The Let's Play Archive

Suikoden IV

by vilkacis

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Original Thread: Suikoden IV: This hand of mine glows with an awful power!



The back of the Suikoden IV box posted:

The Rune of Punishment has passed through the ages cursing its bearers with great power, but at the cost of their lives ... Uncover the mysteries of the cursed rune and search out the legendary 108 Stars of Destiny in the battle of a lifetime on the high seas.

The year was 2004, and it was nine years after the release of the original Suikoden. Along with a number of books, comics and spinoffs, the series had seen two mainline sequels, both of them generally well appreciated by the community, both of them building on the world and concepts introduced in the original. A fourth title loomed on the horizon, and since Suikoden III had left the overarching story unfinished, fans eagerly awaited the resolution to the remaining plot threads...

...the only problem is, that resolution never came.

While Suikoden IV may officially be the fourth chapter in the series (not counting the comics and the visual novels and the actual novels and the card game and the argh make it stop), the game takes place 150 years before the original game and deals with relatively few issues that are relevant to the events and characters in the first three games. It has few interesting characters compared to earlier games, the gameplay is dumbed down, and the overworld map is quite possibly the worst I've ever seen. In short, it is Not A Good Game.

I know what some of you must be thinking - if this game is so bad, why would I bother to play it? Or perhaps more importantly, why should you bother to read the LP? Well, for all its flaws, Suikoden IV is still a game that tries to do some interesting things, and even succeeds at a few. If you're going to experience those things, finding a way that does not involve you actually playing Suikoden IV is probably going to be your best bet. It will not be the best story you have ever read, but I will do my best to present it objectively and not complain too much unless it truly deserves it. Finally, it leads up Suikoden Tactics - also known as Rhapsodia in Japan - which actually is A Good Game, and which I'll hopefully be showing off once I've wrapped this up.

Sounds fun, right? So let's dive right in.

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