Suikoden III

While most will be sinking their hard earned dollars into Batman: Arkham Knight this week, I'll be focusing my gaze on a long-lost JRPG friend, Suikoden III. The PlayStation 2 Classic will be available when the PlayStation Store updates, and it will set gamers back $9.99.

Most will know that I am a die-hard fan of this game's predecessor, Suikoden II, but my opinion remains a little foggy on this one, mostly because I haven't played it since launch. Now is a better time than ever I suppose to go back and explore, especially because I didn't expect it to ever get this kind of a digital treatment.

If I remember correctly, it doesn't score quite as many bonus points as Suikoden II. Not because of its story, characters, or battle system innovations, which some have a problem with, but rather because of its speed. This forced jump into 3D on the PlayStation 2 is obvious and unnatural, and it sacrifices one of the series' best qualities. Compared to the lightning fast pace of Suikoden II, Suikoden III is a snail with large cities that take forever to run across and maybe long loading times in between each and every battle.

I can't remember if this bothered me back then, but I have far less patience these days.

I also remember this game causing quite a hubbub back in the day, emerging as a sleeper hit and beating out the original Kingdom Hearts as RPG of the Year in several major publications, causing the anger of many. Maybe this is the Suikoden that got the most exposure because of it.

At any rate, if you are itching for a JRPG to play this summer, you've found a good one. Be sure to check out its predecessors and hope Konami comes around to releasing Suikoden V down the line as well. We don't need to worry about IV so much.