How do you pronounce this game anyway? For the longest time I had been pronouncing it “Sookoden” in my head (there’s no one in my life I’d dare try to pronounce it out loud to). Then one day I took a close look at the spelling of the game and realized I was probably wrong. It looks like it might be “Sweekoden” although I could be wrong about that as well. Maybe it’s “Sueykoden” or “Swykoden” or who knows. I’m calling it “Sweekoden” and moving on.

This game was originally released in Japan on December 15, 1995 for the Playstation. It was translated and released in North America approximately one year later on December 28, 1996. Oddly enough it also was ported to the Saturn in Japan in 1998. I’m guessing that’s worth some big bucks.

The game proved popular enough that a sequel was released for the PSX. Suikoden II is regarded as a great game and is extremely rare, commanding the equivalent of a minor body part on Ebay. Three more sequels followed on the Playstation 2.

I have to admit that my first exposure to the Suikoden series was through Suikoden III on the PS2. I’d received the demo and loved the opening cinematic. I bought the game new and played it for about 3 hours and was really turned off. It might have been the fact that one of the main characters was a duck. I’m not sure but it left an odd taste in my mouth.

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At any rate I’m ready to give the series a shot by starting at the beginning. I don’t know much about it other than there are 108 characters to acquire as you play through the game. That sounds cool but also a bit overwhelming. In the 45 minutes I’ve played so far I ran into a mission from the Emperor that required my group to fly by dragon to obtain some sort of report. Already I have 5 characters which is cool but I do worry with so many characters available how will they keep them memorable?

Combat appears to be your typical turn-based affair. I really do like the looks of the graphics, having grown quite accustomed to the bitmapped 2D style of these older Playstation games. Plus I got to beat up some boys named Holly so that’s a good start.

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Apparently at some point I’ll be able to have a base and can recruit characters to work inside it. That sounds pretty unique. Already there’s a lot more about Suikoden that intrigues me compared to Ark the Lad. We’ll see where this goes from here.

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