Review by Expertise626

"Suikoden the Strategy game!"

Suikoden Tactics, a game anticipated by fans and not really many else quietly made its way onto store shelves. Rhapsodia, which it is also called, is a Strategy game told in the world of Suikoden. A spin off of Suikoden IV, it uses many of the game's characters in a strategic battle atmosphere along with some new characters.

There isn't a whole lot to say about the story of Suikoden Tactics. Kyril and his father, Walter, are out to investigate Rune Cannons. The story is simple but it fleshes out at a steady rate. For fans of the previous game, Suikoden IV, you'll be glad to know that this game takes place before and after Suikoden IV.

The meat of a tactics game, the gameplay. Suikoden Tactics plays mostly like other turn-based strategy games. The characters move in squares and can use a variety of skills, attacks and magic to win. However, what sets it apart is elemental affinities. Every time an elemental spell is cast, the ground absorbs it's element. Characters who are strong in a certain element will do well in their matching ground square and those weak against that element will be damaged in that area. This adds to the options one can use to kill an enemy and defensive strategies.

The graphics in Suikoden Tactics are, for the most part, mediocre. Towns are hand drawn and are only shown as one picture. Characters are cel-shaded, look out of proportion and are simplified. They don't look so bad from a farther distance, but it becomes apparent when there are closeups of the characters. The stages where the combat takes place are not cel-shaded and look quite vivid, thankfully.

Sound and Music
Much of Suikoden Tactics music isn't something to write home about, but it suits the game just fine. The towns that were featured in Suikoden IV still retain their music and the Blacksmith has a heavily remixed, but familiar song for those who've played the first Suikoden. The voice acting was quite substantial for all but a few characters, one being Kyril. For a person receiving so many lines, it was grating to hear Kyril speak.

Suikoden Tactics is a good game to go along with Suikoden IV, but it stands on it's own as a good turn-based Strategy game. If you can look past it's minor flaws, you'll enjoy Suikoden Tactics for what it is.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/16/05

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