Windy speaking to the protagonist early into Suikoden

Suicodin | RPG

A few sects that died long ago are a huge order from a cult following like Suicodin. As a huge fan of the genre that’s been playing great in JRPGs since the mid-’90s, people are often surprised to learn that I’ve never touched any series inputs before playing Suicodin In June this year. Honestly, I’ve been scared for years—everyone around me has been singing the praises of these games for decades, but what if I’m disappointed? I hate feeling disappointed, as much as I hate the idea of ​​telling everyone who cares about it Suicodin To correspond, she did not click with me.

Retro Encounter, a game magazine scheduled by accident, forced me to move past my fears. And I’m glad about that, because disappointment is far from the gameplay Suicodin left me. Aside from some questionable design decisions, Suicodin It’s the start of something powerful: an ambitious political drama that treats you to an abundance of memorable moments, innovative ideas, and brand features that I hope you’ll take more modern RPGs from.

SuicodinThe game’s story doesn’t start out with much originality, but it will keep you on top of the game’s 20 hour playing time. You are a soldier and the son of one of the prominent generals of your country. After Dad leaves home to deal with the rebels in the North, you get caught up in a feud between your friend Ted and court sorcerer Emperor Wendy, who has been hunting Ted for centuries to steal a magical rune he holds. To get the rune off Windy’s hands, Ted gives it to you just before you skip town. You soon find yourself on the side of the rebels and at odds with your father as you embark on a mission to bring down Windy, the Empire, and all the evil lurking within them.

The narrative isn’t afraid to pull punches when it unfolds. Some characters bite the bullet in surprisingly awful or dark ways that I didn’t see coming from a title whose early plot struck me as half-hearted, and their departure was unexpectedly painful. A major betrayal late in the game surprised me – and how you ended up dealing with it – and left me questioning the motives of many in my crew. However, like many RPGs of its generation, SuicodinThe plot of the story is too simple for its own good: conflicts and obstacles are resolved very cleanly and move very quickly, some of the plot points are superficial, and you learn very little about almost everyone you meet.

Perhaps because of translation problems, some of SuicodinThe dialogue comes off as a little… weird.

Unlike most RPGs of its time, Suicodin It offers you an impressive number of dialog options. Most of them are just for fun, but some determine the fate of individual characters and whether they will join your crew. Sometimes translation issues make it unclear what effect the impact choices will have, but I appreciate most decisions Suicodin They gave me – they helped keep me engaged and gave me a little sense of ownership over the fate of some of my crew.

One of the game’s brand features is the recruitable character mechanic. One hundred and eight recruitable characters are waiting for you here. Many of them can be used in combat and open the door to different strategies, while others fill your home base as merchants, inn houses, cooks, blacksmiths, and more. If you recruit all 108, you will win a special ending, and your saved data will unlock rewards Suicodin II – Two casual RPG features that always make me feel rewarded for the time I spent.

SuicodinThe character-recruiting mechanic was innovative in 1995, and it’s still a treat today: Gaining the loyalty of enemies, acquaintances, and strangers and watching them contribute to your cause is satisfying and always makes me feel like I’m getting ahead. Except when the game forces you to use certain characters, you are free to connect people to your party as you like, giving you an energizing sense of freedom. My only gripe is that some people’s recruiting requirements are completely vague or prone to chance (think of painful gambling mini-games that might lead you to tearing your hair out).

A dialog informs the player that he has recruited Ted to Suikoden.
Suikoden’s character recruitment mechanic has been among my favorites for its brand features.

Suicodin It is also famous for its one-on-one duels and fights. Duelists see you fight individual enemies with a rock-paper-scissors mechanic guided by your opponent’s dialogue choices. It is assumed that thanks to translation issues, the dialogue options are often inconsistent with the nature of your opponent’s movement. And if you haven’t kept your dueling character equipped with the latest armor or upgraded weapons, you can be surprisingly squishy, ​​and you often lose duels in a handful of blows. Subsequent series titles are supposed to improve on this mechanic, but SuicodinDuels frustrated and frustrated me.

As a fan of old school strategies, campaign battles have been more popular. These large-scale encounters pit the characters you’ve recruited against groups of enemies. It is also solved based on the rockpaper scissors mechanic, but it offers more predictability: you can use some of your forces to preview your enemy’s next move. The strength of a larger group of characters also determines the outcome of these battles, so you don’t have to worry about a sudden trip into the game across the screen because you neglected to level up any particular person.

Suicodin It also introduces a rune system that has become a staple in the series. Equipping runes on enemies and in stores enables your characters to gain magical or special abilities that can be used in battle. You can discover a few dozen runes and swap most of them between your characters as you wish, giving you a refreshing sense of control over the actors’ fighting style. The closest analogue of the rune system is Final Fantasy VII‘s Mechanic beloved material. But unlike the material, Suicodin Confusingly limiting each character to one rune. This prevented me from experimenting with rune combos as much as I’d like, but I’m out of the customization options it supports.

Unfortunately, the hellishly runaway inventory system dampens the fun of exchanging runes between party members and more. You constantly come across runes and loot them during your journey, but each character has only nine slots for items, and the equipment you wear occupies most of them. Managing my limited inventory has become a routine source of pain for me, because I regularly find myself in the middle of a dungeon without enough room for the dozens of goodies I’ve come across. I spent a lot of time passing items between characters and trips to stores to sell things I could live without. This has always been annoying, and hard to overlook since a lot of other RPGs from the mid-’90s feature much more efficient inventory systems.

A group of five characters fight an enemy in Suikoden.
Even without the grind, your party beats every enemy you come across Suicodin.

Runes aside, fight in Suicodin She is very beautiful. Turn-based combats pit your team of up to six against randomly encountered enemies in dungeons and in the afterlife. Everyone has a range that determines how far their attacks can go. The short range characters must be in the front row of your group to damage the enemies, and they are limited to hitting the front row of your enemies, while the medium and long range characters can occupy your back row and hit any enemy. Depending on the make-up of your party, you may be able to unleash special Unite attacks – moves that involve multiple party members pooling their power to unleash a particularly powerful attack, similar to the double and triple techniques of Chrono player.

Unfortunately, there’s a comic difficulty that absorbs a lot of the fighting fun here. You can push your way through all but the most challenging encounters, and most bosses require little to no strategy. On the one hand, it’s nice that you don’t have to grind, but on the other hand, the extreme ease of battle makes some combat mechanics optional and a lot of your time fighting mindlessly.

The low difficulty also doesn’t motivate you to try out the different characters you’ve recruited, because you can easily clear encounters with just about anyone. This makes it very tempting to fall behind with the same four to six characters throughout the game and neglect nearly all of the other characters. Some major story beats require you to use predefined characters, but SuicodinFailing to encourage you to mess with most of your recruits sounds like a poor design choice that could make you forget about them completely.

Odessa talks to the protagonist at a hostel in Suikoden.
Suikoden’s 16-bit images would have been at home on SNES, but they’re still charming today.

I forgive you assuming Suicodin It was a late-generation SNES title. It depicts almost everything other than the spell effects and 2D battle backgrounds, choppy animations, and dungeon designs that are far from easy on the eyes. Pictures still carry a certain charm. Maps of the area, portraits of characters, and much more appear to be hand-drawn, although many of those images resemble the grotesque designs dated when Suikoden . was released for the first time. The soundtrack deserves more praise, although it does not include voice acting. The tracks are diverse and excel at showing the emotions of the moments that accompany them, and some, like city themes, are memorable even by today’s standards.

Suicodin It is clearly something special. Sure, it misses the inventory management, the easy, mindless combat, and the occasional superficial story, but it succeeds at so much more than that. Many ambitious ideas Konami Introduced here – particularly the recruitable character, castle building, and campaign battle mechanics – have aged gracefully, and the unforgettable narrative twists and incorporation of player choice overshadow its flaws. To anyone who has not yet dived into this series: please do yourself a favor and correct this immediately (we have a handy primer!), because if the first entry is any indication, the spirited hype that followed it for decades, it’s pretty much guaranteed.

[Editor’s Note: This review was written prior to the announcement of the Suikoden I & II HD Remasters, but we encourage you to read up on that news if you have yet to!]

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