GOTD – Suikoden Series

Suikoden Series – RPG (PS/PS2)

The Suikoden series, based loosly around one of the first novels in the world (Outlaws of the Marsh, called “Suikoden” in Japan), takes place in an original fantasy world of Konami’s devising.

In this world, “runes” grant users the ability to use elemental and spiritual forces. While most rune types are relatively common, there are 27 “true runes” which are the only ones of their type in the world.

In each Suikoden game, you receive at least one true rune – in Suikoden III, you get 3, with the ability to command characters with 2 more – and play a role in preventing an evil takeover of a continent, rebelling against an evil empire, preventing a potential doom of the world… et cetera.

Although I will not go into detail about each particular game (I have written more details in my review), there are several good reasons to try at least one member of the series (with the possible exception of IV).

For one, each game has 108 characters to recruit. Generally, around half of these are event characters. You can use at least 60 of the characters in your party at any time, although some characters are certainly better than others (Flik versus Freed Y, for example). Some characters are particularly memorable, but even in IV, by far the worst in the series, the character development shines through at one of the games’ best traits.

Although the character amount has been done before (earlier in Destiny of an Emperor and more recently in Radiata Stories), few other games have let you have your own castle, which grows along with the set of commanders you recruit. Few other games (Star Ocean II is the only one I can think of) have cooking minigames. And I have rarely seen a game series where it is so rich – in terms of plot – to play through the games in order. Particularly between Suikoden I and II, although to a limited degree between other members in the series, you get to see what happened to the former Scarlet Moon Empire from Suikoden I.

Between the variety of characters to recruit and the intermittent strategy battles (very light strategy), there is enough variety – and enough characterization – to occupy anyone who enjoys RPGs.

Although the Suikoden series is now famous for having earlier entries which are expensive (upwards of $60), III and IV are relatively inexpensive. V was just released, so it is the traditional $40. III and V are certainly worth it; I would wait to see about IV until you try other members of the series.

Leave a Comment