Rising is a slow but enjoyable city-building action-RPG

Rising takes its time, but forms a nice curl

Chronicle of Eiyudenthe spiritual successor of Suikoden series developed by Rabbit & Bear, is still a long way off. But like bloodied and other Kickstarter games have had their own prequels attached, there are Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising. It takes place before the events of the game itself, takes a different approach to gameplay, and lays the groundwork.

It’s also fun, even if it takes a little time to get going. I had the chance to play a piece of Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising‘s opening hours, and it didn’t take long for the action to start – I fought bandits within the first few minutes. This prequel game from Rabbit & Bear, NatsumeAtari, and 505 Games has charm, as well as familiar and fun combat. It just takes a while for this action to evolve into something a little more intriguing.

Rising follows CJ, an aspiring treasure hunter in search of a massive lens as part of her village’s rites for adulthood. His journey leads to New Nevaeh, a town that is experiencing both difficult and prosperous times after calamities open a nearby quarry. Adventurers like CJ have flocked, and to earn a living she must complete chores for the villagers, help rebuild homes, and make way for avid seekers like herself.

I certainly love building a city in RPGs, so that aspect suited me just fine. The first forays I made into the forest allowed me to bring back new resources and share them with the villagers. First, I simply helped locate lost cats and repair roofs; soon after, I established a tavern and an inn.

Seeing all the buildings spring up over time as the small village grows into a thriving town is really fun. This makes a lot of the resources collected from the adventure a bit more meaningful. I was already filling in the lines and gaps in the background with my mind.

The townspeople are also pleasant. Isha, the acting mayor, is one of the highlights of New Neveah. After taking over the city in her father’s absence, she becomes a dedicated ruler, instituting taxes and oversight in the process. A sequence where she leads CJ through the finer details of a lengthy adventure paperwork gave me a lot of laughs.

Once I got to the fields, it was a standard side-scrolling action affair. Enemies stand in the way, launching a few basic attacks. Sometimes they fly. There is a jump button, a slash button, and a single dash. The first hour or so I was mostly doing this: jumping, punching and moving to the right. Throughout the first major boss, it’s a fairly straightforward action platformer, without too much challenge or diversity in what it threw at me.

As I was beginning to worry a bit, however, Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising introduces what appears to be a core element of combat: the party system. Garoo, a hulking kangaroo warrior wielding a massive blade, joins CJ. Here, the combat system changes: each face button, I could see, corresponds to a member of the group. Calling on Garoo would see him gradually switch to an attack, which was much slower but more damaging than CJ’s strikes with his pickaxe.

It made me sit up a bit and start to engage in combat a bit more, which also kicked it up a notch as enemies also started using different attacks. It’s still pretty simple, but now I was able to link attacks between CJ and Garoo, creating combos and doing a lot more damage. It felt really good to hit the enemy with a double hit from CJ and then follow it up with a big swing from Garoo that the enemy might have otherwise dodged.

As more stores opened, so did other ways to build my abilities. I found combo extensions, added Garoo’s unique ability to block attacks into the mix, and even got a little double jump. Enemies posed new threats. They weren’t just jellies nibbling obediently in my direction, now they were spitting rocks and throwing projectiles. Previously, predictable ogres now wore shields, so I had to adapt and become mobile as a CJ to set up Garoo’s big sword swings.

It starts off pretty slow and with numbers, but Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising begins to open up as the city expands outward. Until the end of the preview, I was having a good time establishing shops around New Neveah, looking for the resources they needed to equip me a little better.

Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising doesn’t seem too difficult or in-depth, but after weeks and weeks of Sifu, Ring of Eldenand stranger from paradisethis little slice of urban construction was a bit of a relief. Rising offers a more laid back pace, with great music and happy townspeople to help you along. To me, this fits the bill for a heartwarming RPG. And honestly, that’s what I needed. Once the loop of exploring resources, back to strengthening the town, upgrading my gear, then backtracking, I started to enjoy the pace of the game. Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising may not be groundbreaking, but there’s enough here to make for a relaxing action RPG at the end of the day.

Chronicle of Eiyuden: Rising is coming Spring 2022 to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.