How much do you think a copy of Suikoden II costs on Amazon? $US60? $US150? $US300? If you guessed $US699.99, congratulations: you win the prize for Ability To Guess Obscene Internet Price Gouging. The prize is sadness.
Suikoden II, a PS1 role-playing game developed and published by Konami, is generally considered to be one of the best games out there, but there's no way to play it today without A) already owning a copy, B) spending a fortune, or C) pirating. It's without a doubt my favourite video game, yet there's no affordable or legal way I can recommend it to anyone. It makes me really sad.
Biggest problem is, there should be another option: D) buying it on Sony's PlayStation Classics store, which sells tons and tons of old PS1 games including the first Suikoden, an excellent albeit significantly inferior game. Suikoden II is not there.
For quite some time now, I've been trying to figure out what the deal is. Some think Konami might not understand just how many people would like to play the game. Others suspect technical issues or a licensing snafu — Japanese contracts are notoriously convoluted. (If you're reading this and you have any idea why Suikoden II has yet to see any re-release in the U.S., let me know.)
So let this be a petition. Let's get this done, Konami. Suikoden II to the PlayStation Network. Make it happen. Here are three compelling reasons:
1) It's one of the greatest role-playing games ever. And more people should get a chance to discover that. It's a sweeping-yet-personal story about two best friends trying to fight against their destinies, steering armies in a massive war that will change the world as they know it. Also there's a mini-game where you get to pretend to be an Iron Chef.
2) It will make lots and lots of money. I'll buy a copy. Kirk says he will, too. That's at least a solid two sales.
Plus all those tens of thousands of people who would love to play (or re-play) Suikoden II but don't want to spend $US699.99 to make it happen. A $US6-10 Suikoden II would hit that sweet spot, and word of mouth will do the rest.
3) Fans will love you. Especially the ones who have been silently cursing the name "Konami" for all but ignoring Suikoden in North America over the past few years. (Even Konami UK gave Suikoden Day a shoutout, but their US division? Nothing.)
So spread the word. Let's get Konami to listen, and either publish the game themselves or find a way to pass it along to a third party like MonkeyPaw Games (whose frequent collaborator Vic Ireland says he'd love to help re-release Suikoden II).
Suikoden II on PSN. Let's do this.
Random Encounters is a weekly column dedicated to all things JRPG.