Review by Braben

"This is not a game, it’s an experience."

The Suikoden series is the best thing Konami has done since it was created, and ironically, it is also one of their less known, why?, because it was an old-school masterpiece in a time where only every kind of 3D crap was important. Metal Gear?, bah!, Winning Eleven?, ble!, hail to Suikoden!

Plot 10/10:
What a story!, that’s what you are going to after beating the game. The story is much more than good, it is so well made and it is so emotive and epic that deserves a special place in the video game history. It is not as deep and intricate has any Final Fantasy’s, but, as I said before, it is truly epic.

Graphics 10/10:
God bless Konami!!!, Suikoden II like the first one, is a 2D rpg in its full glory, ok there are 3D effects in some magical spells, but that’s all, everything, absolutely everything is in 2D, Konami was very brave by doing this, they knew that weren’t going to sell millions with that decision, but it seems they didn’t care. The result is an EXTREMELY good looking game, the 2D graphics maybe aren’t as good as they could or should’ve been, but they are so unbelievably beautiful that no one gives a damn about that, and that pastel tone used for them is so nice.
There are also some videos, made with a mix of nicely done Cg’s and 2D anime images.

Music 10/10:
Suikoden’s II soundtrack is plain and simply unforgettable, some of the most beautiful and memorable tracks are here, this games features one of the most impressive and well done soundtracks to date.
I even have the original soundtrack and it rocks.

Gameplay 10/10:
This second part is very similar to the first game in almost every way possible, sound, graphics, characters, battles… even the plot, everything very similar, but this is not a remake of the first one by any means, that is because the game takes place before the what happened in the first game but in the same land.

The battle system is extremely simple, the only feature that can be considered innovative is the possibility to create new attacks linking certain characters. A quick cool and most of everything effective battle system.

To cast magic you’ll have to wear runes, you can equip these runes in your head, arms, etc, and each rune has a certain number of spells that can be used a certain number of times, and this spells are outstanding, very impressive and original, you are not only going to find the typical fire, ice, lighting, etc spells like in most games.

One of the coolest and most innovative things in the first Suikoden was the possibility to have your own castle, and here we have to take care of one too.
There are so many amusing things to do in it that I can’t describe because it would take too long and because there are so many that I haven’t found all of them, plus I spoil one of the best features of the game.

Something I think that deserves a special mention is the opening sequence, because is one of those things so good that you just can stop watching one time and another, I’ve watched the entire opening sequence almost every time I played, and sometimes I watch it just to remember how good it is, and what’s more, every time I see it again it seems to get even better.

The game ending is as well very emotive, something unusual nowadays, when all the rpgs use to have very disappointing endings, and there are another four or five ending to unlock.

Characters 108/10:
There are nothing less than 108 characters to play with (actually there are even more), of course with such quantity most them lack a strong personality, but they have their own little story and interests much more developed than most of the main characters in a lot of games.
Some of them aren’t used for combat, they have special skills or act as spies or shopkeepers in your castle and things like that, and watching them doing their jobs in you castle is great.

Localization:
Suikoden II’s localization is quite possibly the worst ever made. I have seen unfinished fan translations uncountable times better than the whole finished translation of this game. Yes, the translation is THAT bad, sometimes you’ll have absolutely no idea of who is talking or what about is he or she talking about. Terrible.

Suikoden II is more than just a game, it’s a work of art, forget any Metal Gear or Winning Eleven, and see truly why Konami is such a good game developer.

””My lack of vocabulary and grammatical errors (if there’s any) are because I’m not from an English speaking country, sorry.””


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/03/03, Updated 10/17/03


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