Game: Suikoden Tierkreis
Console: Nintendo DS
Genre: Role Playing Game
Number of players: One player offline, two player wireless or WiFi
Rated: Everyone with Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
The premise: Suikoden Tierkreis is a battle of Ideologies. The Order of the One True Way believes everything is preordained. If there is a lighting bolt killing someone or a blizzard rolling over a town it is preordained. The main character does not believe it one bit, however. The Order goes around the land and forces their beliefs on others. The main character believes you have control of your own destiny. You are in control and people can make their own choices. It is up to you and your one hundred and eight recruited allies to stop the Order from doing any more damage to the world. But is it ever that simple in a role playing game?
Gameplay: This role playing game involves you by having you interact with people. The more people you interact with the higher the chances of them being one of the one hundred and eight Stars of Destiny. Whether it is minor battles, boss battles or major conflicts, your friends are part of the conflict. This game has turned based battles and you can control a party of four. Different characters interact with each other and affect the battle.
Good: The game is WiFi enabled. You can trade characters online and gain more quests for extra money and experience.
Bad: Unlike other games in the series, you are reduced to a battle party of four. This means there are less possibilities in battles for characters to play off each other. Less members in a party means more effort goes into leveling everyone up. One hundred and eight playable characters, you do the math.
Good: Once you get used to the throwback style graphics, you realize the battle graphics are not that bad for a portable. You get used to the voiceovers quite quickly. The soundtrack is amazing for something that did not come from a CD.
Bad: This game has nothing to do with the regular series. A good feature of the Suikoden is that it all happens in the same world but at different time periods. Characters make appearances from others games in the series. This game has none of that. Suikoden Tiekreis games take place in a completely different world.
Backtrack as often as you can. You never know when you will find your next ally. When you acquire a new character, take some time to level them up.
Whenever you acquire a new Chronicle, figure out what new spells are available and reequip your characters.
Always be prepared when returning to your main base. Be aware of ambushes.
My take: I am glad that there is a Suikoden game for the DS. You will notice that the graphics and voiceovers may take some getting used to. In the beginning you will find the main character to be annoying with his catch phrase of “You never know unless you try” or what is the use of trying”. The main character only appears to play the fool but there is more going on with than he lets on. In their own weird ways the main characters in the Suikoden games have charismatic personalities which draw people in.
The only real thing going against this game is lack of teleporting. I found myself back tracking a lot of terrain when all I wanted was to return to my base. The good side of this was that I was able to put a few more battles under my belt.
I found myself really liking this game since it reminds me of the simplistic games RPG’s of the past. I didn’t have to build anything or control a conversation. You have no real control of the story, as is the case in other RPG’s. I found myself getting wrapped up in the story and the characters. Very quickly I got used to having the party number reduced to four. I really enjoy the soundtrack. Buying this game new meant I received the soundtrack also. I listen to it quite often when I am working. If you are into old school RPG’s, I highly recommend this game.
My score: five out of five
The author would like to thank Gamefaqs.com and Gamefly.com for being such good sources of information.