Hey Konami: Where's My Suikoden VI?
I get it. I do. I know the role-playing genre has changed forever and can't revert, and I know that JRPGs have either disappeared or tried so hard to become WRPGs, that the sub-genres have blended into one another. I also have a terrible feeling that even if Konami granted my wish, they'd wreck the project by turning it into a real-time hack 'n slash. But I'm still allowed to hope.
To this day, I say the Suikoden franchise is the second-best role-playing series ever, second only to Final Fantasy. Considering the number of RPGs I've played over the years, you know I don't say such things lightly. But while it was 2nd-best in my eyes, it was a distant 2nd and the huge shadow that was FF (back in the day when Squaresoft ruled the world) always eclipsed Suikoden. If Square's unbelievable games weren't so mind-bogglingly amazing, I'd feel seriously miffed at this, because Suikoden deserved a ton more credit. I also think it's fair to note that even after derailing with Suikoden IV, Konami actually righted the ship with Suikoden V. How many franchises returned to glory so quickly?
But besides that, four of the five titles in question all featured great stories, interesting twists on the standard turn-based combat formula, and of course, that always-engrossing 108 Stars of Destiny setup. Oh yes, I got all 108 in every entry and yes, I do have an original, mint-condition copy of Suikoden II...and no, you can't have it. I've gone back to play the original title more than a few times and I've always wanted to go through Suikoden III again. I just loved the way the latter was set up, too; seeing the story through three different sets of eyes, in any order you wished. And I loved Chris; I made her my Flame Champion. :) It was always that emphasis on story, great world design, and army recruitment that kept me involved.
Now Konami, please bring me Suikoden VI. And no, not on the freakin' DS or PSP. A full role-playing adventure for the PS3 and that, at the very least, is distinctly Suikoden in nature. I know everyone only plays shooters these days and and I know the world just doesn't care about RPGs anymore, but I refuse to believe I'm the only one who wants a sixth Suikoden. I can't be the only one. I just can't.
11/19/2010 Ben Dutka