Name: Genso Suikoden 2 (100.00% in 8 votes)
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Great Teacher
As many of you may already know, Genso Suikoden is a famous game based on a popular Chinese tale, Suikoden. It is one of the most famous Chinese tales existed in Japan besides Hoshin Enki, Romancing of Three Kingdom, and the story about Son Gokou. With the wide spread popularity of the story as well as the success in Genso Suikoden I, Konami has released its successor, Genso Suikoden II, with more improvement and fun factors.
The story in Suikoden II takes place after Suikoden I in a territory just above the United Kingdom of Toran, place where the legend of Suikoden I happened. In this new territory, there exists the Highland Kingdom and the United Cities of Jyouston. It is known for years that these two parties are often in conflict with each other. You, the main character and your buddy, Jyoui, first join the "Teenage Infantry" of Highland Kingdom. However, as you and your friend discover the scheme behind Highland Kingdom, you two begins a series of escape from the Highland Army's assassination. Here, you begin your unknown adventure and inescapable fate.
Examining the dialogues in the game, it is clear that Konami has put a lot of effort into this game. The story is very intensive, addictive, dramatic, any element a good story should have, not to mention that the plot is non-linear. Although it is not known whether or not the ending is multi-ending, different choices will lead to different interactions among characters. Basically, the main plot simply revolves around two forces, the Highland Army and United Cities Army, fighting each other. However, thinking the story is simple and dull may give several surprises because there are tons of twists within that two clashing force, from corruption, to betrayal of their king, to son killing father, and even to the betrayal of friend. With these shocking plots surfacing every minute, it will keep you days and night from leaving the TV screen. (I looked like a panda after several sleepless nights for playing this game).
In terms of ONLY graphic (i.e. separate any other factors) in the game, it can only be said a "Low" high-end graphic. If you compare the graphic to games such as Final Fantasy 7, Star Ocean 2nd Story, Bio Hazard 2, etc., the graphic looked somewhat "inadequate." Yet, if you compare Suikoden 2 to Poporocrois, Breath of Fire 3, Alandra, etc., you will find Genso Suikoden 2 to be beautiful. Despite that the graphic does not looked too eye-catching, the movies are very stunning. Also, since there are at least 108 character you can choose from, you can expect a lot of varieties in their clothing, action, and appearance.
If you have played Konami's Vandal Heart or Genso Suikoden I, you probably remember the lovely opera music in the opening and the end. In Suikoden II, Konami once again brought in more opera music into the game. Not only the opening have opera music, but the intro music was also replaced by opera music instead of the regular psx music synthesizer. From my point of view, the music is very suitable for the game: a very tradition Chinese style background music. I was a little disappointed by a few minor sound effects, however, where I thought I would find the animals such as dogs or goat making some sound.
Gameplay/Fun Factors: 11/10
Although the game is mainly a RPG based game, it is also a mix of simulation game plus ETC game. There are battles like Romancing of the Three Kingdoms as well as mini games like dice gambling, fishing game similar to the one in Breath of Fire 3, cooking game, and decorating your castle. As many of you might know, Genso Suikoden is a game that utilizes 108 characters. You will slowly build up a fortress of your own as you find more people to join you. The more people you find to join and the more secret items you get, the more beautiful your fortress looks. Also, the commands in battles are easy to use. Like its predecessor, there is a "Omakase" command where you don't have to go through a tidous button pressing to simply attack enemies. There is also the "Isshouni" command where two or more members can attack together for a powerful attack. However, it will only work with some special combination of your teammates. (Obviously, you can't have two strangers perform a play without knowing them for sometime).
In the end, this is a game not to be missed. Anyone with some knowledge of Japanese and Kanji should definitely try this game. Anyone with "English only" should get the first game first, keep the save file, and wait till Konami released Suikoden 2 in the States. This long waited series will worth the wait for any RPG fans.
GTO - 12.27.1998
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