V for Victory
A nameless hero searches for his destiny in Suikoden V.
Of all the RPGs I've played, there's one series that just makes my ears perk up when I hear it. No, not Final Fantasy. It's Suikoden. I just love this series like no other. To be truthful though, my favorite will always be Suikoden II, which ranks as one of my favorite RPGs of all time. I regretfully wasn't able to finish Suikoden III, which is a big injustice... but I am collecting the manga version and so will finish it by reading that. As for the fourth game, which many refer to as 'Suck-koden' since it really was the low point in the series, I just passed it by like a ship in the night.
But now, Suikoden V is here, and it looks pretty good. In fact, reviews of the game have been remarking that the fifth installment of this fan favorite franchise is a return to form for the title. That means a long, involving story, tons of likeable and enthralling characters, big battles and personal duels, mystic runes of power and... funny minigames.
Suikoden V puts you in the sandals of a young prince of a powerful matriarchal empire. I don't have many details of the story but it seems you eventually have to lead some sort of rebellion against the ruling regime if past games are to be followed. This will most likely entail lots of plots and subplots, conspiracies and counter-conspiracies, tragedies and betrayals and the stuff that grand fantasy drama is made of. Of course, there will be the usual 108 Stars of Destiny to track down and enlist to join your army, and up to ten of this motley crew will be able to join you on journeys and adventures throughout the vast land.
Graphically, the game looks pretty slick, with 3D graphics and pretty detailed character models making for a very beautiful-looking PS2 game. According to reviews, a lot of emphasis was placed on story and characters, things that were badly neglected in the previous game. Suikoden V is also said to be the longest of the games, so I hope that I'll be able to finish this despite that.
I already got a copy over the weekend, but it turned out to be a lemon- I'll have to get a working copy asap, perhaps along with the newly-released Kingdom Hearts II as well. Lots of great stuff to play over the Holy Week break (if I can pry myself away from the babes of Rumble Roses XX if I am fortunate to get a copy).