Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes - Main Art

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review – Suikoden for the Modern Era

Not for you if:

  • You don’t like '90s-style games
  • You want games with full 3D graphics
  • You prefer action games
  • You were hoping for a more innovative JRPG

Yoshitaka Murayama’s Suikoden from 1995 is one of the most influential turn-based JRPGs of all time. Despite that, the series hasn’t had much success in recent years, with the last few games launching only in Japan, and only on handheld consoles. In the meantime, turn-based JRPGs continued to grow with titles like Triangle Strategy, proving there is demand for the genre.

Murayama never gave up his passion for video game development, which is why in 2020, he launched the Kickstarter campaign for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. Marketed as a spiritual successor to Suikoden, the project raised over $4 million, giving Murayama the funds he needed to tell another Suikoden-esque story. The fundraising was so successful that the team at Rabbit & Bear Studios managed to also finance the development of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, a side-scrolling prequel released in 2022.

Sadly, Yoshitaka Murayama, one of the fathers of the turn-based JRPG genre, passed away on February 6th, 2024. While his team undoubtedly did a wonderful job finishing the development of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, it’s unfortunate that the genius behind Suikoden didn’t live to see his last great project launch on April 23rd, 2024, published by 505 Games. After 4 long years in development, was Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes worth the wait?


Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a Suikoden game in everything but the name. It’s a fun homage to the PS1 era and a wonderful beginner’s JRPG. The only thing holding it back is a lack of innovation–it’s a true ‘90s game, for better or worse.

Story – A War on Two Fronts

True to its inspiration, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes has a story similar to Suikoden I. In it, we follow Nowa, a boy from a small village who becomes a member of The Watch. The Watch is a group of mercenaries who help people solve crimes, bandit problems, and other tasks. On a job to help the Empire, Nowa becomes a close friend with an Imperial officer Seign. Shortly after, a war breaks out between Nowa’s nation and the Empire which wants to conquer it.

This is a war story from two perspectives. Just like Suikoden did in the ‘90s, the game doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult war-time topics. And because it’s a pixel-based JRPG, it can get away with more than games like The DioField Chronicle did when telling similar stories. 

It Doesn’t Try to Surprise or Innovate

While it has a very intriguing premise, it’s a very typical JRPG underneath. You’ll visit standard dungeons based on mines, forests, and deserts, and then visit small villages across the map to buy items and rest. While games like Live a Live really took their story ideas to unexpected places, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is pretty vanilla on that front. There are very few surprises sprinkled throughout its 40 hours, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The game advertises itself as JRPG as JRPGs were “back then”, so it’s up to the individual player’s expectations.

Gameplay – Baby’s First JRPG

This is a turn-based JRPG where you’ll control a party of six characters at a time. You can have dozens of characters on stand-by at any moment, but you’ll go into battle with your A-team of six. Some of whom will always be mandatory members. The game is built around random encounters, meaning you’ll travel the world or explore dungeons and sporadically enter battles.

To avoid unnecessary grind, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes features an Auto-Battle mode where your characters will act on their own. This is a useful feature when you want to grind for items and experience but not necessarily do it by hand. This is in contrast to titles like Sea of Stars which attempted to emulate the ‘90s JRPG formula but didn’t add such Quality of Life features into the mix.

As you travel the world, you’ll come across towns and villages with shops you’ll want to visit. Buying new armour and accessories will help your characters survive in battle. But, you won’t be buying weapons, because every character has their own, which you’ll simply upgrade. 

However, you will need to equip individual characters with rune lenses, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes version of skills and magic. You’ll find various rune lenses as you travel and you’ll want to swap them out periodically to fine-tune characters. All these systems already existed in Suikoden, and this game is simply modernising and packaging them in a more player-friendly way.

Gotta Recruit ‘Em All!

The biggest selling point of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes lies in its roster of 100+ characters. Just like in Suikoden, it represents a form of player expression and freedom in how you play the game. There are over 100 unique characters to recruit in Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes and you’ll want to gather as many as you can. 

Each character has their own motives for joining Nowa, a backstory you’ll discover, as well as weapons and skills you’ll enjoy using. It’s a very diverse set of characters which is unusual for today’s JRPGs with smaller, more focused casts of characters like in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth. Apart from Nowa and an occasional character or two, you’ll always have the option to choose your party members. 

If they are under-levelled, the game lets you level them up in only one or two battles, which is a great feature. This means you’re encouraged to swap characters in and out throughout the game, even though you can pick your favourites and just stick to them. Some characters also play better with certain others and have access to special team skills. This gives you plenty of options on repeat playthroughs in how you’ll play the game and which characters you’ll focus on developing.

Rebuilding the Resistance

It wouldn’t be a Suikoden-like game if Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes didn’t have base-building elements. As you grow your army, you’ll also develop a base of operations in your fort. This is your home in every sense, and you’ll open new shops, invite new characters, and rebuild it as the story progresses. Each development project will unlock new bonuses, merchants, and opportunities for you to attract even more members to your army. There is no in-depth base customisation available here but you’ll still have plenty of fun rebuilding your fort as you fight the Empire.

Chess-Like Strategic Battles

Since Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a war story, you’ll also fight in big battles. While they are simplistic, they add another layer to the gameplay. At certain points in the story, you’ll have to attack or defend strategic areas such as towns and villages. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes will then become a tactical strategy game where you’ll organise your characters into armies and fight the Empire’s forces. It’s a similar gameplay style to the Fire Emblem series but with much less depth.

As another homage to its predecessor, it also features one-on-one battles which usually follow after these tactical battles. In these encounters, characters will fight one-on-one and talk about current events in a typical anime fashion. It’s a minor part of the game but it adds another layer to Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes which is always welcome.

Visuals – 2.5D, But Not Exactly

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is built on the Unity engine and features fully 3D environments. Everything from the world map to individual locations, and dungeons is 3D. However, characters are rendered in beautiful, expressive pixel art. Each character has unique poses, movements, skills, and reactions throughout the game. This is especially evident when you use magic and team skills where certain characters will interact with one another to fight the enemy.

However, in a bizarre move, monsters are not pixelated but instead illustrated. They look distinctly different from the player characters and the environment. The game is a blend of three different visual styles that somehow work together. It doesn’t always mesh together perfectly (boss monsters are mostly 3D, but not illustrated, for example). The answer might be as simple as “budget reasons”, given that this is a project funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

Technically Polished from Day One

We reviewed Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes on the PlayStation 5, where the game features stable 60FPS performance. Since it’s a game built on the Unity engine, we didn’t expect anything less, and its technical performance is just as impressive. We encountered no crashes or bugs that prevented us from progressing through the game.

The only wrinkle in the otherwise solid presentation is the game’s choice not to use autosaves frequently. It only allows you to save at certain spots, just like traditional JRPGs. However, you’ll sometimes play the game for more than 30 minutes without saving, which can be a bit stressful. Autosaves are sporadic and don’t always follow the same logic (sometimes it’ll save when entering a new location, sometimes not).

Audio – A ‘90s Game in 2020s Clothing

The first time you boot up Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, you’ll fall in love with its soundtrack and audio design. The game features two composers, Motoi Sakuraba (Dark Souls) and Michiko Naruke (Wild Arms). These two composers create a unique blend of the ‘90s and 2000s, breathing life into the game’s world. They evoke the spirit of Suikoden and pay homage to the PS1 era while also refreshing it for a modern 2020s video game. It’s nostalgic, upbeat, and diverse above all else.

The game’s audio design sounds like it’s been lifted straight out of the ‘90s, with menu selection, shop navigation, and party management all sounding snappy and engaging. Every creature you come across or skill you use has its own unique and addicting sound queues. Paired with the smooth 60FPS performance, the game simply feels “good” to control.

Diverse, Uneven Voice Acting

The fact that Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes features 100 playable characters is both a blessing and a curse for a Kickstarter-funded game. While the core cast sounds wonderful, the secondary characters are less fortunate. The game does an admirable job of mixing up different dialects, accents, and speech styles but you can only do so much on a limited budget. The game features both English and Japanese voice acting so you can play the JRPG however you want to. But, this is one aspect of the ‘90s-era that the game could have improved on.

Conclusion – Should you Play Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes?

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a very solid title from one of the greatest video game designers of all time. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Suikoden series and already has a sequel in development. While it doesn’t do anything revolutionary, it consciously doesn’t try to. 

This is a game for players nostalgic for the PS1 era of JRPGs but doesn’t do much more beyond that. Whether you’re a long-time fan of turn-based JRPGs or are looking for a game to try out in the genre, this is a great place to start. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is now available on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and the GamePass.

Big thanks to CD Media for providing us with the review copy!

Rastislav Filip

Posts published: 47

Professional copywriter, full-time nerd, and a loving husband. Loves playing JRPGs and story-driven games, binging TV shows, and reading sci-fi/fantasy books. Probably writes content in his sleep.