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    dkirschner's Suikoden Tactics (PS2)

    [July 20, 2010 09:42:03 AM]
    I cannot lie. This game was fun. It kept me entertained for about 50 hours. I wanted to hate it, and I did at the beginning, until I got into the game play, because the voice acting is terrible. The story is also pointless. The characters are boring, there’s no humor, except unintentional kinds. And why do they put the emphasis on Rune Cannons (the evil mega-weapons you're out to destroy) on the CAN? Rune CANnons. Humans hit by Rune Cannons get turned into stupid looking fish men. A couple years ago we named a roommate's lazy, obese, and annoying cat Fishman. I couldn't stop thinking about him. So scary. I mean, if the fish men are out of water, they should be dead, right? I shouldn’t even have to play the game unless it was set under water. And there are like 60 or something recruitable characters when you can only have a party of usually 6-12. I ended up leveling and caring about around 15-20 of them. Too many characters, for real. It just makes me irritated that I have so many to choose from and so many are nearly identical that they don’t even matter.

    The AI is also god-awful and requires its own section of complaining. Enemy AI was both ruthless and inexplicably stupid. It's a grid-based strategy RPG. If I sent an enemy out front, he'd probably get killed. Probably. Sometimes enemies wouldn't finish off a weakened party member and would choose instead to attack someone at full health. Enemies also had very little concept of hit chance, dodge %, and other stats that affect their attacks. They'd usually try to attack from behind, but sometimes they'd choose to attack a character, say, with a 10% chance to be hit and a 90% chance to counterattack instead of a character with a 100% chance to hit and no counterattack. I mean, just stupid stuff. Some fights have AI allies, and these are even worse. They generally fight when they should run and get themselves killed. One fight where you had to save a computer-controlled character I tried literally like 15 times because she just kept on getting in harm's way and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. Finally I'd leveled up enough that I overpowered the enemies and was able to kill them fast enough, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't intended to spend so much time and leveling on that one battle. My ally was just stupid and made very poor decisions.

    The terrain system is cool. Characters can change the element of the terrain with items and spells. You’re strong standing on your element (each character has an inherent element), weak on your weak element (the rock-paper-scissors loser to your strong element). Manipulate the terrain elements to beef yourself up and weaken your enemies. Enemies were selfish in this regard. They routinely would change elements in areas around them beneficial to themselves but harmful to other enemies near them. Then the next enemy on his turn would change half the terrain squares to his strong element. Then the third enemy would change 1/4 of the first squares and 1/4 of the second squares just to put himself on his strong element. But basically if you use the terrain to your advantage, you win. My most memorable moment playing was during a battle I knew I'd lost. I was down to like 3 vs. 6. One of my characters just happened to be standing on his element when he was the last ally left. It happened to be a character with a high dodge chance and a high counterattack skill. You gain experience whenever you attack in any form, including counterattacking. So I watched as each enemy took a swing (half missed) and half were counterattacked. Also, on your strong element, you regain health each round. So one by one, then enemies died while I just sat on my square regenerating health, dodging, counterattacking, and gaining like 5 levels in the 15 or 20 minutes it took to finish up the battle.

    Mounts are also a neat addition to the game. Some characters can fly on owls or ride kangacorns (kangaroo + unicorn?). The benefit here is being able to move very far each turn and having access to certain mounted abilities, with the drawback being the inability to use certain character abilities.

    I would never recommend this game, not even to the SRPG newbies it was intended for. It's a very basic strategy RPG, fun enough, but lacking in so many areas. Get Disgaea, Phantom Brave, La Pucelle Tactics, Makai Kingdom, etc. or go old school with Final Fantasy Tactics.
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    dkirschner's Suikoden Tactics (PS2)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 23 June, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 30 June, 2010

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Simplistic strategy RPG, fun enough, engrossing enough, but there are way better ones out there.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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