July 27, 2020 | 15:00
A spiritual successor to the Suikoden JRPG series is hoping to make its way to the PC if a Kickstarter campaign proves to be a hit.
Set to launch on the crowdfunding site later today, Eiyuden Chronicle comes from the key creators behind the popular Suikoden JRPG series. While the original series was solely available for consoles, Eiyuden Chronicle's aim is initially the PC with stretch goals making a console release possible further down the line.
It comes from Tokyo-based developer, Rabbit & Bear Studios, which is comprised of many of the best RPG developers in recent years. Its story will be handled by Suikoden 1 and 2 writer Yoshitaka Murayama with character design by Junko Kawano, designer for Suikoden 1 and 4, system design and direction by Osamu Komuta of Suikoden Tierkreis and Suikoden Tactics fame, with art direction and production by Junichi Murakami, best known for Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
Eiyuden Chronicle has been described as "an ode to the classic JRPG genre from the PlayStation era". That means plenty of traditional JRPG-style turn-based combat along with a 2.5D graphical style. Due to the Suikoden style flourishes, it goes a few steps further than other JRPGs too. Notably, it offers a cast of 100 unique heroes, all recruitable, with a fortress building system that means you can watch your empire gradually grow in strength. It's a format that has meant the Suikoden series has been remembered very fondly by its fans over the years. A guild system has also been included so that players can change their fortress attributes based on the guild they join.
With a slightly more 21st century flourish, players will also get to witness a dynamic camera during boss battles which should look a little fancier than the more stationary camera of past titles. The images released so far certainly look delightful if typical of the 2D JRPG style of old. Nintendo enthusiasts may note some visual similarities to Octopath Traveler which pursued a similarly traditional yet somehow beautiful style.
While all of Eiyuden Chronicle's influences have been console-based, this is a Kickstarter initially squarely aimed at the PC market with an initial funding goal of $500,000. Kickstarters aren't always successful and often for good reason, but this one seems to have the pedigree and the nostalgia to have a chance. Having said that, maybe don't expect to reap the rewards for a pledge any time soon. This one seems likely to be in the works for a while to come.
July 1 2020 | 17:34