Suikoden starts out like so many other RPGs. Your main character (Hero) is woken up and has a meeting with the King. You are then introduced to the hero's family and friends and a general plot emerges. Of course, what is an RPG without plot twists? Soon after you will find yourself controlling a faithful party in seek of the truth. A epic is born.
If you know anything about Suikoden, you should know the game allows you to recruit characters into your party and onto your side. This is the real strength of Suikoden. Otherwise, it would be a typical "traditional" RPG with little merit. On the world map view (the only view besides entering town areas), you'll be subject to random battles against a fair variety of enemies. Each battle allows up to 6 party members (including Hero). They are divided into short, medium, and long range. This forces certain variety among your party. The characters can attack, defend, and also use items or rune powers. Depending on which rune is used, they can be powerful attacks, attack magic, or healing magic. Each recruited character will either come equipped with one of the 27 true runes, or could have a man made rune. These can be very pertinent to success throughout the game. As well, you will need to equip your party with armor and keep their weapons sharpened for continued success.
As for Suikoden's vanity, it features quality graphics and music. The characters sprites are excellent, and did a very good job of showing off the PlayStation's power as an RPG console. The background graphics are respectable, but nothing too worthy of mention. As the music goes, it is quite enjoyable, and even with a minimal amount of songs, they never get annoying.
Throughout playing Suikoden, you will travel all across The Scarlet Moon Empire's land in search of justice, always faced with adversity. Along the way, you will meet a huge cast of characters (108 Stars to be exact), which makes each new area a delight. The game really is RPG purity, and has a well-executed plot. Unfortunately, the plot felt short, and character development suffered. I would have liked to see a return of evil, but was left with a 20+ hour, solid RPG. Suikoden set itself up for epic-proportions, but is cut short in a few areas and really contains the game's solidity in greatness. I would recommend this game to just about an fan of RPG, and especially those that seek something different, yet traditional.