Kyle here, gaming aficionados.
This time, our "distinguished panel of experts" will review the second in Konami's flagship RPG series with a cast of 108 (and a few more), Suikoden 2

Here's a little primer on Kyle's RPG Roundtable Reviews rating scale:
0-1 is the lowest of the low. Basically, don't even touch the game's box.
1.5-4.5 is below average. You might still like it, though.
5 is absolutely average. Most games are a 5, so don't think this is bad. I mean it.
5.5-9.5 is above average. These are damn good scores, even a 5.5. Definitely pick it up.
10 is the ultimate. If you can't afford the game, consider selling body parts.
Um... I dunno. I mean, I hate to complain and all, but I think they made this one a little hard to understand. There were all sorts of things going on at once. And the plot twists - yikes! Sometimes, I couldn't even tell who the good guys were. It was kinda like information overload. It was kinda weird, too, 'cause you're not really saving the world - it's more like a war type thing. I liked the bit in Tinto, though - that was pretty cool, although it was a little scary.
I like 'em all, but this one's a 2.0.
Suikoden 2 is a mixed bag, I'd say. Aside from the obvious flaw that I am not in it, it has an almost decent cast. The main character is silent, always a plus. And, since no one would be interested in them anyway, most of the 108 characters are just introduced to the party and have no further development. Unfortunately, a few, in particular Jowy, are given far too much screen time and development. Perhaps if he were me, it would be worthwhile. As it is... tsk, I say. Also, this nonsense of carrying forward characters from the original game is just outrageous.
I suppose these fellows deserve a 3.0.
Gau no like Suikoden gameplay so much. Me think it too slow! In reg'lar battle, me no like six person party. Me no like equip ability neither. Me really no like "unite" attack - me like always fight alone. In "Strategic" battle, me no like nothing! It like Panzer General, only not hard. Me love "Duel" battle! It like paper/scissor/rock, only no make sense. There lot of random battles - me like!! Me also like there no puzzles in dungeons - Gau no figure puzzles out! So me think it balance out.
Gau give this 4.5.
Well, at least it's 2D. The individual sprites leave a little to the viewer's interpretation, but nowhere near the level of, say, Pac-Man. One of the best things about Pac-Man is the way the player can really project his/herself into the character - with Suikoden 2, that just isn't possible. Every face picture is very distinctive and full of character, and don't even get me started on the introduction! In the glory days of abstract gaming (Pong leaps to mind), this wouldn't even be worth my time. But on the Playstation, it's a refreshing change.
If I had to judge, I'd give it a 5.0.
Mega-bummer, dudes! This soundtrack is totally bogus. It's all way orchestral and... like, stuff, you know? I couldn't jam to it, man! I totally didn't like a single track. Most of it was, like, emotional, dude. As if that wasn't totally bad enough, there was none of that awesome tinny midi sound, either. I mean, some of the tracks sound like they were recorded by, like, a symphony orchestra or something! It was most non-triumphant.
I'd crank the volume up to 1.0.
Well... their opinions basically suck! Here's the catch:
If you take their scores and reverse 'em, you'll get a pretty accurate picture.
Like that dummy Laguna, he gave the Plot a 2.0. That's an 8.0, which is damn good. And if fruit-boy Nikki says the music is a 1.0, that's a 9.0 - time to save up for a soundtrack! Get the idea?
Now, for the real low-down on Suikoden 2, I'm your man. Plot wise, this is something really different. The whole warring nations style of this series is a refreshing change from saving the world. The major characters get good development, especially Jowy and Shu. But, like Final Fantasy Tactics or Chrono Cross, there's so many characters, the supporting cast suffers. Gameplay-wise, this is better than a Final Fantasy or, much as I hate to say it, a Lunar game. But not by a lot. Gameplay's basic, although the way you get to build up your castle over time is pretty darn cool. Graphics, well, Lacan pretty much sums it up - too bad he's such a loser that he likes the wrong stuff! The face pics are great, since they have a lot of character to them. And the music? Well, I like heavy metal, myself, but there's no way I'm gonna say this isn't one of the best, maybe the best, RPG soundtrack of them all. The sound quality is the best since FFT, and the composition is as good as anything else out there. And one of the battle themes sounds like its straight out of the best Castlevania music - I won't say which, though.
In 3B terms, it's a mixed bag. Out of 108 stars of destiny and a bunch of others, there's some real hot chicks of whatever type you like - but you'll have to hunt down some concept art, because they don't get much of a showing in-game. Blood-wise, there's more than the usual amount, and the sheer death and destruction quotient counts for something! As for beasts, well, there's a few cool ones, but that's not what the Suikoden series is about.
Put together, it's about a 8.0!