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Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes has a six minute trailer and yes, this looks like a Suikoden sequel

I'll see your shonen hero and raise you a weaponised kangaroo

Five characters from Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes standing in a city, with one woman exclaiming "Brace yourselves!"
Image credit: 505 Games

505 Games have released a chunky overview trailer for the heavily Suikoden-inspired RPG Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes – which means it’s time once again for me to share that one Suikoden story I have about how I bought Suikoden 2 for PS1 but got bored and traded it in, and now PS1 copies of Suikoden 2 regularly sell for hundreds of pounds, and why, why, didn’t you keep that in your sock drawer, Edwin, instead of your prized vintage copy of V-Rally, current average eBay price £3.99???

Plus which, Suikoden 2 is clearly one of the best RPGs ever made, Edwin, you blundering oaf, you absolute weapon. Arrrrgh. Hopefully Eiyuden Chronicle will ease the agony a little when it goes on sale on 23rd April 2024.

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If you have no idea what Suikoden is - or why I’m yelling at myself – it’s an acclaimed if slightly forgotten RPG series from Konami and Hudson Soft, whose core gimmick is that you can recruit scores of named characters, and pit them against each other in both party-based battle and full-on army combat. It’s also known for having sumptuous writing, even by RPG standards. Suikoden 2 especially is one of Final Fantasy 7’s greatest rivals. Or so I’m told.

Hundred Heroes – which follows iffy action-RPG prequel Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising – is pretty much a Suikoden sequel with the labels torn off. It’s directed by Suikoden’s original writer and designer Yoshitaka Murayama, and is the story of three youngsters raising a posse to save a world’s worth of warring empires and unspecified mystical calamities.

The hundred heroes in question cover several anime subtypes, from serious to silly. You’ve got brooding swordswomen on the one hand, and prancing magic girls on the other. There’s a shark in a pirate costume in there, and some kind of gritty mercenary kangaroo. The graphics are a balance of lush 2D pixelart characters and some nice, if not breathtaking 3D environments.

The turn-based party combat looks pretty standard for an RPG, with the exception of a terrain mechanic that lets you cower behind rocks to avoid big boss attacks. The army battles, meanwhile, are sort of lo-fi Total War meets Advance Wars, with battalions of 3D troops spread across a grid.

Between quests and skirmishes, you'll return to a home castle that expands for every character you add to your retinue. Aside from customisation options, it houses minigames such as card-battling, fishing, cooking and everybody's favourite, Puffy Anime Critter Derby. I approve of all this almost as much as I disapprove of myself for letting the original Suikoden 2 slip through my adolescent clutches. Curse my wayward youth! Wait, what do you mean 'there’s an HD remaster coming to Steam'?

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