Suikoden V revisited

I first tried playing this and I was bored stupid. Now, I’m totally sucked in. So far (about 15 hours in), it has the same problem that Tierkreis has in that the good and evil is pretty cut and dry. However, as is per Suikoden storylines, I know that will change. I guess after getting through the long dungeon crawl will boring characters and an absent plot, this game is proving to be a real treat.

I consider Suikoden V the only taken over by the first two. Three has the the weird team battle system and I didn’t like the whole ship thing Four had going on.

I’m about halfway through now. So far there’s not much by way of story. It’s just move from one battle to another. Sad considering how strong it set itself up after the the turning point in Sol-Falena. There’s been moments, but no real plot development.

Finally hit the stride that I would hit that would result in my gaining the castle and fight back; the Queen’s Campaign, the Betrayal of Sialeeds and Lyon’s critical injury. If all that happened at the same time as Ferid and Arshtat’s deathsI would be more vested in it. At that point it felt like it was too little too late. Overall, the story just feel’s too safe. Nothing else has really happened to change my previous comments. It’s still better than FFXIII.

I just realized, I can only imagine how much fun the people behind the 108 stars must have in developing the character designs and their personal stories.

PS: They go overboard on ellipses and punctuation.

I liked the first 20 hours of Suikoden 5, but the story slowed down after that and I got tired of the random battles. Unlike most people, I preferred Suikoden 3’s battle system b/c the doubles grouping was unique.

Suikoden III is my close second, behind Pt. 2, with the first one closely behind that one. Suikoden V just places way more emphasis on the war/strategic aspect of the game than on story. It’s a shame because what few memorable scenes there are here are really well done, but since it’s not as story driven, there’s not enough context for those scenes. Usually the story starts off slow and gains speed at a certain point, here it built and just kinda…floated away. It’s really disappointing.

Why am I even bothering to continue posting about this?

I finished it. 98 hours, 61 Levels, 108 Stars, 2.5 Weeks. I dont know if I should be proud or ashamed.

The narrative finally kicked into 4th gear from the Sol-Falena Seige Battles forwards.

I just barely squeaked by in the duel with Dolph. It was a bitch, first of all because I made it all the way through the last dungeon and the three mini bosses, about 90 minutes worth of work without a save point, so obviously if I lost, I’d have to do all that again. I discovered the final boss fight could be replayed and had to do it a few times before I decided to switch out one of my physical guys with low MDF with Zerase, and somehow that made all the difference in the world

The ending sequences more than made up for the narrative spinning its tires through the first 2/3rds of the game. I saw the other endings, and I would’ve overall enjoyed the game way less if I didn’t get the best ending (which I did). Overall, its still my least favorite. (II, III, I, V - didn’t really play IV).

It’s a bummer you didn’t like the game. I found it to be a really remarkable game, especially after the shitfest that was Suiko 3, the borefest that was Suiko 4, and the UBER shitfest that was Suiko Tactics.

To sum up my feelings on Suikoden 5

  • Gameplay was decent, but too antiquated (no significant gameplay changes from the earlier games, duel battles are still just rock paper scissors with a weighted option)
  • War Battles had some wonky problems (camera zooming over to every single battle all the time, units could be forced to battle over and over again if they had no place to run)
  • Recruiting 108 stars is still absolutely not-fun, and is even worse in Suiko 5 than any other game, because of the sheer urgency which you need to look for characters to recruit after every major storyline event
  • Political warfare/statecraft aspect of the story was probly done better here than any other game (except maybe 2)
  • Story pulls a weird 180 about 10-15 hours in with its overarching theme
  • The action of the story is exciting nonetheless
  • Lucretia. WTF!?!?

My ratings would have to be

It’s not that I didn’t like it. It’s just that the narrative seemed to be all but scrapped in favor of the warfare/tactical aspect of the franchise. Like I said, it got way better at that one point. Oh yeah, what the fuck was the point of Saileeds betrayal and death? it just seemed to be completely unecessary.

I dunno. I don’t think that spoiler was a big deal. Like I said, the story was very superficial. It spent like ten hours (basically up to the point where Sol-Falena is overtaken) setting the story up to be about constantly examining our traditions and cultures to evaluate their worth in our current society…and threw it away for a big action-packed adventure. It’s hard for me to get mad at things like what you pointed out when I don’t feel like the narrative was worth anything but its face value.

It’s just that for me, Suikoden’s strongest point is it’s narrative. Each one I play, I want to expect one of the best stories in its genre. If it’s not up there with the others or it it’s not strong in its own right, it brings down the whole experience.

Its a little hard to say Suikoden should provide the best stories of the genre when only Suikoden 2 stood out (very well). In the end, Suikoden 2’s narrative is not representative of the series as a whole, imo. The series isn’t bad though, but after Suikoden 2, everything just looks like wasted potential. Weak narratives are a common problem with most games originating from Japan I find. Strong stories with tension and pacing have been very rare since the PS1 era.

I just remember I and III having amazing stories (in my opinion) as well. I’m holding V up to what I vaguely remember from like 7-8 years ago, and I don’t remember much about any of them now. I just remember finishing them and thinking “damn, that was a good game.” I could take the rose-tinted glasses off and go through them again. Maybe they won’t be so mindblowing. Or then again, maybe they’ll be even better. shrug Anyway, that’s where I stand.

Oh, FWIW, I did pop in III again to see how many stars I had (One died in battle and one in the story due to incorrect choices), and found the camera to be invasive and the combat clumsy as fuck. The graphics are fucking ugly too. So…yeah.

Was aquiring all 108 stars as almost impossible in the other games without following a walkthrough to the letter as it is in V? I don’t remember. There’s just a lot of “how the fuck would I have known that?” moments.

Yeah it was pretty fucking hard. I remember playing suikoden 1 back when the internet was nearly non-existent 12 years ago and my friends and I just tried everything imaginable. It was really different playing games like Suikoden back then. Hell, even finding secrets in Wild Arms 1 was very different. Nowadays, you can clean sweep through these games because the information is readily available.

I replayed through Suikoden 1 recently. Its a series of fetchquests with lots of stereotypes. Its not a bad game, but its not Suikoden 2.

I pretty much agree with all that. I think that when you really look at the Suikoden series, it’s not very good.

Suiko 1 just has too many jurassic gameplay elements to be really amazing, and the story was very threadbare.

Suikoden 3 was a pile of crap; the combat was weird, unintuitive and frustrating, on top of really bad play control and a verrrry long-winded game that feels nothing like a Suikoden game. The only thing I’ll say in Suikoden 3’s favor was that it was much easier to find the 108 stars in Suikoden 3 than the previous two games.

Suikoden 4 was not nearly as bad as everyone says; but, it IS extremely boring. I guess there’s a difference to me. Also, Suiko 4’s big strong suit is that there’s only like five missable characters in the 108 stars, and they’re very hard to miss.

…Let’s not even talk about Tactics and Tierkreis.

IMO 2 and 5 are the only ones playing, and they’re kind of like night and day to me in terms of narrative. 2’s narrative was pretty damn deep and emotional, while 5’s was just exciting and action-packed. They are probably the hardest games to acquire all the characters for though, which I find to be the most obnoxious thing about both of them.

Yeah, Tierkreis felt like Suikoden: The 4Kids edition.

III is by far the worst game in the main series for me. IV wasn’t BAD, it just wasn’t good. There wasn’t anything to like about it, but there wasn’t much to hate either and it ended quickly, so it’s just forgettable. III is LONG, ploddingly ridden with characters getting forcibly sidetracked for hours in sideplots that don’t have a lick of relevance to anything, refuses to develop anything beyond the setup and just magically wraps up everything offscreen once you get the True Fire Rune. Remember Hugo’s last interaction with Chris in the game? It’s them saying “see ya” after the battle and making it clear it’s all cool. The last interaction they had BEFORE THAT was in Chisa, with Hugo grinding his teeth and deciding that, for the moment, they had bigger issues than his very justified desire to fucking murder Chris and all her knights. There was nothing in between there. They literally went from “bloody revenge” to “we’re all BFFs” in two scenes. And Redrum never gets mentioned ever again despite being actually responsible for the whole Karaya massacre incident. On the other side of the story, I can’t even remember what the hell was the point of Chris’ story after he goes with Nash.

That characterizes the way the game deals with almost everything: It starts it up and then forgets all about it. It cockteases you with a racial dispute, only to sweep it under the rug when Harmonia invades, then sweeps THAT under the rug when the real enemy is discovered: A bad mage with an army of demons that’s about to blow up half the continent. Yes, demons armies and a save-the-world plot, that is TOTALLY what Suikoden is about. And then they beat him and everything is totally forgiven on all sides. Even the whole “Harmonia genocided an entire Grassland Clan with no provocation” thing. It’s okay, nobody from that region ever shows up since they were all killed, so there’s no reason for anybody to care about an entire chunk of the Grasslands being murdered.

It’s probably even worse if you care about the overall plot of the franchise, because the game flips so many middle fingers at so many established concepts and characterizations that it’s not even funny.

Oh, and as a final note: Fuck Albert. Fuck him with a long, rusty, aids-infected morningstar right in the anus. Sure, Ceasar is the worst strategist the series has ever saddled you with, but at least he was realistic. The game beats you over the head with Albert’s brilliance despite the fact that his plan relied mostly on the Deus Ex Machina magician chick who created the illusions that started the war, set up the “magical aggression-inducing force fields” that fuelled it, and summoned the armies of demons to let them fight. Having a fucking genie in the lamp to magic solutions for you doesn’t make you a good strategist. And the cherry on top is that he puts half of known civilization at the risk of being nuked off existence just to pad his curriculum. Seriously, what the hell?

So… what are you trying to get at exactly? :stuck_out_tongue:

Goddamn, I don’t remember ANY of that. Why am I even saying I like it then?

We don’t know either.

Best moment of Suki III for me was having to grind my way out of that one town that Geddoe and company starts out in after the grassland thing because the rock boss at the end of the path is a real cockblocker without everyone loaded down with the best available equipment.

At least he wasn’t yet another unwinnable boss fight like so many others were in that game.