Today I will be giving you my take on how Suikoden should have been and really could have been. I will be hammering out every point here and making sure we discuss everything that is holding Suikoden from being even better.
First off, Suikoden is a fine game. For its time it was very well received and was even innovative since it was a jrpg with turnbased and strategic battles. It even featured a save transfer with future games in the series. Obviously with this feature they were planning on making more than one suikoden. So did they purposely leave elements out of the first game and plan to add them in the future. Or was the game rushed. Here are my points and what I would have changed.
Change One: The team behind Suikoden missed many opportunity to add bonus dungeons and reasons to backtrack to other villages. I mean, look at the dwarf village. There is zero reason to return there. Once you’ve finished that small part of the overall story, then you’re done with it. They could have easily added or moved one of the 108 stars there. They could have also added a optional quest or dungeon for the player to explore and enjoy.
Change Two: The rock paper scissors battle system for the turnbased army battles. This really needs to go, that system is far too simple. But considering the games rating, they must have wanted it to be a simple battle system. But really, they could have made something great here. Even with the limited playstation system and 2d graphics. They could have given you battlefields with zones/tiles to move battalions or squads around on. Then you could attach one of your stars to each squad. Then you could move around on a battlefield map and attack the enemy army. Who would of course be moving around as well. Think something like Total War but it could have been turnbased or real time. They could’ve had a real strategic game here.
Change Three: The 108 stars, This system is a main part of the series and there is a reason why it is limited to 108 stars. But really, we could have had alot more options with the stars you collect. You could have been sending them out on missions, recruiting more soldiers, heck they could have given us the option to research spells, runes, magic, and technology in general. Then you could assign these stars to tasks and projects. This would be alot better then having them just stand around the castle waiting to interact with you.
Change Four: Ships, yes that’s right. A large portion of the map is the lake/sea in the middle of it. This is both used as a story mechanic and a level manager. Now its true, you do make a few boat trips especially since your Castle is in the lake/sea. But there is no real ship battles, which makes little sense since you’re fighting an empire which is not landlocked. So surely they’d have a few ships or frigates lying around. But no, instead there is very little ship activity. Really there should have been a few ship battles in the strategic gameplay. This would have really made the game special.
Final Say: I could think of a dozen more minor tweaks they could have done to make this game a real gem. Now, if those four points I made had been developed or improved on in some way. This game would be much more than a cult hit. Regardless, this is how it should have been.