Xelinis wrote: No, no, and no.
Why, why, and why? Can't help but wonder why that (maybe minus the Square-Enix partnership) wouldn't work.
Maybe a complete overhaul of the battle system is just what the Suikoden series needs to become great again. Frankly, the battle system in all of them was just too simple. Even the rune magic spells were named the same and had virtually the same animations. The only exception was 3, where the characters did run around the field to an extent and *gasp* maybe even do magic that could hurt your own team. So they were trying. It almost feels to me that the developers aren't very creative when it comes to the fights, or they're afraid to experiment with significant changes. As an example, S1 and S2 were essentially indentical when it came to fights. They added the chance of multiple attacks, and created better unite animations. So then they say "let's try something else". They make S3, and everyone goes "BOO!!! HISSSS!!" so they go back to the same formula in S4 and S5. And when they did that, not only was it pretty much like S1 and S2 (quick and simple) but they even dumbed it down further by, first, making it a four person party, and then in S5, giving us these special formations. I forget which one it was, but one of those formations pretty much made every battle as simple as the push of a button.
If you want an awesome RPG, you have to back your awesome original story with awesome game mechanics. And music! Have to have awesome music for your awesome RPG. If you just want the same ol same ol, then you might as well just replay the original games and tell the Emperor "I don't wanna", or run away from Tinto and have Ridley die. Or have Childreich kill Roy. I don't want the same. I want a gripping drama that is constantly being weaved and holding my attention. And with that, I want a battle system that is as equally gripping and makes winning that much more important. I don't want to just press "Free Will" every time because I know I'll win.
Let's look at the evolution of the Final Fantasy Series. Square for example, took their games in different directions. They weren't afraid to experimenting to keep things different and new. Granted, they weren't on the same planet or whatever, for the most part, you still had the basic elements that made it a Final Fantasy game. Spells, summons, chocobos. If you evolve Suikoden into a unique experience every game but leave in the same basic elements, (108 stars, runes, unites, bath parties) then it's still the same, but better. Even something as simple as having a Final Fantasy X battle mechanic where you can switch out party members with reserve members would be exciting. YOu know where that would have been awesome? S2 when you're liberating Greenhill. I'd love to have 6 party members to wail all the hollys and whatever through the forest, and then when I fight that big skeleton dragon, switch out a few of the fighters for mages. It's things like that that keep the fans coming back, and attracts new players.
Just thinking outside the box here. Besides, we can discuss future game mechanics, endings, characters, runes, and geography until we're blue in the face. Until I see some evidence that they're developing Suikoden VI, might as well come up "crazy" ideas to keep us entertained for the forseeable future.
Sorry, I went on too long. Every time I finished a sentence I thought of something else. Even now I'm thinking of other ideas but I'll hold off for now.