Considered a bargain for a new game at 34€ (most new PS2 games go for 60+), I could not resist my urges for a good buy. I haven't had time this year for gaming, as much as I used too and I missed the days when I used to spend hours on end trying to get past a difficult boss. My favourite genre are RPGs. Not the MMORPGs which are all the hype nowadays... Good old console RPGs the likes of Final Fantasy and... 幻想水滸伝, (Gensō Suikoden).
It was the first RPG I completed and wanted to go back for more the minute it rolled credits. The path to collecting all 108 Stars of Destiny, as the playable characters are called in the series, is looong and tiresome, but truly repays you.
Today, the first day with no worries on my mind and some time to relax, I inserted Suikoden 5 in the PS2, wanting to experience a whole new adventure. The Hero of the game is the silent type and you get to name him. Pay attention that the hero is the guy in the center of the cover. Yeap... The one with the grey hair, the ponytails and the large red stick (o_O) is a guy! And a prince nonetheless!
Well, after 20 minutes of tiresome cut-scenes to set the stage, you have your first fight (or reminisce of your first fight to be exact...). The game then has you mindlessly running around your castle in Sol-Falena for some time before leaving its walls. I kinda like the story and feel where this is going already (after just 2.5 hours of play) , but what struck me as odd is the unpolished edges of the in-game (cut-scenes fare better) 3D graphics.
For a PS2 game, and a late one at that, it doesn't impress you as visually stunning. It's a shame. Think God of War. Nowhere close... Plus, all the battles I had (only for about 5mins unfortunately since the game shoves more blabbering with almost everyone in your face) could be won by my grandmother blindfolded and simply pushing the X button for 5 times in a row... Then I had to wait for a character to deliver some papers to someone else and had to bear with more of the boring chit-chat... Save and quit.
As I can recall, the original 2D game did have a lot of dialogue before getting to the juicier parts when you can roam the world map assigning runes to each newly recruited character. I hope my further plays of the game make me love it as much as the original. For the time being and till the end of my exams, I have my internet and chat to keep me entertained when at home. Still, for such a low price, it's not a bad thing to consider buying if you're into these games and especially this series. Try it out on rental first!
More game info: Suikoden V scored 8.1 on Gamespot. Visit its page HERE.
More on the Suikoden series can be found in its Wiki entry.