Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising serves as the prelude & prologue to the upcoming JRPG game Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes which was successfully kickstarted and will be releasing some time in 2023 and has devs from such classics as Suikoden and Castlevania working on its staff. Whilst this prequel game isn’t developed by the same team as the main game it is brought to us by Natsume Atari of Harvest Moon, Wild Guns and Pocky and Rocky, but even though it was created as a Kickstarter stretch goal perk, its actually a fleshed out, fully fledged game in its own right.
This prequel will introduce a portion of the Eiyuden Chronicles cast of characters with its own unique story that will lead into the main story of Hundred Heroes. The story takes place on the continent of Allraan in a small mining town called New Neveah. You control three of the playable characters from the main game, Garoo, CJ and Isha who are drawn to the nearby Runebarrows for treasure, as you rebuild the town that was decimated by an earthquake. Along the way, they’ll resolve disputes between eager adventurers and wary locals who don’t think the Barrow s should be disturbed. And they’ll learn more about each other’s reasons for seeking treasure, deepening their bonds in the process.
The game itself is presented in 2.5D and graphically the game looks very similar in style to Octopath Traveller with its 3D backgrounds and 2D character models. The aesthetic looks absolutely fantastic and its hand-drawn visuals are vibrant and really make it stand out above other similar games. The backgrounds are detailed and the character artwork on their portraits are really stunning. One negative towards the game is there is no spoken dialogue. Its all text based and while this may appeal to old school RPG lovers, it just feels like a big loss in a more modern game. There aren’t even any random “non dialogue” noises when people are talking either, just a lot of text to read through. The music soundtrack itself is ok, it's nothing memorable and you probably won't be replaying one of its tracks on one of your playlists in future. Its more than adequate and fits in with the theme of the game, but it just feels like its treading old ground and going through the motions.
The main gameplay style is as a side-scrolling action RPG with additional town building elements attached. The combat is pretty fast-paced and allows you to instantly switch between the three characters to carry out more powerful combo style attacks. As you progress you unlock new abilities which really bring the combat sections to another level, however at the start of the game it did feel pretty simple until I was able to build my characters up.
The town building side of the game allows you to aid residents in setting up their premises. This then entices more people to come to the town. You need to gather residents with their required materials so they are able to complete their reconstructions but these need to be grinded for through an abundance of fetch quests and these are probably the biggest downside to the game. After a while they become exceedingly tedious which is a shame as it takes away from the interesting aspect of levelling up the various buildings and unfortunately even though they are optional side quests, if you don’t complete them you end up under levelled from where you ideally want to be.
If you’re a fan of the Suikoden game series then this game will really resonate with you. Whilst it is a shorter RPG game at around 12-20 hours in length, it’s a very enjoyable game that serves as a great companion to the upcoming Hundred Heroes and makes me want to spend more time in the world that has been created. The difficulty may seem easy to some people too, but there is a hard mode which is unlocked once you complete the game for the first time, giving you a reason to go back and replay the game with more of a challenge.
Yes this game is slightly repetitive in its mission structure, with a large amount of generic fetch quests thrown in to the mix alongside the main story missions, but this game wasn’t intended to be a long slog of an RPG. Its goal was to draw you into the characters and want to see what happens next and it does its job well. The combination of enjoyable combat, town building and a beautiful aesthetics really make it stand on its own two feet, and with it also being available on Xbox Game Pass, there is literally no reason not to give it a go!
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising was released on 10th May 2022 and is playable on Xbox One, PC and Xbox Series X/S. The game can be purchased HERE for £12.99 and is also available for Xbox Game Pass.
We were provided a copy of the game for this review. Big thanks for that!