PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
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The pixel-art, side-scrolling, world-building, dungeon-crawling, role-playing game is reminiscent of the JRPGs of old. Its charming art style, linear storytelling, and highfalutin vocabulary will undoubtedly take you back to the simpler times of gaming when all you need to do is to follow a few sets of quests to see how the story will unfold.
It’s a beautiful, action-packed companion game that sets the floor for the upcoming Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.
You begin the story as CJ, a 16-year-old treasure hunter looking for a humongous lens to bring home. Her quest brings her to a quaint village where she meets the acting mayor of the town, who tells her that to be a licensed adventurer, she must answer villagers’ requests and begin her stamp collection.
This begins the primary objective of the game: collect as many stamps as possible and see the town blossom by completing request after request. Collecting stamps for a good deed seems silly at first, but as you adventure on, you realize the satisfaction of having a complete set and seeing the town change before your eyes.
Requests will mostly be about collecting resources that you can extract from monsters or material found in the quarry, forest, or other locations in the game. You can fish, mine, and cut wood apart from battling monsters for their drops. The line of objectives introduces more game mechanics. You will also have to upgrade your weapons, tools, and accessories to get top-tier materials.
It’s a seamless line of actions that are all well-connected and designed. It makes a player feel like there’s always something to do and that there is always a foolproof method to do them, making it a gratifying game.
As we talk about the gratification this game brings, even the battle mechanics are something to enjoy. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising uses “Link Attacks,” wherein a timed press of a button can create powerful bursts that use all your characters in quick switches. This works best with upgraded weapons and armor to create an almost uninterrupted flurry of attacks that are exciting to do and witness.
Boss battles are a thrill, but even in hard mode seem too easy once you’ve gotten upgraded material and have memorized the combos and timing for link attacks. Over time, it’s still about gathering the items you can only get from these bosses for money or upgrading.
These mechanics then introduces the hunter-gatherer trope in line with the selfless hero trope found in your typical JRPGs.
Those familiar with JRPGs may not find the story of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising the most unique. It’s a series of JRPG tropes that doesn’t leave you much mystery that you can’t already guess from the first hour into the game. However, the simplistic tale is still part of its charm that matches its rustic art style and straightforward gameplay and mechanics.
You have the selfless heroine, the large tank with the equally large sword, and the sorceress with a mysterious past. You try to uncover the secrets underneath the Barrows, an ancient ruin with a mysterious and magical history.
There’s a mix of light-hearted moments, difficult emotions, and a funny line here and there that can still make the story entertaining despite its predictability. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is still just the beginning of a bigger story that we are yet to discover, but it sets the town and expectations for the next installment.
It’s a game that does make you want to play more and wait for the next title in anticipation and curiosity. Will we see more towns apart from where we are now? New characters? Same mechanics or more?
While the initial story doesn’t leave you guessing, the conclusion of Eiyuden Chronicle Rising just eggs you to keep finding ways to go on an adventure.
Eiyuden Chronicle Rising – Review
Almost perfect if not for the nitty-gritty. If it’s quite there but not enough to push the boundaries, it’s still an awesome game.