One of the greatest games ever made has finally made its way to the Playstation Network. Suikoden II, made by Konami, and release in North America in 1999 for the PS1, took just about every aspect of the very good, but not stellar Suikoden and improved on it. A long tale, sprawling across about 60-80 hours of gameplay, and using a cast of 108 characters, Suikoden II is probably the best counter-example to what RPG’s could be in the face of Final Fantasy VII‘s ascendance. Where FF7 went for long and detailed cut-scenes and overly elaborate, often confusing stories, Suikoden provided simple, 2D sprites that still look beautiful. Suikoden II, like the other games in the series provide a storyline that is intricate, but not too much so. Painting the sides of war as not good vs evil, but two shades of gray fighting over different viewpoints, Suikoden is easily followed by anyone who has even a basic grasp of the Game of Thrones story.
This series was long my favorite of all time, topping even Final Fantasy in terms of overall quality, with the second game, finally coming to PSN being long-held as my favorite game of all time. That throne would only be taken by another somewhat recently, when I got a PS Vita, and played through Persona 4 Golden. But from 1999-2012, Suikoden II held that lofty place in my esteem, and I honestly didn’t think it would be beaten. I still have my PS1 disc for the game, which until Suikoden II came out on PSN, I am sure I could have sold for at least 100 dollars. However, I know I will never sell that disc, as that disc makes up so much of what I hold dear in video games. But now I don’t ever have to think about selling it to let someone experience the pure joy I felt, and still feel at seeing that game. Now all one has to do is shell out $9.99 for the game, and they can see what one of the most underrated games of all time is, and why it is so great. If you’re a fan of RPG’s, or just a fan of games, please pick this game up. Konami needs to see that they have games besides Symphony of the Night and MGS that are special to people, and that even though the series was largely forgotten by them, it was clearly not to so many of their fans.