Suikoden V

One of those things is the cinematic cutscenes. Suikoden IV's characters brought its story to life, as the game's main saving grace; Suikoden V rightfully continues in the same vein, almost indistinguishable from its predecessor. The chief improvement here is more distinctive character designs, bringing back the Asian-influenced style of the early games, with characters garbed in gorgeous silk robes and weilding weapons you won't find in Dungeons& Dragons. In fact, most things about the game are a return to the series' more storied past.

Whether or not you played the old games, you'll appreciate the fact that Suikoden V has made the wise decision to go with what worked. A traditional RPG, Suikoden V will have you talking to characters to discover secrets, exploring towns and dungeons and fighting random battles.

The catch is that the story is elaborate and politically driven, once again encompassing 108 party characters and the home base that have always been key to the Suikoden series. But this is married to a cast of compelling characters and dialogue choices that give you a hook into the story.

As a young prince of a country ruled only by women, you'll uncover the mysteries of the Sun Rune and its baleful influence over your mother, the queen. Soon, you'll be battling your way through the countryside with your most loyal retainers in tow, tossing off sarcastic remarks and beating down monsters with nunchaku. Konami is characterizing this tale as "much longer" than what we saw in Suikoden IV, with branches and multiple endings, another echo of the series' past glories and what simply makes for a rewarding RPG.