Character designs = Were very good in this game. Suikoden 1's designs
were lacking, 2 & 3 were very good, 4 was horrible, and 5 has probably
the best designed characters thus far. The backgrounds and locations
were also quite good.
Storyline = Unlike 4 (which was horribly boring) and 3 (which was less
than stellar), 5 seemed to get it right by following the same route 1 and
2 did. Although it is very slow at the beginning (like walking around your
home looking for sister. Ugh.) the story does pick up right away when
the castle becomes under siege. It starts to pick itself up again when
you finally get your own castle. So if there were any less than exciting
moments, they were quickly brought to a conclusion, with some needed
Graphics = Although I personally preferred the 2D sprites, for a 3D
Suikoden, it's the best looking one thus far. Beautiful effects (like
water and light) and the effects from the spells are all very cool to
War events = Are handled very well, being extremely simple and
overall, rather simple to get used to. There are some minor annoyances,
but overall, the best war gameplay yet.
Voice Acting = This is actually IMO, not particularly a pro, but it's not
a con either. The voice-acting in this game is far from being the worst,
(since Japanese RPGs seem to usually bring in the VAs who suck at it)
but it still needs to slightly improve. Most characters sound lacking in
any kind of emotion necessary for the situation, or just don't sound
very good period. There are some good VAs, Arshtat, Ferid, Sialeeds,
and a few others who play their roles well. Secondary characters
however, have less than good acting talents, and VA recycling (when
a VA is doing another character and it's blatantly obvious) is a big
No-No in my book.
Difficulty = Suikoden games were never that hard. Although some
were quite challenging (1 & 2 notably) the 3D ones seems to have
been declining in difficulty. Although the cons certainly seem to
replace the game difficulty.
Money = What I've noticed is that in this particular Suikoden game,
money is a LOT harder to come by. Most of the time, only Faroush
and Lyon were ever up to date in gear and weapon strength. I just
never had enough for any other party members. Unless you train
your butt off, which honestly, is never really all that fun since
everyone else aside from you is well-equipped or strong enough to
make it go by quicker.
Character Equip/Weapon = Another thing I noticed was that unlike
previous Suikoden games, where the characters actually had decent
armor and their weapon strengths were NOT ALL AT LEVEL 1. Which
adds to more money wasted on characters on your level that should
be on your level in armor and weapon strength. The fact that every
other character barely had anything equipped on them as well didn't
Training to get money to buy upgrades is fine. But this game seriously
set it up to where it's more of a HUGE inconvenience and chore.
Cutscenes = This game has one of the single worst uses of cutscenes.
Most cutscenes in the game are severly useless, if not wasted. The
cutscene introducing Luserina? Pointless. She doesn't even talk!! And
it's like...3 seconds. Wow. Really worth a cutscene. Although there
were good ones (Like the rescue attempt for Lym), most other ones
were either too short to be worth it, or just not interesting enough to
be worth it. The choreography in the fight scenes were simply awful.
It looked like they were done by puppets.
Formations = Although they are good, most formations are overall,
useless and are barely ever used save for 1 situation, and even then,
the situation isn't so dire that you need it. They look good, and their
potential for depth in the combat system is also good, but in this game,
they were not handled very well. You're probably only going to use
about 3-5 formations out of the 18 in the game.
Character Recruitment = Unlike previous Suikodens where only a few
required you to go through certain events or even to go through
certain events with said character to recruit them, in this game you
must do something for EVERY character that does not join you via
storyline. Although it's nice to see some development in the non-main
story characters, it gets to be kind of tedious when every single
character needs you to do something for them. Another big error from
Konami is that in this game there are a LOT of ways for players to
accidently lose the chance to recruit characters, far more than any
other previous Suikoden game. Most of them are simply just not
easy to find, and you may very well be ambiguous to their locations
unless you use a guide or some other FAQ to help you. Also, certain
characters are frustratingly difficult to recruit, like the appraiser
Bastan. (Which btw, no other Suikoden game has EVER had an
appraiser as hard to recruit as Bastan. WTF Konami.)
Although I did enjoy the game as a whole, it nevertheless, gave me
many fits of frustration, far more than any other previous Suikoden
game. I have always gotten the "best" ending in previous Suikoden
games, and although they weren't easy to achieve, they were by no
means nearly as frustrating and difficult as this game's was. Although
Konami is taking a good step forward by bringing Suikoden back to
it's roots (as opposed to Tactics, Suikoden III & Suikoden IV) it does
need to be a lot more leniet towards the gamer in the other aspects
of the game.