After an incredibly popular run on kickstarter, one that saw it become the top backed game of 2020, we finally have a chance to get just a glimpse of the Eiyuden Chronicle with the release of Rising. This prequel to Hundred Heroes sets out to give a little back story into the characters and set the table for the big release. Developer Rabbit & Bear, comprised of Suikoden veterans, is aiming to bring in fans of that series and newcomers as well, to this tale. The big question is, does the prequel get us excited for things to come or not. Find out below with our Eiyuden Chronicle Rising Review.
New Neveah Gets a Face Lift
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising puts players into the shoes of young adventurer CJ, who has flocked to the town of New Neveah in search of treasure. The town, under new leadership, has opened up the mines near by for those willing to brave them for treasure, but with a cost. As CJ arrives in the town, with no money in hand, she learns that to gain access to the mines, she must perform tasks around town. Each time one is completed, CJ will earn a stamp and when she gets enough, she will be allow to go treasure hunting. This is the basic crux of the game and story, as CJ and companions must help around town and then search for rune lenses, especially humungous ones.
As you start to complete more and more quests, you are then asked to help build up the town for all the incoming adventurer’s. That means going into the Forest, Quarry, and Runebarrows to complete errands that the townspeople have given you. As you turn them in, new buildings will start to go up and existing ones will carry more inventory. Seeing as questing is the main component of the game, it’s a little disappointing that the questing system is extremely outdated and cumbersome. In town there is a board where you can view all quests available, only you can’t accept them there. No, you have to find where the person, accept it, complete it, and then return to that person to turn it in. A simple and more streamlined approached would have been nice here, instead of the back and forth all over town that we got.
2.5D, Side scrolled, and Ready for Action
Outside of the town building, you will be spending a lot of your time fighting your way through the various locations of the game. Combat is handled in 2.5D fashion, side scrolling you to infinity. It’s a definite oddity going in, especially if you are thinking as a Suikoden fan and expecting some classic turn based RPG goodness, but it’s not a bad thing, In fact, it’s kept rather tight and clean, with your party consisting of three characters, but only a single playable at any time. Each character has but a single attack and a special attack (which I honestly forgot existed most of the game), and it’s on the player to switch between the three as the need arises. It’s made super simple by the fact that each character is called out by a single face button, so square for CJ, triangle for another, etc. The goal here is to chain these switches between characters to created a chain link attack. You can also switch it to an even simpler mode, where you simply press a single button and the game auto attacks and auto switches characters.
There are only about 10 main enemies you see throughout the game, though in each area you see them, they might have a different magic affinity, so it can get a tiny bit repetitive. You will also end up fighting them a lot, as there is a lot of back and forth traversal through the locations, similar to inside the town. Thankfully, once you clear an area, it remains clear until you leave the dungeon completely. Where it really shines though is with the boss battles, which are again fairly straight forward and simple, but still enjoyable as you learn attack patterns to take them down. These bosses also usually take up the entire screen and are very colorful and full of motion. After you complete the game, you can unlock hard mode, which adds some difficulty, but never enough to scare you off.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Review – Final Verdict
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a good game that introduces you to a bright and colorful cast of characters and the world they inhabit. It’s short and sweet, with the main story missions costing me 10 hours, but it leaves just enough of an impression without overstaying its welcome. I do worry that it’s releasing a bit too early compared to the main entry and with a game focused around questing, it’s so disappointing how badly the questing system and UI is setup. There is also a lot of needless backtracking that could have been avoided. All that being said, it’s a good start and for those Suikoden fans out there, it brings out a lot of nostalgia and moments that feel like Suikoden. Great start from Rabbit & Bear, we can’t wait to see what’s next.