It’s barely been more than a week since I told Suikoden fans not to get their hopes up (opens in new tab) about an appearance at Tokyo Game Show, and Konami’s gone and shown me up. It’s not quite a new game in the series, but the company just announced that Suikoden 1 and 2 are being remastered and will release on Steam some time in 2023.
The remasters will come with a bevy of improvements over the original versions, both of which were released all the way back in the ’90s. The sprites, art and effects have all been revamped, and Junko Kawano—Suikoden’s original character artist—came back on board to redraw the first game’s character portraits. Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has pointed out (opens in new tab) that it looks like some work has been done on the muddled English localisation of the original games, too.
Beyond the big changes, the devs have also touched up the games’ sound and added a bunch of environmental audio (think running water, wind, and footsteps) that wasn’t present in the original releases. Most importantly for me, the remasters are getting some quality of life features like auto-battling and double-speed battles to smooth down the rough edges of the original experience.
It’s welcome news for a series, and a fanbase, that have gone untended for a whole decade. Suikoden’s a big deal (opens in new tab): a classic that I’ve been listening to people yammer on about ever since I made the fatal mistake of signing up for my first internet forum. While some fans might have been hoping for an entirely new game, I have to confess that I’m more excited about the prospect of having an easy way to get my hands on the classics.
Besides, you have to imagine that these remasters are partially spurred by the spectacular success of the Eiyuden Chronicle Kickstarter campaign (opens in new tab): a Suikoden spiritual successor from the original creators that raised $4.5 million. If the remasters of 1 and 2 approach anywhere near that level of success, I suspect it won’t be long until we hear about more Suikoden projects, new games included.