A while back, I sold my PS3. I was done, and ready to move on. Now I hear that Suikoden II has been released on that console, as well as the PS Vita. And I feel like an amazingly massive tosspot over this missed opportunity.
So let me paint a picture for you. It’s 1998. Final Fantasy VII has been out for a while, and 1998 Darryn only has a few Rands to his name that he has saved up after some hard grafting. 1998 Darryn can’t afford Final Fantasy VII, even after washing so, so many cars and picking up dog crap in yards (people actually paid for this). But he can buy Suikoden II, a game which he has little to zero knowledge on, having only gleaned a few tidbits from arcane sources of knowledge known as “gaming magazines”.
So 1998 Darryn takes a chance, when he sees Suikoden II for sale at a rather cheap price that will leave him enough change to enjoy some sour Rascals, before the brand disappeared and returned years later with the flavour content of bull semen. And holy crap, was Suikoden II more Suweeet-oh-den II.
The game was a masterpiece, a journey that spanned the ages but kept the action close and personal. The 2D graphics actually helped Suikoden II tell a grandiose story, even if the entire world had gone gaga thanks to Final Fantasy 7 and its polygons. It broke my heart. It made me laugh. It filled my head with story ideas that took me years to understand. And starting out as a run of the mill grunt who worked his way up to a position of power in a war for the ages, assembling my very own army from a cast of hundreds of characters and leading them into battle all combined to form one deep game.
It was basically Pokémon with a medieval bend.
The gameplay itself was ahead of its time, a combination of hyper-quick battles and auto attacks that allowed new recruits to quickly level up alongside you. Grinding was an afterthought, although the game had some legendarily difficult boss fights. Also, you could be a chef, thanks to a cooking mini-game.
And for a $10 cover price, I’m hoping the game attracts enough new fans so that we can finally get the franchise revived. Make it so Konami.
Last Updated: December 10, 2014