Growing up, I loved Suikoden. I’m not entirely sure why I purchased it but I didn’t regret my choice. The fantastic gameplay, deep story, and array of characters blew me away. Therefore, when its spiritual successor was announced, my heart skipped a beat. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is the first instalment of what should be an amazing series.
Developed by Natsume Atari and published by 505 Games, this is a side-scrolling action RPG. What’s more, there are real-time combat, platforming, and Metroidvania elements. Therefore, it ticks plenty of boxes and has plenty of elements to play with. Alongside this, it has been developed by some of the original Suikoden team. Consequently, it’s bound to be good.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is witty and charming.
When your hopes are high, it is easy to have them dashed. Fortunately, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is witty, charming, and instantly captivating. Its plot is harrowing, amusing, and a tad unrealistic, but that matters not. Thanks to its deep story, interesting lore, and its blend of characters, you’ll desperately want to keep playing.
You control CJ. She is a sassy teenager who is cocky and gifted, but desperate to please. She claims to be a scavenger, but in reality, she’s a treasure hunter. With her clan honour at stake, she ventures to New Nevaeh in search of treasure and adventure. Luckily, for her, she finds both while becoming a useful ally to the townsfolk. What’s more, she forms strong bonds with other adventurers. These friendships are tested as they team up to complete quests and become wealthy.
The plot plays a key role.
In some titles, the story takes a backseat. Fortunately, though, in Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, it plays a pivotal role in character development and gameplay progression. Therefore, it was impressive that it was so well-written and easy to digest. Furthermore, it explores an array of emotions, subtly.
The gameplay is split into two key areas. There are interactions with the townsfolk and the dungeon exploration. Even though they are unique, they are intrinsically linked. The town desperately needs your help. Businesses need to be built and quests must be completed. Accordingly, you are happy to help as they’ll pay you and give you better equipment. Subsequently, the blend of side missions and the main story is perfectly balanced. You never tire of completing jobs or collecting materials. After all, every task earns you XP and your party thrives.
Quite frankly, the town is a mess. If this wasn’t bad enough, the mayor is milking every adventurer dry. New Nevaeth hides a wealth of treasure in its mines. However, the mayor exploits this by charging the adventurers for a permit. Luckily, if you can’t afford it, you can earn stamps. Complete a task, earn a stamp, and eventually, you’ll get your permit.
The jobs you undertake vary from fetch quests, resource gathering, finding Intel, and more. They are rarely challenging, but completing each one improves the town. This allows you to explore new shops and meet new people. You’ll be able to buy new equipment, food, potions, trinkets, magical items, and so forth.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising has incredible dungeons.
It is fun and rewarding to improve the town. But the dungeon-crawling, monster-bashing, and treasure hunting are where the fun is. I loved exploring the labyrinthine arenas while battling burly beasts. Furthermore, gathering resources was as simple as hitting rocks or slashing at trees. This was well thought out, as it could have been tedious and time-consuming.
What was particularly fascinating were the Metroidvania elements. As new gear is introduced, new paths and chambers can be explored. This was excellent, as it led to secret fishing areas or vast treasures.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising doesn’t match Suikoden’s character choices. But, I loved the party mechanics and combat elements. Every teammate has a unique style and attack. Moreover, you have upgradable equipment and a special ability. As more people are added to your group, you progress further into the story. This was excellent, as it maintained the link between the story and the action.
As your characters improve and their levels increase, they become killing machines. You can combine their attacks to create brutal combos that kill everything in sight. What’s more, each character’s strength can be used to overcome certain monsters. This adds a tactical layer that improves the combat element.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is great to look at.
JRPGs are a stunning genre. Their art style is beautiful, clean, and vivid. On top of this, the models are larger than life, OTT, and a little bizarre. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising captures all of this and much more. Its crazy blend of humans and animals will make you chuckle. Furthermore, you get an exceptional range of environments to explore. Consequently, you’ll never tire of what you see.
With no acting, the game relies solely on the text and music to create emotion. I have to say; it does an amazing job. With an array of soft and aggressive songs, you know exactly what’s happening. However, this is supported by the excellent script and story. The character’s personalities and their history resonate with you. The drama doesn’t end there though. No, the brilliant sound effects add energy and fun to the proceedings. Jovial moments are lighthearted and combat is heavy and laced with danger. In short, you’ll love what you hear.
Two control systems.
The combat is brilliant because of the smooth control system. With two different approaches, it caters to all abilities. You can select a one-button approach to keep things simple. Alternatively, each hero has their own controls, and this is much tougher. Whatever you pick, the fighting is awesome.
Like this review, the quests never stop. You’ll lose count of the jobs you undertake and the people you help. This, of course, increases both the longevity and replay value. However, its linear approach gives you little reason to return. This was a shame, as there was potential for character development and subplots.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising isn’t quite Suikoden.
Sadly, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising doesn’t match Suikoden on any level. Yet, it is still fantastic. It has excellent graphics, emotive audio, brilliant combat, and many quests. But, it’s not as magical, deep, or as original as Suikoden. That being said, I can’t wait to see what its sequel brings. All things considered, I recommend you to buy it here! Will you help the town and honour your clan? Scour the dungeons, find the treasure, and right the wrongs of the past.