Suikoden IV

The story was mediocre in my opinion, although that is something that is subjective. The most disappointing aspect of the game was how short it was, and how few towns were in it. For such a long wait, I was truly expecting a more populated world map with more than ten places to visit, and a lot more hours of gameplay (my first play through I ended up with a headquarters at like four hours in). From a grander perspective, the story does not really help to answer any of the many questions Suikoden fans have amassed over the first three games, although it does add its share to our lists.

Overall the game is enjoyable, and it certainly kept me playing through. But to be honest, this game just doesn’t hold up to the first three Suikodens very well. Too many changes with the battle system and gameplay, combined with a story set 150 years in the past with practically no returning characters have left this game almost not feeling like a Suikoden. I would recommend this game, probably more to people who haven’t played the other Suikodens more than I would to longtime fans of the series.
3 stars (Very Disappointing) – I had forgotten almost completely about the Suikoden series lately. Recently I’ve given up playing a lot of RPGs. I just don’t have the time or drive to play an MMORPG. How anyone could spend hours and hours and hours to live a fake life is beyond me… I mean a long RPG is one thing but a timesuck has to have it’s limits. Anyway…Suikoden IV was a pleasant surprise. It’s been so long since the last installment and I hadn’t followed any of it’s development. The only part that stuck out in my memory was the game’s setting on the ocean.

Playing Suikoden IV made me go and try to find any of the other titles. Suikoden I and III can be found if you put in some effort. If you want Suikoden II be prepared to spend big bucks at an auction. Going through Suikoden IV brought back good memories but the game ended so fast.

Usually Suikoden is a perfectionists dream. You have so many things to run. You’ve got dozens of fighters to equip/levelup/armor/etc. There are minigames/fullscale battles/duels to shake things up. That part of the game remained intact in IV. But you can tell there’s something missing. There are almost no references to any countries in the Suikoden mythology except for Scarlet Moon and a little lip service to Harmonia. Oh, and you’ve got Jeane…big whoop. The main character is unimaginably bland with that lame bowl cut. With so many characters you can’t expect many of them to be interesting, but so very few of them are worth bringing to your group. One of the few interesting characters disappears near the start and shows up a couple more times with no real consequences and just doesn’t matter anymore at the end.

The graphics are just way too dreary. The sea is just mindnumbingly dull. It’s nothing like the ocean in Wind Waker. There’s very little to explore with almost no hidden secrets. Islands just pop out of nowhere once you’re right in front of them. Nothing like how cool it was in Wind Waker when you could journey toward a mysterious far away island/castle. Character design is interesting in that they finally remove some of the anime influence (but there’s a catgirl ugh), but it’s still kind of dull.

The voice acting added nothing to the game. Some are decent and none make you want to stab yourself in the ear. But it’s just pointless, it doesn’t make the game any better. And the strategist’s whole “Bleargh I’m drunk ungghhh I’m so dark and scarred” routine gets old. But at least it maintains Suikoden’s good idea of having some adult characters instead of them all being teen-agers.

The story is the biggest disappointment. Troy is supposed to be a major character but turns out to be nothing but a footnote. They don’t tie up ONE loose end about the main enemy’s back story (if it’s in Suikoden V I’ll go ballistic). And the ‘bonus’ you get for collecting all 108 characters is super lame. Basically it’s mostly that a “Big Meanieland” wants to take over rag-tag group of towns which need some uniting. Of course in Japanese tradition this can only be accomplished by a femmy preteen. Final bosses have never been the strong suit of this series but I never understood what the final boss had to do with ANYTHING.

I wasn’t going to be so hard on Suikoden IV but after starting to play Suikoden III again you can see all the good things that were lost. No more optional bosses to get money/treasure (getting money in this game is ridiculously hard). No more skill system (the characters are just too alike in abilities). Battles are too simple and too frequent and lack strategy of any sort. A balance of III and IV would be nice.

Lots of people thought Konami dropped the ball with Suikoden III, but after playing it again I found it very easy to go back to. Suikoden IV just feels too much like ‘work’ even though there is less micromanaging to do. Konami better try harder next time around.

Suikoden IV Features:

  • Role Playing Games (rpg, rpgs)
  • Video Games
  • PS2 (PSX2)
  • Sony Playstation (Play station) 2
  • Playstation2 (Play station2)
  • Action
  • Adventure
  • PlayStation 2
  • RP (rating pending)
  • Action