I’m finding it more and more difficult to write these days. Not because I’m burned out on writing, but because I have less and less time for it. It’s really quite annoying, since I began the year determined to post something interesting here every day, yet life has done its level best to prevent this from happening. Stupid life.
Anyway, it’s been a few days, but at least I do have something interesting to post.
Suikoden V vs. Tierkreis
As someone who gave up on the Suikoden series after the second game — the move to 3D derailed just about everything I liked about the PlayStation entries — this article was intriguing. It cemented my conviction that I made the right choice in bailing when I did… but it also made me ponder an alternate universe in which I forged ahead in a desperate search for some hidden nugget of quality.
11 thoughts on “GSQ4: All apologies”
Interestingly enough, I enjoyed Tierkreis more than I did Suikoden V. Don’t know why, but I suspect it was because of the condensed experience rather than in spite of it. Despite the hearkening back to the feel of the earlier Suikoden games, the pacing in Suikoden V was glacial, and character recruitment was far more involved than it really needed to be, and many traps to miss characters for good were laid down before you.
The original and Suikoden II are still the best in the series. And for some strange reason, I actually enjoyed IV. And Tierkreis is an excellent game, despite coming off as a “gaiden” in the series. And don’t get me wrong, Suikoden V is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It just could have been so much better.
Fun comparison, though. I’d love to see more handheld iterations of the series, expanding the series back up to what the original Suikoden games did. Deeper, but speedy.
Man…is this whole damn book about JRPGs?
It’s probably because I never played the first two games, but I loved Suikoden III. Granted, I only enjoyed it because I played it with FAQ in hand so I could 100% it on my first playthrough, but the shifting story perspectives–including the awesome epilogue–were really interesting, especially since you had some choice as to who the eventual Flame Champion would be.
You left one game too soon. Suikoden III is one of those very few, elect games that one should play for the story even if one hates the mechanics and visuals (which I do for the most part). My only regret is that I did not follow proper order and play Suikodens I and II before III, an advantage you already have. Don’t worry, you won’t form a habit: the abysmal Suikoden IV would strangle any infant addiction in the cradle.
I wouldn’t say that Suikoden IV is abysmal(in fact I had more fun with it than I did with three) it’s just really dull. It doesn’t have the technical flaws that Suikoden V had, and unlike III that battle system works as intended, it just doesn’t do anything interesting with the world or gameplay or story. To me IV is like Tierkreis in that it removed many of the traditional Suikoden elements, but unlike Tierkreis did not replace them with anything. I still would say it is a compotently made game, but also a rather lifeless one.
The one thing I thought IV got right was capturing the charm of the characters the same way the first two did. Both III and V were really stiff in that department.
Suikoden III and V were probably my top two favorite RPGs of the PS2 era. You missed out Parish.
Suikoden IV is the one closest to the original two. It’s a shame Suikoden VI hasn’t surfaced, because it was rumored to be by Junko Kawano and, presumably, the IV team.
Also, best ending music in the series after Avertuneiro Antes Lance Mao and La Passione Commuove La Storia. Actually, it’s the third best soundtrack in the series, too, and the ending tracks are all great, from Palisade Melody to the last battle music to the finale & staff roll arrangements.
After Tierkreis, it’s anybody’s guess what Konami is going to do with the series, if anything.
I admit a certain geekish fascination with the mythology of the Suikoden world, makes me glad I skipped the DS one. When’re we going to get that Yuber/Pesmerga resolution, dang it.
Also something that caught my eye was the mention of what makes an FF game: I’ve been enoying FFXIII, but having completed the first half, I’ve been considering what all I had actually DONE up to that point. Maybe I’m just not as hip as I used to be!
It’s always pretty amazing how, even more so than in debates over FF, nobody can agree which games among Suikoden III, IV, and V are amazing, decent, or terrible. They really cater to different styles, but not in an easily identifiable way. As for me, my love for III is well documented in my earlier GS article. The “nuggets of quality”, as Jeremy so charitably puts it, are still keeping me going, but I think after this article I’m finally done writing about Suikoden for a while…
IV was a tough game to get through. There were plenty of things to like: the story, the epic battles, the uncharacteristically awesome water effects, the sparse but awesome cameos from previous games, and the pun-tacular ‘nekobolds.’ But sailing from place to place was probably the worst gameplay I’ve experienced in over a decade and oppressively overshadowed everything positive in this game.
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