Eiyuden Chronicles Kickstarter

I finally got my code in a box for the GOG backer version. Got a little pressed a for minute when it initially showed that I couldn't download the game because it hasn't been released yet, but apparently it needed to be set to the pre-release branch.

About to start the process of replaying all the beta stuff, but since the actual release date is tomorrow, I'm kind of debating just waiting ~12 hours in case it doesn't automatically update to the retail branch with any release date updates that might come in. I actually ended up finishing Dragon Quest XI in the time I was waiting for this to get delivered (even got through most of the 'post-game'), and have been kind of excited to start this up again, though.
 
I made a very stupid decision to pre-order the switch version. I learned yesterday that the game has been postponed. I have to wait a whole month when everyone is playing. Even the digital switch owners are playing now... It's not fair. I can't believe they did that to us. :(
 
Oof, bummer. I remember seeing something about the delay for the physical Switch version a month ago or so in the backer updates. I thought they were maybe giving out codes for digital copies (Steam, maybe?) for backers who selected the Switch physical version, though. Did they not do that?

I got a notice that my PS4 copy from my other pledge is being shipped now. It's the JP version, so I don't know if they had to send it from a Japanese distributor first, but they did say it would take longer to get out of region versions, anyway. I don't even have a PS4, but it'll go with my Shenmue III backer copy.

Really wondering how long it's going to be before they actually send out notices for selecting other backer rewards. I expected for things to go not quite as smoothly as they had initially presented in the Kickstarter campaign, but I am a little surprised that it's release day and they haven't said "boo" about the other physical rewards in well over a year.
 
I’ve bought the PS4 Japanese version. Pains me to spend money on digital. Apparently has English text in-game. Be a while until I get chance to play it though.
 
I'm getting pretty far into the game, I think, but I just got through a situation that really kind of feels like it should have been happening in the first quarter of the game. (I'm sort of making a guess that I'm around 60-70% of the way through the main story, based on secret achievements I have left.) I haven't really ruled out the possibility that I'm actually headed into the final stretch, and almost through the game, though.

I keep vacillating on this in terms of my feelings while playing it, though. I generally like the game, but there's kind of an obscene amount of side content that really varies from sort-of-fun to kind-of-not-worth-the-time. There have been times where I felt like the main story was getting closer to the first three Suikoden games (and the two gaidens), but in a lot of ways I feel like I just don't want to admit that it leans more toward the stories in IV, V and (shudder) Tierkreis which were all very meh (and not even Murayama, which is vexing). I kind of want to be able to blame Komuta for this (who also directed Suikoden Tierkreis), but I'm not really sure what the breakdown of responsibilities were. It just has a number of aspects that tend to remind me too much of Tierkreis (and V).

I play in Japanese, so while I know there's the group of people up in arms about the English translation, and I've seen a couple of the examples, I'm quite certain it's not about the translation. I also find it incredibly disrespectful that some of those people have the gaul to utter Murayama's name in their biggoted social agendas when Eiyuden and Murayama's Suikoden games have always emphasized inclusiveness.

Anyway, point is Eiyuden is much more goofy/campy and significantly less serious in story presentation than Suikoden 1, 2 or especially 3, and most of the plot points don't carry the same weight. Not that there weren't moments of silliness in those Suikoden games; Just that they're more frequent in Eiyuden, and when the story in Eiyuden does take on some serous tones, it doesn't feel as serious or dramatic. I wouldn't really call the story poor like I would Suikoden V or Tierkreis, though--I really do not enjoy those two games--and in a lot of ways I think it makes sense that the tone of Eiyuden's story might have been buoyed by the happy feelings Murayama experienced coming out of the successful Kickstarter campaign.

I have been spending a fair amount of time thinking about what might be different aside from just tone. I kind of wish I had actually replayed Suikoden 1,2,3 and the two Gaidens before Eiyuden's release just to have them a little more fresh for comparison. (I did, in the last year, watch a Japanese youtuber play through the first three, at least.) One thing that I've come up with is that a lot of the relationships between characters in Eiyuden feel significantly less-- deep? Important? I struggle to really describe it, but Murayama's Suikodens had a core casts that had a lot of history together, and that played out in the dramatic elements of the story. Eiyuden doesn't really have that. I think that coupled with the lighter tone is what leaves me less enthusiastic about the story.

One other thing I will say about the story is that in Murayama's Suikodens the antagonists are always somewhat sympathetic. In Eiyuden, I absolutely hate them like I've probably never hated antagonists in a game before. They are some sleezy, coniving, assholes, and I wish for them to burn in the furthest pits of hell. I'm a little surprised to have those feelings elicited by some video game characters. Eiyuden is almost more about the antagonists than the heroes, in that sense.

I realized the other day that Murayama also wrote the story for The Alliance Alive (one of the handful of projects he worked on between Suikoden III and Eiyuden), so I feel like checking that out after finishing Eiyuden to see if maybe his writing style just changed over ~20 years.

I'm curious, @hyo_razuki , how you would evaluate Eiyuden in comparison to the Trails games? Would you say you prefer Eiyuden to the trails games in any way?
 
I haven't really gotten around to playing Eiyuden enough recently because my working hours have been pretty crazy. So far, the short answer is I've seen nothing Trails doesn't do as good or better tbh, but then again, that's Trails. If you want to see in-depth storywriting for loads of different characters, I'd say Trails is the Gold Standard in RPGs.
 
I finished the game yesterday with all 120 heroes.
It was a fairly disappointing experience. I thought I went in with pretty heavily calibrated expectations, but I think the backer demo got my hopes up a little higher than they should have been.

From the credits, it seems some of my fears were ultimately founded as well, because Komuta (director of Suikoden Tierkreis) was apparently directing this game on his own. Murayama was officially credited in the Horii Yuji position of 'Writer/Designer.' I ultimately like this game way more than Tierkreis, but it's a far cry from the brilliance of the original Suikoden trilogy.

Ultimately I feel like this was in large part due to an overemphasis on side activities. I clocked 90+ hours and still never even really touched the egg racing or theater. Of that time, I couldn't have spent more than ~35 hours actually playing through the story (when excluding time recruiting optional side characters).

Side content shouldn't normally be a bad thing, but recruiting all the characters requires engaging with very long and repetitive side content in Baygoma, and Diet Iron Chef. Neither of which feels like a good use of time to me, for various reasons. I also despise the HQ upgrading system here, which just blocks natural upgrades that would normally come from recruiting characters and story progression behind an asinine grid expansion that also blocks some massive upgrades behind a few recruitable characters with hair-tearing requirements (the fisherman, and the playwrite; The latter requiring the borked item shop rare finds).

The story has its moments (and might actually be a bit more compelling without collecting all the characters), but feels excessively rushed in the later part of the game. I've felt for a long time--without any actual source--that the reason Murayama left Konami in the middle of Suikoden III was over creative differences, with my theory being that he wanted to have the last act of the game include the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia, but wasn't able to get the higher-ups to sign on for the added dev cost. I love Suikoden III, but its final act is admittedly fairly rushed. However, it feels downright well paced compared to Eiyuden's last spert, and I feel like that could be due to development focus on side content.

Will probably never know for certain, but even if the events in the end-game had been expanded like a more traditional Suikoden game, I don't think it would have changed the fact that I feel pretty generally unimpressed by the story in Eiyuden. It doesn't hit the dramatic tension of the Suikoden trilogy, nor does it have the same compelling flow. Also, joke characters are much more prevelant, with at least half the heroes feeling like Kenji-s: https://suikoden.fandom.com/wiki/Kenji. Quirky characters always existed in the Suikoden games, but not to this extent.

I'm being a bit harsh, because the wounds are still fresh, but I also played on Hard difficulty (keeping Yume and Yusuke in my party from the moments I recruited them) and killed the final boss in a single turn after I had gotten buffs up. Outside of one roadblock about 1/3 of the way into the game, there was really no part that was difficult at all on the hard difficulty.

I guess just to end on some positives: The music is generally quite good; I don't prefer the sort of vibrant art style, but I do really like Kawano's character designs in this game; Graphically, it's fairly pleasing (aside from the mip-map transitions); I didn't actually encounter any bugs, personally; I appreciate the moral of the story, even if I feel like the plot and execution weren't very good. Also, I will always love Yume.
 
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Sounds like you had a pretty underwhelming experience overall. Sorry to hear that.
It's tough. I very much disliked aspects of it, but I didn't dislike the game overall. I actually enjoyed playing it most of the time. I very much look at the time I clocked on it and think, 'How? Why?' then get hit with the thought of all of my grievances with the game, though.
 
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