A new RPG title in the form of Rise Eterna arrives this month on Nintendo switch. The tactical RPG from developers Makee, and publishers Forever entertainment, is now available for the portable. Just how well does it hold up against other titles in the genre? let’s take a quick look together.
The story of Rise eterna is set in a war torn land and sees you take control of Nathaniel and Lua’s journey as you battle your way across the country, making new companions along the way towards your final goal.
The core story, as with most else, seems to take a fair bit of inspiration from the Fire Emblem series, though with what I’d describe as a slightly more adult tone. Overall the story made me feel somewhat nostalgic for older SRPG’s due to the writing and plot points on display. While not wholly original, and not as refined as more modern entries to the genre, I’ve been enjoying my time with the storyline. The writing is clear and doesn’t get to to bogged down with side stuff. While there is some development between the characters, most of this felt natural and progressed with the story quite well.
As mentioned above the game reminds me a lot of Fire Emblem (more so the older titles) especially in the visuals. If I were handed the game pre loaded without any knowledge of it, then someone asked me to guess what it was, My first thought would be that I’m playing a Fire Emblem title.
The 2D character models play out the story in a visual novel style, all of which I liked the design of and enjoyed the sections of the story each time they played out. Outside of this I also loved the sprite work in the title and the animations for them in battle, One of my favourites being the details of a villager with a scythe hobbling along to swing his massive weapon. It’s these little details in the design and animations that really sold me on the title.
Audio is enjoyable within Rise Eternia too, and while its not groundbreaking, works well with its BGM and sound effects. There’s also no voice acting for the story scenes, that while not a deal breaker, surprised me with the amount of effort put into the overall design of the title elsewhere.
Gameplay usually follows the loop of some story progression and a battle, though you may find yourself repeating some sections for reasons we will get to in a moment.
Firstly let’s look at battles. In Rise Eternia each of these fights take place on a map with a overhead view broken up into a grid, with your units and those of your foes placed around the map – see once more my comment about older Fire Emblem titles. One thing of note – enemies tend to outnumber you 3 to 1, if not more, and when you enter your first fight will seem a little daunting at first, though getting used to the game will quickly leave you feeling much more confident before even finishing your first skirmish.
Your first fight will see you take control of Nathaniel and Lua against a small platoon of bandits, and serves as your tutorial to learn about gathering resources and items, as well as combat at support. Those with experience within the genre won’t find much of surprise here and newcomers should find learning the ropes pretty easy.
Despite the fact you will be fighting forces much larger than your own, you will quickly come to realise your small force are no pushovers. Using teamwork and strategy you’ll find most encounter an annoyance at best, especially if you get to grips with the games skill point and stat boosting systems early on – a little luck couldn’t hurt either.
As I just mentioned Rise sees you use skill points and gems to boost stats and learn abilities, the former will be gained naturally by progressing the game or replaying missions for the first time, and the latter from using gathering spots. Skill points are self explanatory at this point for anyone with knowledge of SRPGs, so I won’t go into explaining those. Gems however serve as the titles equipment, for lack of a better term, simply they boost your stats and come in various qualities, with lower quality gems having a trade off and higher quality gems giving the highest boost as well as bonuses, The gems rarity seem to be random the best I can tell, however there are items that improve your odds of getting something good, you’ll also have more than enough chances to get decent ones. Honestly I half felt they need a nerf, but that’s just me, then again I could have just been lucky as I got quite a few perfect gems early on.
Battles are enjoyable and fast paced, and replaying them to get items and skill points didn’t feel like too much of a chore. The fact the title felt like it had less of a grind compared to other similar games was quite nice, thanks to it forgoing levelling systems and proficiency, and though items play a large part you won’t really have to grind for them as you quite quickly build a stockpile.
Overall I have almost nothing but praise for Rise Eterna. While I was a little disappointed there was no voice acting, it’s far from something that would put me off the title, and while I say it reminds me of “older Fire Emblem” at first glance, I could hardly be blamed for it. However it’s the details that really sold me on this title, sure it may not be the most realistic looking game out there, but you can see the effort put into making the game. Put simply I know several fans of similar titles to this one and I’m already ready to recommend it to all of them. Fans of the genre should enjoy their time with the game, especially those after a more nostalgic fix.
A surprisingly good adventure that can also provide a fix for old-school SRPG nostalgia.