Suikoden 3 Review.

I’ve already submitted quite a few reviews to GamerLimit, but this is the first review that I wrote from scratch since joining. Check it out:


Ahem… hubcap. :sunglasses:

crap. :confused: Thanks for pointing that out, though! I’m gonna have to get one of the editors to go fix it, heh.

You need to deformalize the language. Its not natural for you.

Believe me, that’s more of an editor thing than a ‘me’ thing. I still keep a copy of my original drafts, just because I think they’re better…but I feel like, yeah. My style really gets cramped because they don’t like any superfluous sentences. I’ll probably post up my original review later today, I just want people to go to the site, because the more people actually visit the website, the better chance I have of getting paid for this someday.

I actually found this review rather superfluous.

How so?

I noticed that too. The article judged the story entirely on the merits of the three main characters and the main antagonist even though there were plenty of side characters like Geddoe’s crew, or the other group of mercenaries, or the other Knights of Zexen (I know that at least one of them tried to do more than fight), or Thomas’ motley bunch, and so on that were worth mentioning too. The grade for sound was incredibly harsh considering it was never actually brought up in the entire review. And the whole reinventing the wheel notion isn’t relevant since the game was an early PS2 game in a series that was entirely 2D beforehand (i.e. there really wasn’t a wheel to reinvent to begin with).

Basically that review seems to focus on only the lackluster plot, and the nuisance of the combat system.

Still, you have to admit, those really do suck balls.

Yeah, the way the war is, or rather isn’t, handled majorly ruined Suikoden 3 for me, particularly the lack of the usual massive political paradigm shifts that take place at the end of every other Suikoden. The enemy being a big bad wizard who just throws a bunch of demons at you and Caesar being the shittiest Silverberg ever didn’t help.

In short, yeah, you skipped talking about several things and it still shows you reject the idea of getting all the characters and learning about them, but this is the one Suikoden game (other than 4) where I can’t fault you too much for it because there’s really not much there either. In case you didn’t see it, getting all 108 stars (which… include the enemy, for some reason I have no fucking idea of how to interpret) allows you to play through the villain’s scenario where you’d expect them to get fleshed out… but don’t. All you learn about was the hocus pocus they used to stir up the conflict, but the whole thing is still horrendously void of any logic for the guy’s batshit isnane plan or how exactly he became like that compared to how he was in Suikoden I and II.

Probably the biggest copout was the inclussion of not old characters, but old characters’ children, which were a bad excuse to not update the old cast while pretending to do so. Some of them are really, really weird. I mean, do the math with Meg’s daughter, she had have been pregnant like right after the Dunan war. Who the hell’s the father? And no, having Edge have the Star Dragon Sword doesn’t count as development for Viktor, the kid does nothing and barely speaks, either have Viktor in it or don’t and have somewhere else, don’t stick an empty shell of a character in as if you were trying to fulfill some minor requirement!

I’d like to point out an important exception on Futch, who was the one character I felt did get a very polished update in every sense. Him using Humphrey’s sword was a great touch… except it was supposed to be two-handed. How strong is the guy now?

To cut the game SOME slack, I did have a lot of fun with the theatre and a very low number of characters did have fun introductions, like the case with the detective kid. The Maximillian knights are always cool characters… even if they did sort of get shoved in just so Chris would have a party, and I liked seeing Nash again.

Also, the epic story of Erk de Forever.

Overal, this is probably the one time I’ve agreed with you on a review, but you need to review the WHOLE game, not just the bare bones.

Uhh, you’re full of it about the 108 characters thing. Suikoden 3 was actually the first time that I found getting 108 characters to not be a total fucking drag. I mentioned how much the main protagonist and his cohorts are completely stupid and not-fleshed out at all. Just because I didn’t add a sentence that said, “AND I played his scenario, and it was still stupid!” doesn’t mean a thing. I still discussed it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Having dumb characters and superficial throwbacks to characters was annoying, but it was hardly a gamebreaker to me. Mostly, this is because, unlike you, I’ve found recruiting the optional characters in Suikoden games to be mostly superfluous and uninteresting. Nothing has changed, except for that the game doesn’t make it frustratingly difficult to recruit them.

So, to be honest, I don’t really think I left out anything that was all that important. The storyline builds up to this payoff that doesn’t come through at all. It sets you up to believe the story is going to be about one thing, and then throws a bunch of completely different stuff your way. The main villains are absolutely stupid - and yes, I did play through the main antagonist’s scenario at the end.

The combat was so terrible, that harping on other minor gameplay points seems irrelevant. There’s little control over what you’re doing, your half of your party does precisely whatever the fuck they want, and half the offensive spells you cast will hit your allies. What’s left to discuss?

You do realize that what you have now is basically the same thing as going on about FFXII’s lack of character relevance and how the Gambit system makes FFXII playable with your toes and nothing else. Granted FFXII and Suiko III are two completely different kettle of fish but just as there are aspects to FFXII that isn’t covered by the afore mentioned issues (like the license board) there are issues in Suiko III that you didn’t cover (like having 108 characters to recruit). And after rereading your review it really seems like you just listed off your gripes about the game, and that you simply made the assumption that the reader has already played the game and knew what you were talking about.

Out of all the Suikoden games III is the only one I’ve ever played. There are things about the series I don’t know like how the actual combat system evolved over the course of the series and after reading your review I still don’t know. And while I haven’t played any of the other Suikodens I’ve heard that III did have the best implementation of the skill customization system of the series, but whether that is true or not is something I have to find out on my own since your article never mentions this (granted it’s not the most important thing out there and I can’t really forgive the game just on that alone, but just to spend so much time on the combat system only to ignore one of the more important aspects of it feel sloppy). And if I hadn’t played this game I wouldn’t really know what the hell you were going on about.

Basically it didn’t feel like a review at all. Just your issues with the game projected onto a larger platform.

Well, only 3 and 5 had skill customisation at all, and 5’s was pretty limited (each person can only use two skills). So 3’s is the best out of two, in that case.

Killmore’s got the point: You got all 108? You played through the other scenario? You looked through the side-content? Wonderful.

Now how the hell is anyone supposed to know? You’re the reviewer, one would expect you to give a moderately complete overal look of the game, so you’re expected to at least mention these things. Considering how much you hated all the rest, the fact that you actually enjoy… didn’t hate the recruitment here would probably be one of the things you should mention. You just pointed out the schematic of the plot and battle system and left out all the rest. Someone who hadn’t played the game would in fact not even know that there is recruitment involved at all, be it good or bad, since you didn’t even bring it up, nevermind the skill system, the alternative scenarios like Thomas’ or the villain’s, the existance of minigames, etc.

Minor or major, these are all things you’re expected to discuss. Like Killmore said, it doesn’t look like a review at all.

Also, don’t make mentions to how long-time fans would probably enjoy the recurring lore and characters and then bring up here that you thought it was handled stupidly but didn’t care. You basically said “Fans will at least like this” in your review and then came here to say that those same things were just annoying. If you think even that is badly handled, say it.

You’re supposed to rely on Epic Skills in 5, you can pretty much measure how good a character can become by checking which epics they can equip, nevermind the support/special action skills. Comparatively, you can customize characters far more with the right use of one or two epics than all of 3’s skills, particularly since you needed to waste slots for rune affinities before.

Alright, check it out. I’ve already gone over this, but I’ll go over it again:

  1. The length of my review was forced to be shorter. To be honest, by the time I was done writing the original draft, it was already long for me. There are some things that were just not worth talking about.

The 108 characters wasn’t obnoxious, but it wasn’t worth discussing because really, you got virtually all of them by just going through the course of the game. It was almost not even an optional thing to discuss when, upon reaching the final dungeon, it only took me an hour of additional time to recruit the remaining characters. It was well-done because it almost wasn’t even a game mechanic; the game did it for you!

  1. I am not sure what else you would have me discuss about the plot. I said all the most important things;
  • Sets up the stage for a war story
  • COMPLETELY turns a 180 for no reason
  • Wastes a lot of time
  • Forcibly and stupidly resolves any points in the plot that could have been good
  • Absolutely stupid, hollow villains.

What am I missing? The fact that the characters were mostly caricatures, not characters? Sure, I guess I could have said something about that, but to be honest, the editors already severely cut down the stuff I had to write about the story (my paragraph after the first picture was twice as long, and I had a bit about Thomas’s scenario, too).

Or is it the fact that I didn’t deliberately say “Yeah, I played the antagonist’s scenario”? It doesn’t matter to me whether or not it’s clear to YOU. Read what I have to say about the villains. That’s exactly the impression you would get after finishing the game normally. That’s also the exact impression you would get after beating the antagonist’s scenario. It was thoroughly discussed, even if I didn’t superfluously mention playing his scenario. You don’t like that? Tough.

  1. Yeah, I admit that I would have liked to discuss more about the gameplay…Not VERY much, mind you, but at least the skill system. I would have wrote something like

"The skill system sucks ass because, even if you grind a character to the appropriate level - which is very easy - your skill points gained after battle are not scaled up if your level is low; so, if you haven’t been using a character from the beginning, you’re still going to have to grind a lot - circumventing Suikoden 3’s simple catch-up experience mechanism.

And for what? The skill system is completely vapid. Here’s how to break Suikoden 3: First, get a skill for a character’s favorite magic element, if they have one. Then, get the skill that raises their magic defense. After that, spend all your skill points on physical attack skills, and if you have any skill slots left, put them into physical defense skills. As long as your character can cast magic quickly and take damage from spells, just about any character will do fine as a physical powerhouse. Conversely, if you don’t do this, random battles will devastate your party anyways."

In other words, the skill system is a joke. My review was already incredibly long. I don’t care much about writing about little mini-games, and I never have. So, if that bothers you now, you better do a search on all threads I’ve ever made, and get started levying your complaints, because I make a specific point to not focus on optional stuff unless it’s a HUGE part of the game (like, recruiting 108 characters, not shitty card games).

So, since I had limited space, I talked about the one thing that made gameplay a true dealbreaker to me. Because, it wasn’t the skill system, even though it was dumb. The outrageous travel times didn’t bother me, because you needed time to grind for skills anyways. No, what makes Suikoden 3 not fun is that combat is retarded. That’s the biggest problem with the game, and I think the gameplay would have been tolerable otherwise. So, that’s what I wrote about.

Fine, I’m not going to go on more about this, but frankly, I’ve always believed that a reviewer’s job is to review a game’s content, not pick up parts of it and decide what merits being mentioned and what doesn’t even deserve to be aknowledged at all, for better or for worse. I mean, c’mon, here you have a review of a suikoden game that does not even aknowledge the existance of recruiting party members or developping a base. If I had only played the first two games and read this, I’d be weirded out as fuck. If the site’s policies are cutting up so much of your space that your reviews become so shallow, I’d seriously question the quality of the site itself.