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Author Topic: Suikoden Impressions  (Read 1396 times)
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vagabond
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« on: January 16, 2005, 08:55:44 PM »

I am up to 44 hours playtime and I believe very near the end. Got tired of leveling and am taking a break.  The game isn't really much like Suikoden III, which normally wouldn't be a huge problem for a game except for the fact that is one of the greatest games ever. Is the game bad? No, but it's not really good either. The biggest problem with the game is one it shares with Skies of Arcadia. WAY TOO MANY RANDOM ENCOUNTERS! This is particularly bad in a game in which you need to explore places that don't have landmarks. On the ocean or in the skies which doubled for an ocean, you need to keep your bearings in order to know where you are. Every battle you lose your bearings and in the time it takes you to get them back you get attacked again. I have no idea why anybody in their right mind thinks having a random battle every 15-20 seconds is a good idea in any way shape or form.  It doesn't even level you up, since most of the battles you fight don't give you any experience so you are still forced to powerlevel in a few key places.

A character driven roleplaying games greatest strength, all the great characters are also one of it's weaknesses. You can't create the party you want and often the characters that you like the best, just because of their looks or whatever aren't the most viable to actually use in battle. There are 108 characters in this game, the vast majority are not useful to the game in the slightest. It's not even a good idea to level them up as in Suikoden III, because unlike that game you don't even need them for battles EVER.  This is exacerbated by the fact you can only play 4 characters vs the 6 you could use in number III.  Also with the trinity system you were actually using 3 parties of 6 each vs only 4 total now.

This said fortunately the best characters to use to fight are also some of the most interesting.  The game graphics are great and are comparable to Star Ocean. The combat is far too easy. I have never been pressed nor have I died. The naval battles are laughably easy. The combat works nicely and is fun to do. Although I like any turnbased combat system.  I like the game, but it is a turnbased roleplaying game. It's like hating a puppy for me. It's my genre and it would have to be horrible for me not to like it. It's definately no where near as good as number III was. I would like to take a bat to the head of the person who did the random battle frequency too. If it's your genre you will like it fine. If not, if you didn't like number III you will probably loathe this one.
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semiconscious
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005, 12:28:09 AM »

Quote
The combat is far too easy. I have never been pressed nor have I died. The naval battles are laughably easy.


i hate it when that happens... seriously, besides not being really fond of the characters/humor, it was the easiness of the combat (i never redid a single battle) that let me down with shadow hearts: covenant. it was a gorgeous game, & i finished it, but, once you mastered the ring timing bit, the combat was incredibly simple - which is why, as sometimes lifeless/personalityless as shin megami tensei: nocturne can be, & despite the fact that it suffers from occasional 'randombattlitis' (not to mention more than a few cheap deaths), i enjoyed it much more than sh:c overall...

thanks for the impressions...
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vagabond
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2005, 01:54:05 AM »

Quote from: "semiconscious"
Quote
The combat is far too easy. I have never been pressed nor have I died. The naval battles are laughably easy.


i hate it when that happens... seriously, besides not being really fond of the characters/humor, it was the easiness of the combat (i never redid a single battle) that let me down with shadow hearts: covenant. it was a gorgeous game, & i finished it, but, once you mastered the ring timing bit, the combat was incredibly simple - which is why, as sometimes lifeless/personalityless as shin megami tensei: nocturne can be, & despite the fact that it suffers from occasional 'randombattlitis' (not to mention more than a few cheap deaths), i enjoyed it much more than sh:c overall...

thanks for the impressions...


I didn't play that one, but because I am good at strategy most games tend to be on the easy side for me. I don't want to lose anyway, I and everybody wants a tough battle that we win. This is a tough balance to strike. However, in the naval battles you are always outnumbered and outmatched. But, the enemy ships just charge at you. If you fire at their bow or stern, you don't even take a shot from them. If they do manage to get broadside from you, if they shoot a fire rune at you and you counter with water, they take damage and you don't. Even when they have more than one rune, and they never have more than two, you have a 50/50 chance of guessing correctly.  Also you can board, one character you are actually leveling in the game, can win the entire engagement easily. Pretty pathetic and anti-climatic and a real letdown from the warlike engagements of Suikoden III, which I actually enjoyed and required at least a little thought in order to win.
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Calvin
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2005, 03:18:51 AM »

Well I appreciate the impressions., I hated #3 so I imagine I will not like this any better. At best its a rental.
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2005, 01:13:23 PM »

Quote from: "Rage"
Well I appreciate the impressions., I hated #3 so I imagine I will not like this any better. At best its a rental.


My thoughts exactly.  I was never a big fan of the series, so this one will certainly be a rental.
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warning
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2005, 02:09:55 PM »

But is there a duck?
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vagabond
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2005, 03:10:21 PM »

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But is there a duck?



Naaah, no duck. But there are Cat people tho. :lol:
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vagabond
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2005, 03:27:19 PM »

Quote from: "Rage"
Well I appreciate the impressions., I hated #3 so I imagine I will not like this any better. At best its a rental.


It seems this game, lost much of what made 3 good and didn't really add much to take it's place. They lost the skills you could train when you leveled up. Not sure why. This makes the already sparse magic in the game even more sparse because you don't have any magic skills anymore just the runes. But, the combat is so easy I rarely use any magic even healing. Healing items are so abundant and cheap, I just use those to keep my health topped off between battles. That's it. There is only one real dungeon in the game and it's not very big. The world itself is very small. Except for the empty ocean, which later strangely you can teleport around on with your ship.  The cities are big but there isn't anything in them, just a bunch of buildings you can't even enter.
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2005, 07:16:17 PM »

What are your impressions of this Shin Megami Tensie game (or whatever its called) I keep searchign for a new RPG to like, but unlike you I just cant seem to get into anything enough to play more than a couple hours frown
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depward
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2005, 09:21:50 PM »

Quote from: "Rage"
What are your impressions of this Shin Megami Tensie game (or whatever its called) I keep searchign for a new RPG to like, but unlike you I just cant seem to get into anything enough to play more than a couple hours frown

I had it, played it for about 15 hours.  I would say it's a pretty hard RPG.  Random battles happen practically everywhere.  This isn't a BAD thing persay, because during your travels you recruit these "demons" to fight for you.  Also, the frequency varies - sometimes it'll be maybe 5 seconds before you get into a battle, sometimes a lot longer.

The strategy that is involved in the game is to use certain demons to fight demons at the location you are currently at.  You can either use a pre-existing demon that you've "bribed" to your side (many situations happen - sometimes demons just go to your side, other times they ask some sometimes funny questions, sometime serious, and sometimes they want you to give them someone) or visit an Altar (Altar of Shadows or something like that?  I forgot) located in cities and "sacrifice" two of your demons to create a usually different, stronger one.

The random battles finally got to me, but I really wanted to enjoy the story.  It was pretty interesting to me.  Plus I really loved the art direction.  The characters looked vibrant and very artistic in an unique kind of way.

So I would basically say SMT:N is more of a "hard" RPG than what was said about Suikoden IV's easiness.  It's quite a challenge.  But I would say you should probably rent it before running out and buying it.  It's an unique game that you might end up liking   biggrin
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semiconscious
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2005, 12:13:00 AM »

Quote
What are your impressions of this Shin Megami Tensie game (or whatever its called) I keep searchign for a new RPG to like, but unlike you I just cant seem to get into anything enough to play more than a couple hours


smt:n is definitely worth checking out, tho you should be willing to give a pretty good amount of time to it before making any judgements - the gameplay is quite different from most rpgs, but once the demon fusion part, which is the core component, clicked for me (like i say, it took a while), & the very deep possibilities of demon customization & battle strategies became apparent, i was very impressed, & solidly hooked...

story is fine (& pretty damn strange). cel-shaded characters are quite nice, tho locations can be kinda dull. music is excellent. enemy ai can be stupid, there are sometimes numerous random encounters, & more than a few cheap deaths (when your character goes down, even if the rest of your party's fine, it's game over). & the first couple bosses will likely crush you like a bug til you get a handle on things (one example: status affect -type spells play a much larger role than in most other rpgs)...

oh, yeah - savepoints are very nicely distributed (& should be used frequently!)...
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2005, 07:39:20 AM »

I'm a couple of hours in, and I'm enjoying it.  There's definitely an attempt to evoke memories of the first game - the health displays, sound effects, and battle win theme are straight out of Suikoden 1.  The graphics have been technically ok, but very lacking in detail.  Details can really make graphics come alive, as in Star Ocean, but the environments in Suikoden 4 have been bland so far.  As in S3, the main character has an odd walking animation, although the battle animations are nice.  

The ship-to-ship battles and minigames have been the highlight so far.  I even had my own litle gambling problem, where I kept losing at the dice game, and couldn't stop until I'd made my money back slywink  My main gripe is the four-character battle party.  I didn't like the partner system in 3, but at least the 6-character battles from 1 and 2 allowed for some strategy in placing your characters.
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