[Discussion] Reviews and Opinions of Suikoden IV

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[Discussion] Reviews and Opinions of Suikoden IV

Postby Oppenheimer » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:12 pm

Reviews and opinions on certain games are generally disallowed at Suikosource. However, your friendly moderators and admins have noticed that there is a great love and need to discuss opinions and give reviews of the various Suikoden games in the series so these threads have been created!

In this thread you may discuss Suikoden IV and give your reviews and opinions on it. You may refer to the other Suikodens but please keep the primary focus of the conversations about your opinions of Suikoden IV. You may talk about plot, setting, gameplay or anything else.

Please keep all reviews and opinions to the stickies in each gameplay forum. This change in policy does not mean that the remainder of Suikosource is allowing opinions or reviews.


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Postby Kirkis » Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:17 pm

Well... I'll be writing a review for Gamefaqs eventually... I'll probably slap up my review somewhere here aswell.

Basic complaints from me however are:

#1. Dungeons are non-existant
#2. Game is too short.
#3. Most of the random battles are on the sea, which is cool, but easily skipped when you get Viki.
#4. It seems you also level up too quickly and easily become overpowered.
#5. Everything was a lot cheaper, and it didn't seem like you had a lot of rune/skill customization/limitations like you do in other suikodens, also, there weren't many runes at all really.
#6. Netfishing drove me insane, it really was a pain in the rear to just idle around all day long or boat around for 10+ hours to try and get all the little doodads in the ocean.


#1. Characters & detail were great, I loved it, tons of likeable and hateable folks.
#2. Taking a new approach, I really enjoyed the new fresh ideas brought to the table, I also enjoyed the voice acting.
#3. First Person View (even if you could run backwards while facing forward, hehe).
#4. Unites, by far these are the BEST unites in the entire Suikoden series, a LOT of detail went into these atleast when you compare it to Suikoden V. (Don't remember III much, and I & II were 2d, so it's hard to compare).
#5. OH MY GOD THE MINI-GAMES! There were a TON of mini-games in this game, which was really fun and a great time waster that helped make the game feel a lot longer than it actually was.

Mixed Bag:

#1. Confessional was a great idea, unfortunately there were maybe two or three good confessions out of all 107 other stars on the boat, it DEFINITELY needed more to it, give me a detective any day of the week instead of a confessional please.
#2. Crafting & Set Building seemed tedious and pointless for a game so short, it was a great idea, but unfortunately fell short because of the short game.
#3. Ship battles were a great addition and a fresh idea, unfortunately they were so mind numbingly easy that I was upset. You were never outnumbered or at a disadvantage.

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Postby Dinn » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:11 am

suiko 4 was definitely made way too fast. It was poorly constructed, way too short, and way too many unnecessary characters. And the game was too short. I was easily bored away from the game.

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Postby Kirkis » Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:34 pm

Well... on the flip side of what Dinn said, I wasn't exactly bored away from the game, but I do agree there was a lot of uneccessary things in a game this short. Also... why do all PS2 RPGs insist that we're too dumb to navigate games without a little mini-map in the lower corner telling us where all the secret paths, etc. are?

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Postby Jalk » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:27 am

Well I must say I liked it, very much. Suikoden IV has a very specific touch. Although it is a RPG, and from a famous serie, I find him rather unique, through its story, its atmosphere and its characters.
First of all, this country where the sea takes such a great importance felt very... real, with several political systems, an academy, different ways of life... Unlike Suikoden I, for example where, out of the blue, you have an elf village, a dwarf village or a warrior village, there was a great unity in the Island Nations (although I like Suikoden I very much !)
The main characters were pretty interesting too. A lot of people complained about being stuck with three characters for a long time. I didn't find it annoying. The dialogues on the deserted island were pretty interesting, and I felt as if I was a part of this group of friends, lost in the middle of nowhere. The first time you see Kika is a great moment too. Her gestures and expressions were extremely impressive.
The others SoD were, as in every Suikoden, a mixed bag. Some great ideas (Mizuki, Sigurd and Hervey, Rita... and Elenor, oh yeah !) and some oh-um ones (Cedric and Adrienne, mainly...)
But where Suikoden IV really shines is in its ties between the Rune of Punishment and the main story. True, the RoP is maybe the worst of the True Runes, gamelplay-wise, but it has a fabulous background. I felt extremely moved when you meet Brandeau's soul and at the very end of the game, after for El-Eal exploded. To my point of view, RoP is what the Soul Eater could have been in Suikoden I.
What more can I say... oh yes the music ! Although not fabulous, I found the soundtrack fitted very well to the game. It reflected perfectly the atmospheres of the islands and travels. The battle theme is also great, I never get bored of it, and that may be the first time since I began playing RPG.

Well, now, on the not-so-great side it is true this game has several flaws. Although I found the design of the characters is great, I found it could have been more variety in the SoD : frankly, Amelia, Gretchen and Millay were more or less the same character (don't even talk about the five freakin' sirens)... It is all the more disappointing that there were some great ideas.
I also found the encounter rate a little two high, especially on the sea, when you are exploring. 20% less would have been perfect.
The islands were a little two few too... Five islands is barely a federation, to my point of view...
Finally, the bad guys were not really interesting. There are presented in a very clever way, but I found that they doesn't get the developement they all deserved.

All in all, though, Suikoden IV is great. It is a real travel in another world, with its rules and its history, through the eyes of loveable characters. The gameplay may be extremely simple, but it helps finding your way in the Island Nations. This game is another different experience in the world of Suikoden, as the III was, and this experience is a success.

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Postby KFCrispy » Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:34 pm

just wanted to mention.. the 4th spell of the Rune of Punishment should have been made more unique, such as full heal your party, and use the amount that was healed to damage the enemy. let's say your party's HP is full and you cast it--well it won't deal any damage. but if your party is on the verge of death (maybe it could revive characters too), it would hit the target(s) for thousands of dmg. THAT type of spell would be more characteristic of the RoP... something that can completely reverse the scale..

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Postby Georg in his Prime » Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:30 am

I thought Suikoden IV was innovative. It was the first to give the characters voices, the HQ was a ship instead of a castle, armor building, and first person view. The problem is Konami was concentrated on these innovations that they forgot that it was the storyline that made the first three great. I would have to say, and from what I've read most agree, that S4 is not on par with the series. That said I still enjoyed the game very much.

After being stranded on the deserted island I was excited at the possiblilty of that being your HQ and having to gather people and build it up (i.e. swiss family robinson). But I thought the ship HQ was a great idea too. I liked how you could customize the ships in your fleet with the ocean rune pieces, even though it didn't make a difference because the battles were so easy.

Another part of S4 that I wish 5 would've included was the ability to walk around as different Sod's in the new game+. It allowed a better chance to see the great detail of the characters. I enjoyed controlling characters on the islands that they're from...Axel in Na-Nal, Rienbach III on Middleport, ect.

The only thing that I really disliked about it was the underdeveloped storyline and the entire look of the hero, but those are two very important parts of the game.

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Postby nuizilla » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:09 am

I don't like it much coz ...even i tried to play through the end of the game ,I still felt bored :? ( I think it's mainly because of the short story )

and the Hero is ...um... not cool at all (I don't like him much)


maybe because i just finished Suikoden III and its story is so long (the storyline is great, in my opinion)

anyway it's Suikoden serie and i love this serie very muchhhh HHH :lol:


'tis a fair cop, guv

Postby SoulGriever13 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:03 pm

This was actually the first Suikoden line game I played, which colored my perceptions at the time somewhat.

In general, and in retrospect, I liked it. Not overwhelmingly so, no, but the main impression I got as I cruised around the Island Nations and gathered the Stars was one of potential. Sadly, a fair bit of it _stayed_ potential. The story was decent, thought there were a few asspulls here and there.

Alright, from the top, and in no particular order:

- The Rune of Punishment - definitely of the good. Concept aligned powers are always nice, though it's a pity they didn't explore this beyond giving the player a glimpse of past users. Still, what was there was interesting enough. What would have made it better would have been encounters during the game which made you more aware of having the Rune, not just the 'use/don't use' ones at key battles, or the 'forgive or not forgive Snowe' moments, but events where the player'd have been forced to act as an avatar for the rune of Atonement and Forgiveness.

- Lazlo/Hero IV - personally, I liked him. Less because there was actual personality there - there wasn't much of one - but because the lack gave you room to interpret things as you liked. Or maybe I'm just weird that way. His character design was good, yes ... on paper. They didn't manage to digitize it well, unfortunately.

- Characters - there were interesting ones there, yes ... but they were too shallow most of the time. Madame Tactician couldn't make up for too many of them on her own, sadly. Though Mitsuba and the mermaids did their part too. Those were fun.

- Sea Battles - this was supposed to be a war, right? So ... why the hell was there so little actual 'battlefield' time there, and why were they all so easy? The battle system was interesting, but they didn't really do much beyond the barest basics with it ... shame.

- Combat - let me say this first - being a longtime Final Fantasy fan has left me with an intense _dislike_ of obsessive leveling. Fortunately, SIV doesn't require that of you ... for the most part. And when you do need to level, it's not very difficult, especially after getting the training chamber in the HQ set up. Kudos for that ... unfortunately, the big minus is the number of random encounters you usually have to go through while using the ship to get around. It gets more than annoying, especially when you're not done with exploring the map. Also, in retrospect, after getting more familiar with the other titles of the line - it's disappointing that you only get to have such a small 'active party' and so little in the way of customization.

- Duels - pretty easy, all told, but very fun to watch. Too few of them by far, IMO.

- Plot/Storyline - uneven. The Kooluk aren't defined well at all, the main antagonist doesn't get enough Villain Heat ... hell, none of the supposed 'bad guys' get nearly enough Villain Heat to make you want to chase them down and confront them or feel anything but indifference towards them. Serious lack of forethought here. It's generally just 'he's the enemy, so I have to beat him, right?' sort of reaction. Aside from Snowe, whom I wanted to slap silly a few times. Lazlo's origins are pretty clear at the end of it, despite not being outright stated, and while cheesy they do work.

- Audio/Video - let me just say that I loved the intro song. Compared to that, the rest of the game's sound isn't really noteworthy from where I'm sitting. Graphics, on the other hand, are pretty good ... but character models don't always work out well.

As a whole, it's a good game, but not great. Still, for that 'potential', I'm keeping it on my shelf.

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Postby Iris » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:54 pm

Well, let's see. In order from least importance to greatest


This was actually a little strange for me, since even though this is a later installment in the series, the graphics weren’t actually as good as III’s. I personally found this strange, but it was nothing to complain about.

Voice Acting:

Wow. Way back when it was first announced there would be VAs for IV, many people thought that, since hiring people to do voices for 108+ characters is expensive, Konami might skimp out and get okay VSs for one or two and then have random other people do the rest. This actually wasn’t the case; the VAs were actually quite good. Everyone had great VAs, but what really stands out to me was Elenor’s. Whoever that was did a wonderful job; she actually sounded like she had been boozing it up for years. Kudos to whomever it was.


I tend to hear a lot of complaints about the music, which I find odd. Yes, some of the music wasn’t something that will stick with you, but man, when Masahiko Kimura is good, he’s GOOD. Ones that particularly stand out are “La Mer” (Done by coba, I know), “Battle on the Sea 1,” “Battle on the Sea 2” was especially good and is one of, if not THE, best war theme in the series, “Fated Confrontation,” “Magnificent Swordsman,” “Confession Song,” the Ritapon theme, and, my personal favorite, the beautiful yet simple “Rune of Punishment.” Kudos upon kudos to Kimura


The minigames in Suikoden IV were nothing short of divine. Ritapon was fun, the Confessional Room and all of the barrel-dropping it gave was my baby <3, and Pretty-Princess-Dress-Me-Up with Snowe was nothing short of The Best Thing Ever.

And you don’t even have to PLAY Chinchirorin to get Gaspar. <3

General Gameplay:

Okay, people tended to complain about this aspect especially, mostly how the ship was too large and complicated, or that the battles were a pain.

I don’t get these people.

First off, the battles may have let you put less people in your party, but let’s face it: In this game, less people were useful. Once you’ve got Kika and her incredibly broken Falcon Rune, hardly anyone else was needed. Further gaps were closed when and if you got Ted, who has a nice enough combo with Aldo. It seems the designers knew that lots of the Stars were utterly worthless in battle, and so they made less space so players wouldn’t have to complain about it. Sadly, it backfired.

The Rune of Punishment also seems to get a bad rep. To be honest, I can’t see why. It, like the True Fire Rune, made you think about how you would use it best so you would end up causing Lazlo the least amount of harm while doing the most amount of damage.

Second, the ship and the control thereof. Granted, it took me a good five minutes to wonder why the heck my ship wasn’t moving despite my consistent twirling of both the analog sticks and the D-pad buttons, but once I figured out that the map controlled everything, the ship was easy to use and manipulate. There may have been a high amount of random battles, but people, this is the SEA we’re talking about. Thusly, SEA MONSTERS can swim along the ship and creep up whenever hey felt like it. It’s actually more realistic than the other games, where random rabbits holding axes or animated holly leaves came and ambushed Tir/Riou/[Your Flame Champion Here]/Faroushadour when they should have seen them coming and sidestepped. (What I find most annoying about this complain is that people who love Suiko because of its realism go and bash this, even though it’s more realistic).


I loved the characters in this game. They were at times deep and compelling, interesting and speculative, and funny and cool. Yet, they are often said to be flat and uninteresting. Let’s take a look at some:

-Snowe: Snowe here is either loved or hated by fans of the series. But let’s take a look at HIS past and how it formed the man we know today:

Snowe was a noble, raised by his father to become a Knight, the new leader of Razril, or both. Obviously, the expectations forced upon him were undoubtedly more than any of us have ever had. Snowe developed an obsession to prove himself the best and felt undermined when Lazlo, his SERVANT, ever got the limelight and he didn’t. He constantly felt the need to prove himself, not to bolster his ego or because he was an attention hog, but so he could feel wanted and appreciated and not looked at as Snow Vingerhut, son of Vincent Vingerhut, but as Snowe Vingerhut, an accomplished man who wasn’t living in his father’s shadow. His obsession got the best of him on many occasions, even to the point where he would sacrifice his own friends to save his life so he could prove himself later. Though Snowe was really a sweet boy who just wanted to be loved for who he is underneath it all, his obsession with proving himself would set the entire game in motion, which would, through Lazlo’s help, allow him to gain his own personality, his own being, and be himself.

-Lino: Lino, too, is an interesting character, though the fanbase isn’t half as divided on him as they are Snowe. Still, he is often, once again, bashed for being uninteresting. I’m not sure why, considering he’s somewhat like Barbarossa in his backstory.

Lino is the king of Obel, not to mention a Single Father Trying To Raise A Rebellious Daughter. His wife, the Queen of Obel, died tragically when she used the Rune of Punishment to save the kingdom and his son (Lazlo) was also lost in the process. After losing the love of his life and his only son, any normal man would be distraught and never get over it. And yet, Lino takes it and suffers with it quietly, putting a smile on his face and running the kingdom despite the unbelievable loss he’s suffered.

-Elenor: One of the more subtly deep characters I’ve seen.

Elenor was a brilliant strategist for the Scarlet Moon Empire, as well as the mentor to Graham Cray. However, she was disgraced due to Cray’s reported actions in the noble slayings and was banished from her home, never to see her friends and family again. As a result, she spent the next few years drinking her problems away on Hermitage Island, with only Agnes to keep her company. Fallen from grace, she was recruited by Lazlo, who saved her from her pitiful existence. Though her mind had lain unused for years, she still proved to be a brilliant strategist, effortlessly winning battle after battle for the Liberation Army. Even though Elenor died in the game’s end, she most likely found solace that her life was saved before she died, and that the man who ruined everything she had ever known was going with her.

-Lazlo: Our Hero.

Lazlo, unknowingly Lino’s long lost son, in a riches-to-rags story, was found outside Razril and brought up as a servant in the Vingerhut household and as a playmate for Snowe. Despite his status, he proved himself an able warrior and so was trained to be a Knight of Gaien. After his graduation, the Dread Pirate Brandeau attacked and nearly sank the ship Lazlo was on. However, Commander Glen saved him and the Rune of Punishment was transferred to him instead of Lazlo. After Glen died using the Rune’s powers, it was transferred to Lazlo, ultimately dooming the young man. To top it all off, he was betrayed by Snowe and was exiled. Despite this, Lazlo was able to escape death numerous times and eventually became the leader of the Island Liberation Army, even though he knew he would have to use his Rune, killing him faster. Despite this knowledge, he presses on, winning battle after battle and bringing hope to those who had lost it.

At the game’s end, when the Rune Cannon in El-Eal explodes, Lazlo makes one final act when he single-handedly saves the lives of his friends by using the Rune, which kills him.


Like nearly everything in S4, the plot is bashed, only more so, and it’s usually for not being as deep as the others, Especially Suikoden II Which Is Apparently The Best Game Ever. I couldn’t disagree more.

Suikoden IV was not about finding your own path (S1), family and friendship (S2), unity (3), or standing up for what you believe in (S5). It wasn’t focused on a group of people.

No, it was much deeper, much different than that.

Suikoden IV was about the life of one man. It was about one man doomed to die, but despite the odds, he still triumphed. It was about one man’s struggles against impossible odds and trying to win, even though he knew from the start that his fate was unchangeable. It was about how one man, one individual, can change everything. It was about hope and despair, friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. That, ladies and gentlemen, is DEEP.

Overall, I loved Suikoden IV. I thought it was a great game that had a deep and compelling plot, only it was much more subtle about it than the other games.

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Postby Persmerga » Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:54 pm

Wow nice views on the game!

Yeah the game i feel is bashed a little to much just because it possibly dared to be different form the rest!!

I liked the game but am also honest that the game had a few flaws in it but i enjoyed the game overall.

I would have liked deeper storylines for certain characters like Troy for certain to bad he had to die and maybe Kika!!

The whole using a ship on water instead of a world map was something that maybe didn't go down to well with others but i belive it was a risk that in my opinion worked for me!!
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Postby Pokerface » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:11 pm

I like all the Suikoden parts.


-4 man parties
-the "invisible" walls around the islands
-not many islands. A few more were nice
-game is too short
-the friedship between Lazlo and Snowe could be better discribed.

This game has more potential


-Sea battle!! I am a pirate game Fan so this comes in handy :)
-The fleet you have
-The speech in the cutscenes and minigames!!!
-Unite attacks and the possibility to refresh the magic after being used.

I liked this game very much but I recomend Konami to listen more to the fans.
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Postby Chris_Lightfellow » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:36 pm

I actually rather like this game. I have very few complaints. I liked how you could make your own armor. Yes, finding the materials was arduous, but I liked that too. I didn't really mind the 4-man parties. It was a little annoying at times, but other than that it was fine. I liked the graphics. I felt that it was very well done. The movement wasn't jerky and it flowed really smoothly. There was only one thing in this game that really really pisses me off. The fact that you can't freaking sell things at the shops in your ship. Accidentally bought 1 too many speed rings? You gotta go to some island store to sell it. It seems completely pointless.
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Postby Miklotov » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:56 pm

Georg in his Prime wrote:After being stranded on the deserted island I was excited at the possiblilty of that being your HQ and having to gather people and build it up (i.e. swiss family robinson). But I thought the ship HQ was a great idea too. I liked how you could customize the ships in your fleet with the ocean rune pieces, even though it didn't make a difference because the battles were so easy.

Each time I get a game I play it through before using the guide..and on that particular part I was excited because I thought that it would end up being the HQ just like you said..and I chose to stay and the game ended for me :/. Personally, I think it would have been a good idea to have the deserted island HQ as well as the ship..I think it would have left more options.

The very first time I played the game I was very disappointed but I think a lot of it was because of the high expectations I had for it..after going through it again it was more enjoyable than the first time around..I think Suikoden IV had a lot of good ideas but they weren't all put together well.

Weapon changes
Unite Attacks
Ship battles

Short story
Armor Forging
Battle Rate
Rune animations
4 Person Party

Pretty much whats been said already.

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Postby kharaa » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:49 am

Having just beat suikoden five, and it ranking among my favorite of the suikodens if not my favorite..

i just started Suiko 4 for the first time.

So far.. i'm not really impressed.. i like the being able to go in to first person view, (you can look at chars better that way..) and the battle system (paticuarlly the items) i like..

but the camera angle.. and the world map ...kinda getting on my nerves..

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