In the review of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising we begin to discover the world of Eiyuden Chronicle with this spin-off halfway between a JRPG and a metroidvania.
If you have a few years on your shoulders – or maybe you like to go vintage – and you love JRPG, then it’s very likely that you are waiting for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes like the coming of the messiah, since he is working on it. Yoshitaka Murayama. We are talking about the creator of the unforgettable Suikoden series, who left Konami shortly before he released the third episode to found first Blue Moon Studio and then Rabbit & Bear Studio. Murayama is developing his new game after bringing it to Kickstarter and reaching the goal in just three hours.
One of the stretch goals – overcome within a few weeks – also included the development of a subsidiary title: entrusted to NatsumeAtari, the game would serve as a taste of the world of Eiyuden Chronicle, pending the main course, scheduled for 2023.
In our review by Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising we will tell you if this appetizer turned out well, so read on.
Rebuilding New Nevaeh
The first thing you need to understand is that Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is not and does not want to be a major game. It’s a low-budget title developed to thank fans and introduce them to the world of Eiyuden Chronicle and its characters. By scaling down this operation, we realize that the work of NatsumeAtari, in some ways, it even offers more than it should have. The other thing worth pointing out is that Rising is not a real RPG, but a mix of genres that recalls Suikoden – basically, the cornerstone in Murayama’s career – only in some aspects and in particular in the progression of a community, called New Nevaeh, which acts as the nerve center of the whole experience.
There history of Rising revolves all around this town, a crossroads of merchants and explorers like the young protagonist of the game, CJ It will be she who we will impersonate at the beginning of the adventure, but within a few hours we will also take control of Garou, an armed anthropomorphic kangaroo of a giant sword, and Isha, the acting mayor who is also a powerful sorceress.
There storytelling by Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising relies on extremely stereotyped protagonists, but the plot, which at first appears banalotto, becomes more interesting than expected after a few hours. Too bad that it is diluted by a flood of side missionsembellished with pleasant dialogues thanks to the fluent Italian localization and carefree atmospheres.
The absolute protagonist is in fact the city of New Nevaeh, which we will gradually rebuild and see flourish before our eyes. In fact, most of the missions serve to enlarge the community, annexing new visitors, merchants and services that will come in handy in the following hours. In this sense, Rising is structured in an intelligent and balanced way: something new is continually unlocked and the city changes its appearance accordingly, gratifying the player even from a more visual point of view.
The reconstruction of the city is intertwined with the progression in the gameplay. In fact, the new features cover the most RPG part of the NatsumeAtari title, trespassing into the field of metroidvania. New tools make it possible to overcome previously impassable obstacles or to recover materials which will allow us to build new instruments, in a satisfying loop. This mechanism is also reflected in the combat system: by improving weapons and armor we will learn new techniques and maneuvers that will make the clashes a little more varied and exciting.
The combat system in fact it is only half successful. The implementation of an “accessible” mode that allows players less accustomed to action dynamics to navigate the battles using just a couple of buttons is welcome, but the first hours of play are all too essential.
Unlike the future Hundred Heroes, Rising does not employ a turn-based combat system. Action is in real time and the horizontal / vertical scrolling structure is reminiscent of 2D titles like Castlevania, Ori and Metroid. Once the entire trio of protagonists has been recruited, the player, who controls only one at a time, can swap them at any time; doing it exchange at the right moment in the middle of a combo – which becomes automatic by selecting the appropriate option – the incoming characters inflict much more damage. Mastering this mechanic is essential especially when facing the toughest enemies or bosses at the end of the labyrinths, usually protected by an armor which, represented by an indicator, must first be consumed in a barrel.
By upgrading runes, weapons and armor, characters acquire new skills like double jumps, dodges, charged attacks, and so on, but despite a variety of maneuvers, the combat system still remains tainted with rough hitboxes, predictable patterns, and overly recycled enemies.
A loop that is not convincing
The problem is that the stale combat system weighs down the fortissima repetitiveness of the gameplay. As we have said, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising takes place all in the city of New Nevaeh and its surroundings, and this means that the areas that can be explored are few, as well as attributable to biomes that are anything but original: forests, caves, ancient ruins, snow-capped mountains and the whole repertoire of fantasy clichés.
The cascade of secondary missions – often necessary to progress in the main campaign and therefore not exactly optional – forces the backtracking too insistently. While it is true that with a minimum of foresight you can solve clusters of missions in a single session, the fact remains that you have to go back to the same maps over and over again in search of resources or particular enemies to defeat, and then return to the city. to report.
A system of fast moving – bound to checkpoints in dungeons, but free within the confines of New Nevaeh – lightens the load of this loop a bit, but in the long run the coming and going becomes tiring and only serves to artificially prolong the duration of the game.
The campaign is in fact completed in about fifteen hours, which are still generous enough for this kind of production and it takes a few more to unlock any upgrades or content. Perfecting the rescue does not seem to improve the future experience in Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, since, apparently, we will only be able to import the names we have given to the weapons of the protagonists and to the dishes cooked in the inn.
From this point of view, we must admit that Rising only partially satisfies our appetite for Eiyuden Chronicle. In the game we came across a host of characters that we will surely see again in Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, but it was just a taste and nothing more: they stand out for a slightly more marked characterization and a lot of attention in the creation of the sprites.
A feast for the eyes, not the ears
The other slightly more delicate question concerns precisely the technical sector by Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising. The scenarios are very detailed, embellished with details, lighting and animations. NatsumeAtari employs a huge variety of bright and vibrant colors, but if exploring this corner of the world of Eiyuden Chronicle is a real treat for the eyes – a little less for the ears, as the tunes aren’t exactly memorable – it is equally clear that the same commitment was not lavished on the realization of the 2D sprite that, yes, they are well-kept in the pixel art, but not enough in the animations, often woody and clumsy. Hundred Heroes should be much more refined and defined in this respect, as the few teasers published so far suggest, but it is a shame that Rising has not given us a taste of Eiyuden Chronicle in this sense too.
Tested version Windows PC
We didn’t have high expectations for this Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, but in the end, also considering the low cost, it is a nice title that lasts even longer than expected. As an advertisement for Hundred Heroes, however, it doesn’t work too well, partly because its nature is too different, partly because of its obvious limitations, and also and above all because the window that opens onto the world of Eiyuden Chronicle is more what else a subtle crack. Take it into consideration only if you strongly believe in Yoshitaka Murayama’s project and want to know every detail of this new series.
- The reconstruction of the city is intelligently structured
- Anticipate the many characters we will meet again in Hundred Heroes
- Heavily repetitive backtracking
- Rough combat system
#Eiyuden #Chronicle #Rising #review
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