Producer Talks Suikoden IV
08.12.04 - 1:21 PM

In a recent interview with GameWatch, Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo producer Junko Kawano talked about her current project, Suikoden IV for PlayStation 2. Since the interview touched on a lot of issues which have already been addressed, Kawano only revealed a couple of new details. Since the production line was different, little know-how could be transferred from Suikoden III to its sequel, despite to the two games sharing the same hardware platform. However, as part of the Suikoden series, the new game features the same basic setting and rules as its prequels. As a first step, the development team had to decide which features of the world as a whole it wanted to implement into the game and which ones would be cut.

Since the game will be the fourth main series entry, it was equally important for the producer to cater to a new audience as well as series veterans. To achieve this goal, a balance had to be found between bringing back important aspects from previous installments and implementing new features. The decision to change the characters' size and place a lot of importance on the game's tempo was a direct result of the experience with the prequel. The change in visual style will be reflected by characters who resemble their original illustrations more closely.

Furthermore, with the appearance of comparatively old characters, there will be few deformed character designs. The return to a one-protagonist system results in a closer look at the hero and the two themes surrounding the Rune of Punishment, curse and power. With Suikoden IV telling the oldest storyline in the series' timeline, newcomers will have little trouble getting into the game, whereas veterans will be surprised by connections between various characters. Due to issues related to story progression and presentation, the development team, after making tests with six-member active parties, eventually decided to go with an active party of four members. Regarding the selection of Japanese artist Coba, Kawano remarked that while the game's setting created an image of South East Asia, there was also an image of Europe there, hence the need for someone capable of creating passionate songs.

Suikoden IV will be available in Japan on August 19th for 6,980 yen ($62.95 US). The US version will hit retail store shelves on November 1st.

Chris Winkler

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