Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising – Video Game Review
Calum Petrie reviews Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising…
Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising is a charming throwback to early JRPGs, while mixing pixel art sprites with beautiful 2.5D backgrounds. Starting life as an extended goal of the Kickstarter campaign, this game is actually a prequel/companion game to the upcoming Chronicle of Eiyuden: One Hundred Heroes. Although calling it a companion game is a bit of an insult because it’s a real complete adventure on its own, which is just the right length and size to draw me in and keep me entertained. So, with that introduction out of the way, let’s get to my review of Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising.
This wonderful little title was developed by Rabbit and Bear Studios, a new studio that has a long heritage of JRPG titles and values at its heart. The game begins by focusing on CJ, a scavenger girl who dreams of becoming a world-class treasure hunter. Sent to the mining town of New Nevah, her rite of passage is linked to her discovery of a relic known as the “Humungous Lens”; which is a device that can channel magic and allow it to be wielded by ordinary people.
Arriving in the town, you find that the place has seen better days and new treasure hunters are tasked with helping restore the town to its former glory. Recently hit by localized earthquakes, you need to use CJ wisely to rebuild the city and then go in search of the gigantic lens.
My first impressions of this game weren’t the best to be fair. I come from the back of Ring of Elden and I’ve been plagued with choice and exploring and customizing the open world to entice me for a few months now, so a very linear story wasn’t the most appealing. I found the early stages of the game extremely repetitive, then to top it off, my character was given a stamp card to fill out; I almost gave up on the spot.
The first two hours were a lot, and I mean a lot, of back and forth questing; it was mind-numbing to me and involved so much going back and forth covering the same 6 or 7 screens over and over. It wasn’t until I came back to it a day or two later that I discovered the fast-travel mechanic that, pressing the “Select” button (or whatever Xbox call it that), I can instantly travel anywhere as long as it’s outside of dungeons. This increased the gameplay tenfold and I ended up doing a 5 hour session in one session. The gameplay became much more enjoyable when I eliminated the monotony of traveling time.
Something to note, I was given a code for the Xbox Series edition of the game, so I split my game across Xbox Series X, Xbox One X, and Game Pass Cloud Streaming (using a Razer Kishi). The game differed slightly on each platform, I found the smoothest version of the game was definitely on the Xbox Series X, the most modern and fastest of the lot.
The Xbox One X edition played the game very well, but I occasionally experienced audio skipping and slight flickering with the graphics. The game works extremely well via cloud streaming, but that comes down to your internet connection and the device you’re playing it on. Overall, the game handled all three platforms very well and if you’re playing via cloud streaming, the game’s buffer map side quest is excellent for a short burst of gameplay.
Crossing the 6 hour mark Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising finally saw him blossom into the style of play I expected from the start. The player can control 3 different characters with the respective X, Y and B buttons in battle. This simply means that the three characters CJ, Garoo, and Isha all have unique combat styles, though these basically boil down to fast attack, heavy attack, and magic attack with one character delivering a specific style. The game certainly has an introduction to the basic mechanics and you won’t get everything in the first hour. I will say that if it is a prequel game to the still unreleased Chronicle of Eiyuden: One Hundred Heroes I better not have to review half of these tutorials.
The game’s soundtrack is ridiculously cute and upbeat, fitting CJ’s character. There’s almost a catchy head bop element to the soundtrack. The graphics in the games are absolutely gorgeous though, with the pixel art characters and painstakingly handcrafted backgrounds blending together beautifully to create a visual spectacle. If you don’t enjoy the games story, music, or characters, you should tip your proverbial hat to the games art direction. It is simply a project of pure passion and dedication to create something so wonderful by hand.
So to wrap up, my journey with this title may have been slow and hard to get into, but I put that down to previous titles I’d played. Going back to a simple, straight-forward JRPG has been a nice palette cleanser. Chronicles of Eiyuden: Rising is not a genre breaking title i say is a must buy but if you have an xbox game pass subscription you can definitely have fun and spend a good 8-12 hours with this game depending on completion level you are trying to be. Come back to a game that is not too complicated and that charms you with its characters, its setting and its story.
Rating – 7/10
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