Suikoden V, the latest installment in the Suikoden series, follows the story of the young Prince of the Queendom of Falena whose name, traditional to the Suikoden series, the player decides. Suikoden V totes the longest storyline of the series so far. Konami has brought together a competent team to work on the writing and planning for Suikoden V, including the scenario writer Kazuyoshi Tsugawa, who is known for his work on the widely acclaimed Skies of Arcadia. Throughout the game, the player has the option of choosing between various courses of actions for the Prince. Konami made it clear that there are multiple endings available to the player, and that these choices affect the outcome of the game.
"Suikoden V totes the longest storyline of the series so far."
Just like Suikoden I-IV, the player will be able to recruit 108 unique characters. Fans of the series will be excited to hear about the return of beloved Suikoden II characters Killey, Lorelei, and Georg Prime as well Suikoden staples Viki, the sneezing mistress of teleportation, and the mysterious Jeane.
Suikoden Vís battle system builds upon its predecessors; customizable skills are back after being noticeably absent in Suikoden IV. The player must spend skill points earned in battle to power up the corresponding stats to improve their characters performance. Also, each character has an inherent range of long, middle, or short that affect how a character performs at a given distance.
Long-time Suikoden fans will be happy to hear that the six member parties will be returning for Suikoden V but with an added twist. There will be four slots for support characters in addition to the six main battle slots. These characters can be switched out, in effect creating ten active member parties.
Also new to the Suikoden series is the ability to place the six members of your party into various formations. Each formation has its own benefits and disadvantages. For example, the formation called the Striking Arrow gives a +10 bonus to attack but adds a -5 penalty to defense. Runic magic plays a big role in battle as usual, as well as character combination attacks and rune magic combination attacks.
Fans will remember that Suikoden has two other modes of battle beyond the main battle system. The one-on-one duels have been tweaked so that the player chooses their duel commands via buttons - square (attack), circle (special), or X button (defend). To make things more interesting, the player has to enter their command within a three second time window.
The large-scale battles underwent an overhaul from Suikoden IV's system, where they were conducted via ships in a tactical RPG-like setting. In Suikoden V, these battles are conducted in real-time. The player assigns commanders and sub-commanders to units. These commanders then lead their units around the battle map, behaving according to the playerís commands until they run into an enemy unit, which triggers a battle. Unit types are dependent on the unitís commander and include footmen, cavalry, and archers with each unit type possessing its own strengths and weaknesses. The playerís choice of commanders and subsequent unit type can easily affect the outcome of the battle.
And like previous Suikoden installments, the game will be full of unique mini-games for the player to enjoy.
The release date of Suikoden V is set for March 21st 2006 with a suggested retail price of $39.99.