Back to Reviews

Review | Suikoden: Woven Web of the Centuries

"Finally a decent English translation pack is finished, it works perfectly, and we even received a HD pack for PC emulation! If you have your original game copy, you can finally get pass the Japanese barrier and enjoy the last spin-off Suikoden entry "

by Foggy, 17-10-2021, Edited by: Jim

„Let me just try it out“– said every gamer ever. 30 hours later, we are done, the game is finished and the “just trying it out” is not applicable anymore. This usually happens to me. Often. Every time. I can’t just try the game out and then stop. No, I always at least finish.

I was waiting for a long 9 years after the 2012th release of the latest Suikoden entry. 9 years to finally get the translation pack, and finally I just went and tried the game out. It works perfectly, the translation is really good, and what now? To stop playing? No, even though this is critically the worst Suikoden game, it’s still a Suikoden game!

Gotta love the animationed scenes! I miss them so much in modern games. You can rewatch them in your home base, if you want to!

PSP was/is a great portable console for some jRPG gems. This was my intention when I bought it, and I was never disappointed with reaching those goals. I figured out, I don’t have “many” games this month to cover, let me just try this one, just to see why is this the worst games in the series. Here we are, 30 hours later. Yep, I liked it!

Before we start, let’s just mention that this title was the 2nd instalment outside of the main series (Suikoden V being the latest main title, while Tierkries being the 1st side-title). The team behind is the same team that was there for Tierkries and partially Suikoden V (Kazuyoshi Tsugawa as a scenario writer).

If I was to order the games based on how much I love and rank them, it would go like this: Suikoden 2, 1, 5, 3, 4. Tierkries and Woven? I would say Tierkries was better; it is more complete and bigger game, but we are here for Woven Web of a Century, so let’s finally start.

Nostalgia trip (first picture). Ionia Empire will be your enemy (usually Suikoden games feature this kind of plots). As for the map and the town design... Why Konami? I love to run around through towns, shops and settlements. I wish this got more content and better design choices.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear that Suikoden music when naming your character… I get the Suiko-fever. I just love the music, and they always at least re-use some tracks which reminds us so much that this is another Suikoden game. I was satisfied with the soundtrack, it was good, on point, great melodies, and nice. It’s certainly not one of the best ones out there, but it can show some tricks to modern game soundtracks (yeah, Tales of Arise, you can do better).

When it comes to the world we travel through, it has some ups and downs. The biggest disappointment here are the towns and the map. You can’t walk through towns, and the map is just one picture with pins you can choose to visit. At least the dungeons are explorable, which is not a big consolation as they are pretty mediocre when it comes to design and factor of surprise. Still, some will offer some additional puzzles and hidden rooms. I welcome that. I wish there was more.

What drove me heavily was the story. I loved the concept. You are, of course, yet another hero, a Starbearer. Starbearers are part of a bigger scheme, a special type of people with special powers that will stand oppose to evil in the world. You will form a settlement, collect materials and people, and just the basic though of this concept is enough to attract me. I always loved this in Suikoden games.

You will learn about Era Tree’s, different timelines, change the future (current present) – in short, the Era Trees will let you travel in the past, meet other Starbearers and change the inevitable doom that the current present holds. Theras Pharma being the creatures from the past, march heavily towards obliterating you and the rest of the living folks. You need to find a way to stop them, and your journey will be a fun one. Without spoiling anything, I will stop here and just say that I liked the story. It’s not the best, but it was good, Sukoden-like story. I guess they had the least budget for this one, so there are some big flaws here and there, but nothing that can impede your experience much.

On your journey you will cook, you will travel thrugh time, plant Era Tree Seeds and visit the past where you will meet other heroes from early times. The way how they connected these timelines is good and overal I found the story decent. You also aim to collect all 108 Starbearers?

The biggest perk of the series is a rooster of 108 characters. Every game comes with some fun RPG mechanics, and this one is no exception. Here we can learn combat skills when we meet the same type of warrior either in the past, of recruit them in the future. When you meet your ancestors, form a formation to learn the skill from your master. This means that you, the sword-type of warrior, now has 2 combat skills! When you meet and recruit more sword-type warriors you can make them your padawans and let them learn skills from you.

I simply love the concept. Why modern games don’t do this? For me, a good RPG comes with clever and fun combat RPG system. Gathering people and learning their skills was really neat. Especially because you can hold up to 6 battle members, and having 108 characters… Yeah, they are not all for battling, but you get the point. This way you can always keep your favourites and just let them learn skills from new members.

In its core, the battle system is simple, but fun because of the skills and unite formations you can set. Although I didn’t discover any special unite move (in older games you can form unite formation with certain characters and then use their special unite moves), I was never bored when fighting. Ok, sometimes I was, mostly because you need to wait for skills and movements to finish. Older titles let you choose the moves and mostly the execution was asynchronous.

Not many games follow the formula that Suiko games have. Unite formations are underused, but learning combat skills through Unite links from the same-type Starbearers is something I really loved. Small stuff, but always welcome. The weapon cosmetics changes are also cool, kudos!

At moments this felt as a mobile game. In your base, you can appoint expeditions to dungeons, set the manufacturing settings (to use magic, you need crystals, and you can manufacture them in your home base). I miss running through my castle, meeting people, talking to them… You know that all home based in Suikoden games grow as you gather more Starbearers? It was so fresh and innovative at that time, I’m sad this was not here.

You can also just play the story and miss almost 50 characters you can otherwise recruit, which can last for 20-25 hours. And this is a good thing. The game can’t offer as much as their predecessors, so being shorter is a good design choice.

If you decide to pursuit all Starbearers you will expand the story and relationships a bit. It all comes down to what you want and how fond you got during the game and its storytelling. For a huge Suiko fan such as myself, I decided to explore everything. I was not disappointed, although the ending was too easy. You can easily get overpowered, so gathering everyone is more on the social side and if you want that hidden skills.

Even though you will not find much on your travels, the concept of gathering people and exploring the past is done good. I wish the dungeons had more imagination, but it was not as bad as I imagined it would be.

For a PSP game and a spin-off I was not disappointed. Yes, I consider it the “worst” Suikoden game, but I also liked it more than some modern titles. If you ever feel like reliving the Konami’s old glory days, you can try this one and their other older games, or we all simply wait for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. I’m sad they don’t do similar games, the idea is still relevant and it brings joy.

The lack of Runes and shallowness of the world is where they could do better. The story, characters and presentation, not bad, not the best. Suikoden formula? Right here! Loved the animated scenes! Loved them so much, and loved the voices of characters a lot (most of the game has a voiceover).

I must give all my thanks to the team behind the translation (Twisted Phoenix Game Translation among the others). They did a wonderful job, and if you want any info about them or their projects, visit their web and take it from there (I waited 9 years for this guys, thx so much!):

For all Suiko fans out there: cheers! I still love Suikoden so much, and I solute other fans out there. I don’t think Suikoden 2 will ever get of my personal throne of one of the most-lovable and awesome JRPG’s ever made. Ex-Suiko team, don’t disappoint us with Eiyuden Chronicles.

"The worst Suikoden game, but still a Suikoden game!"
Leave a comment
Please Log in to leave a comment

Foggy commented

on December 04, 2021 at 13:24h

I miss Suikoden so much, I hope Konami will give us some remaster of their old titles, it's such a shame to have those forgotten.

Foggy commented

on December 04, 2021 at 13:27h

Foggy commented

on December 04, 2021 at 13:24h

I miss Suikoden so much, I hope Konami will give us some remaster of their old titles, it's such a shame to have those forgotten.

But since the Suiko team is working on Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, one can only hope that we will once again enjoy the beauty of suikolike games!

Hrgar commented

on December 05, 2021 at 19:39h

good game. good job. keep it up.

Foggy commented

on December 05, 2021 at 19:56h

Hrgar commented

on December 05, 2021 at 19:39h

good game. good job. keep it up.

Gracias senor