Chained Echoes
Date:Jan 2023


Many have tried to emulate the feel of classic SNES/PS1 JRPGs, but this is the first game I've played since that actually managed to nail that, modernize many of the systems but retain the intended sensibilities. For me it belongs among the greats (FF6, DQ5, Chrono Trigger etc), or maybe just one notch below. The combat and exploration systems are so brisk but challenging. The story's plot is great, the characterization is maybe a touch weak. The Music really grows on you afterawhile and has some legit PS1 esque bangers. The one big flaw I can see is the crystal system, the UI for it is a little undercooked and punishes experimentation while also not explaining how it works.
Aside from some cheesy one-shot mechanics on certain fights and a couple of confusing / hard to use systems (crystals, "hate" mechanic which had no visible meter), I liked this game a lot. A good JRPG.
Little sad to see it finished.
I love turn based RPGs, and Chained Echoes unfortunately is one of my least favorite I have played in a long, long time. Part of my disappointment is with some fine tuning, you could have a truly fantastic game. In a great RPG you get to go on an adventure and build your characters to combat the challenges ahead. Chained Echoes feels like you are observing someone else’s journey as you can never veer far from the directors vision. It takes a lot of great ideas found in RPGs over the last few decades, but throws them all onto a plate without thinking how to make them all sing and work together.
This is a really slow game, all the influences are obvious and I really don't think the way the levels are implemented are good, the battles are pretty slow and few and far between but despite these flaws, Chained Echoes is a great homage to those classic games. The story becomes increasingly crazy, and I'm all in for it. As an indie game, Chained Echoes is impressive in scope, and the party is well developed. It won me over in the end
I wanted to like this so much since it had some really fun mechanics. I enjoyed most of the the combat encounters but little else. Some encounters felt way too RNG heavy since the game doesn't feel that well balanced when you go up against multiple enemies.
While I think the game itself is really well made by just one person, I do think it would have helped if someone better at storytelling had trimmed it down a bit. Same goes for some of the extra systems like the crystals.
A great JRPG. It has its issues, mainly how weirdly difficult a group of common enemies is compared to 99% of the bosses, but the exploration is fun and the combat is generally quite good. I was surprisingly engrossed in the story, to the point that the ending had me tearing up a bit.