I’ve been playing bits and pieces of Suikoden…

I’ve been playing bits and pieces of Suikoden IV every night, and I’m amazed at how terrible of a game it really is. I would say I remember this happening when I initially tried playing it, but I honestly don’t. Here I’m going to write down some of the complaints I have so far.

#1: The Hero has no personality, or background. He’s just there at the start to fill as your proxy.

The hero of Suikoden games (except for 3) is always silent. However Suikoden IV is the only game where the silence feels like a detriment. Normally the other games do a good job at showing you the protagonist reactions or how other characters interact with him. IV though, there’s none of that. He feels pretty emotionless and just kind of accepts things. The choices you’re given don’t allow you to give him much character either (at least so far)

#2: Fuck the enemy encounters

Okay, to explain how annoying enemies are, I have to explain some other stuff first.

A lot of the early game, so far, has been spent sailing on this boat in this WIIIIDE ocean. To give you an idea of how wide, imagine it taking you a solid 5 minutes to get from one place you’re at to another. If that doesn’t sound like much, keep in mind there’s almost nothing in modern games that takes a person 5 minutes. You could get from one end of a map in Fallout 4 to the other in that time if you booked it (heck even less I think)

That alone wouldn’t be so bad, but ontop of that 5 minutes it takes you (keep in mind I haven’t timed this) imagine random encounters every 15 seconds or so the whole way. Also imagine that these random encounters are not only pretty rough but after a certain level fail to provide worthwhile exp. So imagine you’re at a fairly high level, can’t get exp, and are forced into these somewhat harder than they should be battles every 15 seconds of a 5 minute boat trip

If that doesn’t sound annoying yet, well let me just tell you of something that happened in my game.

I went to this island to recruit some guy for my army (that took me about 5 minutes to get there and another 5 to get back to where i was supposed to be) Then the plot said I needed to go to that very same island and recruit another character there. So imagine I’ve already spent close to half an hour just travelling.. Not a very fun thing (especially when I’m already playing this in small bursts)

#3: Plot?
In other Suikoden games, it doesn’t take much to get caught up on what’s going on. 4 I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Sometimes that can be an appealing thing, but with the first 2 complaints, it’s more like “why am I even bothering with this game?” At which point, I can’t even really give a good answer other than I need to finish it to feel like I’ve experienced all of Suikoden

Yeah I’m making slow progress in Suikoden 4…

Yeah, I’m making slow progress in Suikoden 4, but the game has not been doing a stellar job at really making it engaging. There’s literally a segment where you wash up on a deserted island and have to spend 3 days doing chores that made me want to drop the game right there. I pray that there’s some good characters to liven up the story soon, or I’m not going to be happy

I think I’m starting to remember some of…

I think I’m starting to remember some of my distaste for Suikoden IV. Everything at the start has felt really low budget (big empty areas) and the controls are just really bad (the triangle is cancel and you need to hold r1 to move fast)

What gets my the most is the story though. It’s not uncommon for the MC to go through betrayal early on, but I feel like it’s this game that takes the cake for you feeling absolutely no sympathy towards the person who betrays you. I wont spoil who that is, but I imagine anyone who starts playing the game will immediately be able to tell who it is.

When it comes to Suikoden I’m a fanatic…

When it comes to Suikoden, I’m a fanatic. Played most of the games multiple times and will shill the hell out of 1,2, and 5 to whoever will listen to me. Yet for a decade plus there’s been one major blemish on my Suikoden experience. Something that might be forgivable by other Suikoden fans, but to an outsiders perspective probably looks a bit weird.

I have never finished Suikoden IV. I bought it on release and played a good deal of it, but I found myself feeling frustrated with the experience and quitting. Never to touch the game again.

Aside from terrible boat controls, I can’t, at this point, remember what it was I disliked about the game. I do know that in the years afterward fans weren’t too kind to the game as a whole either, and that is why I think they would forgive me not playing it. It’s not a game that most people must play.

However, I’m not most people. I’m a fanatic. Since Konami isn’t making any more of them (hopefully the remaster changes that) I think I owe it to the franchise to check out both IV and Tactics (I never played Tactics either but that’s due to it being connected to IV) I need to finish it before I consider playing Suikoden 1 and 2 again for the bajillionth time in the remaster (considering doing them in Japanese too) Otherwise, how can I call myself an expert of Suikoden?

One positive thing I can say is Suikoden IV has the best intro music imo (III is better for the anime cinematics)

Biggest complaint in the first hour is that the camera controls are dog shit. You can’t do anything to change them either :/