Breeze gameplay aside from the 2D side-scrolling world of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising feels like a pillow fort designed by adults that have not forgotten what is like to have wonder. Rising is a prequel to the anticipated Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes by the same team that brought created Suikoden, the beloved series that its publisher Konami seems to have forgotten about. Rising straddles the line between modern JRPG — real-time combat, breezy world navigation, side quest cornucopia, and customization galore. It also relies on old-school design – slow pacing, troupe characters, simple story. None of these points are in themselves negatives, but when combined they bloated the games considerably. I love simple stories in games, less minutia allows for the gameplay to be front and center but combined with a snail’s pacing it’s not a good mix.
Rising is a colorful experience with diverse settings to explore and chatty characters. Fans of JRPGs and simple action platformers will find much to enjoy here. Judging from Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising the next game by the team looks promising. It will offer a lot of things that fans of Suikoden are eagerly awaiting. Hopefully, they use the time to allow for a less intrusive experience. For a simple game, Rising’s tutorial can take over an hour. Traversing the world, though made relatively painless due to fast travel options, is obtuse. The game utilizes two distinct maps to represent the world: one for dungeons and the other linking other locations. Players will need to memorize the names of different areas if they want to avoid traveling to the wrong place. They should also be prepared for many interruptions that will break the pacing of the game.
The use of the two maps has me thinking about different design philosophies regarding traveling in video games of this sort. Old-school RPGs demanded players to memorize locations and landmarks to navigate the world unless a guide was used, (e.g., Dragon Quest). Modern games have streamlined the process considerably to the point that once the player arrives in a new location for the first time, they gain access to it and other previously visited locations via fast travel. Rising, either intentionally or not does both. Maybe, I have been spoiled and the decadence of modern games has rotted my mind. If that’s the case, Rabbit and Bear Studios’ Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising and the upcoming Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes might be tonics for this malady.
*All images capture by the author.