Yes, Suikoden 5's beginning was boring. I hate to say it, because I appreciate that we do need to get familiar with all the political stuff that's going on and we need to get to know the royal family and nobel families and knights. My problem isn't so much that there is too much dialogue, but there is a severe lack of exploration and combat throughout the early stages. You get that little flashback section in Lordlake, and the sewers and wood path at Stormfist, but they are very short sections. Most of your hours are spent reading and listening to dialogue, which is fine for a novel or TV series, but when playing a video game, I need activity.
And I actually don't mind lots of cutscenes either - at least with cut scenes, we get to see the characters up close with some lively animation. It's the dialogue that occurs with normal gameplay camera angles that gets tedious. We're lookign down on these bolygons just standing there looking at eachother. There's just no sense of drama to these scenes. The top down style doesn't work well for Suikoden 5, in my opinion.
Whereas all the other Suikoden games get their beginnings just about right.
Suikoden 1 gives us the right balance of dialogue and gameplay - there's not too much talking, but just about enough so that we get a good feel for the characters' personalities and relationships with eachother.
Suikoden 2 actually gave us a mercenary fort so that we have an early experience of what it's like to have a HQ with recruiting members and adjustable parties - Nice!
Suikoden 3 (I've only played it once) did have a lot of dialogue, but it was more interesting than 5, because again, it was all up close, the characters were animated, not just standing there lookign at eachother, and we were exploring different cultures witha range of different major characters.
Suikoden 4 started you off in a naval battle (OK, 4 didn't have the most exciting battles in the series) but you get a feel for what it's like being a knight who's about to graduate with his peers. Probably could have done with more dialogue, actually, but it was all fairly fast-paced, and we got the stories with Snowe and Commander Glen that we needed.
And yes, Tactics had a good beginning. We got to meet a bunch of S4 characters when they were a bit younger, and we also got involved with a critical moment from the Rune of Punishment's history, so that was cool.