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Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Review

Initial release date: March 10 , 2022

Series: Eiyuden Chronicle

Publisher: 505 Games

Engine: Unity

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows

Genres: Role-playing video game, Platform game, Indie game, MORE

Developers: Natsume, NatsumeAtari, Rabbit & Bear Studios Co., Ltd.

"Review Copy Provided By 505 Games"

Originally announced as a kickstarter stretch goal for the spiritual successor to Konami’s Suikoden series, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, Rising was meant to be a prologue to set up the events of Hundred Heroes and establish the world at large. With this being a budget title of only $15 as a digital download and being in a 2D action-adventure RPG platform instead of a JRPG, the question man are curious about is if the game is worth diving into. This review will hopefully answer those questions and more so let’s dive in!

The story of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising kicks off with wandering member of the Scavengers clan of treasure hunters known as CJ who is on her way to New Nevaeh to complete her rite of passage as is the tradition for the Scavengers clan members as they come of age. On her way to New Nevaeh, CJ crosses paths with some bandits looking to rough up traveling merchant Hogan and proceeds to save Hogan and beat up the bandits. Hogan offers to escort CJ to the town which leads CJ to meeting with the acting Mayor of New Nevaeh, Isha, who is a strict (and “rapacious” according to some) leader. Isha has enacted a rule that any adventure looking to treasure hunt in New Nevaeh will require an explorers’ license of which can only be obtained by either helping out the citizens of the town and getting stamps or by paying the fee of 10,000 Baqua. Desperate to get an explorers’ license so that she may search for a lense and explore the Quarry, CJ helps the citizens of the town and goes on to encounter the mysterious Garoo whom she eventually teams up with. As the town is rebuilt and new establishments are built, mysterious events begin to take place and ultimately leads to the destinies of CJ, Isha, and Garoo becoming entwined.

EC: Rising is primarily a side scrolling action-adventure platformer that is also RPG-lite with an experience system and includes crafting and a city building system bound to the bulk of the quests that you get. Now, that’s a lot of different genres mixed into one experience and I’m here to tell you that not all of them are done as effectively or as smoothly as they could’ve been. You will explore dungeons which will have multiple branching paths that will require you to fight monsters as you look various items and artifacts that you gain from defeating monsters, destructible objects in the environments, and treasure chests. Items acquired can be utilized for both the completion of quests given to you by the townsfolk and also the crafting of items and upgrading of weapons and armor. Completing quests not only opens up more of the town but also nets you stamps that can be obtained with a total of 30 stamps which gives you a special something if you go out of your way to get all 30 stamps. Upgrading gear gives your gear new levels as well as gives each character not only stat boosts but also new unique abilities as well which helps with combat and dungeon traversal.

If you’ve played Lost Epic, then the combat here will feel very much at home as the combat starts off really slow and can often feel very floaty. CJ is initially only being able to attack and jump with her Unique Ability being that she can forward and back dash and so the first dungeon, The Great Forest, can feel very stiff as you won’t have much in the way of maneuverability or offensive options. As you progress and level up, you will gain access to the powerful yet slow Garoo (Yes, he’s a one-eyed kangaroo with a massive sword and speaks with a cockney accent) as well as Isha and be able to swap characters mid attack to chain together combos for massive damage. The combat seems simple at first but really begins to open up after the first hour and a half.

So, the part about this game that will turn off a lot of players is the fact that for 60% of your time with the game it will feel like a glorified fetch quest with you going back and forth between town, The Great Forest, and the Quarry. This constant back and forth and having to sit through extensive dialogue (though skippable) that does its job in setting up the stage for the events of the upcoming Hundred Heroes yet can feel like it just drags on and on with you having little opportunity to actually PLAY the game until you’re more than half an hour into the game where you get the chance to go to the first dungeon. I can understand if a lot of people put the game down due to the terrible pacing in the beginning, yet I would encourage you to at least put an hour or two into the game to see how it starts to open up and become much more than it seems.

Graphics and audio wise, EC: Rising is absolutely stunning. The environments are richly detailed from the various areas of New Nevaeh to the lushness of The Great Forest to the dankness of the Quarry. It all looks stunningly gorgeous. The main issue I can see many having is that the animations for the characters are not very animated and seem stilted if you aren’t used to the art style that they developers are going for which is similar to the style used in games like Lost Epic and 13 Sentinels. The music is catchy with many a whimsical tune that you’ll find yourself humming or bopping your head to. Is there anything that will stick with in the way the majority of the Suikoden series OST is? No, and that’s kind of unfortunate.

Is Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising both a worthwhile setup to Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes and is it ultimately a game worth your time? As a fan of the Suikoden series, I will say yes because I can tell that this is game is the building blocks for a grand story to be told in Hundred Heroes, however, I won’t say that everyone will find the game worth the time due to the poor pacing in the first hour of the game. If you’re willing to be patient and work past the incredibly slow first hour, then you will find that the game has some incredible writing, fantastically witty and endearing characters, a very fun and competent gameplay that’s ultimately rewarding, and a generally good time especially for a 15$ game. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a good start to this new spiritual successor of Suikoden and is a game that I recommend that you give a chance.

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