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Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Is Shaping Up To Be The Suikoden RPG We Want

Suikoden fans have it rough, what with the flagship role-playing game series all but forgotten by its creator Konami. Hence we see a company named Rabbit & Bear Studios, consisting of ex-Suikoden makers, striking out on their own via Kickstarter to get a new Suikoden-eque RPG project going.

It’s been 3 years already, and has there been progress since? The answer is “yes” and it’s the kind that shows confidence to people invested in it, given that it’s been so long, with not even a side game satiating that thirst for a Suikoden-like. We’ve tried out an hour of what seems to be part of a complete build, had a go with the heroes we’re tasked with, and got to see how quests and dungeons unfold. Old-school RPG fans are in for a treat.

 

Twist Of Fate

The Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes demo we played during Tokyo Game Show 2023 week has you controlling a JRPG party in one of Eiyuden Chronicles’ prime locations: a starting village close to the main continent Allraan featuring a bunch of people you need to help out. Your party (hero Nowa, loudmouth girl Lian, business lycan Garr, and calm ronin Mio) is up to the task and even gets some Empire military help from soldiers Seign and Hildi. The game’s central theme is how both Nowa and Seign become friends, with the eventual dividing war storyline (involving Primal Lenses and the evil folks who want to misuse them) coming to fruition along with the plot devices of runes and Runebarrows (where rare runes of power are housed in) tying everything together.

It’s still early to talk about where the plot is going, but suffice to say, the lively party you’re with help keep the narrative and character development meaningful and engaging. A game that’s like Suikoden lives and dies by how interesting its 100+ heroes you recruit are, and so far there are sparks of that in the hour I’ve played. I do see the seeds being planted as there’s a personal scene between Nowa and Seign as they’re waiting for rescue in a dank cave, sharing their life stories in brief but meaningful chatter.

No JRPG story can progress forward without turn-based conflict, and Eiyuden Chronicle has that to a tee. With six characters in tow, you can determine their actions and have them play out depending on turn order on the top middle portion of the screen. You can attack, evade/block oncoming attacks, use Rune-Lense powers (via SP meter you gain from advancing turns) and Rune-Lense magic that uses mana points. Standard stuff, but seeing it all play out with the game’s sprite-heavy artwork tailor-made for 2023/2024 while also keeping with the rustic presentation of its predecessors (the good 2D ones) has its charm. From seeing team attacks from Nowa and Seign (developed via bonding and plot advancement) dish out heavy damage to Rune attacks looking all fancy but also short, the art direction gets the job done.

The levels we played include a basic forest maze, if you can even call it that, followed by a mid-sized plant boss. The Runebarrow stage has us solving simple switch puzzles, with a roundabout layout to keep things less confusing since it’s just the first stage of what could be a 30-hour RPG epic.

The big boss of the demo is the Golem Pulverizer. It hits hard, has a lot of hit points, and can end the game if you don’t make use of the game’s gimmick mechanic. In most major battle of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, at certain points during a fight, you’re given the option to either attack or do a specific command for the situation you’re in. In the Golem Pulverizer’s case when it’s glowing red halfway in the battle, you can opt to dodge behind the rubble on the battlefield to avoid a telegraphed laser fire in the subsequent turn. Or just attack as normal and hope for the best. The laser can kill in two hits, so it’s best to take your time, dodge behind rubble when prompted, and just wear it down until you’re done.

 

A Yearlong Yarn?

It’s pretty early to assume much, but based on the hour-plus we’ve had with the latest build, it’s safe to say that Rabbit & Bear Studios will be the Suikoden successor we need and deserve. With lovely aesthetics, a simple-yet-fun combat system, and the potential of recruiting the title card number of heroes with different personalities, skills, and traits (not necessarily just for turn-based battle), this high-concept setting “indie” JRPG may fulfil its starborn promises to longtime RPG fans and retro gamers next year on 23 April.

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Comment(3)

  1. Tokyo Game Show 2023: All The Previews & News | Kakuchopurei

    September 27, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    […] Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Will Make Suikoden Fans Proud […]

  2. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Creator Has Died | Kakuchopurei

    February 14, 2024 at 6:16 pm

    […] in peace, fellow legendary RPG creator. You can be assured that your legacy will live on when Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes comes out for PC and consoles on 23 April […]

  3. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes New Pre-Launch Trailer Shows Off Messload Of Heroes | Kakuchopurei

    March 15, 2024 at 10:42 am

    […] Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes will be out on 23 April for PC and consoles. Stay tuned for a preview and review these coming weeks. In the meantime, check out our previous hands-on session here. […]

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