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Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Overview (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 just a few fashionable conveniences however designed for an old-school mindset. Visually gorgeous, with an extremely huge forged of voiced characters to gather, the sport nails the stress of a political thriller and epic of struggle, however the tempo of play, and — at instances — lack of route, 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 robust basis, the developer has crafted an extremely assured first effort, delivering on the premise of the venture and providing what a specific section of the viewers has been craving.

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Set within the extremely various 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 sequence of occasions that may 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 elements to play, together with successive tiers of supporting characters — though it is true that not all are created equal.

Hundred Heroes seems, merely put, gorgeous. 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 social gathering members are singularly nice. It is within the title, in fact, however Hundred Heroes does a wonderful job of respiration life into every of its scores of characters, giving them, on the very least, a novel voice and gimmick, and the huge ensemble encountered throughout this sprawling journey really steals the present. Some could have vital elements to play within the story; others will probably 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 fort the place you retain all of them.

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Constructing this fort 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 sources in a single place and promoting them in one other may be extremely profitable. Varied sources will probably be required to improve the fort, as will the precise character wanted to function that addition. Everybody comes collectively to help the struggle effort, and seeing Nowa’s adoptive aunt, Martha, fortunately toiling away to produce meals for everyone is surprisingly considerably soothing.

Whereas fashionable (comparatively talking) options like a restricted autosave and infrequently supplying you with a map marker to observe cease this from being a real return to the unHealthy previous days, useful resource administration will probably be important, and it’s best 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 working from city to city, speaking to everybody we might, to seek out out precisely what the sport was demanding.

As one other instance, dungeons are designed to be fairly gruelling — assessments of stamina greater than energy — and will doubtlessly 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 acquire entry to it for a shocking period of time. We performed on regular problem (there’s a onerous possibility), 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 gentle fishing and the Bayblade-like battling high sport Beigoma, do meaningfully break up what you are doing.

Fight is essentially an automatic affair: you possibly can enter every motion manually if you happen to like (and at instances, it will likely be important), however with a celebration of six lively characters and a fairly excessive random encounter charge, it is one thing you may need to streamline. Fortunately, you may get surprisingly granular with how every character acts. Last Fantasy XII followers will recognize the simplified Gambit system, permitting as much as 4 Precedence Actions to be set for every social gathering member, with parameters like therapeutic any character below 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 guaranteeing each distinctive weapon is appropriately upgraded is one factor. However then you definitely’ll have to know in what place to position them and what skills every has and outfit them with runes accordingly. Auto-equip helps, in fact, 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 infrequently felt like we had been in some way taking part in “unsuitable”.

Conclusion

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is the true religious 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 enchantment to everybody.





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