Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Preview - A Promising Spiritual Successor to Suikoden

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review – A Legendary RPG Reborn

The long-awaited day for Suikoden fans has arrived with Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes finally releasing. As the top-funded game on Kickstarter in 2020, expectations are soaring that it will fill the void left by the absence of a proper Suikoden title for over a decade. While not a direct continuation of Suikoden, this spiritual successor is poised to capture the essence that fans of the series have been yearning for. However, with so much time passing, can it meet current standards?

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes unfolds in the richly diverse continent of Allraan, home to various nations with unique cultures and values. These include the League of Nations and the Galdean Empire, both of whom utilize mystical artifacts called “rune-lenses.” The Galdean Empire in particular is scouring the continent in pursuit of the Primal Lens, rumored to bestow immense power to its possessor. The game begins with Nowa, one of the three main protagonists, swiftly embarking on a mission to raid a dungeon alongside an emissary from the Empire, all driven to uncover the secrets of the Primal Lens.

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Fans acquainted with the thematic elements of Suikoden will notice similarities in Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. These include politics, friendship, betrayal, and the inevitable onset of war. However, those anticipating a narrative akin to the intricate tales surrounding True Runes in Suikoden may be disappointed. Rather than focusing on the mystique of runes, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes centers around the overarching theme of one individual gathering an army to combat and thwart the tyranny of the Empire.

The storytelling in Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes predominantly centers around Nowa, but Seign and Marissa, also play significant roles in the captivating narrative. As you progress through the game the story seamlessly shifts between these three characters, offering unique perspectives until they ultimately unite to confront the empire.

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Diverse Range of Characters

Recruiting characters is an ongoing task throughout the game. Unlike in Suikoden, where the goal is to gather 108 characters, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes offers a total of 120. As is tradition with Suikoden games, ensuring all characters are recruited before the final battle leads to a more rewarding ending—a significant incentive for completionists. Fortunately, most recruitable characters in the game come with a backstory, providing players with ample reason to become attached to them, and most will join your cause after completing a task. While many of these tasks are straightforward, a few characters require the completion of a series of chain quests to join your party.

Establishing a headquarters becomes crucial in your quest to assemble allies against the tyranny of the Galdean Empire. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes introduces the innovative town castle feature, elevating the town-building aspect previously seen in Suikoden. It seamlessly blends cherished elements from previous Suikoden titles into a unified experience.

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Unlike earlier Suikoden iterations, where town or castle expansion relied solely on recruited characters, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes offers a more sophisticated approach. As you journey through diverse regions and locales, you’ll encounter foraging sites where materials can be gathered to enhance your castle. Additionally, an NPC will introduce a blueprint design once you obtain the castle town, allowing you to prioritize establishments within your castle, designate resources for recruited characters, and explore numerous customization options.

With the castle town serving as your central hub, it boasts a variety of notable establishments and entertaining mini-games. Most notable being Suikoden II’s Cooking Contest, and Suikoden III’s Theater. While Cooking Contest is self-explanatory, Theater showcases classics like Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella play out with recruited allies. Those seeking a challenge can try to overcome boss rush mode, which encourages strong teams, and tactics.

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Charming Visuals

The game offers an abundance of activities, quickly leading players astray. Completing the story alone can take around 35-40 hours, but for those looking to accomplish everything, including maxing out Nowa and earning every achievement or trophy, expect to double that time to about 100 hours. Additionally, three DLCs are on the horizon, each approximately 1.5 hours long, promising even more content for players.

No Suikoden game would be complete without its hallmark large-scale battles, and Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes delivers on this front. While the large-scale battles here pay homage to the first two Suikoden games, I find them somewhat lacking in customization and variety. The number of war battles feels limited, and the customization options are not as extensive as expected, leading to a relatively low difficulty. In these battles, you’ll command your troops on a grid-like system reminiscent of tactical games. When they engage the enemy, an animation ensues where soldiers clash, evoking nostalgic memories of early Suikoden.

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Regarding combat, enthusiasts will appreciate the turn-based six-man party system, which offers a diverse range of characters for battle and enables varied party compositions. The beloved Unite Attacks from Suikoden triumphantly return as “Hero Combo,” empowering select party members to execute devastating combos against foes. Additionally, to deepen the combat experience, a new “gimmick” feature has been introduced in certain battles or boss fights. This feature allows players to take cover in debris, granting temporary evasion from enemy attacks on the subsequent turn. While most fights and bosses may appear relatively easy, players can select the hard mode difficulty before embarking on their journey, providing a challenge for those craving a more intense experience.

Visually, the game is stunning, evoking nostalgia for the beloved classic Suikoden titles. Developed by the same team behind the first two Suikoden games, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes shares many visual similarities, eliciting a strong nostalgia for players. From the charming character sprites to the vibrant world, Suikoden enthusiasts will be delighted by the overall visual experience. Moreover, the game features an enticing soundtrack and fully voiced characters that immerse players in the experience.

In terms of performance, the game runs smoothly on PC, particularly for those playing on devices like the Steam Deck, ROG Ally, and Legion GO, where it maintains a solid 60 frames per second. However, players may encounter occasional sluggishness on consoles such as the PS4, with the game running at 30 frames per second. Fortunately, those on PS5 will enjoy improved performance, running at 60 frames per second with higher resolution, resulting in enhanced textures and visual fidelity.

Regarding technical issues, there have been reports of a recruitment bug affecting certain characters in the game. Despite a patch released before the early access claiming to address this bug, some players, particularly Kickstarter backers who have gained early access, still encounter this game-breaking issue.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review Verdict

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes: Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a heartfelt homage to the Suikoden games, seamlessly blending nostalgia with fresh experiences. While it effectively captures the essence of Suikoden, offering familiar storytelling and visuals that resonate deeply with fans, the presence of bugs and occasional performance issues may detract from the overall enjoyment. Nevertheless, these minor setbacks do not overshadow the game's true strength—its ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia while delivering a new and captivating adventure. With its rich narrative and familiar gameplay elements, Eiyuden Chronicle feels like a true Suikoden game with a new title, making it a must-play for fans of the beloved series. Mark

von 10

Editor’s Note: Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes was reviewed on PC, tested on PS4/PS5, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.

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