Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Review
We’ve gushed about Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising during a preview that we got to play with a couple of months back, calling it “more than just a companion game,” giving us high hopes for what Hundred Heroes may bring next year. Just to make things clear, Rising is not the turn-based RPG game that many might be expecting, but thanks to the thunderous success on Kickstarter, this upcoming action RPG was born.
Playing only a few hours of the game prior to this full review build, it was easy to see, even then, how Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising can be something so simple yet also very engaging in both its presentation and gameplay. With its straightforward core loop and deceptively simple combat, the game is something that can certainly appeal to a wide variety of players.
Now having played it to completion, and while it was basically just more of the same, the full experience was undeniably pleasant and something that filled my nostalgic heart with good memories of classic titles from the past. You’ll have to get used to the idea of endless fetch quests and a slow start to the game though, which may turn off many before things even get going.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a visually beautiful side-scrolling action RPG that sees the player take control of CJ, a young scavenger taking part in a rite of passage that leads her to the small town of New Naveah. The town is in shambles, and throughout the game, Cj and the rest of the party members she will meet will complete quests, explore dungeons, and work to rebuild the town slowly but surely.
The game has a simple premise and serves as a prologue and prelude to the world of Hundred Heroes when it launches next year. The gameplay is equally as simple, and players will find themselves alternating between 2 main tasks in the game – finishing quests that will lead to restoring the town and exploring various locations to claim materials that will lead to… finishing more quests.
That said, if you are allergic to fetch quests, then Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising may probably do little to change your mind about the matter. You’ll be tasked to gather ores, branches, and all manner of mundane items in between, so you’ll be backtracking a lot between locations to gather materials repeatedly for the duration of the game. This is a crucial part of the game and may cause friction for many due to its endless cycle, so a word of caution.
Each of the many components in the town has its own function that ultimately provides various tools and upgrades for CJ and her party. You’ll be able to cook food for buffs during battle, upgrade your weapons and armor to unlock more abilities, enhance your weapons with elemental affinities, and much more. Making progress with town upgrades will naturally lead to unlocking new areas that were previously inaccessible, opening up new locations to further explore.
Based on this description alone, it would be easy to write Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising off as a childish affair. While true to a certain extent, the game presents it in such a way that continues to pique your interest throughout your playthrough, offering a charming experience from start to finish.
Great Hope for Hundred Heroes
In particular, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising does this in 3 ways – through its interactions, combat, and presentation.
Cj will party up with 2 more unlikely members along the way – a wandering mercenary and heavy-hitter in Garoo and magic-wielder turned acting mayor, Isha. Both characters have their own motivations but serve as great complimentary characters to Cj. Throughout their journey, the interactions between the three will be a source of lighthearted fun and humor.
Players will immediately notice the fantastic visuals of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, which features a great art style that offers a great mix of 2D and 3D elements that really pops during gameplay. The colors are vivid and the textures are detailed, bringing to life a world that is enjoyable both to rebuild and to explore.
The supporting cast of characters along with the townspeople also play a part in the overall lightheartedness of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising. The banter is endearing, and while exchanges are short, it really emphasizes the town-building aspect of the game.
Some may notice that the character animations resemble that of a marionette because some movements are not as fluid, but this is a deliberate choice by the developers, as it pays homage to the traditional telling of folklore.
These interactions are not limited to the story alone, and you’ll also be treated to a fun side-scrolling beat-em-up with a surprising level of depth. Admittedly, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising starts off a wee bit too slow for my taste. It’ll take a few quests here and there for things to pick up, so you’ll have to be a bit patient with the proceedings, particularly with the combat feeling too simple in the opening sequences.
Starting with only Cj, you are relegated to very linear dungeons and light platforming that require only an attack and jump button to consider. The combat system then slowly opens up after a few hours and as you progress through the game, giving you upgrades like a double jump, charged attacks, and even link combos that will allow players to chain attacks across CJ, Garoo, and Isha. It’ll take a while for Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising get in the groove, so patience is definitely a virtue here.
Players control one character at a time in Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, but you’ll be able to switch between them at any point in time when the need arises. This mechanic adds just enough depth to keep things fresh and fun, especially since all 3 playable characters handle and play differently, so switching things up as the situation calls for it is a recipe for success.
Players worried about how complex it may sound won’t need to worry, because there’s an option to simplify command inputs, letting the system automate the link attacks with just one button. Alternatively, keeping the default settings might require a bit of dexterity, but will give players full control in return.
Capping things off for Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is its wonderful and cheerful music, hearkening back to the classic RPGs of the past. The melody is pleasant and very easy to listen to during town sequences, which then picks up pace and intensity during dungeons and boss battles. There’s a very nostalgic feel to it, and I can imagine that players who have gone through RPGs from the 2000s may appreciate it more than others, just like I did.
What we liked:
- Fantastic visuals and character designs
- Generous length for a companion app
- Charming and lighthearted gameplay
- Sets up Hundred Heroes nicely
What we didn’t like:
- Slow to get going, might be a source of friction for some
- Basically, a bunch of fetch quests made into a game
- Expect to backtrack a lot of times
Verdict: Wait for it.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a great in-between game, something that can be greatly appreciated after the deluge of heavy and tiring games from the past couple of months. Offering charming gameplay that is simple to pick up and understand, players will find some respite here that can provide entertainment for a surprising number of hours.
Sadly, the idea of countless fetch quests might be an immediate turn-off, and with such a simple core loop, the game does little to deviate or add something new to the mix. Instead, it doubles down on the basics, making it feel like a game that doesn’t look like but plays similarly to previous console generations. It also takes a while to get going, so there’s a chance the game loses you before everything gets interesting.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising serves as a good indicator of how Hundred Heroes could turn out next year. While the gameplay from Hundred Heroes is totally different, you can immediately see what the devs are capable of in terms of visuals and audio, and it is looking to be very promising. Seeing possible personalities and events gives a bit of excitement at what players can expect once Hundred Heroes comes next year.
*Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising was reviewed on PC with a review code provided by the publisher.