eiyuden chronicle rising

Preview

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Feels Like a Long Fetch Quest

March 21, 2022

By: Austin Suther

 
 

Every so often, you'll come across a Kickstarter game that swiftly meets its funding goal and hits stretch goals like nothing -- as was the case with the upcoming Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. This title's amassed funding allowed for a prequel to be developed along with it, and with so much hype behind Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, a prequel game could do a lot of good by keeping patient fans at bay and building further hype for the main release. Unfortunately, I think Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, the official prequel to Hundred Heroes, had the opposite effect for me. After previewing the beginning couple hours of Rising, I felt less interested in the lore and world developer Rabbit & Bear Studios is creating in Rising, and leaves me hoping Hundred Heroes feels like something beyond this one large, burdensome fetch quest.

 eiyuden chronicle rising gameplay
Wait a second, this isn't Kirby.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Does Little to Raise Hype

In Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, players take the role of several heroes, although the build I played allowed me to start with one character and gain another along the way. It starts with a girl named CJ, a cheerful young adventurer out to strike it rich. The narrative brings CJ to a town that's experiencing something resembling a gold rush, where this humble town is forming up around a quarry full of valuable materials. But, in order to enter this quarry and make some money for herself, she has to be licensed by the town to do so. Thus begins one segment that quite overtly places the player in the role of a glorified errand-runner.

 

CJ must get stamps for a card, and with enough stamps, she'll get a license to enter the quarry and -- hopefully -- make a bunch of money. For these stamps, I was sent around town talking to various villagers and completing menial tasks for them. In this back-and-forth formula, one glaring issue with Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising becomes apparent: the writing is a bunch of banal nonsense. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising's attempts at being humorous caused me to roll my eyes more than feel any sort of amusement; likewise, the dialogue goes on for far too long.

There's so much unnecessary padding with all these conversations with CJ at the forefront. Only a small percentage of these conversations serve as a way to build up the lore of Eiyuden Chronicle, and I still barely know enough about the world for me to be interested to continue in the final release of Rising or the main game, Hundred Heroes. Throwing a second main character into the mix, an anthropomorphic kangaroo named Garoo, alleviated only a little bit of the cringe-inducing moments CJ spawns in every conversation she has.

 
 
eiyuden chronicle rising
How is this supposed to be funny?

Though the game might lead you to think otherwise, this is not a visual novel. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising features 2D gameplay and plays much like an action platformer. The first hour or so, I played only as CJ. She only has a single attack button, a jump, and a dodge. Thank goodness Garoo was added to my party, since he adds an extra attack button to the mix. Timing inputs correctly allows you to chain attacks together and deal extra damage on various enemies found outside of the village. It's still very basic gameplay that did little to excite me in any way. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising tries to spice things up a bit by adding boss fights, but with such basic combat, it's just like any another combat encounter. Bosses are damage sponges and require no strategy to overcome other than dodging attacks.

The combat is dull, but it doesn't help that these tasks you're sent on are just as monotonous. Throughout the two hours or so, I was sent into a forest multiple times to collect various resources, when I could have done it all at the same time had the quests been offered at once. Going back and forth, fighting the same exact enemies for boring fetch quests, is a gameplay loop I can't feel excited for. There's just a hint of promise in a town-building element, where completing requests for villagers creates new buildings. I was able to upgrade and name my own weapons after making a new shop. I'm not sure how deep this town-building portion of gameplay gets, but at least you see some reward for your efforts.

 
 

While I have plenty of gripes with Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, I do commend Rabbit & Bear for both its art design and music. The music accompanies the cheerful vibe of the colorful visuals and entertained me while I had to go through pages of uncompelling dialogue. The graphical style is one I definitely enjoy -- it's this blend of 2D and 3D. It resembles Indivisible, with these cartoonish 3D environments in the background and 2D sprites acting as enemies and NPCs. Animations of characters are definitely stiff and don't hold a candle to what we see in Hundred Heroes' trailers, but the lighting and detail put into the backgrounds make up for this.

eiyuden chronicle rising
A kangaroo with a sword is cool, at least.

The first two hours of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising did not make me want to return and experience more. With a purported 20 hours of gameplay, I can't help but think most of that time comprises dialogue that won't matter and plenty of fetch quests that are about as exciting as watching paint dry. While I know Hundred Heroes will play differently and have a much higher budget, I'm a bit less excited for it if the writing and gameplay philosophy takes a similar direction.


TechRaptor previewed Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising on PC using a copy provided by the publisher. The game is set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S later this year.