Friday, December 2, 2011

Sun, Twilight and Dawn, Suikoden 5

Name: Suikoden V
Devoloper: Konami
Year: 2006
Platform: Playstation 2
Genre: Rpg

Just got home, aaaannnd I discovered that our internet, telephone and tv connection are GONE! Reasons are still unknown, so in the meantime I just leech the wireless crappy internet from my neighbours to write this blogpost. Finding information with such slow internet isn't fun at all though.

This weeks review is about Suikoden V. As you can guess, the 5th game in the Suikoden series, although chronologically it is the 2nd, taking place 143 years after Suikoden IV and 6 years before Suikoden.
The story starts with an unnamed hero/prince, which you can name as you see fit. He is part of the Falena royal family, which is known for their power of the sun. They get their power from the Sun rune, one of the 27 true runes. Currently the hero's mother is in possession of the rune, although you can say that it is vice versa sometimes too.
Although the queen has the highest say in everything, senators also are a part of the politics. And of course every one of them is fighting each other over who has the most power -_-. Unfortunately the hero gets in between this soon enough, and has to team up with his guardians and friends to calm the land of Falena!

This game wouldn't be know as Suikoden if it didn't have any base of operations. If you played any Suikoden you know that you have a base of operations. When you first see it it will probably be quite empty but eventually it can be filled with 108 people! Each of them has a role in the story or a purpose in your base. These so called 108 stars of Destiny is also a recurring thing in Suikoden games. Not every character can be used in battle though. Recruiting all of them usually gives you something extra near the end of the game. It is quite hard though, and I was never able to do so without a faq/walktrough.
It might be hard to imagine that 108 characters fit into 1 small base of operations. But your base changes over time, growing bigger each time.

There are 3 battle systems in this game.
First of all you have the normal encounters. Encounters in this game are random, so you can encounter a monster anywhere on the world map or dungeon. Once you encounter an enemy the battle is turn based. You select all movements for your party, so does the opponent. The order of the attack is then determined by the speed of each character. If your bored, or grinding or overpowered there is also an auto option which just lets every normally attack.
You can bring 6 people into battle and position them as you like. Some formations give bonuses to several stats. Every time your party changes, so does your formation... and it happens often so be prepared to shift a LOT!
Every party member can equip certain runes. Some increase attack, some let you use magic attacks. Party members also range from close ranged fighter to medium mage knight to a full powered sorcerer. All this taken into account, you can customize your party a lot and make a team that you see fit to fight with.

The second battle system is a war battle. You are forced to fight these several times in the game. You command a couple of troops. Infantry, Cavalry and Archery. Infantry is good against Archers, Archers are good against Cavalry and Cavalry is good against Infantry. You need to place your units strategically to win these battles, but the ability runes you get also help in this mode. These include abilities such as an empowered attack, draining attack or life regeneration after battle.

The last mode is DUEL! In this mode you fight alone against 1 opponent. You can Guard, Attack, or do a Special attack. This is sort of a rock paper scissor mode. Attack wins from Guard, Guard wins from Special, and Special overpowers Attack. You have 3 seconds to choose 1 of these. Your enemy's behaviour might reveal what is going to do, thus giving you the upper hand. You each of your own life bar. The one who depletes the other ones life bar first Wins!

So far for the battle system. Onward to the graphics, which are, not bad, but not good either. You can see that there has been put a lot of effort into character design. The area's are mostly based on water though. 3 Out of 5 area's are build around water. If an area doesn't have water it looks grey and kinda boring. Making it seem that the designer favour some area's themselves.

Music is kinda of in the background in this game. The more prettier battle or background music are kinda rare. (That can be solved by putting the musician into your party! This activates other music!) It fits the theme alright, but you don't quite notice it until you really listen to it. Perhaps some more active music would have fixed that.

This was my second Suikoden game ever. The first being Tierkries which isn't really seen as a part of the series. This due to the differences in the fighting system and story. Overall it is a nice rpg, although it picks up slow. The beginning is a lot of politicians blah blah blah with no real story progression or battles. A must play? No, but if you can get your hands on it and are bored...DO play ;)

Fun Facts about this game:
- Viki Returns, the clumsy teleporting mage is back, and better then ever... how old is she by now?
- You can actually recruit 109 persons! At some point you have to choose 1 of 2 persons.
- This is one of those games where the hero is mute, yet everyone seems to have a normal
- The hero is unnamed due to the voice overs, yet in the novel he is called Freyjadour Falena
- Woman are considered as better rulers in this game, yet every senator is a man -_-.

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