In short, Euden Chronicle: Rising is a simple and straightforward action/RPG. It’s easy to get lost in its quiet cycle of collecting stamps through fetch quests and battles. However, there is not much essence in Rising. The whole experience is monotonous and the various RPG offenses, which is disappointing. Especially because it is a prequel introducing the Euden world ahead of Euden Chronicle: A Hundred Heroes – the spiritual successor to the Suikoden series. If this is a sign of what’s to come, I worry.
Rising’s protagonist, CJ, is a young adventurer who wants to make a name for himself as a treasure hunter. She lives in a city that attracts adventurers from far and wide for its valuable surrounding resources; Think of the Gold Rush. During her trek, she meets up with a grumpy and spirited kangaroo named Garu and a swift and elegant magic user named Isha. The main story is primarily about helping you get to your next destination, serving up some revelation as to why the mysterious, looming dangers have appeared. Overall, the narrative is very predictable and generic.
With a dry story, the lack of moments of bonding between the characters disappointed me. CJ and Garu’s pranks have some fascinating dialogue, and I was overjoyed in the presence of a magical girl named Mallor, which is an obvious tribute. sailor Moon, Even so, there isn’t much depth to these personalities, and they feel more like outlines of character than fully developed individuals. Sadly, this makes it difficult to feel any connection with them.
A great aspect of Rising is its town-building feature, which lets you have different villagers set up their shops to attract people to the settlement, making it more prosperous. You’re constantly leveling up different stores, such as a tavern, tavern, dispensary, weapons store, and more. At first glance, town-building seems like a fun extra wrinkle, but its exhausting quests make it one of the game’s biggest letdowns. You go to the same areas and then go back to the explorer, who usually asks you to get a certain amount of resources or locate someone for them.
City-building quickly turns into a long list of tasks. On the one hand, completing them is not so difficult. On the other hand, they are mindless and do not give much satisfaction for the effort. The stores stock some new, and the city gets a little overcrowded, but it’s such a hollow sense of progress. Each attempt earns you stamps, which show the level of completion of your city. After doing part one of these, I lost interest in prioritizing side content, but then I realized I would be low level if I didn’t engage with it because the quests provide a great deal of experience. It’s frustrating, because you’re forced into boring tasks with no essence and little in the way of storytelling. A side quest should feel optional, not necessary.
The dungeon is divided into smaller romps, which I liked because they didn’t feel bloated and lent themselves well to short play sessions. That was until I had to retreat to the same dungeons, fighting the same minibosses over and over again. The game is linear overall, which isn’t a problem if the exploration is interesting. That’s not really the case here; Dungeons have very few hidden paths, and their main appeal is picking up rare items that you can use for crafting, equipment upgrades, and cooking. Their overall design is also very basic, tied to various elements (eg, ice, earth, fire). At least, the final bosses of each dungeon are attractive in appearance and provide a good challenge. One of my favorites was the cute snow twins, which can turn floors into pure snow, forcing you to stay in the air with double jumps and combos until it lifts up.
Action combat is another area of the game that is substantial. Your party members and their attacks are tied to individual face buttons on the controller, and you can chain powerful combos if you swap one for another character at the right time in the middle of an attack. As you level up, you unlock new abilities, such as air and quick moves, along with various jumping attacks, up and down attacks. Unfortunately, I never felt a growing sense of power or satisfaction from these; Link combos were more complete and deadly. Still, everything was well controlled, and I didn’t run into any glitches or serious technical issues during my time playing the Switch on.
The 2.5D art style deserves its praise. Rising is a lively and engaging adventure, with beautiful hand-drawn visuals that add a nice personal touch. The graphics have this retro vibe reminiscent of Suikoden, while still modernizing enough to feel like an exciting visual upgrade. Character illustrations are detailed and engaging, and small details pop in the landscape, like grass swaying in the wind or blistering snow falling.
Rising was created to reward fans for reaching the Kickstarter stretch goal, but it’s not just an add-on, it’s a complete game, lasting about 20 hours. Natsume Atari served as developer with input from Rabbit & Bear Studios, the mastermind of Hundred Heroes. Unfortunately, the experience falls short because every element of it is simply playable or run-of-the-mill. However, its art style is a bright spot, which still keeps me hopeful for the main game to come.
However, the beautiful visuals can only take you so far, and Euden Chronicle: Rising doesn’t provide enough entertaining or unique content to prevent it from being anything more than a quintessential RPG. At least, it introduces some of the characters involved in the Euden world and Hundred Heroes, but that’s little incentive to keep up with the tedious gameplay and boilerplate characters.