Author’s Note: This was posted in my old multiply site (March 2009)
It would be almost 10 years since the first time I popped up a CD containing Suikoden 2 into a playstation console. Little did I know I’d be using the same CD and using a PSX emulator. During the year 1999 or early 2000, I received this CD from my kuya who bought the game along with some other game (maybe it was need for speed or something) not knowing what to do with it, I placed it in the PSX and started to play with it.
The first few days, I found frustration, the VERY FIRST minutes into the game (no matter what the hell I would do) seems to me that I would go ‘game over’ eventually. Granted, I did not lose any battles with those highland soldiers, it was always inevitable for my character and his ‘buddy’ Jowy to fall down the mountain and dive into the water below. After that fateful scene, I would see this sepia toned music video that resembles somewhat of a flashback. Me, being 11 years old only and not much attention span, thought it meant GAME OVER at the end. So I said to myself “Man, this game SUCKS!”
A couple of weeks later, a friend of mine told me how good this game was. When I told him that I kept on dying the first round when the characters jump at the cliff and then this montage plays, I think he laughed.
So yes, he told me a very wise proverb…”wait for the black and white/whatever colored video to end”
With that out of the way, I now resumed playing this 2D RPG game. As I said, this game was 2D and not the usual 3D RPG games the PS1 already had such as the Final Fantasy series. I myself did feel a bit jiffed with the 2D graphics and whatnot. However, hours later, I got hooked into the whole game thanks to the storyline and the nice soundtrack that accompanied it. Certain parts such as the hero and his friend Jowy talking in the prison cell at Muse while the ‘theme of the moonlit night’ (yes, that’s the title of the song in its OST) and also the part where they made another flashback montage. Even though it was just an RPG game, I guess you could say I marked out like I would do if A-Train and Funaki would fight each other on WWE Velocity since the story was DAMN GOOD…coupled with the soundtrack yet again.
Soon enough, I became hooked into the whole Suikoden fandom and even borrowed a copy of my friend’s Suikoden I game just to play the first game of the series. For me, I think II surpassed the first one story wise but that’s just me. It was, however, good to get to play the game so I could get more background info on the game itself.
Grade six came and went and that summer, I found out this suikogaiden game was released in Japan, a text based RPG. Sadly, it never materialized in other parts of the globe. So I often relied on the internet to check out the nice animations or images of the game. My only regret is that I never found any suikogaiden games here in the RP. Hey, if I can find rival schools 2 (the Japanese version of the text based game plus the standard fighting game)…why not that?
Sadly, 2001 came in and suiko-mania for me faded out. First reason, no more suikodens in the PS1. Second reason? Well I was in dreamcast/Shenmue/NBA2k fandom period at that time until I got the PS2.
However, during the next few years when I got Suikoden 3 and 4, the love for the series went down. For Suikoden 3, the interest was still there since characters like Lucia, Futch, and Viki were still there from the old games. The main villain Luc was also a kick ass bad guy but it still paled in comparison to Suikoden 2 in the plot. I would give props to Suikoden 3 for the innovative trinity sight system and then the manga.
Suikoden 4? Well it was not that bad as they said it was, in fact I was all for random battles at sea every 5 seconds to level up my team. But aside from the kick ass ‘emo kid’ costume I’ve been looking ‘at sea’ for Snowe, yeah it wasn’t that much compared to the previous 3 games. However, all the bad taste or slight disappointment from Suikoden 4 subsided when Suikoden Rhapsodia (Suikoden tactics) went out and where my addiction to a suikoden game actually went back since Suikoden 2.
It didn’t stop there as my summer of 2006 was swamped by playing Suikoden 5. Now this game really reinvigorated my fandom of the series with not only its great graphics, but the story was right up there with the second game of the series. Aside from that, who wouldn’t love to have Egbert at your party? I mean that’s like a crazy old grandparent joining you and vowing to CRUSH THOSE GODWIN SCUM!!!
So what happened afterwards? Well, college happened and I did re-play Suikoden 5 in between the summer when I had free time. But then again the Sims 2 fad kicked in when I got a better PC to play it on. Now last year had to be one of the most interesting stories I could say about this series.