the troubles of the World, come down to the True Runes, and them controlling inadvertently and sometimes, on purpose the World’s events. But in the end, the Hero emerges victories, changing the country for the better.

You know how there are hidden gems on each system, no matter the generation. And how everybody has their own hidden gems that they still own, even though they don’t have the system anymore. Mine is the Suikoden Series along with a slew of others. Which, hopefully I’ll get to talk about, eventually. But Suikoden II was the first one I played, but I played them out of order. But the story of Suikoden II, drew me in. It wasn’t the graphics even though, it was during the PlayStation era. Sadly, as I was approaching the conflict with the Matilda Knightdom, my game disc froze. Never to be played again, and couldn’t do anything. But then Christmas rolled around and I got Suikoden. And I’ve been a fan since that day and even though Konami has broken up the developing team, it’d be amazing if they did make another main series Suikoden title, instead of side stories.
As I mentioned before, the game isn’t built on amazing graphics and over the top visuals. The backbone of the game is its story and colorful cast of 108 characters and even the villains, depending on the game, you begin to feel for them, and slightly want them to survive, but then they do something that screws the hero over. But the graphics that it uses, for the first 2 games on the PS1 and the next 3 on the PS2, make sense and even with the dip in 3 and 4, and upping the ante in 5, it still made each game worth playing and permanently on my shelf. For instance, in Suikoden, they have almost cheesie, 8-bit graphics, but not exactly there. But it worked, and it made the game more about the story and the loss, than oooo shiny.

The graphics didn’t take away from the gameplay and it being your six party members with varying ranges they attack from. Like Flik, the Blue Lightning, is a short range attacker, while Tir, the Hero, is a medium range. This allows Flik to be in the front rank and Tir to occupy the front or back rank. Combinations come into with new, pre-existing or old relationships within the story. It gives it an added sense of strategy in the battles. Moving along with battles, you’re also fighting in a war, and as you have these major battles, and in each, they are unique, with a rock-paper-scissors feel. Within the first, Charge loses to Defend, Attack loses to Charge, and Defend loses to Attack. But it’s never a set pattern and no two times are alike, which gave the game a great randomness to the battles in the war, even though you can just save before the battle and redo it. But just as the story is the filling, the characters are the pie crust.

Just a taste of the number of Characters

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