Review – Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

The first game developed by a blockchain company, Eiyuden Chronicle is both intriguing and frustrating at the same time. If you’re interested in this new type of gaming experience that might have some issues as it launches, here’s what you need to know about Rising.

A few years ago, gamers were greeted by a Kickstarter campaign for Eiyuden Chronicle, a JRPG. It was an overwhelming success, due in part to the development team’s track record. Many stretch goals were announced as it neared its financing target, one of which was a spin-off. See, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising wasn’t in the original plans, and it may not have been if it hadn’t been for us pouring money at it. Years had passed since the first unveiling, and I had completely forgotten about both games.

Then, one day, a trailer for Rising was released, and I was stunned. The aesthetics were spectacular, with gorgeous hand-drawn sprites clashing with polygonal landscapes, drawing influence from Octopath Traveler and adopting the technology now known as 2D-HD. As the release date approached, I began to hear unfavorable rumors. I paid attentively while maintaining a pleasant attitude. Today, I’ll check whether such claims are true.

This lone wolf constructs everything. He must also be Portuguese.

I went into Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising with modest expectations. I wasn’t expecting much since it’s just a spin-off. It may have been only a taste of things to come, for all I knew. It turns out I was mistaken, and what I received was pleasantly surprising. It wasn’t because of the central plot’s idea, which is quite conventional and has been seen many times before. You take on the role of CJ, a treasure hunter with an obsessive preoccupation with treasures. So far, it’s a textbook set-up, but then NPCs are gradually introduced, and CJ’s sarcasm emerges. The hilarity begins to creep in, and my delight skyrockets. The sense of comedy is reminiscent of the PS1’s early years. While there isn’t blatant laughter, the exchanges had me grinning like a nerd. 

Garoo, an anthropomorphic kangaroo, is your first buddy. He has a harsh appearance at first encounter and is uncomfortable with the thought of joining CJ. Despite his objections, he grudgingly accepts, but makes no attempt to conceal the fact that his tolerance is wearing thin. The following conversation is quite adorable. Characters are always irritated with one another, similar to sibling rivalry. Keep in mind that the insults they hurl are almost childish. Garoo, for example, asks whether she’s potty trained, to which she responds angrily before blaming her grandmother. The way things are expressed and the structure of words, however, is the key selling factor. It gives the language a quiet appeal, and the absence of voice-acting, believe it or not, helped a lot.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - Garoo and CJ meet

CJ is quite sophisticated for her age! Just ask everyone who feels compelled to agree!

Another aspect of the literary persuasion that made my heart swell with joy continues in Garoo. I like how he bickers with CJ while still being annoyed by her antics. In the same breath, he shows her a kind side, particularly while they are traveling through the woods. He not only takes on the most perilous duties for his comrades, but also assists CJ in advancing to higher levels. I know it’s a cliche at this point, but he really is an onion with several layers. He has a kind demeanor in the way he conducts himself and communicates. His unexpected grasp of things such as magical females caught me off guard, but it also made me smile quietly. There’s something to be said about him and how successfully he pulled off his tough man persona. I’m like gushing.

As a result of the tiny size of the hand-drawn characters, facial emotions are difficult to perceive. CJ will not have a noticeable grin on her face if she is joyful. To tackle this difficulty, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising uses an old-school mentality. They’d frequently harness thought bubbles with the desired feeling inside in a few of JRPGs from the past period. In other words, if she is angry, she will see the famous anime symbol of a circle shape with four lines bending inwards. This is one of my favorites, not just because it’s nostalgic, but also because it conveys the desired tone. CJ’s rage becomes apparent all of a sudden, and I may modify my tone appropriately. Her body language also helps, and luckily, the sprite motion is flawless. I was never stumped when it came to determining the atmosphere of a scene. 

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - Fishing in a cave

CJ attempting to fish for praises in real time.

Oh, and there’s a little naughtiness buried amid the chats. Furthermore, it has unsettling behavior, which, considering that our main treasure seeker is just 16, may turn off some viewers. But, before that happens, keep in mind that it’s not very often, and when it does, it’s fairly subtle. Double-entendres are used to disguise any raunchiness. Including sexuality, like expressing emotions via speech bubbles, is a throwback to the past. CJ is also the one who makes the smutty remark. In that way, it highlights her status as an adolescent – a girl forced to mature according to familial norms. She didn’t have an option but to develop swiftly, despite her adolescent habits. Yeah, she’s clearly the finest character, and it was amusing to see her fluster a mature guy.

The attraction and unmistakable magnetism of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is palpable. Be it the rowdy child who lacks etiquette or the lady hopelessly smitten with a renowned chef, the villagers all have characteristics that, although stereotyped, help flesh out the community. There’s enough variation to let each person stand out as unique. Of course, it’s not going to all be lollipops and rainbows because, while I was immersed, my investment was partial. Sure, I sensed the settlement’s vigor and want to contribute to the enhancement of all citizens’ lives. However, I had just a sliver of sympathy for one of the characters. While I was smitten with CJ and Garoo, the others failed to interest me. That’s not to suggest they’re written incorrectly. It’s just that they weren’t as solid, making it difficult to really commit.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - Quest queue

This mechanism has shown how ineffective I am at multitasking.

The idea of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is simple: CJ aspires to become an adventurer. She instantly tries to negotiate another way to obtain it after discovering the price of a single one is $100,000. Sidequests are available. There are several options, ranging from retrieving goods to gathering fur from monster bodies. Each time you complete one, you will get a big prize as well as a stamp. She has a strong desire to acquire items and fill that card. She eventually gets what she wants, but it wasn’t easy. There’s enough to go around, but none of the expected tedium kicks in. A clever fast-travel system may help you avoid wasting time. It enables you to jump from one region to another in milliseconds. When you combine it with the ability to take on many side tasks at once, boredom is never a problem. 

CJ now helps the inhabitants of New Nevaeh steadily rebuild during her quest. Expect jokes because of the village’s name — I wouldn’t have guessed that either. The reconstruction of it is a reasonably significant focal point, opening the door to foraging – mining ore, chopping down trees, etc. Unlike other farm simulations, though, collecting ingredients moves quickly and seamlessly with the rest of the game. Materials are frequently located around the environment you’re investigating. It’s also painfully obvious to find anything that expels rock, timber, or other materials, since they have a gloss that distinguishes them from the backdrop. Rarer versions of the same materials may then be found in the same source, with a well-balanced, though not unduly generous distribution. Then, by improving your tools, you may improve the quality of what you find.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - CJ conversing with a child

Oh. Oh no. That is not a good lesson to teach kids.

If I were to characterize Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, I’d say it’s a cross between a JRPG and a metroidvania, with the latter taking precedence. Because this is a tiny project, the number of dungeons is restricted. As a result, elemental rocks obstruct a way in almost every site. To destroy them, use the element that corresponds to the color – blue represents ice, and red represents fire. You may enter the newly available path by imbuing your weapon with either. This implies there will be some backtracking. Regardless, it’s a clever way of concealing the fact that there was a budget to stick to. The in-game environment could not be more magnificent. There’s also some legend to assist establish the stones’ existence. Overall, nothing seemed slapped together only to extend the game’s duration. 

Most people are concerned about grinding in JRPGs since a handful are egregiously wasteful of your time. Combat repetition does little to assist ease this. Anyway, the Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising has its share of challenges, but owing to snappy controls, it’s also a breeze to play. I’d go so far as to say it’s a bloody good time. The simplicity of sprinting and slicing with intuitive controls is a real joy. However, power leveling will not be the only option. Items like potions, for example, must first be produced before they can be purchased, which is a clever touch. Never fear; anticipate a plenty of stuff to fall on your slaughter runs. Let’s say you’re in a dilemma and your money are significantly low or limited. Produce what is required in such circumstance. Money isn’t the only way to build a nice feature ecology by filling your inventory.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - Map of New Nevaeh

I’d recycle a pun, but you’d never hear it from me again. I apologize.

The strike motions are light. Slashing foes occurs quickly and without stutters. Running through tunnels, ruins, and woodlands keeps 60 frames in place, resulting in a peanut butter smooth presentation. Everything comes together to create a fantastic pleasure experience. Because any stutters may devalue the experience and make it intolerable, the technical aspect has to be top-notch. Gotta move quick is a phrase to live by, and it also happens to be the motto of the Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising aspires to be like. Link Attacks are one such mechanism. They enable you to easily switch between characters, each of whom has their unique assault. Any unfortunate soul caught in the crossfire will perish. I’ve played games where I’ve avoided methods because they’re difficult to master. The simplicity of usage here is a blessing, inspiring me to try new things.

Only a few JRPGs can claim employing a xylophone in a song or two when it comes to soundtracks. Even fewer people may then say they killed it. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising enters that distinguished company with ease, thanks to The Quarry’s infectiously catchy background music. The majority of the scores are fantastic, with Snowpeak’s being my personal favorite. With gentle docile piano strings moaning in the night, it’s so pleasant and tranquil, yet there’s a problem.

There are times when the music does not seem to be in sync with the action on screen. I want to feel the excitement surge through my veins while I kill. Instead, having my ears soaked in bliss while I’m enslaved by warfare generates an uncomfortable contradiction. It’s pointless to complain since the overall quality is incredible. My issue is entirely semantic.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - Garoo helps CJ reach an object

That is just cute. It’s admirable that Garoo attempts to cheer her up.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a superb cross between the two genres. It’s great to see a throwback to the early days of JRPGs incorporated into a modern-day example. More importantly, if this is what this team can achieve with a spin-off, I’m really looking forward to the main JRPG. The richness of the visual style gives the town and fields more depth, making them seem more complete. The emotions conveyed by the sprites’ bodily movements are very clear. The orchestrated music and unique instrumentation should be commended. I’m having trouble finding a problem that isn’t subjective. Simply said, I had a great time, especially when CJ would exclaim “Yus,” pushing me to say it loudly — Queen slay!

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising makes the most of the PlayStation 5’s capabilities. It was incredible to be traveling between spots and seeing streams run in the background.

The quickness with which attacks could be executed made combat enjoyable to use. It was satisfying to stab a bandit in cold blood at such a quick pace.

I have to deduct a point for the disparity between the music and the action on-screen. It’s a tiny point in the broad scheme of things, but it’s something I bring up often, so I’m doing it here for consistency’s sake. 

I had a great time playing this game. Fast travel and the ability to do many quests at once, in my opinion, are what keep the quest system from being a chore.

Final Score: 9.5

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox One S, and PC.

On PlayStation 5, the game was reviewed.

The publisher sent me a copy of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising.

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