Suikoden II is a difficult game to get hold of these days -- so much so that people selling copies online have an unfortunate tendency to jack the price up to three or four times what it would have been when it first came out.
However, if an ESRB listing, spotted by Siliconera, is to be believed, North American PlayStation 3 owners will soon be able to revisit this classic of the RPG genre. The first Suikoden has been available as a downloadable title from PSN in North America since 2008, but Suikoden II has remained conspicuously absent until this time, leading to the overinflated prices seen in the collectors' market today.
The ESRB listing only mentions PlayStation 3, raising questions over whether the download will also work on PSP and Vita. The Vita in particular has some difficulty in accessing certain PS1 titles via the PlayStation Store, though they're often playable if you manage to transfer them over via other means such as through a PlayStation 3. A rumor started circulating yesterday that an impending Vita firmware update will add full compatibility for PS1 Classics titles on Vita -- i.e. the ability to actually download them on the system itself -- but this is yet to be confirmed or denied by Sony at the time of writing. If true, though, you could be playing Suikoden II on that lovely Vita screen before long.
The Suikoden series is notorious for its enormous casts of playable characters -- 108 in total, based on the 108 Stars of Destiny from the Chinese novel Water Margin -- though not all of them are directly plot-related. Suikoden II features three different types of battles -- standard combat with a party of up to six characters; duels between the protagonist and an enemy character; and large-scale strategic battles somewhat reminiscent of Fire Emblem and its ilk. It's considered by many Suikoden fans to be one of the best installments in the series -- if not the best -- and one played by tragically few people due to its limited initial print run and subsequent rarity. A PSN release, whenever it happens, should go some way to educating people who missed out on it first time around.