Suikoden IIBy: MUsAsHi831
Storyline As a member of the Alliance, a military force only really hinted at in the original, you play the unwitting hero of the game: an orphan who has been raised by a quiet, unassuming battle hero in a seemingly ancient war. Alongside you in the ranks is your best friend Joei, a boy born of nobility but who has never been able to receive approval in his stubborn father's eyes. As the game begins, you are immediately tossed into a tale of political strife, betrayal and war on a grand scale beyond your scope in the early stages.
While detailed, colorful and expressive, the graphics themselves are merely an enhancement on what gamers glimpsed in the original. Two-dimensional sprite characters and 2D backgrounds, there's nothing singularly impressive in Suikoden II, especially in the wake of a game as grandiose as Final Fantasy VIII. But with improved spell effects and an immersive storyline, it's difficult to find flaw in the way that Suikoden II looks -- the characters are startlingly expressive and each object is minutely detailed. If anything, the game serves as a great ode to how well 2D RPGs have survived in the polygonal age.
With a storyline deeply rooted in many of the aspects of the original, (along with the return of characters from the first game) it's no surprise that the gameplay is also a greatly enhanced throwback to the first Suikoden. The battle system is still turn-based, with the option to equip Runes for special abilities, combine party member attacks to create chain combos or devastating spells, and the excellent option to run the battle in Auto mode for otherwise tedious random battling.
OVERALL SCORE (not an average) 9.0