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Growing up, I loved Suikoden. I do not know exactly why I bought it but I did not regret my choice. The fantastic gameplay, deep story, and cast of characters blew me away. That’s why when his spiritual successor was announced, my heart skipped a beat. Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising is the first episode of what should be an amazing series.
Developped by Natsume Atari and published by 505 Games, it is a side-scrolling action RPG. Additionally, there are real-time combat, platforming, and Metroidvania elements. Therefore, it ticks many boxes and contains many elements to play with. Along with this, it was developed by some of the early Suikoden crew. Therefore, it is necessarily good.
Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising is witty and charming.
When your hopes are high, it’s easy to dash them. Fortunately, Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising is witty, charming and instantly captivating. Its plot is heartbreaking, fun, and a bit unrealistic, but that doesn’t matter. With its deep story, interesting lore, and mix of characters, you’ll be desperate to keep playing.
You control CJ. She’s a sassy, arrogant, and gifted teenager, but desperate to please. She pretends to be a scavenger, but in reality, she is a treasure hunter. With her clan’s honor 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 townspeople. Additionally, she forms strong bonds with other adventurers. These friendships are tested when they team up to complete quests and get rich.
The plot plays a key role.
In some titles, the story takes a back seat. Fortunately, however, in Chronicle of Eiyuden: 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. Moreover, it explores a range of emotions, subtly.
The gameplay is divided into two key areas. There are interactions with the townspeople and exploration of dungeons. Even though they are unique, they are intrinsically linked. The city desperately needs your help. Businesses must be built and quests must be completed. As a result, you’re happy to help because they’ll pay you and give you better gear. Subsequently, the mixture of side missions and the main story is perfectly balanced. You never get tired of completing jobs or collecting materials. After all, every task earns you XP and your party thrives.
Frankly, the city is a mess. If that wasn’t enough, the mayor treats every adventurer dry. New Nevaeth hides many treasures in its mines. However, the mayor exploits this by charging 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 license.
The tasks you undertake vary from fetch quests, resource gathering, intel research, and more. They are rarely difficult, but completing each improves the town. This allows you to explore new stores and meet new people. You will be able to buy new equipment, food, potions, trinkets, magic items, etc.
Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising has amazing dungeons.
It’s fun and rewarding to improve the city. But dungeon crawling, monster hunting, and treasure hunting are where the fun is. I loved exploring the labyrinthine arenas while battling beefy beasts. Plus, gathering resources was as easy as hitting rocks or chopping down 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 pathways and chambers can be explored. It was excellent, because it led to secret fishing areas or vast treasures.
Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising does not match Suikoden’s choice of characters. But, I loved the party mechanics and combat elements. Each teammate has a unique style and attack. In addition, you have upgradable equipment and a special ability. As more people are added to your party, you progress further in the story. It was great because it kept the story connected to 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. Additionally, each character’s strength can be used to defeat certain monsters. This adds a tactical layer that enhances the combat element.
Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising is great to watch.
JRPGs are an amazing genre. Their art style is beautiful, clean and lively. On top of that, the models are larger than life, OTT, and a bit quirky. Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising captures all of this and more. Its crazy mix of humans and animals will make you laugh out loud. Plus, you get an exceptional range of environments to explore. Therefore, you will never tire of what you see.
Without acting, the game relies solely on text and music to create emotion. I must say; it does an amazing job. With an array of sweet and aggressive songs, you know exactly what’s going on. However, this is backed up by the excellent screenplay and story. The characters’ personalities and their stories resonate with you. The drama doesn’t end there, however. No, brilliant sound effects add energy and fun to the proceedings. The jovial moments are lighthearted and the fights are heavy and fraught with danger. In short, you will love what you hear.
Two control systems.
The combat is brilliant thanks to the smooth control system. With two different approaches, it caters to all abilities. You can select a one-button approach to simplify things. Alternatively, each hero has their own commands, and it’s much harder. Whatever you choose, the fights are impressive.
Like this review, the quests never end. You will lose count of the jobs you undertake and the people you help. This, of course, increases both longevity and replay value. However, its linear approach gives you little reason to come back. It was a shame, because there was potential for character development and subplots.
Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising is not quite Suikoden.
Unfortunately, Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising does not match Suikoden at any level. Still, it’s still fantastic. It has excellent graphics, emotive sound, brilliant fights and lots of quests. But it’s not as magical or profound or as original as Suikoden. That being said, I can’t wait to see what its sequel brings. All in all, I recommend you buy it here! Will you help the city and honor your clan? Roam the dungeons, find the treasure and right the wrongs of the past.