Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes review for Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC
Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Rabbit & Bear Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

When it comes to Kickstarter funded video games that are meant to be spiritual successors to beloved classics, I think we can all agree that the end results are typically a mixed bag. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is no different in that regard, but thankfully fares better than Mighty No. 9 at least. It’s meant to evoke Konami’s classic Suikoden series, and does manage to do so pretty faithfully, almost to a fault. Devoid of a lot of modern conveniences found in other RPG’s nowadays, your tolerance for the experience that Eiyuden Chronicle sets out to deliver will likely hinge on your love of Suikoden (II specifically) or other RPGs from that era. As someone who basically grew up playing RPGs on the PlayStation 1 and earlier, I was willing to look past a lot of the issues, but this might not be the best way to spend your time if you’re coming into this with a fresh set of JRPG eyes. 

Where Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes manages to excel, however, is with the huge cast of characters that will be at your disposal. This is certainly one of the biggest selling points here, and while not every party member is as fully fleshed out as others, there’s a lot of variety in design, voice work, abilities, and just overall appeal here. You’ll likely have a hard time settling in on which heroes to play through as, but thankfully Eiyuden Chronicles gives you plenty of party and support slots to realistically try and play with as many of the characters as possible. It’s not nearly as unwieldy as it might sound on paper, and I thought the development team really nailed this aspect of the game overall. I think it also helps that the combat system isn’t too grandiose or complicated, so you’re able to get by with playing as whoever you want without feeling like you’re underpowered or lacking important skills for tough battles. 

I also enjoyed the story and overall scope of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. Its pacing is a bit slow at first, but once the adventure gets going you’ll likely be intrigued enough to see it through to the end. It’s a pretty lengthy adventure overall, so you’ll definitely need to set aside some serious time in order to see everything the game has to offer.

As far as performance goes, I played through the Switch version of the game, and I’d guess that’s probably the worst experience overall unfortunately. It’s certainly playable, I never encountered any serious framerate or crashing issues, but boy is the loading a real problem for me. One unfortunate “old-school” aspect of Eiyuden Chronicles is the need to load between zones, when going in and out of houses, and entering every battle. It feels like you’re encountering the loading screen pretty often throughout, and the load times on the Switch are abysmal overall. I’d imagine this experience fares a lot better on PC or other modern consoles that have access to an SSD, so if you have the option to check the game out on any other platform, I’d highly suggest doing so. 

As far as my other problems with Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes goes, it mostly just boils down to not wanting to put up with old-school RPG design sensibilities. We’ve managed to get to a point in similar games where features like quest tracking, the ability to save anywhere, and even simple things like map icons that are actually labeled are so baked into the genre design that it’s kind of a shock when you play a game that doesn’t have these baseline features. These aren’t necessarily deal breakers when they’re missing, but I honestly don’t feel like I’ve got a great deal of time to devote to games that can’t get with the times, and I see nothing wrong with a retro-styled game like Eiyuden Chronicle at least trying to outfit it’s retro look and feel with at least a few modern bells and whistles. Maybe that’s more on me than it is on the game, but if you’re like me you’ll likely get annoyed with these aspects the more you play the game.

Still, I can’t say that Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a bad game. It’s a solid attempt at recreating that Suikoden experience, and I can appreciate that someone out there is still trying to keep its spirit alive in some manner. I think, and hope, that a sequel will ideally work out some of these issues and make for a better showing, but if you absolutely want to capture the feel of playing through a Suikoden title again, then Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes will likely be right up your alley. 

Note: 505 Games provided us with a Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 7