If you've been waiting for Final Fantasy XI as the next great RPG, you might want to have a look at Konami's latest RPG, Suikoden III. Suikoden III continues fifteen years after the events of Suikoden II from the perspective of three different characters, Hugo, the son of a village chief, Chris, the virtuous Knight of Zexen, and Geddoe, the rebellious unit commander. With numerous improvements from the previous two games, Suikoden III successfully creates an RPG that will amaze players at its massive size without getting lost in the game. In addition, new battle systems, multiple side missions, and dynamic character growth will attract even those not historically interested in RGPs.
Right from the beginning, you'll be introduced to an innovative story telling technique that proves to be quite effective and intriguing to play. Called the trinity system, the first three chapters are actually repeated using the three main characters. At first I wasn't sold on the idea, as I prefer games to advance, not repeat the same story line. However, the way this was executed added different perspectives and depth to the game. With each of the characters only seeing part of the whole story, issues that seem to happen without purpose or haphazardly are often revealed as major plot lines in a different character perspective.
In addition to a strong, well-developed plot, the gameplay also stands out with dynamic character growth and a battle system that won't disappoint. The battle system in particular is balanced and well designed. With up to six characters spread over three groups, a number of different options are available such as direct attack, combination attack, shield or magical attack. The character attributes also come into play as they noticeably effect the character's fighting abilities. Those attributes, including magical abilities are modified using the experience points received after battles are won and can be used to increase a character's known skill or add a new skill.
Konami puts together one of the best RPGs this year with Suikoden III. With an innovative plot development and solid gameplay, Suikoden III will keep you entertained for some time. The addition of multiple mini quests to the main story line and respectable graphics is icing on the cake and if you're an RPG fan, Suikoden III is a must buy.
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The 108 stars are back. That's a lot of characters! Suikoden III features a new twist called "the buddy system." It allows combatants to spread out strategically in battle, unlike the older games which restricted party members to two rows of short- and long-range specialists. Suikoden fans will be glad to know that despite the switch to 3D graphics (a first in the series), no drastic gameplay changes are planned. Another intriguing element is the new "Trinity Site System." This feature nearly triples the richness of the plot as it keeps you playing as one character up until a certain point. At this junction, you switch to another character, and the plot plays out through that person's eyes, and so on. But will the Trinity System tell the story through the eyes of a duck? Only time will tell.