In the process of working my way up in difficulty to the needlepoint projects I daydream about, I am making a tissue box cover. I’m pretty sure everyone who’s ever done plastic canvas needlepoint has done at least one of these, and by the time I finish this project I will be no exception. Mine is a simple display of characters from the original Final Fantasy for the NES. The order in which they appear on the box is semi-inspired by 8-bit Theater. I’ve got the fighter and black mage on one long side of the cover, with the white mage and monk on the other long side. The thief and the red mage each have a panel of their own. The final product will have physical and magical damage dealers alternating all the way around the box.
This review of Suikoden: Tierkreis is specifically intended for people who’ve been fans of the Suikoden series for a long time, a discourse about how Tierkreis compares to the rest of the Suikoden games. It doesn’t cover the basics a normal review would give you, and it doesn’t involve any kind of scoring system. If you’re looking for basic information on the graphics and sound quality and blah blah blah, well… you can find that elsewhere, written by people who do that for a living. If you’re just wanting to know if you can expect a real Suikoden experience from Tierkreis, however, then this review is for you.
I’m lucky enough to have parents who have played D&D since before I was born. As a result, I grew up attending the D&D sessions held at my house every other Saturday. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on Mom’s lap, rolling her dice for her at the DM’s (Dad’s) left hand. I was a good luck charm back in those days — I rolled a disproportionate number of 18s and higher on a d20, and anyone who had me roll their stats usually got stats good enough to play anything they wanted. (Back in those days, at least under my dad’s hodge-podge edition of D&D, the game didn’t adjust your Constitution up and your Charisma down if you wanted to be a dwarf — you had to have rolled a high enough Constitution and low enough Charisma before you picked your race.) That good luck ran out as soon as I started rolling for myself, of course… now I’m just your average roller.
I’ve been a fan of the Suikoden games for a long time. Even through the disappointments that were the third and fourth games in the series, I’ve retained, on the whole, a positive attitude towards the series. I haven’t played Rhapsodia (retitled Suikoden Tactics for its English release) yet, but the fifth game in the main series was good.
I first encountered mention of Suikoden: Tierkreis for the Nintendo DS on Amazon.com when I was engaged in purchasing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (which, by the way, rocks my socks). The trailers available showed me a different graphical style than I’m used to, so I looked up previews of the English version and reviews of the Japanese version of the game. Everything I read indicated that the game is neither in the main story nor even in the same world. Furthermore, it seems they’ve modified the gameplay to make it a stepping stone into the Suikoden games for newbies.
as an indicator of how good a player one is. Or on the color of the names of one’s gear. Or on how fast they got from 0 to 80. None of these are good indicators. There’s also a vast difference in what it takes to be good at PvP versus being good at PvE. (Usually, people who are good at PvP are also good at PvE, though the reverse is far less common.) Since I personally suck at PvP, having little interest in it, I will focus here on what it takes to be a good PvE player.
If you were to trace the balance of power between classes in World of Warcraft over the course of multiple patch updates, you’d probably find it similar to watching a very drunk man walking down the street. In one version, warlocks are overpowered. Next, it’s the hunters’ turn. There go the rogues. Hey, warlocks again! Oooooh, mages! Watching the series of nerfs and buffs and nerfs and buffs to one’s favorite character can cause inflammation of the brain and outright frustration.