Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Evaluation (PS5)

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Each time you boot up Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, you are met with a dedication that reads: “With our appreciation to all JRPG followers”, which we take as a declaration of intent. Hundred Heroes is a triumphant return to the golden age of esoteric PS1 JRPGs; outfitted with a couple of fashionable conveniences however designed for an old-school mindset. Visually beautiful, with an extremely huge forged of voiced characters to gather, the sport nails the strain of a political thriller and epic of conflict, however the tempo of play, and — at instances — lack of path, can typically grate.

From the thoughts that gave us the Suikoden sequence, the late Yoshitaka Muriyama, Eiyuden Chronicle is a Kickstarter success story, and the wait has been lengthy for these invested because the onset. Developed at Rabbit & Bear Studios (based in 2020) and printed by 505 Video games, it adheres strictly to precepts established in Suikoden and Suikoden II particularly, the titles Muriyama directed. However constructing on that already sturdy basis, the developer has crafted an extremely assured first effort, delivering on the premise of the undertaking and providing what a selected phase of the viewers has been craving.

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Set within the extremely numerous world of Allraan, the invention of mysterious objects generally known as Rune-Lenses brings the simmering tensions between varied peoples to the fore. The Galdean Empire, in collaboration with the League of Nations and on the pretext of peace, organises a joint expedition into the mysterious ruins of a misplaced civilisation generally known as the Runebarrows, setting in movement a series of occasions that can set the world ablaze.

Hundred Heroes is primarily the story of Nowa, a classically heroic younger man from a frontier village, however there are many alternatives for the sport’s huge forged to return to the fore. Different core characters embody an enigmatic Guardian of the Runebarrows, Marisa, and Seign, the second-born scion of Home Kesling and a promising graduate from Galdea’s navy academy. They every have their components to play, together with successive tiers of supporting characters — though it is true that not all are created equal.

Hundred Heroes appears to be like, merely put, beautiful. The lavish 2D-pixel character animations lend life to interactions, each in battle and out, and the portraits of every of the greater than 100 recruitable get together members are singularly nice. It is within the title, after all, however Hundred Heroes does a superb job of respiratory life into every of its scores of characters, giving them, on the very least, a singular voice and gimmick, and the huge ensemble encountered throughout this sprawling journey really steals the present. Some may have vital components to play within the story; others will likely be battlefield-focused warriors, wizards, or tacticians. Most are human (our favorite is a pitch-perfect Aussie kangaroo-man), some are youngsters, and quite a lot of exist to populate the upgradable citadel the place you retain all of them.

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Constructing this citadel is immensely satisfying and happens all through a playthrough; gamers can title it, develop its varied capabilities, and be rewarded appropriately. Greater than only a gathering of distributors, Hundred Heroes has a surprisingly in-depth regional commerce mechanic, and shopping for assets in a single place and promoting them in one other will be extremely profitable. Numerous assets will likely be required to improve the citadel, as will the particular character wanted to function that addition. Everybody comes collectively to help the conflict effort, and seeing Nowa’s adoptive aunt, Martha, fortunately toiling away to provide meals for everyone is surprisingly considerably soothing.

Whereas fashionable (comparatively talking) options like a restricted autosave and sometimes supplying you with a map marker to comply with cease this from being a real return to the dangerous outdated days, useful resource administration will likely be important, and you need to count on to wander at instances. One early part of the sport merely duties you with discovering allies, and it took us a number of hours of simply operating from city to city, speaking to everybody we may, to search out out precisely what the sport was demanding.

As one other instance, dungeons are designed to be fairly gruelling — checks of stamina greater than power — and will probably be irritating for these unused to the tempo it calls for. A restriction exists on the variety of gadgets that may be carried, and making extra room for drugs means much less for any potential loot. Casting magic persistently requires a bunch of MP, and staying at inns to revive it’s prohibitively costly. Teleportation is a factor, however you do not achieve entry to it for a stunning period of time. We performed on regular issue (there’s a arduous choice), however we discovered the extent of problem to be persistently excessive, with some correct grinding required.

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Like Suikoden, one-on-one duels and army-on-army engagements happen throughout particular story moments. Each duels and these climactic battles are an epic and welcome inclusion, even when they lack mechanical depth. Consider them as recurring minigames, which, together with some mild fishing and the Bayblade-like battling high recreation Beigoma, do meaningfully break up what you are doing.

Fight is basically an automatic affair: you’ll be able to enter every motion manually in the event you like (and at instances, it will likely be important), however with a celebration of six energetic characters and a fairly excessive random encounter fee, it is one thing you may wish to streamline. Fortunately, you will get surprisingly granular with how every character acts. Remaining Fantasy XII followers will respect the simplified Gambit system, permitting as much as 4 Precedence Actions to be set for every get together member, with parameters like therapeutic any character underneath lower than 50 per cent HP or concentrating on the enemy with the bottom armour.

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That is the place the tempo of Hundred Heroes actually bogs down: within the repairs of characters. Equipping them with armour and equipment and making certain each distinctive weapon is appropriately upgraded is one factor. However then you definately’ll have to know in what place to put them and what talents every has and outfit them with runes accordingly. Auto-equip helps, after all, but it surely’s hardly optimum, and we discovered ourselves gravitating in direction of the identical characters in a pinch, which did not appear in line with the theme and sometimes felt like we had been one way or the other taking part in “improper”.


Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is the true non secular successor to the Suikoden sequence, capturing what made these video games magical and increasing on the premise a hundred-fold. It tells a well-written and verbose story of braveness and endurance, however adherence to some pretty brutal old-school design precepts means it will not attraction to everybody.

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