Suikoden

“Suikoden is a very good game, but not as good as the second”

Suikoden 1 Review

Overview

This game is the first game of the large Suikoden series. It is by far less superior compared to all the others. However it is the first in the series, and the gateway to something grand when you get to some of the other’s in the series. This game is sort of like the gateway, that introduces you to the world, it introduces you to the way to game’s play out, the story line ideas, because this one is also linked to the second, and third. When you play through those you will often meet, and find characters from the first one, that have lived on for some reason or another. Overall this is not a bad game, but it’s not the best. There are some thing’s about it I loved, and some things about it I didn’t.

Game Play

This is where the game is fair. It introduces all the system’s for the future game’s that making the series what it was meant to be. It also holds the creation of the idea called “the stars of destiny” which is a setup that allows you to have 108 recruit able characters, and this idea paved the way for all the other series and was definitely the selling point. As far as gunplay itself, some of the stuff get’s repetitive after awhile, but over all it’s a very good game play setup. There are various different components to the battle system, and end’s up also paving the way for the famous moments in all the later game’s, there is the duel mode, normal battle, and war mode. Traveling through village’s, interactive with npc’s and the system set in place that mallow’s you to upgrade your weapon’s end up finishing up the game with a lot of fun. The only potential turnoff’s during the first few phases of play are the limit on the amount of equipment you can equip, and the amount of interaction that was left out of the environment. They could have nearly doubled what you can do with your surrounding environment in the game, with little to not extra effort on there part, there is noting you can do aside from occasionally walking up and reading that a statue is a statue. The most important thing about the game play however is one system that far surpasses those of any other previous ideas before. I call it the “castle system”. You start off later in the game where you get access to a castle, as you recruit the 108 stars they slowly build onto your castle, and eventually start allowing you to do more stuff, and make more modifications within your castle. The castle system was very limited however in the first one, since it was just an introduction, it was the first time it was ever created, but what they did put in the game made the idea revolutionary, and stick like glue throughout all the future games in the series.

Storyline

Now this is where the game really rock’s out. Overall it has a very powerful story, it has it’s slow and dumb moment’s, but overall it’s very powerful I don’t think it was built strong enough to draw any tears but it can certainly induce a bit of emotional anger during key part’s of the story. The settings of the story don’t pave the way to draw any romantic or sad type emotions from the role-playing experience, that kind of feeling in this game just isn’t there, they could have done a little bit better job drawing you into the game, like they did with some of the later one’s in the series.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are actually quite bad overall. The affect’s themselves aren’t that great either, but the game more than make’s up for this, and we currently have a lack for rpg’s of this type so there is nothing wrong with this, it make’s the game’s have a bigger ability to be longer, in the long run. They can dedicate more time towards memory creating and less towards graphics.

Engine

The engine that was built into this game is huge. It holds a lot of different system’s that have never really been introduced in any other game but at the same time do a good job of using as a representation while they build the second and third based on the same powerful engine just with enhancements each time. It’s a huge game, honestly it’s not very long, and however the systems built into it include, but are not limited to
* The 108 stars of destiny, and the recruitment of all of them
* The castle system, which allows for heavy modifications to the castle as well as characters adding stuff into the castle as you recruit them.
* The 3 level battle system including duels, wars, and team battles.
* Unique story based recruitment, where you normally get some background information from each character before recruiting them, which was made even better in later games
* A decent length of game play to keep you busy a little while however if you knew the game, and really wanted you could probably beat it in 3 day’s easy, it can easily be beaten in 24-48 hours of straight game play.
* The rune system, which is how magic is used in the game, it has a very decent level of magic, an even better amount of different runes you can get, but unfortunately some of the better one’s can only be obtained one time and some are very, very hard to get, leaving you at the end wanting more copies of the runes you have to give to more team members.
Sound and Music
The music unfortunately is decent to say the least. It’s nothing extra-special or out of this world, not even close. The sound is decent, you hear the attacks in battle, some of the war affect’s are funny, like the little people screaming battle chant’s in battle, but overall it is decent sound work. I think a few more week’s of the sound team trying to get some better sound’s together wouldn’t have hurt the game in anyway, and would have just enhances it to say the least.
Replay Value
The replay value for this game I feel is next to nothing. There is just nothing there to make you want to play it again. No new game plus, no alternate endings, nothing to really make you want to replay it. Well there is one alternate special ending, but it should be obtained anyway if you play the right way. And get all the characters. Basically the only reason you might want to play again is if you were drunk the first time and didn’t get the full experience, I played it 2 times’ but that was within a 6 year time period. Well something along those lines, but it is definitely worked playing the first time.

Overall Positives

* Good storyline (for that time period)
* Good systems
* Good graphics (for that time, and game type)
* Multiple endings (2)

Overall Negatives

* Way to short
* Gets boring after the first play through (severely, for like a few years)
* Can’t hope to stand up to any of the later one’s in the series (But that’s what sequels are for I suppose)

Closing Remarks

Overall this is a good game, I don’t think it’s the best out there, far from it, but it’s definitely not the worse. You also have to admin if it wasn’t for the first one, then the rest of the series would not be even anywhere near where it is now, some of the special system’s Suikoden 1 brought to the table have been enhanced to the point of pathetic in the newer game’s and some elements were milked for everything they were worth based on the responses of the people buying the game form the company. I don’t hate the game, it’s not my favorite, but it’s definitely recommended for anyone to play at least once, even if it’s just to play this as a gateway introduction to the true power the rest of the series holds.

* Everything in this review is from the perspective of a programmer; I do a lot of programming, so some of it comes from a technical point of view. I have bee

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