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Kingdom Hearts is coming to Steam - June 13
  • I've been wondering myself if their "no exclusives" restructuring also includes no more exclusives on the Epic Games Store.

  • Interview with Tactics Ogre director/writer Yasumi Matsuno at Naples Comicon

    Translation from a post at ResetEra, slight modifications/formatting by me. ___ The annual Naples ComiCon among its numerous guests also welcome Yasumi Matsuno, game designer and scenario writer of some of the most influential titles of our era: Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, and others. Most recently he collaborated with the Final Fantasy XIV team on the "Return to Ivalice" and "Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr" scenarios.

    Interviewing him I had the pleasure of meeting an author with great creativity, who recognizes enormous value in original and innovative ideas, and is convinced that it is always worth creating something new and complex, even at the cost of not chasing a broad target audience. But also presents a witty & pragmatic outlook who does not self-aggrandize despite his professional successes.

    To my great pleasure he answered my questions very thoroughly, opinions about entertainment and his own work , so this interview is significantly longer than what you might be used to. Precisely for this reason, however, it shows us up close some less "public" sides of Yasumi Matsuno. Enjoy the reading.

    MARCO PATRIZI, interviewer: Can you tell us something about how your career began? What led you to develop video games at Quest Corporation?

    YASUMI MATSUNO: Thank you very much, and thank you for inviting me.

    When I was a university student my aspiration was to enter the film industry, but since it was really difficult I changed my mind and started working in a small journalism company. I specify that in this period my work had nothing to do with the world of video games. Work often took me to interview various people, such as company presidents. It was fun and I learned a lot about how to write about various topics.

    At the time I had a college friend who was three years older than me and who started developing video games. I wasn't a huge fan at the time, but I had still played various games on the Famicom. One day I went to visit this friend of mine in the office and I saw what he was doing, and I remember that he intrigued me a lot.

    I remember that in the 80's, most international games were created based on already existing and famous characters. But in Japan, things were a little different, that is, the protagonists of the games became famous. And this friend of mine did just that: he created original characters for his games, and this interested me a lot.

    In the pyramid scale of entertainment, given the large amount of films, books and various shows, it was very difficult to establish oneself with a new work, because there was already a lot of competition. Instead, the world of video games had been born relatively recently--in fact it was even seen quite badly by some--so I thought that there were more possibilities for someone like me to enter it and establish myself. Fortunately, my work as a journalist had made me better at writing than others.

    I then started sending many CVs to companies. I remember getting rejected by Namco and Square. The first company that hired me was Bothtec, a PC video game company that had created a division that only dealt with video games for Famicom consoles, this division was precisely Quest. There were only 15 people working there at the time and I came in knowing nothing about programming. Then, six months after my arrival, it happened that my boss retired and due to my age I became the new boss, and I had to manage the group.

    The company wasn't doing well at the time. Normally games were made on existing works, so the decision was made to do something original. The group was divided into two teams, the first started working on an action game, then we decided to make a role-playing game. At the time, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy had achieved great success, so many companies wanted to follow their success by creating other RPGs, so we chose to focus on a strategy game, and this is how the development of Ogre Battle began .

    After a year of development, we showed it to Nintendo during the Tokyo Game Show. At the time there was the belief that new IPs risked selling poorly, that it was better to make sequels like they did with Super Mario, so Nintendo was a bit skeptical towards a new game. After seeing it, however, they were convinced and supported us financially. Consider that at the time, a game that sold ten thousand copies did well. When Ogre Battle came out in 1993, it sold 500,000.

    MP: What are your favorite games?

    YM: Before I got into the video game industry, I really liked the very first The Legend of Zelda on the Famicom. Later I got really into SimCity; I played it a lot! Later I also played a lot of The Atlas, on PC. The protagonist is a captain of a ship that leaves from the Strait of Gibraltar and has to look for land in the Atlantic Ocean, and as he explores the map it expands. And every time you started a game the shape of the world changed.

    You also receive information from explorers who say they have found lands. But they could also be lying, so it's up to the player to understand and decide whether to believe them. It is possible that someone will say that they have found America, Japan, or even fantastic lands such as the continent of Mu or floating cities! It was a very interesting game to exercise the imagination. In general I like games with brilliant and innovative ideas, even if they are not very famous.

    I recently really enjoyed Ghost of Tsushima and Red Dead Redemption. Except that when I played it I had the feeling that I knew what was going to happen.

    MP: The settings of your games are often inspired by medieval Europe. Where does this propensity come from?

    YM: You know, for Japanese audiences, fantasy is very close to the idea of medieval Europe. Today if you think of fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, or Harry Potter immediately come to mind, but in the 80's very few fantasy works were known. Fans of the genre knew and read fantasy books, but the general public thought of Disney works. One of the few works that the Japanese knew was the legend of King Arthur, his sword, and Merlin. In the film sector, Conan the Barbarian and Excalibur were famous.

    If you think of the first approach to fantasy of Japanese productions in the 80's, Miyazaki's films Nausicaa and Laputa come to mind, but also Dragon Quest, with the drawing style of Akira Toriyama, which had a very pop visual style. So in the 90's, they wanted to create a slightly more "serious" fantasy.

    I'll give you an example: before the armor was designed very massively, all in one piece, in a way that didn't allow the characters to move realistically. Instead, I gave instructions to [Akihiko] Yoshida-san to design the armor so that the characters' movements were realistic. He wasn't familiar with fantasy at the time, because he was an advertising graphic designer. But being a very serious professional, he bought some books and studied how to draw armor well to be able to make the designs I asked him to do.

    Players liked its more realistic designs, which is what I wanted. I think there was this curiosity and desire to see another kind of fantasy. In reality, I personally like even less precise and realistic settings, such as those of Captain Future or Flash Gordon. (laughs)

    MP: Playing your games, one of the recurring themes that I am pleased to find is the relationship and contrast between humanity and power. Do you have a personal opinion on this topic that you try to convey, or do you prefer to create conditions in which the player draws their own conclusions?

    YM: Unlike today, in the 80's and 90's video games were mainly made for children and very young teenagers. But observing the users of video games, I noticed that in reality there were also kids over 18, university students, adults who played video games... So I thought it was a great opportunity.

    To make a comparison: when I was young I read Dumas' books in a version adapted for children; then as I grew up I read the original versions and I realized that there was much more: sex, violence, death... Similarly, at the time in video games a lot of content of this kind was left out to be suitable for children too.

    What I wanted to do was try to learn the best things from all types of games and incorporate themes that are more relatable to adult players. At the time there were few games like this, so my projects were also approved to cater to that type of user.

    MP: We know that the develoment of Final Fantasy XII began under your direction, but that you had to step down from the role. Is there anything about the final game that you weren't completely happy with that you would have done differently if you had continued to direct it?

    YM: I would like to specify that, even though I had to leave my role, the development of Final Fantasy XII followed my directions on the story. The only thing I would have liked is to see more detailed characters. But it's no fault of anyone on the team, except mine who had to leave.

    MP: I read a while ago that you worked in Quest's Customer Service section and were very attentive to player feedback. Is there anything you would like to change with the knowledge you have now?

    YM: Almost everything. (laughs) I tend to be quite a perfectionist.

    MP: It seems that Naoki Yoshida holds your talent in high regard. Do you have a good relationship? Would you like to work with him again?

    YM: In general we are friends, we often go eating and drinking together. And if Yoshida-san wants to work with me again in the future, I would be very happy.

    MP: Do you play Final Fantasy XIV a lot?

    YM: I used to play it quite a while ago, but lately I don't have much time. But when the new expansion comes out in July (Dawntrail), I think I'll go back to playing again. I'm currently stuck at the sixth expansion, on the Moon.

    Lately I have to say that I play the mahjong minigame more than the actual game. (laughs) Last January I went to the Fan Festival, in the Tokyo Dome. As many as 60 thousand people participated. And on that occasion, Yoshida-san announced that the new expansion would be released soon; the game's voice actors were also attending. And near the Tokyo Dome there was a hall dedicated to playing mahjong, and I actually didn't participate in the Fan Festival, but I played mahjong for two days! (laughs)

    And with me there were also other people I had worked with, such as programmers and voice actors for the game. The games were very exciting, and there was this voice actor with a beautiful but also very loud voice who often shouted while playing and could be heard throughout the whole dome, and people told him to quiet down. It was very funny.

    MP: You certainly receive a lot of requests from fans to return to work on a sequel or remake of your most successful games. I have always thought, however, that it could also be demeaning for an author to feel the expectation only towards his past titles. How do you deal with this situation? Would you prefer fans to focus more on your future projects, or do you find satisfaction in hearing so much admiration for your past works?

    YM: Personally, I would prefer fans to wait for new games. But in the end, it is the companies that decide what is best to do, so if they decide to produce sequels or remakes I have no objections to doing what they ask of me.

    It's also true that it's difficult to create something successful from nothing. There are franchises, for example Indiana Jones, that always do well every time a new film comes out, while it is more difficult to always create something new of quality. Which is why Hollywood continues to focus on Marvel and DC films, but also to expand Star Wars. Given the large fan base, they are safer projects.

    MP: If conditions allowed it, would you like to work on a new game set in Ivalice or a sequel to the Ogre series? Or would you feel uncomfortable working on a setting from many years ago?

    YM: Personally, I would always prefer to create something new. The problem is that nowadays it is difficult to embark on a totally original project. Thirty years ago it was possible to create a game with ten people, today many millions of funding are needed, so companies are more cautious about taking risks.

    Also because today the budget must take into account translation and localization in many languages which must start immediately, while some time ago a game came out in Japanese and was only later translated into English. Then every translation needs someone to check it... In short, more people and more money are needed.

    MP: What game are you playing these days? Or what's the next game you'd like to play?

    YM: I recently played Unicorn Overlord, which Richter (composer of Unicorn Overlord, sitting next to Matsuno) also worked on. I haven't finished it yet, but I find it very well done.

    Just three weeks ago, I went out drinking with [LTD Basiscape composer Hitoshi] Sakimoto-san and [Vanillaware founder George] Kamitani-san. Also there was Manabu Yamana, a programmer who worked on Dragon Quest. We're friends, so we talked about Unicorn Overlord and why it's selling well. It's a great game and I can't wait for Vanillaware's next game to come out.

    Some time ago, since I like Harry Potter, I also played Hogwarts Legacy, which I found fun. Now I'm also playing Baldur's Gate 3, I'm almost at the end and I'm liking it a lot. ___ Original article: https://www.tomshw.it/videogioco/yasumi-matsuno-ci-racconta-i-suoi-albori-ma-guarda-al-futuro-intervista

    0
    Hades II - Coral Crown (Darren Korb)
  • Ya, everything about this part was great. Loved the distant singing in the zone.

  • Hades II - Coral Crown (Darren Korb)
    2
    PC gaming getting worse every year
  • Much of this isn't unique to PC gaming. And if there ever was a dark age for PC hardware, we've recently crawled out of it, thankfully.

    What bugs me the most right now (and doesn't quite get addressed in this article) is low performance standards. Everyone's pushing 4K and ray tracing, which makes it hard out here for us framerate nerds. It's starting to feel like every major release that comes out is Crysis, something for my hardware to grow into. Only with blurry anti-aliasing/supersampling techniques now.

    One new, big positive I'm not seeing talked about much is a growing variety of Japanese publishers are taking PC seriously now, and that hasn't happened in over thirty years. I'm including Sony in this, even with their recent missteps in the space, and Square Enix's recently announced restructuring suggests simultaneous PC releases in the future for their games. That will inject some competition in PC gaming, although be aware that Japan has its own share of publishers that release broken ports.

  • If you've done the Final Fantasy marathon did you include FF XI? Was it worth it?
  • I've played all of the mainline games over the years, but my only experience with FFXI was a couple of hours of the beta. Tried the marathon as a set of replays several years back and only made it to the start of IX. The load times and the glacial pace of the battles was too much by that point. I think I was planning on skipping XI.

    You could also try asking in [email protected] and [email protected].

  • Total War: Star Wars reportedly in development at Creative Assembly
  • Been a while since I've seen that name. One of a long line of very meh Star Wars games.

  • What are some of your favorite JRPG worlds?
  • If you do, I highly recommend the voice mod. Sky is fully voiced in Japanese and it adds a lot of texture to the characters since it's such a text-heavy game.

  • What are some of your favorite JRPG worlds?
  • A Sky remaster/remake is likely a long way off. Falcom's still a rather small company, and their recent expansion has gone into more development of existing properties (like Tokyo Xanadu). Trails has also had a decline in Japan, which doesn't help.

    They've licensed the property out to mobile devs and anime, so it's possible they'll do the same for another Sky project. Not something they've done in a long time, though.

  • Hades II - Early Access Patch 1 Notes
  • Ahh, the tool change is nice. Functionally, it probably doesn't actually change the rate of resource collection, but it did feel bad seeing stuff you can't harvest.

  • Turn-based RPG ALZARA: Radiant Echoes announced for consoles, PC โ€“ a tribute to JRPG classics
  • Yeah, I'm all for some shorter experiences among all the marathon JRPGs we've been getting.

  • Anyone playing Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes?

    Anyone playing Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes? I just finished it on PC with an SSD and the option to turn the aggressive depth of field off. I hear the Switch and PS4 versions are kinda rough.

    It captures a lot of the Suiko formula. I really enjoyed this once it got rolling; it's quite the nostalgia bomb. The battles were delightful, a big part of why this felt like a 2D JRPG from 2000 I never played. Having different defense commands for party members is something I've never seen in a turn-based game and is the kind of innovation I'd like to see as turn-based games pass to smaller studios. Less thrilled about the literal gimmick system.

    Visually, this is some of the best sprite art I've seen. Too bad the 3D environs they are placed on were kinda generic. The soundtrack was good too, better than expected since I'm generally not a Sakuraba fan. It was a big part of why a certain scene on a bridge was the highlight of the game for me.

    My biggest concern going forward for the property is feature creep. As a whole, this game is a bit underbaked (especially on Switch), while there's still a ton of minigames and maybe even a dungeon or two they didn't need. The minigames are wildly uneven, too (cooking contests are fun but still bugged, beigoma is tedious, fishing gameplay is at a barest minimum).

    I wish this was more polished. Respecting the player's time moment-to-moment was what put Murayama on the map for me with the first two Suiko. So, seeing issues with that here between loading times and padded recruitment quests makes me think he left a lot of the details to the game's director. I suppose that offers some hope that Rabbit & Bear will be able to carry the torch with a sequel (should they go forward with it).

    0
    Turn-based RPG ALZARA: Radiant Echoes announced for consoles, PC โ€“ a tribute to JRPG classics
  • And here I'm thinking it's not far enough, considering how sparse the trailer was (and there's virtually zero additional footage on their Kickstarter page). That said, they've already raised half of their goal. Between this and Runa, it'd be cool if we ended up with a successful western Europe JRPG dev.

    I certainly see the Chrono Cross and Lost Odyssey influence. Hopefully the combat pace is quite a bit quicker than the latter.

  • ASUS breaks your ROG Ally if you don't pay $200 for warranty repairs: SCAMMING COMPANY!
  • I don't have experience with their systems, but I had to go back to the store twice for an Acer monitor. First monitor had a dead HDMI port, second had a gap in the chassis at the top. Don't know why I didn't just go with a different one after the second replacement; it would end up developing a line of shadowing after about 18 months.

  • www.siliconera.com Farming Sim Fields of Mistria Early Access Begins in August

    Fields of Mistria, a farming sim with character art that resemble Sailor Moon artist Naoko Takeuchiโ€™s work, enters early access this summer

    Farming Sim Fields of Mistria Early Access Begins in August
    1
    PS5 barely missed its sales target in latest earnings report, and Sony expects to sell even less by next year
  • Which includes the pricing model. Some regions even saw a price increase.

    A lot of corps threw out the whole concept of a demand curve over the pandemic.

  • Final Fantasy Maker Square Enix Will Aggressively Pursue a Multiplatform Strategy After Profits Tumble
  • So happy that Persona lit a fire under their asses. They need it.

    Best thing that could happen to the genre would be Metaphor selling 10mil copies.

  • Square Enix is finally ditching it's ps exclusive games
  • Either SQEX thought they were going to sell PS5 systems, or they were happy with long-tail sales on timed exclusives. Maybe both. SQEX Japan has had a long history of success with their flagship titles, so I'm not surprised it took them this long.

    I think the writing is on the wall for exclusivity in general at this point: unless you're publishing the games and manufacturing the hardware, it's not good business any more to have exclusivity. Even Sony's first parties are struggling now. Maybe it's not even viable unless you have crazy market share like Nintendo does.

    That said, I wouldn't lament the death of the AA game just yet. Team Asano has been a bright spot for the company, and he just got promoted. I'd be surprised if they moved him to AAA development.

  • [Gamers] Nexus ASUS Scammed Us
  • So what's the top alternative? I've had quality issues with the last two Acer monitors I bought ๐Ÿ˜ญ

  • What are some of your favorite JRPG worlds?
  • Yeah, the age of the series is its biggest problem at the moment. Hopefully they do get around to remaking Sky.

    While there might be other worlds I like a little more, I don't think there are any in the genre as fleshed out as Zemuria. Big part of why I enjoy the games so much.

  • Patient gamers, what are your favourite city builders?
  • I think I need to check Nebuchadnezzar out.

    Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom is still my favorite in this genre by a mile. Dripping with cultural flavor, and there was really something about monument building in all of the games in this series.

  • Patient gamers, what are your favourite city builders?
  • Last time I dipped into Oxygen Not Included, the rocket program was enough to get me to push past self-sustenance. Unfortunately in the end, getting the details of the program right just annoyed me. I don't know if it's me or if the game's just not set up well to handle large-scale construction. Building fuel production ended up being more fun than actually building the rocket silos.

  • What are some of your favorite JRPG worlds?

    I've been playing Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, and the Suikoden vibe is completely there. I loved that game world, its mythos, the soft connections between the games. It contributed to the inspirational vibe, too.

    What some of your JRPG worlds you really liked?

    18
    If Reddit had a soul/conscience, I think it was us, and we're all on Lemmy now...
  • While I agree that seems the case, there likely has been a corresponding shift in niche communities, even if the effect is less measurable. I don't check in on my niche subreddits often anymore (I've fully moved over to here and Discord), but with some of them, their quality has dipped slightly. Possibly could be chalked up to continuing trends independent of the migration, though.

    Smaller communities also require builders, so I'm sure the necessity alone has driven content quality on Lemmy.

  • Weekly what have you been playing discussion - week of May 6th, 2024
  • Finishing up Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. I wish it were polished, but it's still thoroughly scratching the Suikoden itch.

  • shmuplations.com Final Fantasy IX โ€“ 2000 Developer Interviews - shmuplations.com

    These Final Fantasy IX interviews were originally published in Hyper Playstation magazine, shortly before the game's release in July 2000.

    Final Fantasy IX โ€“ 2000 Developer Interviews - shmuplations.com
    1
    Reflections on Xenoblade Chronicles

    Xenoblade Chronicles has been one of the broadly popular JRPG series as of late, particularly within my own social circles. I have heard mostly good things about the games, and some vocal criticisms about the second game in particular. After finally picking up a Switch last year, I have now made my way through most of the series.

    Before trying Xenoblade myself, I had a mixed history with Xeno series creator Tetsuya Takahashi. Heโ€™s had quite a career, having worked on games in the Ys, Final Fantasy, SaGa, Mana, and Chrono series. Xenogears was his first project as a director, and I knew next to nothing about the game when I picked it up at release in 1998. It surprised me in a lot of ways, being my first real dip into the mecha genre, accompanied by a truly massive and thought-provoking script (both big changes from the SNESโ€™s smaller scripts and censorship). My continuing experience with Xeno was less successful. Xenosagaโ€™s move to a more cinematic style gave it a plodding pace, packed with jargon and word salad. I also didnโ€™t connect with most of the trilogyโ€™s characters, I found most of the gameplay boring, and Iโ€™d somehow missed the memo that Xenosaga was a reboot and not directly connected to Xenogears, souring me on the experience in general.

    I didnโ€™t have a lot of success with Xenoblade Chronicles for a while. I came to the first game late in 2017, spurred by positive word-of-mouth that had resurfaced after the announcement of XC2. While I got along with the characters better than I did in Xenosaga and enjoyed the excellent setting, I ultimately had to make an effort to avoid the gameโ€™s numerous sidequests. Being an MMO player, they would have felt dated to me even back at the gameโ€™s release in 2010, and their supporting elements in the UI were extremely basic. The gameโ€™s saving grace for me would be the gameplay, a fun romp with a squad that I enjoyed tinkering with.

    My experience with Xeno changed with XC2. I had a rough start at first when I picked the game up last year, not really sure what to make of the main character and light-hearted tone of the game, a huge departure from the previous games in the series. But when the conversations with Pyra started, a deep hook set in. I immediately connected with this character, someone that seemed eminently competent but had a pensive demeanor, hinting at a darkness within. After I learned more about this character as her whole story unfolded in both XC2 and its DLC Torna, Pyra became my favorite character in the series. For the first time in 25 years, Xeno was finally starting to hit some of those same emotional notes it did for me in Xenogears. Hitting on that nostalgia also led to me thinking about interesting similarities between Fei from Xenogears and Pyra and Mythra.

    In hindsight, making those connections across the series seems to be half the fun. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Future Redeemed are packed with little (and not-so-little) nods to much of past Xeno. I had a good time with this aspect of XC3, and in some ways it picked up where XC2 left off with getting me to be interested in this cast and world. I also really enjoyed the gameplay, seeing the results of refinements to the UI in particular that were sorely needed, culminating in my being thrilled at controlling A and seeing her flip around the battlefield in the DLC. An impressive achievement, considering I almost always hate playing healers in this type of gameplay!

    I know fans of Xenoblade Chronicles have strong opinions about their favorites, but there were things that I loved (the setting in XC1, the cast in 2, the gameplay and Xeno callbacks in 3), and there were things that drove me nuts in each of the games. Iโ€™ve given up on the stories getting some much-needed pruning (every Xeno game and DLC Iโ€™ve played has padding or spots that just donโ€™t work), so I can roll with that. I also donโ€™t know if Iโ€™ll ever get to XCX or Future Connected. Xeno isnโ€™t exactly my top ongoing series at the moment, but Iโ€™m still interested in what Takahashi is cooking up next.

    Any thoughts on Xenoblade Chronicles? Or the Xeno series at large?

    11
    How has your JRPG 2024 been?

    After a fast and furious few months to start the year, the release schedule is starting to slow down a bit before it picks up again later in the year. We also have the expanded Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance and Trails through Daybreak on the horizon.

    So, how's your 2024 been? Here are some of the bigger releases that have come out this year:

    • Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth
    • Granblue Fantasy Relink
    • Persona 3 Reload
    • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
    • Unicorn Overlord
    • Dragon's Dogma 2
    • Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
    • Sand Land
    • SaGa Emerald Beyond
    4
    Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review Thread

    Game Information --------------------

    Game Title: Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes

    Platforms:

    • Xbox Series X/S (Apr 23, 2024)
    • PlayStation 5 (Apr 23, 2024)
    • Nintendo Switch (Apr 23, 2024)
    • PC (Apr 23, 2024)
    • Xbox One (Apr 23, 2024)
    • PlayStation 4 (Apr 23, 2024)

    Trailers:

    Developer: Rabbit & Bear Studios

    Publisher: 505 Games

    Review Aggregator:

    OpenCritic - 76 average - 58% recommended - 34 reviews

    Critic Reviews -------------

    CGMagazine - Justin Wood - 8 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a worthy spiritual successor to Suikoden. Outside of some combat tweaks there is a lot to love here.

    -------------

    COGconnected - James Paley - 75 / 100

    >As far as homages go, Hundred Heroes is an exceptional one. That old-school sensibility is captured perfectly, almost to its detriment. The sprite art is exceptional, the voice work is fantastic, and the character designs are excellent. I wish the pacing was more modern, though. And Iโ€™d be fine with an updated approach to inventory management. But all that is what makes this such a faithful successor to the Suikoden series. Well, that and the establishment of your own kingdom full of heroes. If youโ€™re looking for the next Suikoden game, this is it! Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a worthy ascendant to the Suikoden throne.

    -------------

    Cerealkillerz - German - 8.3 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes offers excellent content, especially for fans of JRPGs from the 90s, looks great and also keeps you engaged in the long term with the many characters that can be found. Only the story sometimes suffers from pacing issues and the current objective is not always completely clear. But that doesn't stop the title from being a great new start for an almost forgotten series.

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    Checkpoint Gaming - David McNamara - 7 / 10

    >Despite boldly declaring "the JRPG is back" and then doing absolutely nothing new with the genre, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a decent, traditional JRPG that will tickle anyone who adored the classic PlayStation titles of the late nineties. Its modern affordances in visual design and voice acting bring this nostalgic adventure into the present day, but it is let down by sluggish, repetitive combat and some missed opportunities when it comes to utilising its massive roster of characters. Fans of Suikoden will likely already have this pre-ordered - for everyone else, check this out if you're looking for a nostalgic romp and don't mind a few speed bumps along the way.

    -------------

    Digital Trends - George Yang - 3 / 5

    >As a Suikoden successor, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is faithful to a fault.

    -------------

    GAMES.CH - Benjamin Braun - German - 75%

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes mainly delivers what the developers promised. It's a mostly very classical JRPG experience with beautiful graphics and great music. But while fans of the 90's JRPGs might get anything they love about these classics here, they also get nearly everything, that they might hate about them.

    -------------

    GameBlast - Victor Vitรณrio - Portuguese - 7.5 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes was clearly made with dedication to deliver an epic experience about assembling a resistance army in the midst of an inglorious war. The narrative cannot give importance to such a vast cast, but, overall, it does a good job with what it has at hand, telling an engaging, well-written and well-voiced story. Translation does not follow the same level and several systems seem to be too close to the old productions on which they are based, missing the chance to modernize to allow for more efficient management. The end result is a good JRPG that suffers from limitations, which can still be resolved with changes here and there to systems, options and menus, bringing with it the potential to really shine in its environment.

    -------------

    GameGrin - Alana Dunitz - 9 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is for fans of turn-based RPGs. It's challenging, has great heroes, and a deep story. It will pull you in!

    -------------

    GameLuster - Nirav Gandhi - 9 / 10

    >I am shocked to my core; as a great lover of RPGs, this is one of the best ever. It's a must play for any genre fan out there.

    -------------

    Gamer Guides - Ben Chard - 80 / 100

    >Eiyuden Chronicle is a fantastic first entry from Rabbit & Bear Studios in an attempt to bring back Suikoden. A by-the-numbers plot holds it back from truly achieving greatness, but a strong cast and exciting base building makes this a must-have for all fans of classic JRPGs.

    -------------

    Gamers Heroes - Johnny Hurricane - 85 / 100

    >Eiyuden Chonricle: Hundred Heroes is exactly what Suikoden fans have been asking for. Fans of old-school JRPGs or games about recurring characters shouldnโ€™t hesitate to check it out.

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    Gamersky - Chinese - 7.5 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is sure to satisfy long-awaited fans of the series, but whether it will win over casual gamers is another story. It boasts a quality script and a large, unique ensemble cast, but its dated design and lack of side-quest guidance will detract significantly from your experience.

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    God is a Geek - Mick Fraser - 9.5 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a truly memorable experience that absolutely will stick with you when it's over.

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    Hobby Consolas - David Rodriguez - Spanish - 82 / 100

    >Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes is a great journey back to the golden age of the JRPG and a tribute to all the good things Suikoden gave us. With nostalgia as its flag, this game manages to overcome its lack of innovation to deliver a great adventure that will take you back to simpler times.

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    IGN - Jess Reyes - 7 / 10

    >One you get past its slow start, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes mostly succeeds in weaving the stories of multiple countries and characters together into a sprawling epic.

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    IGN Korea - Jieun Koo - Korean - 10 / 10

    >Another great title with immersive classic JRPG roots. Players will be busy with their hearts being engulfed with a tsunami of emotions when the gameโ€™s protagonists with all differences in races, culture and relationships eventually come together as one to share an ultimate goal. Players must build cities and defend against waves of invasions which brings enough motivation to show that even heroes still need everyoneโ€™s support to grow and be strong. Truly motivating once the players understand that maintaining positive relationships with other adventurers is key to advance forward in their journey. The 2.5D-esque graphics paired with dynamic action camera work is surely eye-candy and the sound design that focuses on epic 1-on-1 duels will be music to every gamersโ€™ ears.

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    INVEN - Kwangseok Park - Korean - 8.5 / 10

    >A love letter to classic JRPG fans' would be the perfect description for this game. It's filled with various elements that evoke nostalgia for JRPG enthusiasts. However, despite its efforts to recreate the nostalgia of the past, maybe the absence of convenience feaures was too much.

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    Infinite Start - Mark Fajardo - 8.5 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a heartfelt homage to the Suikoden games, seamlessly blending nostalgia with fresh experiences. While it effectively captures the essence of Suikoden, offering familiar storytelling and visuals that resonate deeply with fans, the presence of bugs and occasional performance issues may detract from the overall enjoyment. Nevertheless, these minor setbacks do not overshadow the game's true strengthโ€”its ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia while delivering a new and captivating adventure. With its rich narrative and familiar gameplay elements, Eiyuden Chronicle feels like a true Suikoden game with a new title, making it a must-play for fans of the beloved series.

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    Kakuchopurei - Jonathan Leo - 90 / 100

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes perfectly captures the zeitgeist period of Japanese role-playing games of the late 90s, faults and all. [...] Players who yearn for the days of an epic fantasy story with solid turn-based combat & dungeon puzzle shenanigans most immersive will find a lot to love in this heartfelt tribute from the late Yoshitaka Murayama and his team Rabbit & Bear Studios.

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    LadiesGamers.com - Margaret David - Loved

    >It wonโ€™t take long to fall in love with Nowa and his initial teammates on the Watch, and the bittersweet story beats come achingly fast in the first act of the game. Those who played the prologue game, Eiyuden Chronicles Rising, wonโ€™t have to wait long to meet some familiar faces and learn the answers to some of the questions left hanging there. From there, the journey is a comfortably familiar but emotional one, where power-hungry villains separate friends and family under the banner of a war that threatens to grow out of control. > >Itโ€™s a beefy game, too, with backers who already got their copy claiming that theyโ€™re clocking 60 hours on a fast-paced playthrough, and Iโ€™m suggesting that around 80 is going to be a fair hour count for most players. Chock full of stuff to do, things to explore, and characters to meet and collect; for some of us, this is the game we wanted when we were teens and still enjoying our last free summers. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a fantastic JRPG, wearing its old-school quirks like a badge of pride, with even its deliberate annoyances feeling like a wool flannel shirt. I can safely say itโ€™s a terrific game and one its backers will welcome home with delight.

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    Niche Gamer - Fingal Belmont - 9 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes perfectly captures everything it set out to achieve. While the โ€œlove letter to JRPGsโ€ phrase gets thrown around a lot these days, and sometimes makes me cringe despite my adoration for the genre, I have to hand it to Rabbit & Bear Studios. They made a promise and delivered with in amazing ways I never thought possible โ€“ Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a love letter to classic JRPGs.

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    Nintendo Blast - Ivanir Ignacchitti - Portuguese - 6.5 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is an RPG that actively strives to go against the market's quality of life efforts in pursuit of an old-school ideal. However, the result is a game that closes in on itself and caters only to the most die-hard fans of the genre. It's a shame, because even simple adjustments, like a mission menu and occasional changes to the menu, would be enough to maintain the challenge without the part that is purely inconvenient.

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    Nintendo Life - Mitch Vogel - 6 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is the epitome of a flawed gem-the kind of game that does a lot of things right and we're sure will command a dedicated legion of fans, but has legitimate problems that are tough to overlook. The expansive narrative, gorgeous spritework, and addictive combat all help make it an easy recommendation to any classic JRPG fan, but bear in mind that it can feel dated in its design philosophy and that the Switch version has a lot of performance problems, at least at launch. If you can get past those issues, this is an enjoyable and immersive RPG that mostly achieves what it set out to do.

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    NintendoWorldReport - Jordan Rudek - 5 / 10

    >Were I not reviewing the game I would have put it aside after a few hours and never thought about it again. Eiyuden Chronicle comes after scores and scores of excellent and successful turn-based RPGs from which it could draw inspiration. Instead, it neglects so many of the lessons learned throughout the years in favor of outdated, tedious gameplay.

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    Noisy Pixel - Azario Lopez - 7.5 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a beautiful JRPG from beginning to end. It captures the wonder of discovery and adventure in every scene, with an added dose of tension as you navigate the complexities of a nation at war. Still, much of the weight has been removed from the player to the point where it feels like the entire experience is on autopilot and you're simply participating when it wants you to, like in a boss battle or environmental puzzle. That said, if I look at this game through the lens of it being Murayama-san's adventure and not mine, I'm just happy that he allowed me to accompany him on this path. While it's a brilliant showcasing of retro meets modern, there are areas to improve, and I can't wait to see what comes next.

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    One More Game - Vincent Ternida - 7 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroesย pays homage to the beloved Suikoden series, which left an indelible mark as one of the most memorable JRPGs during the PlayStation 1 era. The gameโ€™s expansive design and nostalgic elements evoke fond memories for fans. However, nostalgia can be selective, often glossing over past flaws. > >The revival of dated mechanics, including random encounters, fixed savepoints, and lengthy world map treks, hampers the overall pacing. Additionally, new features like gimmicks, war games, and forgettable characters miss the mark. The resulting package falls short of the (unreasonable) highs set by its inspirational source material.

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    PSX Brasil - Thiago de Alencar Moura - Portuguese - 85 / 100

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a beautiful love letter to RPGs. It has an excellent story and characters, a challenging and entertaining combat system, as well as a vast amount of content to explore, all wrapped up in a package with great graphics and soundtrack. It's a must-have title for fans of the genre.

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    Push Square - Khayl Adam - 8 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is the true spiritual successor to the Suikoden series, capturing what made those games magical and expanding on the premise a hundred-fold. It tells a well-written and verbose tale of courage and endurance, but adherence to some fairly brutal old-school design precepts means it won't appeal to everyone.

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    RPG Fan - Zach Wilkerson - 80%

    >Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes might be a poor imitation of the games that came before, but it still has plenty to recommend it.

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    Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Ed Thorn - Unscored

    >A turn-based JRPG that accommodates those familiar with Suikoden or those who don't know what a Suikoden is. Embrace the old-school quirks and there's a wonderful journey to be had here.

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    Shacknews - Lucas White - 7 / 10

    >Maybe Hundred Heroes doesn't have me ready to run outside screaming about miracles, but I'm plenty satisfied and ready to go back and fill in some old, classic JRPG blind spots. Well, after I replay Tierkreis.

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    Spaziogames - Gianluca Arena - Italian - 7 / 10

    >Old players who have grown up with the first two episodes of the Suikoden franchise and backers of the Kickstarter campaign will be the most pleased by Eiyuden Chronicles Hundred Heroes, and old school JRPG through and through. >Divisive game design choices aside, what we have here is a solid effort, but also one that looks too much to the past and much less to the future of the genre.

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    TechRaptor - Andrew Stretch - 5.5 / 10

    >Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes hits the right notes on paper but in practice, the story is poorly executed, battles are bland, recruitable characters are beyond forgettable, and the game itself is sluggish. The style and audio design do a good job, but not enough to save the overall experience.

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    The Beta Network - Anthony Culinas - 6 / 10

    >Being a homage to the classic Suikoden series, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes contains a PS1-like nostalgic appeal, a decent story and varied dungeon designs throughout. However, itโ€™s held back by tedious recruitment processes, lacklustre battle systems and pacing issues that drag down the potential level of enjoyment.

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    Wccftech - Francesco De Meo - 8.5 / 10

    >While its premise, story beats and main characters echo Suikoden II a little bit too much, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes manages to stand on its own with a compelling tale, excellent characterization, classic JRPG gameplay and great presentation, which make it easy to look past some of its shortcomings, such as balancing and minor gameplay issues. The world of Allraan may never get into the spotlight again due to the unfortunate departure of its creator, but it is undeniable that it couldn't have been introduced to JRPG fans in a better way.

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    Games that still need more patience: what games released a year ago (or older) are you waiting for a sale on? Or that need another patch?

    Other than a slew of Nintendo titles that maybe hopefully will come down in price (the patient gamers' bane), I have my eye on the next time Divinity: Original Sin 2 goes on sale. A friend who never plays anything other than WoW loved playing Larian's newest with me and I'm trying to get her to pick this up. Pretty sure she'd like it.

    I was also watching Star Trek: Infinite's progress. I was quite interested in that one at launch but firmly decided to be patient. Naturally, it was discontinued last week. Oof.

    Are there any games you're currently price watching? Or hoping for bug fixes/more content?

    37
    Reflections on Xenoblade Chronicles

    Xenoblade Chronicles has been one of the broadly popular JRPG series as of late, particularly within my own social circles. I have heard mostly good things about the games, and some vocal criticisms about the second game in particular. After finally picking up a Switch last year, I have now made my way through most of the series.

    Before trying Xenoblade myself, I had a mixed history with Xeno series creator Tetsuya Takahashi. Heโ€™s had quite a career, having worked on games in the Ys, Final Fantasy, SaGa, Mana, and Chrono series. Xenogears was his first project as a director, and I knew next to nothing about the game when I picked it up at release in 1998. It surprised me in a lot of ways, being my first real dip into the mecha genre, accompanied by a truly massive and thought-provoking script (both big changes from the SNESโ€™s smaller scripts and censorship). My continuing experience with Xeno was less successful. Xenosagaโ€™s move to a more cinematic style gave it a plodding pace, packed with jargon and word salad. I also didnโ€™t connect with most of the trilogyโ€™s characters, I found most of the gameplay boring, and Iโ€™d somehow missed the memo that Xenosaga was a reboot and not directly connected to Xenogears, souring me on the experience in general.

    I didnโ€™t have a lot of success with Xenoblade Chronicles for a while. I came to the first game late in 2017, spurred by positive word-of-mouth that had resurfaced after the announcement of XC2. While I got along with the characters better than I did in Xenosaga and enjoyed the excellent setting, I ultimately had to make an effort to avoid the gameโ€™s numerous sidequests. Being an MMO player, they would have felt dated to me even back at the gameโ€™s release in 2010, and their supporting elements in the UI were extremely basic. The gameโ€™s saving grace for me would be the gameplay, a fun romp with a squad that I enjoyed tinkering with.

    My experience with Xeno changed with XC2. I had a rough start at first when I picked the game up last year, not really sure what to make of the main character and light-hearted tone of the game, a huge departure from the previous games in the series. But when the conversations with Pyra started, a deep hook set in. I immediately connected with this character, someone that seemed eminently competent but had a pensive demeanor, hinting at a darkness within. After I learned more about this character as her whole story unfolded in both XC2 and its DLC Torna, Pyra became my favorite character in the series. For the first time in 25 years, Xeno was finally starting to hit some of those same emotional notes it did for me in Xenogears. Hitting on that nostalgia also led to me thinking about interesting similarities between Fei from Xenogears and Pyra and Mythra.

    In hindsight, making those connections across the series seems to be half the fun. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Future Redeemed are packed with little (and not-so-little) nods to much of past Xeno. I had a good time with this aspect of XC3, and in some ways it picked up where XC2 left off with getting me to be interested in this cast and world. I also really enjoyed the gameplay, seeing the results of refinements to the UI in particular that were sorely needed, culminating in my being thrilled at controlling A and seeing her flip around the battlefield in the DLC. An impressive achievement, considering I almost always hate playing healers in this type of gameplay!

    I know fans of Xenoblade Chronicles have strong opinions about their favorites, but there were things that I loved (the setting in XC1, the cast in 2, the gameplay and Xeno callbacks in 3), and there were things that drove me nuts in each of the games. Iโ€™ve given up on the stories getting some much-needed pruning (every Xeno game and DLC Iโ€™ve played has padding or spots that just donโ€™t work), so I can roll with that. I also donโ€™t know if Iโ€™ll ever get to XCX or Future Connected. Xeno isnโ€™t exactly my top ongoing series at the moment, but Iโ€™m still interested in what Takahashi is cooking up next.

    1
    Front Mission 2: Remake coming to PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 30
    www.gematsu.com FRONT MISSION 2: Remake coming to PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 30

    Publisher Forever Entertainment and developer Storm Trident will release FRONT MISSION 2: Remake for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOGโ€ฆ

    FRONT MISSION 2: Remake coming to PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 30
    1
    4
    Ashtear Ashtear @lemm.ee

    Getting it done with the power of friendship since 1991.

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