Still One of the Best
Pros: Excellent music. Great characters. Castle developing along with your army is a great feature. Excellent story of war and betrayal. Three different battle systems party, duel, and army. All characters have unique weapons which are sharpened at a blacksmith instead of buying new equipment. 108 Characters, most can be used in your party.
Cons: Harder to find and costs more than most older games, army Vs army battles are extremely easy, music lacks in dungeons, all good things must eventually come to an end.
Come my friends (people who will recommend this review) through my time traveling portal, back to the early days of the Playstation.
The games story is based on a Chinese myth about 108 "Stars of Destiny" and how they.....well that's all I remember about the myth. The game has you playing the role of a nameless hero (nameless because you need to name him) who is the son of the Scarlet Moon Empire's greatest general. The game begins with your character following your father to the palace where you will attempt to follow in his footsteps. After taking your first few missions, with the help of a few family friends, your character begins to notice the corruption of the empire that you have come to serve. Events eventually lead you and your party to join a rebellion against the empire, a sudden tragedy allows you to become the leader of the army. It is then your job to find a suitable castle, recruit soldiers, and battle your characters own father to shape the destiny of the empire. I won't reveal anymore of the story but it is still one of the best.
Once you acquire a castle you will travel the land to aid your army, seeking allies and trying to subdue or destroy the forces of the empire. As you gain new allies your castle will increase in size and have new features added to it such as a vault, armory, bath, a mage that can teleport you places you have already visited, and even an elevator as well as many others. You can eventually recruit characters that allow you to gamble your money playing different games.
Your party can consist of six characters out of the 108 that you can recruit. Some characters have special "unite" attacks where two or more characters will attack together.
All characters have a unique weapon that can get increased damage by taking it to a blacksmith to sharpen it or get a rune attached to it so it will have added magic damage. Although you will still have to use shops to buy items and armor. Weapons have different ranges L (Long, bows, thrown weapons) means that the character can attack in the front or back row of your party and can attack whoever he/she wants, M (Mid. Weapons include Staffs, pikes, spears, etc) can attack from anywhere but can only hit front row enemies, S (Short. Swords, axes, etc) can attack only from front row and can only hit front row.
Characters can also attach a rune to themselves for magic and special attacks.
Besides regular party battles there are also one on one duels that have three ways to attack. Attack which will always do normal damage. Defend which will half all damage or counter a desperate attack. The last is Desperate Attack which does twice as much damage but gets countered by a defend. You have to pay attention to what your opponent says to know what they will do.
There are also army battles that all recruited characters take part in. You can use Charge, bow, and magic attacks. Charge beats bow, bow beats magic, and magic beats charge. There are also special things you can do like tell one of your ninjas or thieves to spy on the enemy to see what they will do next or to take a merchant or diplomat to try to get enemy units to change sides during the battle. In army battles recruited characters can get injured or die but if you know what you are doing the chances of that happening are slim to none.
The game looks decent, though it never looked great. Remember that this came out over 10 years ago though.
The soundtrack in this game is amazing. Music fits in perfectly with what is going on in cutscenes and story segments, however it seems to be lacking while inside dungeons and towns.
The game is harder to find and might seem pricey if you do but I can assure you that it is worth it. Great story and good length.
Suikoden still stands as one of the best RPGs that I have ever played.