Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes is an JRPG worth your time

There are several big JRPGs coming out in 2024, Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes may not be the best one, but it's still a game that fills a necessary void for players.
Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes screenshot by 505 Games
Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes screenshot by 505 Games /

Fans have long wanted a successor to the Suikoden series. Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes kicked in the door, prepared to take up that space and it succeeds where necessary to do just that. 2024 is set to be a year packed with must-play role-playing games and if you’re looking for something to add to the list, even if you don’t play it immediately now that it’s out, Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes should be on your list.

Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes hits a lot of the necessary tropes that makes Japanese Role-Playing games great. Three different main characters are interesting in their own right. Nowa, the up-start hero leaving his small town to join a mercenary group, Seign, the man determined to live up to his name, and Marisa, the spiritual player who knows more of the background story that brings everyone together. Each one plays their role and plays them well, leading to epic moments that pull at all the typical heartstrings for RPG players. The one-on-one bridge battle early in the game as seen in the trailer is an example of one that causes players to sit on the edge of their seats.

But where this game is meant to shine is with its varied set of recruitable characters. There are 120 additional characters that can be added to your army. Some are mandatory, as they are part of the main line story. Then there are those that you must go out of your way to find. That is one of the main fun parts of Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes. Talking to every NPC is an important part of playing any JRPG, but this game will train your eyes to look for any NPC that gives off any hint of being “special” because that may be another person to add to your crew. Backtracking and checking every path take on a new level, as you may find a new powerhouse to add to the squad.

Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes screenshot
Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes screenshot by 505 Games /

Yet, that variety is also a bit of a problem with this cast. There are so many characters that none of them even stand out. Even Nowa, who is probably the most central to the story, isn’t much of an interesting persona. As you play through the game you’ll have more questions than answers. Why is this child roaming around with this Bigfoot-like monster? Tell me more about the two geriatrics that love to beat the tar out of each other. Who is this character that only joins your team because she wants to have a death duel with one of your central team members? All of these are delightful stories that could almost be spin-off chapters on their own. But no one would have stuck around to play 120 side stories like that, right? RIGHT!?

The battles are your standard fare. Random encounters against typical monsters to gain XP and level up. While seeing your stats go up, the magic system is frustrating. It would have been much better to see the characters learn now magic abilities as they got stronger. But instead, the rune system is a bit confusing, making it hard to understand who can equip what magic or skills, or even know what runes unlock what specific abilities. It’s not worth diving into, just make sure your team has the few abilities necessary to defeat your opponents. Besides, Hero Combos are really where it is at. Unlock the special abilities that see your characters blast your opponents with tag moves or empower the team. Those have much more value as the fights get harder.

The giant military battles are fun as well. They can scratch the itch for those looking for a strategic part of the game. As you play through those and they become more challenging, it becomes a fun part of the game, worthy of anticipation when reaching those parts of the game.

Again, if you’re a fan of Japanese RPGs, do not miss Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. It checks all the boxes and you will have fun with this game. Some will even get hooked and make it a point to track down all the hidden characters. There is a lot of fun in that. But if you’re looking for an industry-shaking entry into the genre, there are others coming out this year that may be better to scratch that itch. But EC: HH is a fun game from start to finish.