Tag Archives: suikoden revival movement

Weekend Homework: Suikoden Edition

suikoden 2 cover

This week saw the long overdue release of Suikoden and Suikoden II on PSN in all remaining territories, bringing to a close a 15-year availability drought for these games throughout most of the world.

Suikoden has been mostly inactive for several years having not seen a new installment since 2012’s tepid Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, which was relegated to the ailing PSP and never even left Japan. [ref]CF’s own John Layfield took this bullet for us with his import review, here.[/ref] The last central game in the series was 2006’s Suikoden V. It’s been a pretty rough road since then.

One big reason why we’re all still pretty bummed about the conspicuous absence of fresh Suikoden falls squarely on the strength of those first two games. [ref]More reasons include too many loose ends to count, but that’s a subject for another day.[/ref] Suikoden, while sporting more than a few frayed edges 20 years later both visual and mechanical, is still far better paced compared to most modern RPGs and is still well worth the five dollars and couple dozen hours necessary to play it to completion.

Suikoden II is the real gem in this conversation, however. Most of the biggest problems with the original game were resolved and the rest improved upon greatly, to the point where jumping back to play the first Suikoden after Suikoden II is a rather painful transition, despite how similar the two games appear on the surface. Suikoden II’s streamlines, speeds up, nips and tucks its way to greatness, even before you factor in its genre-leading storytelling. [ref]This combination of quality, rarity, and relative obscurity, kept eBay prices for physical copies well above $200 for most of the last decade or more.[/ref]

Developer/publisher Konami has been notoriously cagey about the current state and future of Suikoden for the last few years until some fairly recent developments tipped the scales a little, such as their frequent livestreams on Twitch. Even more props might be due for the Suikoden Revival Movement; without their efforts, it’s entirely possible that these releases wouldn’t have happened at all. A rare success story in an era of countless online petitions that tend to go nowhere.

Your assignment:

Simple! Just give these games a shot. One, or both, in whatever order you feel like. Release order is of course preferable if you intend on giving Suikoden your full attention, but for the uninitiated or the uncertain, Suikoden II is probably where the franchise really begins to put its best foot forward and so it carries my strongest recommendation for that reason. [ref]And this is despite several very noticeable bugs, too. Be sure to push all the gates you see.[/ref]

Want some bonus credit? Go drop a Like on the SRM page linked above. Maybe tell a friend or two. Read an LP of the PS2 games that aren’t on PSN yet. Write some fanfiction about Gengen’s debilitating chocolate milk addiction. Cosplay as one of the flying squirrels. Y’know, ordinary fan stuff.

Petitions Never Work, But Here’s One For Suikoden

It’s nice to dream, isn’t it?

Fans of Konami’s long-neglected RPG epic Genso Suikoden have been starving for fresh non-portable, non-Kickstarter content these last several years, and while I’m sure this isn’t the first online petition to surface in that time, the Suikoden Revival Movement on Facebook does at least appear to be surprisingly well put together. But will it help?

Forgive me for being all bitter and pessimistic and “damn kids get off my lawn”, but the only time I’ve ever seen a fan movement on the internet accomplish anything was the “peanuts” campaign for Jericho, wherein fans of the cancelled post-apocalyptic drama secured a short second season by flooding the CBS mail room with packages of peanuts.

Well, that, plus the Browncoats buying DVD set after DVD set of Firefly out of their own pockets until Universal caved and greenlit Serenity. In both cases, the results could only be considered partially successful as they provided closure rather than continuation, or an easy-out for the studios to finally get all those pesky fans off their backs.

This isn’t an indictment on the Suikoden fans out there; I am one myself, after all. Hell, if it weren’t for my dabbling in the various Suikoden fan communities (Dukedom of Gaien represent!) I might not even be doing this right now, and my long-time posse of John Layfield and Thor McOdin and most of the forum folks wouldn’t be here either. All I’m saying is that Konami could be well beyond hope at this point. Quoth Jim Sterling:

…the fans are dealing with Konami, a publisher that might not even know it’s a videogame publisher these days, so I can only wish them luck on what is sure to be a frustrating journey.

suikoden valeria screen
Valeria speaks for the fans. Little scary, that.

That said, it’s important to note that the Suikoden Revival Movement’s campaign is very pro-active, rather than simply collecting social media props, and they aren’t shooting for the stars here either: their first goal, to get both Suikoden and Suikoden 2 on the Playstation Network worldwide, is probably quite attainable, or at least mostly attainable as regional versions of those two games currently exist without any major restoration or localization being necessary. The more development effort required on Konami’s part, the less likely this is to happen.

Personally, that might actually be enough for me. The ultimate goal – a proper continuation of the main series continuity a la Suikoden VI – has felt like a total impossibility for years and I think most of us are resigned to that fact by now. Suikoden VI happening seems about as likely as Sega dusting off the original pre-online Phantasy Star franchise for a refresh, or Square Enix finally doing something new with Chrono Trigger.

Still, Konami stands to lose very little by getting Suikoden 2 up on the Playstation Network alongside the original, already available in most territories. HD remasters of the PS2 games, or even just straight-up ports for PSN, are total longshots yet still fall squarely into the “would-be-nice” category in my mind. Hoping for anything else feels like a setup for heartbreak.

suikoden 2 flik screen
Flik’s dark prediction of a world without Suikoden.

If you’re interested in adding your voice to the chorus, hop on over to their Facebook page and click the Like button. It’s not phone calls and emails or tiny packages of peanuts, but it’ll take maybe three seconds out of your day and sometimes a little moral support can be really nice to have. If you do happen to have more time to spend on this cause, check out their activity calendar: it’s quite forward-thinking, meaning that unlike 99.9% of petition movements out there, these guys might actually stand a pretty good chance of accomplishing something.

Hey, while you’re over there, check out the one true Suikoden fan page, too. And then this. Y’know, for the moral support!

Source: Destructoid / Images: RPGFan; LP Archive.