The Legacy lives on

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is cited as a spiritual successor to the Suikoden series and perfectly so. Yoshitaka Murayama who previously worked on Suikoden returned to lead the Eiyudon Chronicle: Hundred Heroes project before his unfortunate passing earlier this year, his legacy lives on forever though as Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a brilliant piece of art and a longing which many JRPG players have felt for a very long time.

It isn’t long before the game provides clear cut Suikoden like nods through it’s narrative and gameplay elements. While the story begins quite simply as a soldier in the ranks fighting for an army, it later becomes a grand adventure with many allies and characters you will meet throughout the journey all with backstories. As the game suggests there isn’t a small band of 5-8 characters here, you will meet on your journey, instead we get a massive 100 interactable characters who will either fight for you or become a part of the kingdom which you build up. The games story is told really well and there are pivotal moments in the story where you will be faced to duel alone but in no way did I feel it breaks the immersion.

Exploring the world takes place mostly on maps and shows a fixed camera angle but when you are out on the world map you are free to rotate the map and adjust the screen to a comfortable position. Likewise battles also play out on a fixed position with allies usually depicted in the bottom right facing the enemies who are in the top left, when allies or foes use special abilities and attacks however the screen will adjust showing the move or special skills in action. If you have played previous Suikoden games or the Breath of Fire series then you know what to expect. The game does not soley rely on turn based battles however as there are more cinematic moments where you will go to war and this is determined by playing leaders which are depicted as coins on a grid based screen, something akin more to the recent Unicorn Overlord or Fire Emblem games. There is no real strategy here as you just click onto the enemy and watch the skirmishes unfold.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes has pixelated 2D art style characters that explore 3D worlds, similar in the way to what we have seen in the more recent games such as Octopath Traveller and Star Ocean: The Second Story R, it’s a style that we have seen many times already but it’s one that works and really gives a feeling of nostalgia although graphically it isn’t the sharpest, characters are all unique however in their designs. Maps look great, shadows are done well and foliage can be seen in the foreground as rays of light shine through as you explore the world.

As you traverse the giant map you will find new towns, buy new equipment, meet new people and follow the story, if you want to recruit a new character you can do that first. It’s a formula that becomes more commonplace as you play through but it works in telling the narrative that it does, sure the characters distinctly have every anime trope you can think of put in to them, but somehow with the large cast they have, it just works. Puzzles are there and the game does a good job of making you aware of their existence, although not difficult it can be an annoyance whilst you first have to deal with one or a few random encounters, although this a personal issue more than anything. The game does have some tricky and confusing labyrinths and dungeons which you can easily get lost in. I do wish there was a bit more of a challenge when it comes to difficulty however.

Whilst Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes does have a hard difficulty option, this is negated by the fact you can limit certain things from happening. Having modifiers which Increase skill consumption points, turning off item usage in battle and having the ability to turn off earning money altogether isn’t really a feature that makes the game harder in my eyes, it’s more of a hindrance. Sure it makes you need to think about what to do going forward but I’d prefer a hard mode where enemies in fact do hit a lot harder, and earning less experience after battles, that sort of thing. Let us still use hundreds of recovery items in battle, that’s what they are there for, this is a JRPG after all. Hard mode just easier than I expected and is negated by the fact it is not that much harder and the game is too generous with giving you plenty of items to use.

If you opt for the easier difficulty settings here then the game becomes a story game with the turn based gameplay but you will never have to worry about tactics. Auto-battle is a feature and is something that can be used which can negate the core gameplay of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes which can be a real dealbreaker. Bosses can be real fun and whilst almost challenging there is a level of skill involved as you will need to plan accordingly such as moving behind rocks to dodge massive lasers. You can then topple enemies with your most powerful moves and team combos.

When everything becomes more relaxed you will find yourself back at the kingdom building it up and taking part in a variety of activities, this can be anything from cooking, fishing to racing. To upgrade the base you will need to meet certain requirements such as having a certain amount of people recruited to having enough food and resources available, once you have upgraded then you can then increase the level of your castle to expand it further. Both stores and new facilities become available, you can also harvest stones and food in the quarry and farm respectively.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes has a fantastic case of characters all who are expertly cast by a diverse range of voice actors. We are not limited to British and American voices though, it feels like a living, breathing world as it should. The game is exceptionally long clocking in at around 60 hours, even more if you decide to explore all the game has to offer.

A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by 505 Games