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Preview: Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Offers Classic JRPG Vibes

I played a lot of old school PS1 classics on my PSP back in the day, since I never owned the JRPG-centric console, but one of the most memorable games I played was Suikoden 2. As such, my hype for Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes couldn’t be higher, and it fortunately seems to lives up to the hype so far.

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Ahead of launch, I checked out a recent PC demo build of the game on my Steam Deck that let me see a solid chunk of what seemed to be an early part of the adventure. The story elements felt a bit light, despite the frequent cutscenes, which left me very little to go on. That said, what I know without a doubt is how stunning its visuals seemed.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes bears some similarities to the HD-2D stylings of the Octopath Traveler games, minus the pixel art. It has a beautiful mix of the 2D hand-drawn characters and colorful 3D environments. The world looks stunning, from what I saw. This build included a neat mix of places to explore, such as a smaller town, a more open world map area, and mysterious ruin dungeon.

The colors popped on my Steam Deck alongside some impressive visual effects in combat. The battles in this game involved the typical random encounters from old school JRPGs. I’m not the biggest fan of that decision these days, but the fights at least offered the right balance of challenge and smoothness in this build. Like its Suikoden inspiration, battles are turn-based and feature a whopping six party members at once.

Players go through and pick the actions for each of the six members every turn, or you can set up an auto-battle situation. What I liked about these auto battles is how freeing they are. Sure, you can have the team do a basic attack and that’s it. However, you can also command them to fight without using precious MP or conserve resources. While I wish you could individualize these commands more, the options were handy.

I was able to set up the team in such a way that I could let them auto-battle through most basic fights in the build. This allowed me to grind pretty smoothly and focus on the major boss battles. The few bosses available here appeared early on in the story, so they only slightly challenged my skills, They were mostly damage sponges who unleashed a couple of powerful attacks I had to heal from.

The exploration also involved a similarly simplistic approach in the initial areas. This segment is taken from pretty early in the game, so I only uncovered a couple of secrets and treasures chests throughout the locations. That said, there are hints to more challenge ahead, especially with the light puzzles in these dungeons. One tasked me with navigating a fog maze that sent me back to the beginning if I made a wrong turn. Yet another had to do with lighting up circles in the right order.

They felt pretty basic, as I only needed to take two tries for both to complete them. That said, I appreciated the variation in puzzles in this short Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes preview build. If this idea continues in the full game, it should break up the monotony of grinding and fights quite often.

Beyond the dungeons, I also had the chance to recruit a couple of addition heroes and participate in the fishing minigame. These optional objectives give me hope for how deep this game will be. Of the 10 available heroes in the demo, all of them interested me in some way based on their introductions. I usually play games like this with the Japanese voiceovers. Thankfully, it also had solid English voice acting early on, which felt like a nice surprise.

Though I still feel a bit curious about how the story and overall writing will play out, this Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes preview build has me even more excited for the full release on April 23, 2024.

Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes will release for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC on April 23, 2024.

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Cody Perez
Cody is a writer who has been sharing his love for video games and anime since his high school days in 2012. When he isn’t writing about the latest JRPGs and anime series, he can be found in Final Fantasy XIV, occasionally playing some Call of Duty, or lurking on Twitter @SoulcapCody.