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Suikoden II

Game Info:

Platform: PlayStation
Developer: KCET
Publisher: Konami
Players: 1
Format: 1 CD-ROM
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Editor review

Better late than never

I know what you're thinking. "What is he doing reviewing a game that's almost five years old?" If you've been following the mood in my recent reviews (*cough* FFX *cough*) and in our discussions in the old forum, you'd know that I'm unhappy with the direction that RPGs are heading towards today. So what's the cure for this kind of discontent? Return to your roots. Return to the things that make you happy! This came in the form of Suikoden II. For those of you not in the know, Suikoden II was released back in 1999 along with Driver and Star Ocean 2 for the original Playstation. I can vividly remember that time because it was when I bought Star Ocean 2 and was enlightened forever. Heck, I can even remember standing in line at the Funcoland in Southland Mall and looking at the Recent Releases whiteboard where it announced Suikoden II's release. Now I'm not here to discuss my reasons for choosing Star Ocean over Suikoden, instead I am here to praise the game for providing an experience not easily duplicated. Having never played the original Suikoden, this review will represent a "first impression" approach, so I will not compare it directly to its predecessor.

Unlike many RPGs, the Suikoden series is rich with history and background. Even though the series has only had a few games, the story is undoubtedly one of its biggest strengths. It's going to be difficult for me to make any sense out of the game without first explaining some of the background, so please, bear with me. The series is loosely based on the classic Chinese novel, Shui Hu Zhuan (Water Margin, Outlaws of the Marsh) in that it uses the same idea of the 108 Stars of Destiny. In the game, gathering all 108 stars is essential to victory during conflict, which is why the series boasts tons of playable characters. Before discussing the story, I will list the major nations involved in the Suikoden world. There is the Highland Kingdom, The City-State of Jowston; which is made up of an alliance between several cities sharing the same continent, The Holy Kingdom of Harmonia, The Toran Republic, Zexen, and the Island Nations. The latter two have very little exposure in the series, however. In the first Suikoden, the Gate Rune Wars took place and the hero, Tir McDohl led the Toran Liberation Army to victory against the Scarlet Moon Empire. The Jowston City-State engaged in conflict against the Scarlet Moon Empire as well, but ended up losing the territory they had taken over. This sets the stage for the second game. After suffering crushing defeats, the Jowston City-State begins to break apart and distrust becomes rampant. It is this distrust that gives one of the neighbors of the Jowston City-State, the Highland empire, the signal to begin their move to expand their empire and take over the entire continent.

Now Suikoden II's story begins to pick up. The story revolves around the two major characters, Riou and Jowy. All of the events are seen through their eyes and are affected by their actions. In the beginning, they are patriotic Highlanders who join the Unicorn Youth Brigade to aid in the war effort. At the very start of the game, the City-State has signed a peace treaty with the Highland Kingdom and the war seemed to be coming to an end. Unfortunately, Luca Blight, one of the members of the Highland Royal Family, has a grudge against the City-State, so in order to keep the war raging, he orchestrates the massacre of the Unicorn Brigade by his own troops disguised as State soldiers. Needless to say,the brutal slaughter of innocent teenagers was more than enough to rekindle the conflict. Luckily for Riou and Jowy, they narrowly escape the killing and the Dunan Unification War begins. Keep in mind that this is only the beginning of the game! I refuse to say more because the story gets better as the game progresses. Riou later reunites with his sister Nanami and the three find themselves in the middle of a full scale war. (Note: I list the hero's name as Riou for uniformity. You actually get to name him yourself, but this is the name he is given in the novels released in Japan.)

Konami also does an amazing job developing the characters. Their fears, inhibitions, joys, and feelings are made known to the gamer and this helps us connect with them better. Their world is at war and you can feel the apprehension, which enriches the game's atmosphere. Since the three main characters are kids, they don't want to be war heroes, but their lineage and their fate keeps them from escaping. By the end of the game, the characters feel so real that you have trouble believing that it is all finally over. Hell, I haven't felt this way since I played Final Fantasy VII and Star Ocean! It's all very difficult to explain in words because you must truly experience this to know it. This is the very definition of character development and I couldn't ask for more.

Suikoden II's graphics are somewhat of a mixed bag. Some might say it's a welcome throwback to the better days of the 16-bit era and some may say it's a step back from the time's standards. Unlike Star Ocean 2 or Final Fantasy 8, Suikoden II does not use pre-rendered backdrops for the game's locations. Instead, it uses old fashioned 2D sprites for practically everything with the exception of the battle scenes. During the battle scenes, your characters' sprites are placed on a 3D background and the sprites simply perform their actions. When Runes are used in the battle, the spell animations are illustrated with basic 3D effects like rays, shapes, and colored lighting. The combat sprites are the only things I had a problem with, they look very pixellated and they look almost like a smear of colors when the camera zooms in during critical hits. Having played Star Ocean 2, I can't help but compare the two; with Star Ocean coming out victorious by a wide margin. While some may dislike the 16-bit era visuals, I enjoyed them immensely. There's just that charm to 16-bit that never ceases to flatter me. The character sprites are very well made (especially since there's 108+ of them!) and the locations are just beautiful. It may be different strokes for different folks when it comes to the graphics, but this is proof that state-of-the-art visuals don't make a game, no matter the genre.

There's not much to say about the sounds except that they do their job. They're far from stellar as some of the effects can sound as if they were recorded with a cassette player. This doesn't bother me much since it is only evident during the battles, so it does not detract from the experience at all. The music on the other hand, is some of the best I've heard since Final Fantasy 6 and 7. The battle themes are amazing, especially the Neclord battle theme, which is an unusual mix of Techno and classical Bach! Some of the city songs are great as well, tracks such as "If You Listen", "Kyaro", and "Teo's Manor" are incredible to listen to. The ending theme "La Passione Commuove La Storia" is almost indescribable. It's entirely in Italian, but if you translate the lyrics into English, I am sure you will be inspired. The soundtrack does what any good soundtrack should do: touch your mind, heart, and soul. Though the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-ish flavor of some of the tracks may not appeal to everyone, they add a good amount of diversity to the package.

The gameplay is where the Suikoden series really shines. There's so much to say about it that it can't possibly fit in one paragraph! Unlike traditional RPGs, the series adds a few modes of play that are unique to its universe. In addition to the usual battle mode, there's also the war mode and the duel mode. Since the Suikoden world revolves around war, it's a no-brainer that a separate mode is included for it. The War mode is nowhere as complex as Romance of the Three Kingdoms or even Advance Wars; it's more or less a spiced up game of chess. You have your infantry and your cavalry units which are allowed to move a certain amount of squares in the field, with the cavalry having the ability to move the most (for obvious reasons). Depending on which characters you have in a certain unit, your troops will be able to perform special actions such as healing, spellcasting, archery, critical hits, etc. Each unit also has an Attack and Defense statistic, which, as far as I know, has no effect on a battle's outcome. Some units with a ton of attack often fail to damage even the weakest of units and vice-versa. This mode definitely could use some tweaking, not to mention more play since you can't start off a random battle for fun. Then there's the Duel Mode, where the main character has to battle another character mano a mano, without healing or spells. It looks like a regular battle except only two characters are on screen and you are given three options: Attack, Defend, and Wild Attack. These battles can be very invigorating, especially since the opponent occasionally slings insults at you. Unfortunately, the Duels are reserved for special characters only, hence duels are very rare. The regular battle mode is pretty self-explanatory. You can have a party of six and you can either fight, defend, use a rune, or do a Unite attack. The Unite attacks are special attacks that can be performed by two or more people (usually characters that have some kind of relation). For example, Riou and Nanami can do the Family ATK, which is basically a double team on an a single opponent, resulting in double damage (Interesting note: sometimes Nanami slacks off during the attack and has a picnic instead, which ends up healing her after the attack). The battlefield is split into the front and rear ranks, which adds a level of complexity because only a handful of characters can attack from the rear and only ranged characters or spellcasters can attack the rear rank.

Another feature of the game's unique gameplay is the 108 Stars of Destiny. While the game doesn't force you to find all 108 characters, it's a good way of getting the player to go out and explore the world. Just like in real life, you will meet a bevy of people in your travels and if you're lucky, you can get them to join your cause. Some characters join with little or no effort at all while others require some special action or item that will sway their decision. All 108 characters are totally unique, in addition to having their own sprite and avatar, they also have their own personality and style. Not all 108 characters are usable in your party, some lend their skills in your castle (which we'll discuss later) or during war skirmishes. Over 70 of the 108 characters can be used in your personal party. Such a huge number of oddballs adds a degree of customizability to each player's game, since some people will undoubtedly have different tastes in their party members' personalities. The purpose of the 108 characters is often debated because as opposed to the original game (or so I'm told), the reason for the existence of 108 characters is never really explained. Nevertheless, I appreciated this feature because it makes the world feel alive and it is another addition to the atmosphere (this IS a war, after all. Why shouldn't people volunteer their services?).

Much like Breath of Fire II, the player is also given a base of operations. If you can recall, Breath of Fire II gives you a small village to build up as you progress through the game. In Suikoden II, you are given a castle that grows as you recruit more and more members. The castle serves as your base of operations in the war and it includes everything from a bath house to minigames. What's more important is that it matures along with you. When you first acquire the castle, you only have two floors and the hallways are fairly empty. After recruiting more characters, it balloons all the way to five floors and people from all over the land are hanging around your many rooms and hallways. The castle is the nexus where all of your characters gather and you can speak to all of them and see what they're up to or you can play a minigame and win prizes. One minigame that stood out was the Iron Chef-like tournaments, where the army chef, Hai Yo battles against his rivals to gain recipes and spread his philosophy of cooking. It's almost as if the castle is an entire game unto itself, so it beefs up the the hours of gameplay by a hefty amount.

With all of these incredible features, you'd think the game was perfect, but sadly, that isn't the case. One of the game's major faults is its translation. The script is not badly written by any means; it's very humorous and fitting, but it's laden with errors that are simply unforgivable. Konami's rush to get the game on the shelves on time resulted in the WORST translation I've ever come across by far. Character names are misspelled so frequently, that it makes it hard to remember the correct spelling. Viktor is mispelled as Victor and Han Cunningham was referred to as Hal Cunningham, so on and so forth. Common grammar errors such as missing plurals and punctuation marks also occur frequently. Then there was this woman in Greenhill that said that the city's mayor (who is a also woman, mind you) was dreamy! I don't care how much you admire a person, you don't say they're dreamy unless they are of the opposite sex. It's amazing how it was even possible for the plot to be revealed with so much glaring errors. Seriously, this is about the only thing that detracted from the entire experience and it's enough to destroy the game's near-perfect atmosphere.

Even with the dismal translation, Suikoden II was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had the pleasure of having. I can't for the life of me figure out why I missed this game back in 1999. It's proof of the fact that truly great games remain this way no matter the time period. Graphics are replaced every few months, but the gameplay and the experience remain eternal. It's a shame the game only lasted for 38 hours; if it was possible, I'd love to be trapped in the Suikoden world. Unfortunately, you may have a hard time finding a copy of the game, since it's been out of print for years. About the only place you can find a copy is Ebay, where they sell for an average of $50-plus dollars. Is it worth the money? Yes. I'm kicking myself for not securing a copy when it came out. Consider me a Suikoden fan from this day forth and I can't wait to play the third offering.

Highs: Engrossing storyline, charming graphics, enormous amount of character development, immersive atmosphere, great soundtrack.
Lows: Graphics are hit or miss, poor localization, sound could use some work.
Bottom Line: A must have for any RPG gamer, no excuses. If you find that you can't get past the minor shortcomings, then you are a cynic.
Verdict:
 
94
Avatar Reviewed by Toma-kun
December 31, 2008
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A mother who crashed her car into a tree fatally injuring her toddler daughter had taken cocaine just hours before getting behind the wheel, a court heard. Danielle Parsons was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving before her sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, West Midlands Police said. Her two-year-old little girl Esmee O'Reilly, who was on the car's back seat, died in hospital after the crash in Gibbins Road in Selly Oak, Birmingham, last year. Esmee O'Reilly died in hospital after the crash in Gibbins Road in Selly Oak Following what police described as a "complex" investigation, officers found out how the 23-year-old, of Castle Road, Weoley Castle, Birmingham had made the "grave mistake" of taking drugs before driving. A family friend was also seriously injured, but has since recovered. Parsons was also told at her sentencing on Thursday that she would serve two years in jail after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving, to run concurrently. She was also banned from driving for five-and-a-half years.pre bonded hair Sergeant Steve Newbury, from the force's collision investigation unit, said: "Parsons made the grave mistake of using cocaine that day and then put her family and friends in danger by driving under its influence with them as passengers. "Her young daughter suffered the ultimate consequence of that decision and lost her life and she will have to live with the knowledge that she caused her death. "This is the most graphic example that drug driving can kill and change people's lives forever." He added: "I would like to thank the hard work and determination of the collision investigation team to get to the truth and establish all the evidence which has led to this successful prosecution and the dedicated work of the family liaison team in their support of the family. "Our thoughts remain with them as they continue to come to terms with their loss." Speaking at the time of the crash, the little girl's uncle, Brendan O'Reilly, paid tribute to his "happy-go-lucky" niece. He said: "She was always smiling, and never stopped smiling - she was a happy-go-lucky little girl." Mr O'Reilly said he last saw his niece the night before the fatal crash on April 30, when she was her usual happy self. "She had beautiful blue eyes," he added. Following the crash, members of the public including a medical student tried tirelessly to resuscitate the little girl at the roadside, but all in vain. Danielle Parsons was jailed for five years after admitting causing the death of her passenger two-year-old daughter Esmee O'Reilly by dangerous driving (West Midlands Police/PA) Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.

She treated American television viewers to her bright and bubbly personality when she appeared on James Corden's The Late Late Show, on Wednesday night. But supermodel Cara Delevingne, 23, may have had bigger things on her mind as she continued to flash diamond ring on THAT finger amid rumours she is betrothed to singer St Vincent. The British model rocked a navy Puma tracksuit with white stripes and a plain lightweight top for her trip, ensuring she would fly in comfort. Scroll down for video Jetsetting: Cara Delevingne, 23, continued to sport a diamond ring on her engagement finger as she arrived at LAX after her appearance on James Corden's The Late Late Show on Wednesday night That's a Bobby Dazzler: She wore the huge rock on her engagement finger She wore matching footwear in the form of pristine white kicks and injected a splash of colour into the ensemble with a bright pink beanie. Cara sparked rumours of an engagement back in February when she was apparently seen proposing to girlfriend in Paris. She was then seen sporting a giant diamond on her ring finger whilst promoting Suicide Squad on Monday. Sharing her co-star Jared Leto's snap on Instagram, the 23-year-old model turned actress made no reference to her dazzling bling, but pointedly posed with her hand the focus of the snap. On Wednesday night, she wore a pair of black Ray Ban's, despite it being pitch black outside. She looked calm and relaxed as she sauntered with a black bag adorned with metallic studs over her shoulder. Cara coolly raised her hand to wave to the cameras as she arrived at the airport flanked by a burly security guard. Dressed down: The British model rocked a navy Puma tracksuit with white stripes and a plain lightweight top for her trip ensuring she would fly in comfort Style queen: She wore matching footwear in the form of pristine white kicks and injected a splash of colour into the ensemble with a bright pink beanie Ready for take off: She looked calm and relaxed as she sauntered with a black bag adorned with metallic studs over her shoulder Ring bling: The sparkler on her ring finger has led fans to believe she's engaged to girlfriend St Vincent In safe hands: Cara coolly raised her hand to wave to the cameras as she arrived at the airport flanked by a burly security guard The beauty spectacularly won a three-way game of Drop The Mic earlier in the evening during an appearance on The Late Late Show. The 23-year-old was up against the host James Corden and Nerve actor Dave Franco and rapped that she'd 'hooked up with hotter girls' than both of them combined. Corden, 37, launched the verbal slam down by saying he meant to book Franco's brother James, because Dave 'isn't famous enough'. Tease: Cara continued to fuel rumours she is engaged as she sported a giant diamond on her ring finger in an Instagram snap promoting Suicide Squad on Monday Cute couple: Cara, 23 , is believed to have begun dating St Vincent - real name Annie Clark - 16 months ago, and has notoriously kept quiet about her love life whilst continuing to fuel engagement rumours Proposal in Paris?: Cara sparked engagement rumours earlier this year after she was seen getting down on one knee at the Eiffel Tower with St Vincent at her side To Delevingne, who is just testing her acting chops, he said: 'When I see you try to act it makes me want to kill myself'. 'You'll kill yourself, is that a fact? I've never heard a better reason for me to act,' Delevingne shot back. Franco told Delevingne she was: 'Trying to hide an accent thicker than her eyebrows' and he called Corden a 'less talented, much fatter Mr Bean'. 'I actually like Mr Bean so…' replied Corden, before comparing James Franco to Marky Mark but Dave to Donnie Wahlberg. In the blue corner! Cara took part in a three-way game of Drop The Mic on Wednesday on The Late Late Show Multiple talents: The model and actress also showed she has some rapping skills 'The only funny thing you've been in is Alison Brie,' he quipped, referring to Franco's 33-year-old fiancee. 'You're only famous now because your older sibling's awesome,' added the British TV host, 37. Delevingne, who is currently starring in Suicide Squad, then chimed in to tell Corden he 'looks like a thumb'. Popular segment: James Corden took a crack at Cara during the popular segment His turn: Dave Franco rapped that Corden was a 'less talented, much fatter Mr Bean' Towering presence: Cara referenced her towering height as she noted that Franco was shorter than her Adding: 'Your Carpool Karaoke is purely down to luck, Stevie Wonder is blind and even he can see you suck'. The Paper Towns star then bit Franco with: 'You're just like blood, you're thicker than water and you destroyed Scrubs'. Her winning line was: 'You're both shorter than me and I'll think that you'll find I've hooked up with hotter girls than both of you combined'. Franco then hit Corden, telling him he was merely a 'fat and bloated James Bond'. Dropped it: The English supermodel was declared the winner and dropped her mic After the brutal singing showdown they sat down for a cordial chat. 'I'm feeling under eyebrow-ed,' remarked Corden, as he surveyed his bushy-faced guests. Franco discussed his home wife with Get Hard actress Alison Brie. Big brows: Cara and Dave both brought their eyebrow game to the show 'It's usually the two of us, in bed with our 17 pound cats, watching a documentary or the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Part 2,' said the feline-obsessed actor. On not being an adrenaline junkie anymore the 21 Jump Street actor said: 'I've got to the stage where I don't need to do dumb stuff anymore'. 'We're all getting older…everyone has a couple of moments when they're like 'how did we ever survive childhood?' he explained. Bushy face: Corden applied bushy eyebrows to fit in 'Was it your brother, what did he do?'Joked Corden. 'They'd zip me up in a sleeping bag and tickle torture me,' he admitted.remy hair extensions As a dare he got on the drum kit of Corden's house band. 'Never done this before…It's going to be great,' he smiled, before he butchered the band's work. Corden's musical guest was Swedish newcomer Leon. New movies: Cara was promoting Suicide Squad while Dave was pushing Nerve

She sparked rumours of an engagement back in February when she was apparently seen proposing to girlfriend St Vincent in Paris. And Cara Delevingne continued to fan the flames as she sported a giant diamond on her ring finger whilst promoting Sucide Squad on Monday. Sharing her co-star Jared Leto's snap on Instagram, the 23-year-old model turned actress made no reference to her dazzling bling, but pointedly posed with her hand the focus of the snap. Scroll down for video Tease: Cara Delevingne continued to fuel rumours she is engaged to St Vincent as she sported a giant diamond on her ring finger in an Instagram snap promoting Sucide Squad on Monday Clad in a navy jumper and baby blue trousers, the starlet was seen reclining on a private jet after attending Comic-Con on Saturday with Jared and Margot Robbie. Cara, who is believed to have begun dating St Vincent 16 months ago, has notoriously kept quiet about her love life, but previously credited the singer with making her 'so happy'. MailOnline have contacted a representative for Cara for comment. Cute couple: Cara, 23 , is believed to have begun dating St Vincent - real name Annie Clark - 16 months ago, and has notoriously kept quiet about her love life whilst continuing to fuel engagement rumours Gushing over her girlfriend - real name Annie Clark - Cara told Vogue: 'I think that being in love with my girlfriend is a big part of why I'm feeling so happy with who I am these days. 'And for those words to come out of my mouth is actually a miracle.'perruques cheveux naturels Speaking about coming out as bisexual she added: 'My sexuality is not a phase. I am who I am.' Proposal in Paris?: Cara sparked engagement rumours earlier this year after she was seen getting down on one knee at the Eiffel Tower with St Vincent at her side Cara sparked engagement rumours earlier this year after she was seen getting down on one knee at the Eiffel Tower with St Vincent at her side. An eyewitness told The Sun: 'As my group got out of the lift I could see Cara on bended knee, clearly proposing to her girlfriend. 'It was really touching. Cara obviously likes to do things traditionally.' The tourist added it wasn't clear if Cara was joking or was serious, but St Vincent was seen flying back from France with a giant diamond ring. Jet set style: Cara's ring snap was taken after she jetted back from Comic Con in California with her Suicide Squad co-stars Jared Leto and Margot Robbie. She plays Enchantress in the upcoming movie

Cara's ring snap came after she attended Comic Con in California to discuss the hotly anticipated Suicide Squad - where she plays Enchantress. Clad in a navy cropped jumper with aquamarine stripes, the Vogue covergirl looked effortlessly glamorous whilst simultaneously flaunting her enviably toned abs. Ensuring her neverending legs were also on display, she donned a pair of baby blue trousers that aided in elongating her lithe limbs and hugging her pert posterior. Adding yet more height to her statuesque frame, she wore a pair of towering patent black stiletto heels as she teetered along the platform. Glamourzon: She decided to let her modelling career take a backseat to focus on acting. But Cara still looked every inch the pin up girl as she headed into Comic Con in California on Saturday Check her out! Cara - who plays Enchantress in the upcoming movie - certainly lived up to her character as she dazzled whilst making her way to the stage Leggy lady! Ensuring her neverending legs were also on display, she donned a pair of baby blue trousers, that aided in elongating her lithe limbs and hugging her pert posterior Terrifying: Cara portrays June Moone and her villainous alter ego Enchantress in the upcoming film Wearing her golden locks loose and tousled, the Paper Towns star oozed glamour, whilst her glossy tresses were styled in a centre parting to frame her pretty face. Keeping with her colour scheme, the blonde beauty also bore a slick of navy eye shadow that made her hazel coloured peepers pop. Ensuring her bold trousers were the main focus of her ensemble, she kept her accessories simple with just a myriad of silver rings acting as the glitz in her outfit. Ouch! While the outfit looked great, it seems Cara was suffering from some sort of reaction Can't hold her back" The model turned film star did not let her hives slow her down, with Cara making sure to sign as many autographs as possible While the outfit looked great, it seems Cara was suffering from some sort of allergic reaction. The cropped top revealed a number of angry, red welts all over her midsection. The model turned film star did not let her hives slow her down, with Cara making sure to sign as many autographs as possible. Signature looks: The oddball star pulled some classic Cara faces as she tried to throw a pen back to a fan The oddball star pulled some classic Cara faces as she tried to throw a pen back to a fan. The star clearly missed her target and looked horrified as she threw the pen up into the air. Cara portrays June Moone and her villainous alter ego Enchantress in the upcoming film.perruques cheveux Besties: Cara and Margot kept themselves very amused by posing up for silly selfies In a teaser clip released on Wednesday, showed the model looking virtually unrecognisable as she transformed into character. The 36-second clip released on Wednesday opened with June standing in a grey suit with her blonde hair in a bun as she whispers an incantation. June placed her milky hand on the desk and it was clasped by an emerging all-black hand that turned her watch and suit sleeve into dark tattoos and a chain bracelet. Dangerous driving: Cara found herself behind the wheel and put on an energetic display The transformation finished quickly as Enchantress dramatically looked up with her stringy jet black hair and burning red eyes. Suicide Squad stars Will Smith as Deadshot, Jared Leto as Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. The Warner Bros Pictures film is due out on August 5 in the US and UK. Making the rounds: Cara ensured she spent some time with the adoring fans outside the event Trying to focus: The starlet couldn't keep a straight face as she signed comic books for fans

She impressed audiences with her gorgeous legs as she flirted with Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. And Margot Robbie’s pins were on display as she strolled around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono, on Wednesday. The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective. Scroll down for video Stepping out: Margot Robbie’s trim pins were on display as she wafted around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono on Wednesday The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC. Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun. The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan. All smiles: Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun High fashion: The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective Good taste: The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands. Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night. Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses. Flawles: The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan Going natural: She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands Looking her best: Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power. Others sitting at promising odds to star as the much-desired female character are American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who sits at 22/1, with Brit Emma Watson further down the line at 40/1. The Gold Coast girl found her big break in 2013 opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as the feisty and seductive, Naomi. Plenty to smile about: Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses Adoring fans: Margot caused a stir with passersby as she stepped out in NYC Well made: The beautiful garment had an elaborate rose pattern on its back More recently, she starred alongside Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend Of Tarzan as Jane.lace front wigs As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn. Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green. Next big thing: Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the Bond role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power . In demand actress: As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn Following in footsteps: Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green Although the buzz around who will land the role of Bond girl is growing, the film is not expected to be released until at least 2018. Producer Barbara Broccoli has two other projects firmly underway and is said to be keen to tempt Daniel Craig into reprising his role as the titular character for the fifth time. Holding her own: Her breakout role was as DiCaprio's feisty wife, Naomi, on Wolf of Wall Street, which her portrayal earned her international acclaim - and showed off her gorgeous legs to the world

Next week will see the conclusion of the 12th season of The Bachelorette, as Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher gets engaged to either Jordan Rodgers or Robby Hayes. And according to a new report, there's set to be a dramatic break-up ahead of the romantic proposal. Us Weekly claims that JoJo comes to the difficult decision of choosing between the two suitors after one of them makes a big mistake with her parents Joseph and Soraya. Family matters: Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher apparently picks her fiance in next week's Bachelorette finale after one of the men makes a big mistake with her parents Who will it be?: Jordan Rodgers (L) and Robby Hayes are the two men left in the competition, and one of them allegedly gets sent packing after failing to ask JoJo's parents for her hand in marriage The runner-up gets dumped after failing to ask the 25-year-old's parents' for her hand in marriage, and during the emotional rejection, JoJo confesses that she wanted things to turn out differently. 'JoJo was sobbing,' a source told Us Weekly. 'She told him, “I wanted it to be you.”' The insider added: 'It was important to JoJo that the guys get her parents’ permission before proposing. JoJo viewed it as disrespectful that he didn’t.' Us Weekly claims that JoJo's family liked both of the finalists, but thought that the man she eventually picks was better suited to her. Favourite from the start: Jordan received the First Impression Rose and his relationship with JoJo has gone from strength to strength ever since Not true: The 27-year-old former quarterback has denied that he cheated on his last girlfriend 'Everyone thought he was husband material,' a source said. 'Later, they told JoJo that they liked the other man too, but they thought the second would be more loyal and a better fit.' And speaking about the family's meeting with the runner-up, the insider revealed: 'After he left, Soraya said she thought he was a player.' It seems that JoJo did make the right decision however, as she is apparently still very happily engaged to the winner. She likes what she sees: JoJo has also fallen in love with former competitive swimmer Robby, 27 Denying the rumours: Robby has refuted claims that he dumped his girlfriend to appear on the show Former quarterback Jordan, 27, has been a favourite to win the show from night one, when JoJo presented him with the First Impression Rose.cosplay wigs Show secrets: Us Weekly revealed details of the dramatic finale And while on Monday's episode of the show he was seen telling the real estate developer that asking her father's permission to propose would be very important to him, a clip for the finale showed JoJo asking if he is ready to get down on one knee. Both of the finalists have faced rumours about past relationships, with Jordan's ex Brittany Farrar claiming that they broke up because she cheated on him. He denied this to JoJo on the show. The footballer is estranged from his famous NFL star brother Aaron, whose girlfriend Olivia Munn is close pals with Jordan's ex-girlfriend. Aaron finally addressed his younger brother speaking about their fraught relationship on the show during an interview with WISN on Tuesday. 'As far as those kinds of things go, I've always found that it's a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters, so I'm not going to speak on those things,' he said. 'But I wish him well in the competition.' Meanwhile a friend of Robby's ex-girlfriend Hope Higginbotham has claimed that he dumped her in order to go on The Bachelorette, something which he denied during last week's hometown dates. The Bachelorette finale followed by the After The Final Rose special will air on ABC on Monday. She made the right choice: JoJo is apparently still happily engaged to the winner, who popped the question in May. The finale airs on ABC on Monday