Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Review

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Review

May 10, 2022

By: James Bentley

 
 

Rising from the ashes of Suikoden, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes managed to get backed by over 46,000 people on Kickstarter back in 2020. With this huge support came a clear indication that people want more out of the world. This is where Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising comes in and it sets everything up well, even if it's a little too shallow to do everything I might want. 

An adventurer in search of great treasure, you play the role of CJ. Finding a town torn apart by an earthquake, you have to continue your search for magic items called lenses, whilst coming to the aid of townsfolk and adventurers alike. It's a pretty basic premise that rarely goes any further than the setup. This being said, it doesn't really need to. Rising, after all, is a prequel intended to invite players into the world and vision of Eiyuden Chronicle - It is just act one to a much grander story. 

 

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Luckily, it shines in a multitude of ways other than the story. The visuals are great, reminiscent of the 2.5D stylings of the likes of Octopath Traveller and Triangle Strategy. It is clear and distinct whilst also being rough enough to feel a little retro. It looks particularly good when mid-swing or after a devastating attack. 

 
 

Combat is very basic and easy to pick up but satisfying to really nail. Initially starting with just CJ, one button swings your weapon and the rest are used for traversal, allowing you to dash through enemies or jump over them. The 2.5D setup means that everything is on one plane, having you only control the X and Y axis. Fundamentally, this means you never need to play with the depth of your screen. If something is in front of you, you will hit it. 

After you help out around the town, you will start to recruit members that are assigned to more buttons on your controller. In this, you swap between characters on the fly, having each swap out if you click their corresponding button. Think of each character as a move in a combo and combat starts to flow well. You can also string the timing of these attacks together to perform special moves. It's a really interesting system that manages to stay somewhat engaging when you conclude the story. Being a much smaller project, this can happen in just over ten hours. 

 
 

It helps that the music is welcoming enough to listen to for some time. It won't get stuck in your head but works well in the background. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, with its great visuals and calming music, is a game I don't mind accidentally leaving on in the background. 

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Perhaps one of the most joyful parts of this whole experience is watching a beaten-up old town grow as you complete quests, bring in new items, and, eventually, attract tonnes of new people. Conceptually, it's fairly simple - you have to take optional quests on from members of the town, some of which will move in and set up brand new shops giving you access to more materials. A better town leads to a better party which leads to a better town. It never goes too deep but allows just enough growth to really feel earned mere hours later. 

In your explorations, you will come across a handful of central areas that hold the answers to both the main quest and all the extra side objectives. Unfortunately, there aren't that many to explore. They are varied in design but almost stereotypically so. You start with a forest area and make your way up to a fire location, icy mountain, and underground cave way. It does enough to keep you invested but not quite enough to really stand out.

 
 

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Unfortunately, traversal to this limited array of areas can also be a bit of a chore. You can initially get to where you need to go through a fast travel system but, by the end of the game, you are left wandering for minutes before you get to where you need to go. A more robust travel system would fix this but would cut down 5% of my playtime with the game. Although initially interesting, it's hard not to see this area design as rather shallow. 

The same can be said for the writing. Dialogue is fairly surface level and never really tries to explore anything deeper. This certainly isn't something I mind but it's hard to fully connect with your companions when they're not very well fleshed out. 

In a sense, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising takes after its visuals in more than one way. The experience is pretty great and is rather satisfying but comes away feeling shallow. Where you may be expecting something much more meaningful, it is trapped in the confines of its 2.5D design. 

This is part of the issue of a spinoff game setting up a universe in a short prequel. You have to try and nail the atmosphere and appeal whilst giving a setting that isn't better than the one you have planned. In this way, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising succeeds with flying colors. 

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Review | Final Thoughts

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising does exactly what it should. It provides a pretty and satisfying backdrop to a world I can't wait to explore but also doesn't give me quite enough depth to watch the same characters and story unfold. It adds to a general ethos but I won't be too let down when I have to take over with a whole new cast of characters. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is the perfect companion piece to a game that I'm sure will be much better.


TechRaptor reviewed Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising on PlayStation 5 with a code provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC

Review Summary

Review Summary

7.0
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a great introduction to the world that is in need of a lot more depth. Hopefully, we get that next year.

Pros

  • Great visuals
  • Simple yet fun combat
  • A great introduction to the world

Cons

  • Shallow Writing