Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, a non secular successor to the legendary Suikoden collection of Japanese role-playing video games, blew previous its funding objectives on Kickstarter two years in the past, elevating a whopping 4.5 million USD and shattering all its stretch objectives within the course of. It’s protected to say that many have a powerful urge for food for the sort of recreation director Yoshitaka Murayama creates, which made it all of the extra bothersome when Hundred Heroes, like many crowdfunded initiatives earlier than it, was delayed – this time till 2023.
Enter Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, a derivative/prequel that guarantees to tide us over till the principle course (though there are query marks over whether or not it is going to make it to Swap in any respect). Nevertheless, in the event you’re on the lookout for a JRPG, look elsewhere; Rising trades Hundred Heroes’ turn-based battles for a side-scrolling motion journey steeped in town-building mechanics with a little bit Metrodvania thrown in for good measure.
Eiyuden Chonicle: Rising stars a trio: CJ, a naive treasure-hunter on a coming-of-age quest, Garoo, a grizzled kangaroo-man mercenary (sure, actually – he has a pouch during which he shops his large sword), and Isha, a teenage lady with magical powers thrust into mayorship over the city of New Nevaeh. What begins as a treasure hunt shortly turns into one thing way more mysterious as these three uncover the secrets and techniques of the Runebarrows, a posh of ruins beneath New Nevaeh crammed with untold riches and numerous monsters.
To discover the Runebarrows, and some different harmful locales, you’ll management the trio on a very two-dimensional airplane. Switching between every character occurs with the press of a single button. CJ assaults with quick axes. Garoo swings a sluggish, large sword. And Isha fires off magical projectiles from a distance. Individually, every character feels underwhelming, however by switching characters mid-combo you’ll be able to hyperlink their assaults collectively to rack up large injury.
It’s a easy system that doesn’t present a lot depth till many hours in. You see, Rising can also be a town-building recreation, which means CJ takes on quests from New Nevaeh’s residents to construct up the smithy, the armoury, the tavern, the apothecary, the farm, and extra. Upgrading these buildings in flip improves skills and introduces new gadgets. CJ’s sprint extends in distance and her primary assault features further hits. Garoo learns a charged leap, and Isha’s teleport ability lasts longer, and so on.
We discovered it satisfying to construct up the trio’s repertoire, but two irritating points with this gameplay loop shortly reared their ugly heads. First, serving to residents quantities to very simple and tedious fetch quests. For instance, Hogan the alligator-man requested us to seek out the tavern proprietor as she hadn’t picked up her order from his store but. So we hopped on over to the tavern, spoke to the proprietor, after which hustled again to Hogan for our reward – and that was it. That was all the quest, and few of them are extra concerned than this. Go into the forest to seek out three items of sunshine lumber to improve this store right here, discover some snow pelts to unlock extra bonuses for the inn over there.
This by no means ends. We dreaded getting back from a main-story quest as a result of every time a horde of egregiously boring facet quests popped up, but the promise of substances upgrades compelled us to simply accept them. This dispelled any satisfaction we would have had watching New Nevaeh develop from a city ruined by an earthquake right into a bustling hub of adventurers – and that is with out mentioning that we had no say in how New Nevaeh grew. Very like the facet quests, there isn’t any nuance or selection concerned; New Nevaeh merely builds itself. Some significant decision-making – whether or not to improve the farm or the inn with scarce assets, for instance – would have added some a lot wanted depth.
The second challenge stems from how lengthy Rising takes to get going. Numerous time passes earlier than CJ and associates unlock sufficient strategies to make fight really participating. It took about 4 hours of play earlier than CJ might goal monsters above her with an upward assault, and about six hours earlier than we might discover a dungeon with out interruption for greater than quarter-hour. Very often, one thing blocked progress – say, an elemental barrier – which means a trek again to city, a chat with a handful of the colorful forged, after which all the best way again to the dungeon to smash by way of the barrier with the precise ingredient outfitted. Not lengthy after this is able to occur once more, dragging the start hours of the sport to a crawl. Plentiful fast-travel factors helped alleviate the irritating backtracking solely a lot.
And that is the place Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising rewards these with saintly ranges of endurance. After round seven or eight hours, the sport loosened up. Whereas the fetch quests by no means stopped, the fight advanced right into a satisfying mixture of chain assaults and dodging. Mild platforming with minor Metroidvania-esque mechanics inspired us to discover additional for uncommon assets. And the story stunned us with a number of intelligent twists and a few endearing – if somewhat tacky – characters. We problem you to not develop keen on them by the point the credit roll about 14 hours in. We’re genuinely to see how the story progresses in Hundred Heroes and the place our handful of heroes wind up.
It’s a blessing that, with a lot trekking from New Naeveh to the Runebarrows and again once more (after which once more to catch a fish for a snarky child), Rising shines aesthetically. Some vibrant backdrops body our pixel heroes, not not like the fashion seen in Octopath Traveller and Triangle Technique. Our Swap OLED turned our most well-liked strategy to play as the colourful display actually allowed the sport’s colors to pop. And the soundtrack had sufficient catchy tunes – notably on the town – that set the temper effectively. We discovered ourselves buzzing them once we took a break from being requested to discover a cat someplace inside New Nevaeh for the third time.
Do you take pleasure in ready for public transit within the rain? Might you bear sitting subsequent to a screaming toddler on a transatlantic flight? Do you assume you’d derive pleasure from chopping down bushes within the Nice Forest time and again till you had sufficient mild lumber to fulfil three or 4 requests? In that case, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising has a pleasant little journey hidden beneath a whole lot of tedium only for you. If not, we wouldn’t begrudge you for staying clear and hoping Hundred Heroes doesn’t observe too carefully in its predecessor’s footsteps. This recreation definitely has attraction, but it surely makes you’re employed too exhausting for it.