Why Suikoden is better than Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is probably the most popular and most hyped game that is released in the U.S. Why? A lot of people will tell you it has an excellent story and cast of characters. Others, specifically newbies to RPGs, will tell you it has awesome graphics and FMV. I guess I can understand this. It was a game better than average. But by no means was it excellent. Suikoden was excellent. It had graphics slightly better than a 16-bit RPG, but so what? I think a 2-d world with pixelated characters is the perfect setting for an RPG. The bright, colorful graphics set the mood for adventure while FFVII had graphics that were dark and drab and gloomy. It had a feel of realism to it. Many will argue that realism is good while I beg to differ. We live in the real world. We see realism around us everday. Real people, real cars, real buildings. We play RPGs to escape this, or atleast I do. Suikoden had a sense of fantasy to it, a sense of adventure. That's what I like.

Suikoden not only beats FFVII in graphics (in my opinion), but music as well. The music always fit the current situation and was beautifully composed. Themes such as "Leknaat's Oracle", "Them of Sadness" and "Theme of a Moonlit Night" fit each scene perfectly. However, in FFVII music was out of place. Want a jolly theme for a big, rough, mean talkin person like Barret? Sure!

Suikoden's cast of characters beats the character development of FFVII by a long shot. As many have said, every character in FFVII is the same. The materia system can make power-houses like Cid and Barret cast the most powerful spells in the game. At the beginning of the game Barret openly admits not knowing how to use materia or magic. Soon after, he's off shooting bolts of lighting at people. Then there's hp/mp+ materia. A few of these leveled up can give people like Aeris as much HP as Cloud or give Cid as much MP as Aeris. In Suikoden you can give almost anyone just about any rune in the game. While accomplishing the same thing as FFVII (Not -forcing- you to take certain characters since they're the only one's who can heal or whatever), it doesn't have the same faults as FFVII. A person can only use one set of magic so you have to variate with your runes. Cleo can either aid your party with the water rune, or demolish your enemy with powerful fire magic. Only the hero can use the powerful magic of the souleater. Then you have people like Pahn. He's all muscle and can't equip magic runes. Instead, he has his trusty boar rune which isn't even magic. It's just another physical attack. I could go on about this, but I think other editorials have proven my point.

I'll admit, Suikoden's characters aren't all useful and they don't all join you for a given reason and they don't all have their own seperate stories. But come on! There's 108 of them. You can't expect Konami to give all of them big spots in the story. But the one's they do invovle are developed well. Mathiu, Windy, Viktor and other main characters are involved throughout the story. In FFVII, only Cloud, Tifa, and Aeris seem to take active roles. Everyone else has one little "subquest" just so you can learn a little about them, but that's it. RedXIII joins up, has is own little spot in the spotlight in Cosmo Canyon, but never does anything useful the rest of the game. But I -do- commend them for giving their secret characters (Vincent and Yuffie) a more active role in changing the story.

I know many will disagree with me and might prove me wrong in some points. But it doesn't really matter. I'm not trying to start some heated argument or anything, just giving my two cents.

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