Overall - 75%
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a grind fest that only a select few will enjoy. Those that overlook that will enjoy its well-written characters; for everybody else it's an easy pass.
After being announced last year, Natsume Atari and 505 Games’ Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is finally here. Is this spiritual successor worth checking out, or should you look elsewhere for your JRPG fix?
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Review
In this title players will take control of the treasure hunter CJ, who is looking to find Rune Lenses in a town called New Nevaeh. A large earthquake recently hit the area, damaging some of the town and closing off the Burrows with the Lenses. You arrive and are told you need to pay a huge fee to be allowed to treasure hunt here. Instead, players choose to do missions for the townsfolk to fill out a stamp card.
Yes, you take on the role of a glorified errand person for a few hours.
Thankfully these quests lead to you building the town back up and unlocking new shops and buildings. While they are still collecting and killing quests, you feel the town is progressing nicely. Eventually, you do enough and are given clearance to check out the quarry. Here, you find ancient ruins that lead to Rune Lenses, and you can start being a true treasure hunter. However, the townsfolk do expect you to what feels like 100 quests. Seriously, the game has a lot of side quests.
While you start with CJ, you get two other allies as well. These two play into the combat of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising. Note that this title features a one-button system. This means that CJ is the Square button, and by pressing the Triangle button, players can switch to Garoo. If I hit Square again, I am back to CJ. In this way, everyone has one button to attack; that’s it. However, if you time these right, players can pull off a chain attack that does extra damage and crits. While the basic combat is boring, the combo and chain attack at least keep it fresh for a while. The game is far too easy, and combat is not its strong suit.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is also one of those games that gates the player every step of the way. Main quests sometimes force you back, while other times big colorful rocks block your path. You can break these rocks as you get your Rune Lenses, but it takes a while. The big problem I have is that you are constantly going through the same stuff. I went through the Great Forest at least 40 times, and I quickly got sick of it. There are fast travels to certain areas, but it doesn’t help that there are only a few exploration areas in the game. If you are a grind-heavy player, this won’t matter, but it will be annoying to everyone else.
The town itself is predetermined, so you won’t be placing buildings; instead, you will just be bringing materials to fix them up. You need to keep the town up to date so you can upgrade your weapons and armor. Weapons do more damage, but the armor eventually lets you double jump or charge jump. Then you factor in tools and accessories, and it becomes an even bigger grind. Then you get to the Rune Lenses, and you need to grind even more.
A Rune Lens will allow you to attune magic to your weapons and armor. I think this was designed to make dungeons more difficult, but as previously mentioned, the game is a breeze. In reality, the Rune Lenses are a blockade on the road for the player to head back to town and do more quests. You also have to do puzzles in some of these ruins to unlock the next area. I didn’t come across any tough puzzles, but they do make you think.
Where Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising excels is the character storytelling. I enjoyed the interaction between CJ and Garoo. Garoo is a kangaroo mercenary with a magical pouch. He likes to think things through and not waste time. On the other hand, CJ basically tries to help everyone and rushes right into a battle. You get another ally later, but I don’t want to spoil that. It’s not just the main characters; he townsfolk have their own personalities and quirks. The real reason I grinded these quests was to talk with the quest givers, but I enjoyed the combat.
I didn’t have any bugs or crashes. I got stuck in a rock one, but I just broke it.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a grind fest that only a select few will enjoy. Those that overlook that will enjoy its well-written characters; for everybody else it’s an easy pass.
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