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   Suikoden II - Review  

Decent game, just way too overrated.
by kupomogli

BATTLE SYSTEM
INTERACTION
ORIGINALITY
STORY
MUSIC & SOUND
VISUALS
CHALLENGE
Easy
COMPLETION TIME
20 - 25 hours
OVERALL

3.0/5

Rating definitions 

   While not being a direct sequel to the original, Suikoden 2 is a sequel which takes place in a different area of the world. Being a new game though, it seems that it's only a nostalgic reference, as they throw a bunch of characters from the original into this game, completely reusing the storyline aside from a few parts, and only upgrade the graphics and gameplay a bit.

   You play the son of Genkaku, who like the character in the original, is said to be a traitor to his country, the Highlands however. Witnessing destruction from Prince Luca Blight and his army first hand, the hero and his bestfriend Jowy stumble on two true runes; the Bright Shield Rune, and the Black Sword Rune. Being seperated with Jowy who returns to the side of the Highlands, the hero is forced to become the leader of the Liberation Army and stop the Highland Army. I have to say though that the storyline other than a few parts, is a complete rehash of the original, almost everything that happens in the first happens in this, and happens the exact same way. Other than that, they made it so long and drawn out that it just gets boring before you've even made it halfway through the game.

If you're seeing double, triple, or more, you might  need glasses. If you're seeing double, triple, or more, you might need glasses.

   Like the original, when fighting battles, you have a max of six characters at a time, where three characters can be set in the front and back row, each character having a short, medium, or long range attack. Short ranged characters can only attack from the front row, while medium range attacks can attack from both front and back rows, both however can only attack the enemies front rows. Long range attackers can attack from both front and back rows, as well as attack both the enemies front and back rows, however. In addition, every character, no matter how poor they are in magic can equip runes, but unlike the first, characters can now equip up to three runes. All the runes types, magic, attack, and support return with a few runes added to each section. Magic runes each have four levels of spells, where the level each character can use as well as the amount of times they can use them depends on the character. More attack runes are added this time around, allowing powerful attacks to single targets like before, but also multiple target attacks or elemental attacks. The support runes as well had more added to them, which give you innate abilties like going first and such, yet with the addition of using up to three runes, you can mix and match rune types, creating some extremely powerful physical attackers.

   Other than the normal battles, there are also duel battles and war battles. The duel battles are just like the original, having attack, defend, and wild attack, which depending on what the enemy you are fighting says, you choose the option that you think would be the best choice in defeating that opponent. Using a wild attack is a critical hit and will cancel out the enemies attack, but defending will allow you to dodge a wild attack and strike back taking critical hit damage, where attacking will take off a small amount of damage, but still hurt an enemy even if they defend. The war battles this time around however, don't involve your entire army, but involve a few that you set up with a leader, and groups of three. These battles are usually just there to waste time and move the story along, and you either win or lose automatically after a few rounds, but there are some you have to try winning on your own. If you've ever played the war battles in SaGa Frontier 2, then you'd have an idea on how it's played, but every unit besides Calvalry and Flying units can move a single space, attacking allows both the enemy and the ally to attack, a very low percentage on attacking and defending for both units, or having a space between you and the enemy, an archer unit can fire arrows. You can only be damaged twice before the unit is destroyed, and there are abilities such as the Bright Shield Rune or others which can be used to restore HP or damage enemies.

I Hope I catch Manillo! I Hope I catch Manillo!

   The graphics are slightly better than what they are in the original, however, all the attacks are still only a few frames, but even so, there are a large amount of characters, each with a completely different attack animations than the others. Also, the game introduces a few CG movies, but seeing as it was released after FF7, you've definitely seen alot better. Both the quality of the music, and the music itself is just as good as the original, even having a few remixed tracks from the first game as well. The sound effects are a alot better, but still reusing many different ones for multiple actions. As for localization, I have to say it's even worse than in the original, with grammatical errors through the entire game, ranging from the character names in different parts, to the storyline itself, and again, you'll see the most in the ending compilation of what happens to the characters you've recruited throughout the game.

   Overall, while the game is decent, the game itself drags on way too long, so much as you may just stop caring about the storyline altogether. The slight upgrade to the gameplay was nice, letting you customize your party more so than the first, and there are alot of non-star characters to find and recruit to your castle. Finding this game will be pretty challenging, but if you can pick it up, it's a pretty good game.

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