Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review – Old School In All The Right Ways

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review - Old School In All The Right Ways

Making games whilst catering to nostalgia will always be tricky. There’s an incredibly fine line between keeping with the feel of a game from two or three decades ago but also bringing in some of the changes that people are used to in the genre in modern times. Suikoden 1 and 2 were big favourites of mine, and after a very successful Kickstarter and publisher backing, the spiritual successor is here.

The story is fairly normal for RPGs. Big bad empire wants more power and discovers a technology that will give it to them. Our protagonist is from a small village and is thrust into danger and seeks to rise above it, taking out the baddies as he progresses. I’m being droll of course, but that is the long and short of the story. Doesn’t make it a bad thing but it’s not going to win any Nebulas any time soon.


What makes this game stand out is the sheer scope. There are over a hundred heroes to recruit, plenty of mini-games to enjoy and a whole city to upgrade. This is a game begging you to be that old-school completionist, something that’s rarely seen nowadays. The scope of the achievements is very much “do everything”, and the game wants to help you do that.

Despite my initial impressions where I was turned off by the sheer adherence to an old-school style, the game won me over as it unlocked things like fast travel, a guide for some of the collectables, and passive gathering for critical materials. This is one of few games where I’ll say to give it 10-20 hours before you pass judgment, as much as I hate that.
The interesting thing about the amount of heroes is that yes, you can just use a specific composition for most battles, but there’s experience catch up mechanics so you can play around and find ones that work for you. You’re allowed to take 3 front liners, 3 rear liners and a support so there’s a lot of options. Whilst you are often locked to specific party members, they can be sent to an “attendant” tier so you don’t use them in combat.

The flip side of the hero amount is twofold issues. The first is that barely any get a chance to shine, so I didn’t find myself getting attached to too many or find out much about them. There is a short 3 panel history you can unlock for them, but it’s not enough to get me engaged. The other issue is that upgrading all their stuff sucks. Fiddling with equipment across heroes on the benches and ones in the party can be a pain, and upgrading their weapons at the blacksmith means watching the same short animation 10 times per party member if you’re upgrading them all, which doesn’t exactly elicit elation. A bulk upgrade mechanic would have gone a long way here.


Oddly, the encounter rate feels insanely small. This isn’t bad most of the time, but when you’re looking for a specific drop from an enemy it can really be a pain when there are 60 seconds of running around the map between encounters. This can be fixed with accessories a little later in the game but it still felt a bit low for me.

Heroes aside, I was very much a fan of the art style and music. 2.5D is still very much in vogue, and the battles and environments were a joy to behold. Bright vibrant colours and varied environments I am a big fan of, and Eiyuden Chronicle delivers. I especially liked the return of the duels, which felt quite dramatic. There are not too many of them either, so they don’t lose their appeal. This being said, there’s a “blur” put across the map in the distance that made me feel quite ill if I ever focused on it. It might have been done for performance issues, but it sucks. Trying to look at anything far away is awful. The soundtrack is composed by Motoi Sakuraba (Dark Souls) and Michiko Naruke (Super Smash Bros: Ultimate) and is extremely good. I’ll be hunting down the OST myself once it’s fully released.


Battles play out interestingly, where you set all the actions for your party then they take place in accordance with their action speed. I like this mechanic, as it means you can take out an enemy or perform one of the game’s many “gimmicks” in fights before they get a chance to take an action. It’s needed, too, as enemies seem to hit very hard very quickly and healing is either done via consumables, or via MP which does not automatically regenerate. As you can’t use a “tent” at save points, you’ll want to be very well prepared for combat. Bag space is limited too, so there’s quite a tactical element to preparation, at least until you unlock fast travel and it suddenly becomes trivial.

The gimmicks are quite cool most of the time, where you’ll activate a switch, and hide behind something or similar during the fight to cause a reaction. Sometimes it’ll be avoiding a big attack, sometimes it’ll be making sure an attack hits the enemy instead of you, and sometimes it’ll just be opening a chest.


Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is very much a love letter to old-school JRPGs, for better and worse. Where the soundtrack is amazing and the visuals are on point, there are many foibles that hinder the experience, such as encounter rate, lack of connection to the various heroes and management of gear. Regardless, this is a very special experience that will stay with me for a long while. I said it before and I’ll say it again; there are so few games that scratch the same itch that Suikoden did, and this is one that fans will really enjoy.

Eiyuden Chronicles Hundred Heroes was reviewed on PC with code kindly supplied by the publisher. 

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