This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.
After nine days of playing, with forty-two hours of game play, I beat Suikoden IV. Excluding Rhapsodia (Suikoden Tactics in North America), I can say that I beat every mainstream Suikoden games in the series. Well here’s a brief review from my side of the world.
* Sigurd and Hervey, the best prettyboy “knight” duo of the whole damn series. They were actually decent fighters, and Sigurd was a good mage as well!
* Ted’s Soul Eater Rune warrants one word: UTTERLYFANTASTIC!
* Speaking of Ted, I loved Aldo, and how he’d chase after Ted. Such a good premise for a shounen-ai/yaoi fic, man.
* The four people battle system was actually decent. At least it wasn’t like 3’s paired system. Also, having two extra set of ship party members was a helpful feature.
* Graham Cray was a pretty awesome villain. Troy rocked: I loved how he was loyal to Kooluk, but at the same time he wasn’t as ruthless like Cray.
* Reinhold’s training hall was actually quite nifty, ensuring the easiest way to level up your characters to level 99.
* The ship as a “castle” was all right. But I prefer a real castle! X_x;;
* The naval battles were fairly easy, but the level of difficulty between the last naval battle and the previous ones had a big gap.
* The cutscenes were decent, but I can’t help but feel it was executed poorly, especially when it would black out in the middle of transitioning between scenes. It was just not timed right or something.
* Wow. I could see similarities between Snowe and Jowy, but Snowe was more of a wimp than anything! I am glad he transformed throughout the storyline, but … still. What a wimp.
* I thought the storyline had the making of a good one, but it wasn’t presented in a clear manner. If I hadn’t spoiled myself, I think the game would not have made much sense for me. Things just wasn’t explained much coherently.
* When I read and heard from other people that the ship navigation on the ocean was a pain, I did not realise it was that much of a torture. Man… it was indeed slow and the encounter rate was too high!
* All the mini-games sucked. And Ritapon?! I did not understand that game, but I’m glad I was lucky enough to beat Rita!
* The treasure hunting thing was a pain. I just did not bother with it.
* Call me shallow, but the hero… why did the creator decided to make him look constipated?! I mean, it’s hard to imagine how anybody would flock to him when he looks like that!
* I hated how you couldn’t access your other characters’ equipments and runes. Their stuff was only accessible by sticking them in your party. )$@##@__@# That was really annoying.
Decent game… but like others have said, it lacks the heart and depth of Suikoden I, II, and V. And the story was really a confusing one without the aid of a spoiler. Good game for fans of the series, but for new gamers… uhm… yeah. I think if I was a new gamer playing this, I wouldn’t have lasted the first thirty minutes.
Honestly, if anyone asked me which is better, III or IV… I’d have to say that I enjoyed IV moreso… simply because it was shorter? But III is better in some ways than IV, but IV has its good moments as well. But nothing beats I, II, and V.