- Platform: PlayStation2
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Media: Video Game
1. There is no voice acting. I've seen this listed as a huge flaw for the game. I don't see it as a huge flaw. Voice acting is only a good thing in a game if it is done well. Metal Gear Solid is a good example of excellent voice acting. The VA in Final Fantasy X is adequate. Grandia 2 had fairly poor voice acting, if I remember correctly. Suikoden III has 108 significant, named characters that can be recruited. While not all of these characters have much dialogue, the scope required of voice acting and casting all of these voices may be too large for a video game. It is also unnecessary. While dialogue can make or break a game, voice acting is not very important to me.
2. The graphics are not up to standard. No argument here. The graphics are adequate and while they would be good on the Playstation (one), they seem outdated on the PS2, and this is a game from late 2002. My argument against this is that Suikoden III is a RPG. An RPG is about story and how much fun it is to play, not how it looks. Lunar and Lunar 2 are two of the better games on the PSX...and the graphics are more closely related to the SNES. That's fine. The games are fantastically fun, and so is Suikoden III.
3. No CG cut scenes. For the same reasons as the graphics point, I don't see this as important.
So what is good about this game? The story. Instead of war to save the entire planet/universe carried out by a small group of people, we have a story that gets larger as the game continues and the story makes use of something called the "Trinity Sight" system, where you can choose between three different characters (at the start) and see some of the same events from different perspectives. We see how events developed from both sides. This is a very nice addition to the game. The characters eventually do meet up as the storylines converge and become one storyline.
The game is also fun to play. It is easy to get immersed in the game and play it for hours at a time. I ended up logging 80 hours into the game, and this is without spending pointless hours leveling up. The game is long. I began with Chris, and I found her first chapter tedious (short, though, only 2 hours), but the more I played the more I got into the game. It may take a little bit to get into, but without question, it is worth it.
The game begins with the player being able to choose between three different points of view. This "Trinity Sight" system is elegant and, despite the repetitious dungeons, manages to keep the game more interesting than in probably deserved. Why? Because it starts slowly, and nearly crawls to the climax in the beginning of the fourth (of five) chapter. But the player's interest is somehow held completely by wanting--needing--to know what is going on with the all three main characters.
All the Suikoden conventions are back (108 characters, duels, massive war battles, six character parties, a castle to build, etc), which makes for a far more involved play experience than most RPGs coming out today (see the Final Fantasy series). The 108 characters are well worth seeking out, and, with the aid of a new "detective" character, much easier to find. I promise you that you won't be dissapointed in the bonus you get for finding all the characters. The duels and standard fights are much the same as they always have been. That is, fast paced and fun to play. What changes in the normal fights is that you now have three groups of two you fight together. It sounds simplistic, but it really helps speed the battle up with only a slight dent in the strategic element. I was also glad to see that the battle system, while different from the rock-paper-scissors-system of the first game, managed to also diverge from the horrendous system of the second. Battles are smaller, and still turn based, but they're fast, and fun to watch.
I really can't recommend any Playstation 2 game more highly than Suikoden III. I don't know why the game is becoming increasingly hard to find, but if you have the chance pick this one up as soon as possible. You won't regret it.