You'll never know how good this game is until you try it!

User Rating: 9 | Gensou Suikoden Tierkreis DS
GAMEPLAY: 9
GRAPHICS: 9
SOUND: 9
VALUE: 9
TILT: 9

ROUGH SCORE: 9.0
FINAL SCORE: 9.0

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The Good:
- Great story
- 108 recruitable characters!
- Experience gain system allows for minimal grinding when leveling low level characters
- Cooperative attacks!
- Excellent soundtrack
- Nice visuals

The Bad:
- Story takes a few hours to pick up and become genuinely interesting
- Mediocre voice acting
- Experience gain system makes random encounters useless when your characters are the perfect level for the current location
- Relatively easy difficulty
- Incredibly irritating quest system
- Noticeable amount of typos in dialogue boxes, especially after the halfway point
- Lots of backtracking via the sidequests
- Somewhat weak ending (though you feel satisfied by the endgame boss battles and then there's always the True Ending by recruiting all 108 characters)

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First off, I want to tell you not to be immediately be turned off by this game simply because I've listed more cons than pros. It's just that I enjoyed this game so much overall that I've ended up more critical of it as a result.
My interest in this game arose out of the simple fact that it was a 3D RPG coming out for the DS that wasn't a remake or port of a previously released game. It was an original DS RPG, and it was going to be 3D. That's really all I needed to know going in...except then I heard that the storyline had something to do with parallel worlds and at that point, I was TOTALLY sold.

GAMEPLAY
I'm not going to talk about the story here because I noticed that quite a few other reviewers have already done a fine job of doing so. Rather, I'll talk about other stuff relating to the gameplay, such as the controls. The controls are as good as you can expect for an RPG. Menu navigation is fine and never overwhelming or confusing. I liked that I could use the stylus and touch screen rather than the D-pad to move around because you get more range of motion with the stylus. 3D worlds are a pain to walk around when you've really only got eight possible directions to go.
Moving on, I have to say that this game is definitely very pick-up-and-play. The combat is simplified - some would say to the point of being bland and uninspired - but that's exactly why it'd be so great for players new to RPGs. It's easy enough to equip gear and Marks of the Stars to your characters, and the many cooperative attacks are fun to discover and employ.
This game is just fun to play, if you can get past the mediocre voice acting. It's very hit or miss all the way through. Some actors/actresses do a better job than others, and each actor/actress has their moments of win and fail. Though in general, the acting gets better as you progress. I dealt with it just fine because I liked hearing the characters' voices and emotions at this important moments. Just pretend the main character and caffeine should never meet again and you'll be just fine.

GRAPHICS
This game is pretty. It's not "best 3D graphics ever seen on the DS" pretty, but it is pretty. The backgrounds and traversible locales are quite stunning. Especially your castle. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say that that castle only gets more awesome and breathtaking as you progress.

SOUND
This game's got some great music. I always say the key indicator in determining whether or not a game's got great music is whether or not any of the tracks got stuck in your head while you were playing the game. This happened to me on several occasions.

VALUE
My completed save file, with all 108 characters recruited, clocks in at fifty hours. There's plenty to do in this game. Though, there are no minigames to fall back on and once you do recruit everyone, there's absolutely nothing else for you to do except complete the rest of the main story. Shame as that is, the main storyline's list of missions is long in and of itself and will take you - I would think - at least 25-30 hours to play through. So either way you look at it, you'll be getting your money's worth with Tierkreis.

TILT
If you're looking for a good RPG on the DS, here's one right here. If you own a DS and are looking to take a first dive into the genre of RPGs, Suikoden Tierkreis will be a perfect means to do that. Really, despite its genuinely minor flaws, this game is great and belongs in every RPG-loving DS owner's game collection.

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