Review by Expertise626

Reviewed: 04/04/06

Konami finally captured what Suikoden should be.

The Suikoden games have always been known for it's grandiose nature. It's an over-achiever with its large full-scale wars and changing atmospheres. For this installment, Konami went above and beyond to create a magnificent game.

For the story, Suikoden V achieves a depth like no other. This game takes place in the Queendom of Falena, the main character being none other than the Prince himself. Through his eyes you will experience political strife, power struggle and deception. Konami did a great job describing the details of the ruling powers and problems that arise from it. The story starts off a bit slow but picks up later and ascends from there. It unfolds at a good pace and the player is there for every bit of it. You can actually feel like you've contributed heavily to the story. The scenes are nothing short of astonishing, each sad moment gripping your heart and each happy moment feel like you're there smiling with the characters. About characters, every Suikoden game has many recruitable characters. In this aspect, Suikoden V doesn't disappoint, one can recruit over 108 characters for use, each with a significant backstory.

Suikoden has always been known for its three different styles of play; duel battles, normal battles and war battles. Starting with the duel battles, duels are all about one on one, with both characters fighting in a rock-paper-scissors format. Attack beats Defend, Defend beats Special, and Special beats Attack. Each attack is met with different animations to match the enemy's attack, which makes for unpredictable, thrilling action. For normal combat, Suikoden 5 returns to the 6 person parties. However, new to the series is the formation system. You're allowed to set a formation for your characters which can be used for a variety of setups. The most largest change is the war battles. Suikoden 5 adopted a real time strategy system. This allows for many new strategies and adds the thrill of war. One can form multiple fronts or use a bait and switch technique.

The graphics in Suikoden V are stunning. Emotions are shown well through facial expression and body movement. One can really see when a character is sad or is thinking about something. The world itself is also amazing, sporting many well detailed cities and towns. The trees are finely detailed and don't look flattened out like in many other games. However, beauty does come at a price. Suikoden V has a noticeable amount of loading time, almost in between every new map one enters, including a small bit in the beginning and end of battles.

Sound and Music
The voices in this game are lovely. Many express themselves well through talking, knowing when to heighten or soften their tones. The graphics are well accompanied by the excellent voice actors. The score is quite good itself, with a few notable tracks that one can enjoy. The sounds fit the game well, especially the stomping, cries, and explosions during war battle sequences.

Chances are, one won't collect all 108 characters on the first try. If given another play through, some may find characters they may have missed the first time. Also, with New Game+, you can carry over skill points and items you had in your previous game.

Suikoden V is a great game that should not be missed. Suikoden V captures the essence of what it truly wants to be; an in-depth, gripping war tale. This game will have you glued to your seat for days to come.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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