Chained Echoes is a nostalgic RPG that looks to bring fresh ideas to the retro genre. Most traditional RPGs either use a futuristic world or a classic fantasy setting. It gets a little dull. Chained Echoes does a bit of both, you’re just as likely to see a dragon as you are to pilot a mech suit. This Kickstarter project is looking for funding to complete a SNES-era inspired RPG, it features beautiful pixel art, a strong story, and plenty of fun new features.
Chained Echoes is a story-driven RPG with players attempting to bring peace to an ancient kingdom. For far too long war has raged between three different groups, resulting in a world that combines futuristic tech with fantasy elements. War has clearly stunted the growth of some areas of society. Like any peace-loving hippy, you have to put an end to all this madness. As a true devotee to the cause of world peace, you set off to obtain an over-powered weapon so you can force peace through threats of mass destruction.
The Most Dynamic Way to Murder an Octopus
Unlike most RPGs, there will be no separate combat screens in Chained Echoes. Rather than cutting away to a static battle screen, all the action takes place in the overworld. This makes combat much more fluid and avoids that separation between the turn-based-mechanics and rest of the world. Every enemy is visible on-screen to facilitate this system, there are no random encounters. This will come as a blessing to those who find classic RPGs a little difficult to get through because of the constant grinding.
The Kickstarter page shows off the combat system in a brief clip. It shows three player characters ganging up on an innocent octopus. The octopus is just sat in the river, not hurting anyone, enjoying his life. Using a layered turn-based attack system, the player characters attack it. In your quest to bring peace to the world you might have to slaughter a few octopi, but you can do it using parts of the overworld and in real-time.
The Kickstarter for Chained Echoes boasts of a dynamic overworld that is usable within the battles. The example given is using a chandelier in the room during combat. This is an exciting idea, kind of combining the strategic depth of turn-based-combat with the more action-based hack-and-slash. It is a feature that could elevate Chained Echoes from the tried and tested SNES RPG format. If this is executed properly, it could make the game into a real evolution of the genre rather than a throwback.
The mechs and airships also look like a cool addition. These come with plenty of customization options and an RPG leveling system of their own. It’s a nice change from the swords and horses that usually characterize these games.
The Chained Echoes Journey
Chained Echoes is a promising reinvention of the SNES-era RPG. The resulting art is just lovely. It is 16 bit inspired, but with a colour palette that goes beyond the capacity of those systems.
The developers are seeking funding from Kickstarter to complete the game, which has been in production for around two and a half years already. However, they are still looking to raise quite a bit of money. Their awareness about the cost of finishing a game of this size makes it a good bet to support.
If you enjoyed Octopath Traveller but were hoping for a little more evolution, or just really hate octopi, Chained Echoes might be for you.