I've bought more games this month than I usually buy in a year. I've gotten Kingdom Hearts, Grandia Xtreme, WildArms 3, Tony Hawk 4, and GTA: Vice City. Of those games, 3 are great, 2 are decent. The game that is consuming my time like mad though is Suikoden III.
I loved the first two games in the series. This one is demolishing them. The character models are awesome. The Trinity Sight system is innovative. The battles have been streamlined and made more strategic at the same time. The story is awesome so far. If you want a frigging great 60-100 hour console RPG, first buy FFX, but this game should be a close second. It's light years ahead of every non-FF RPG on the market right now.
"Words to memorize. Words hypnotize. Words make my mouth exercise. Words all fail the magic prize. Nothing I can say when I'm in your thighs."
I second you on that. Suikoden is one of my favorite series along with Final Fantasy and Lunar. I want to buy this game the day it comes out. One of the things I love most about this series is that each game builds upon the previous installment. Not many installments of a series take place in the same world, but this series even has some of the same characters in each game. It's great how there are sooooo many people to collect too. The only thing that I'm wary about is that the game is in 3D. I've always preferred the old 2D sprite look myself, it was perfect in Suikoden II. It's ok if the series was all in 3D, but the first two weren't. The only other really notable ones are Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy. I don't know much about Dragon Warrior, and Final Fantasy has the advantage of telling a different story every time. But with Suikoden, they have to have character consistency with the other two games.
Oh, and just on a side note, if you're looking for a pretty good RPG that's a little bit different from the norm you should check out Valkyrie Profile for the PlayStation. It has REALLY detailed 2D sprites against beautiful 2D/prerendered backgrounds. The dungeons are sidescrolling platform game type areas with enemies you can see (no random encounters) and various puzzles you have to work out. The battles are a thing of beauty, with each party member's attack being controlled by one of the four shape buttons. You can combo and string them all together just like in a fighting game. Plus, it has awesome replay value with multiple difficulty levels (each with some dungeons and characters you can't get on other difficulty levels) and deccent voice acting. Has anyone else played this game? It's one of my favorites but it didn't get much publicity when it came out.
(edited by MollyFan2K2 on 4.11.02 1452) A shark on whiskey is mighty risky, a shark on beer is a beer engineer.
I didn't play the second one, but I learned to hate the first Suikoden. The game engine was reasonably interesting, and the gotta-catch-em-all premise kept me going for a while (even if about 75% of them were useless), but the game logic made me want to scream at times.
Flaw #1 was the inane use of questions with only one answer. For example, there was the grinning moron on the mountainside who insisted that Our Hero really needed to drink some (drugged) tea. The game allowed you to accept or decline the tea -- except that every time you said "no," you got one of a handful of canned "Oh, come on, please?" responses and the question was repeated until you said "yes." Arrrgh. Even if the end result (everyone out cold) was set, have monkey-boy whack the hero on the head from behind or something if he says "no" to present the ILLUSION that the encounter is anything but linear! Bits like that recurred throughout the game, and were annoying as hell.
Flaw #2 was a very common one in multiplayer RPGs -- once you had a reasonable party of six, there's really no reason to substitute anyone else in for the remainder of the game, unless the plot absolutely calls for it (after which you'd swap your original back in). You could spend your time levelling-up newcomers... or spend that time to level-up the originals who were at a higher level to begin with.
Flaw #3 was the most aggravating. Even with a WALKTHROUGH, I played through the game twice and got stuck at 107 stars. The first time, I'd brought the female general (Sonja) back to my castle, but gathered the troops before I'd fully convinced her to turn coat (i.e. one f'ing conversation at the right time). The second time, I missed Mathiu's dad -- I went after him right before the critical moment, before the troops were gathered, but it was too late to get Mathiu to play his part in the plot (sending the letter). At that point, I put the disc back in the case, threw the case into a box of stuff going into storage, and there it has remained to this day.
"When I feel depressed, I sit under a willow tree by a cool river, and imagine that I am strangling a duck." -- Kotaro Sarai
The second Suikoden was much much MUCH better than the first. The graphics were better, the storyline was deeper, more involving, and a hell of a lot more moving.
1. The storyline is less linear than the first. There are three endings, two fates for one of the main characters depending on whether you get all 108 stars or not, and a yes or no type choice halfway through that totally changes the rest of the game. Most of the yes/no type questions in II also result in slightly different paths, or at least amusing dialogue.
2. I can totally understand this one. In Suikoden II, though, the combo attacks are more numerous and a hell of a lot easier to get. Plus, at least for me, there were a ton more than six characters that were interesting enough to want to use in battle. Although I will admit that there are some that are just a lost cause.
3. It's a lot easier to get all the 108 stars in II, generally the windows of opportunity are longer and you get a lot of people automatically. The hardest one is the trader guy, cause I hadn't traded ANYTHING the entire game and I had to do 50,000 potch worth all at once.
A shark on whiskey is mighty risky, a shark on beer is a beer engineer.
Flaw #1 is a flaw in damn near every single RPG ever made. Generally, it goes like this:
king: Will you rescue my daughter, the princess, and save my kingdom from the evil evil things? Choice: Yes, No. Choose No. king: But you must! Choice: Yes, No. Choose No. king: we really need you to! Choice: Yes, No. Choose No. king: Please! All my knights are brainless turds. Choice: Yes, No. Choose No. king: But you must! Choice: Yes, No. Choose Yes. king: the kingdom thanks you! You are a truly brave and noble soul! you will be rewarded well for your efforts!
Of course, this is a major encounter, but damn near all encounters in the history of console rpg's have resulted in scenarios where they wanted a certain reply (always yes, i think).
Yeah, but usually it's not quite that obnoxious. Most of them go a little more like this:
King: Will you rescue the Princess from the Giant Wobbly Things?
(if yes) King: All hail the hero! Here, take the keys to my van and a few bucks for later. (party leaves to slay the Giant Wobbly Things)
(if no) King: WELL then. Is there no hope? NPC Teammate #1: Aw, he's bawling like a baby. We should... NPC Teammate #2: Yeah, we need to do this. Come on, you. Your Character: *sigh* Okay, let's go. (party leaves to slay the Giant Wobbly Things)
Often, you get a small reward for picking the "correct" in-character responses. You still end up going to the same destination, but your choice of responses at least changes the dialogue somewhat. There's a big difference between that and a WHILE (ANSWER=NO) THEN PRINT X; REPEAT loop.
(edited by vsp on 4.11.02 2121) "When I feel depressed, I sit under a willow tree by a cool river, and imagine that I am strangling a duck." -- Kotaro Sarai