What the hey, I'll throw out my thoughts as well...
Suikoden 1: This is my favorite of the series, mostly because it was the first one I played and the game that got me to love RPGs. But I loved the concept. Not only are you building an army of 108 memorable characters, you're essentially playing the role of the villain. If Tir had decided to stay home and not get involved, nothing would have happened, sure. Instead, he not only decides to get involved, but decides to join and lead a revolution against the very government he has grown up respecting. You have pirates, theves, bandits, ninjas and so many other characters that are social dregs, you wonder how you can consider your side the heroes? My score: 9/10
Suikoden 2: I honestly am not one who gives Suiko 2 as much credit as everyone else. Riou was little more than a figurehead, made leader because of his rune, Jowy's motivations after Luca's death were transparently thin and underdeveloped, Shu used everyone and ignored any good ideas from his allies, and Nanami's constant desire to run away, while a very human aspect, is unrealistic as you are the leader and the hope everyone puts their faith in. That said, there were vast improvements over Suiko 1. Characterization, army vs army battle I found confusing but more entertaining, the cooking contest, and Riou did seem more human than Tir, though I think Tir was definately the better leader. Score: 8.5/10
Suikoden 3: I LOVED the skill system, this gave so much customization to your characters. Though truthfully, I can't say I have faith in the leadership of Hugo, Geddoe or Chris, I feel this is a game that put the fate of the army in the hands of the one who had the rune, (suiko 2) not the one who was best suited to lead (suiko 1). The trinity system was wonderful with characterization, and Geddoe's team was tear jerking at times and hilarious at others. But I felt the other characters got a short stick if they weren't part of the main groups. I'd love to know more about what Futch was doing since S2, or Emily, or Mua. There are so many characters I wanted to know more about but after chapter 3, the game hits a downward slide and never slows until the breakneck pace that is the mad dash to the end. All of the other games were about building and army to fight a serious threat. This one was about fighting a serious threat with the army you already built. Score: 7/10
Suikoden 4: Tons of potential, but I had assumed the Island Nations would have had more significant islands, they are supposed to be a world power after all. Hardly any places to visit. Only 6 real inhabited islands and one of those is taken out before you can ever explore it. And a tremendous amount of empty space between say...Middleport and Na Nal or Nay Island. High encounter rate, low character development and a war that starts out promising quickly disintegrates to one man's desire to hunt for a True Rune that no one should want. A strong, charasmatic enemy in Troy that again, goes unexplored. The game simply feels rushed, and I have always felt this was Konami's attempt to branch the story away from the creator's original intentions. 150 years in the past for a prequel? Can we get any more removed? Score 4/10
Suikoden Tactics: Overall, not a particularly fun game, and it goes to show how bad Suikoden 4 was when you need an additional game to tell the story you never completed in the first place. And the fact that the Kooluk empire is dissolved at the end of the events is a slap in the face of every Suikoden fan there is. Why tell a story about an aggressive nation that no longer exists in the current time line? There are several countries that exist, that could be told. It's like spending three months in school learning about the Ottoman Empire and simply brushing over the fall of the Soviet Union. Its pointless and does little to flesh out the overall history. Score: 5.5/10
Suikoden 5: Simply, I found this game brilliant. Brilliant story, brilliant characters, and a brilliant motive. The enemies are just human enough to understand, but still twisted enough to take joy in seeing them die. And the fact that Ferid and Arshstat are two of the most endearing characters in the series makes the tragedy all that brutal. I do however think the silent protaganist is past its time. I'd have love to see the prince defend himself when Alenia and Zahak spend most the game calling him traitor when they're the ones who sold out the Queendom. The only real beef I have other than loading times is Lecretia. Really, the woman's knowledge of geography is a plot device, and when all the characters around her are made dumber so she can look brilliant, it makes me think she's a tad Mary Sueish. But still, I loved the game, loved the political intrigue and everyone betraying everyone else. Score 9.5/10
"It doesn't matter if the glass is half empty or half full...what matters is the glass."