Rise Eterna is a tactical turn-based RPG, with certain Fire Emblem reminiscence because of its mechanics. The game is set 35 years after the Athracian Empire invasion of Ars Rare Kingdom. You will take the role of Natheal and Lua, the only survivors of a village after a bandits attack.
Confronting the invaders
The story of Rise Eterna starts after bandits attack Lua’s village when Lua remembers that she has to visit an old acquaintance in case of problems. Natheal decides to go with her on this quest, despite Lua’s reluctance. During the journey, this quest will more complicated. You will have to look for Lua’s family and, more complications will come, making Rise Eterna’s story a complex one. Yet, the rhythm of the narrative does not help to follow it: There is no explanation of why you have to look for the other characters, and, then, when you recruit them, you will receive the info, but in a vague mood. The story is good, but it loses a bit of potential cause of how it is related.
During your journey, you will meet more characters, some will be relevant and others will seem like gap fillers. They will appear before a battle, and when you win it, he will join your team. Asides from this, their design is precious, and each character is very well-differentiated. Also, they have their role in battles and their unique skills too.
Your allies, your rules
On Rise Eterna, there are a total of 14 characters (the official 11 and 3 hidden), but you can use six per mission. Each one has his role in battle, there is an archer, several tanks with different skills, characters who deal area damage, even a healer, among others. The roster is decent, I only miss a wizard, but there is no magic on this game, except the healing one. Of course, the same applies to your enemies. To mitigate this, there are items which you can use with that purpose: bombs of different kinds and some throwing weapons, usable by every character.
Characters have two skill trees: one with their unique abilities and another with useful supportive abilities. The second one is the same for all. At the end of both is the final skill. You can choose to use your skill points in one or another, even mix both trees, if you have enough patience to farm the required skill points.
You will get a skill point for each character in the active party, independently, if they die or not during battle. Also, after complete the story mission, you can replay it to get extra loot and skill points, but this has a limit. If you use a character on the story mission, you will get a skill point, if you replay it with him, you will get another. However, if you play the mission again, he won’t get more skill points from this stage. In addition, you can loot a stage infinite times if you want, also replaying some will give you some extras.
Determined abilities create synergy between characters. These skills power up characters’ statistics when they are together in battle. Even, in some cases, they will activate interesting passive skills, like an extra attack if you kill an enemy if the correct character is with you.
Items and equipment
On Rise Eterna, there is no equipment in the traditional sense. You will get some gems after battles, or from looting, which will increase a statistic from the one who equips it. Also, there are gems that increase several parameters at the same time, and even some with penalties accompanied by a positive stat.
There is a limit in the number of equipped gems, increasable with a supportive skill. Besides, you have a limit in the gem inventory, but you can convert the bad ones into materials for crafting. This limitation is annoying, because I liked to unequip all the gems, and re-equip them on different characters, to use all, but it isn’t game-breaking.
During your battles you will get items from your enemies, even in the last stages of the story, you can steal objects from them. There are tons of treasure chests to open too, but in some cases, you will need a key for that, obtainable from enemies and chests or craftable.
You can use the obtained resources to craft different items from healing potions to elixirs which gives you permanent or temporal upgrades to your statistics, among others. This crafting system is simple, if you have the materials, you can craft any item in a moment.
Battles are tactical turn-based. You usually have to kill all the enemies and arrive at a certain stage point to complete the mission. The enemies did not move unless one of your characters is on their attack range, so you have to approach them to achieve the mission objectives. When you are on their attack range they will come for you, except in the case of archers, who they look for you if you are near their range, not into it. Of course, you will kill a couple of enemies before they start to attack you, which makes combat easier.
Each character has a movement range and an attack range, it depends on his stats and his weapon. Natheal has a sword, so they only can attack the enemies which are next to him, while Softy has a bow, so he can attack from afar and sure position. Some characters have extended ranges, like Sachael or Sarajed, who will hit various enemies at the same time if they are together. Also, some characters needs a space between them and the enemies to attack, they don’t need to be far, but they can do melee attacks neither. This will give you some space to make your strategies with your favourite characters, but you will realize that some units can break the battles. In addition, when a combat starts, you will see an animation of how it develops.
You will see walls, mountains and other obstacles in the scenarios, but they don’t matter. If you are near enough of the enemy, you can attack the enemy through a wall, even through a mountain. The same applies to the enemies.
Each turn, you will move your team, and you will attack the enemies. You can do other actions, like using an item or special commands, available for some characters, too. Then, the enemy will move and attack, if you are on the range, if not, they will pass. This dynamic make combats easy, especially when you have a complete party of six members. If you use the overpowered units, like the archer (he starts like an archer, but at the end, he seems a professional sniper), they will be even easier.
Some stages will have bosses, who increase the difficulty of these missions, but it won’t be a big problem. Also, there is no permadeath, if one companion is KO’ed you can use him later again. Even they get skill points for his participation in battle.
When you advance in the story, there are traps in the stages, they hurt you if you pass over them, stopping your character movement for that turn. Also, they will inflict some status ailment, like poison or bleeding, which will make you lose HP during the turns. You can heal them with items. These traps and some bosses will be the major issue in the final stages.
When I was younger, I had the opportunity to play Fire Emblem on my Game Boy Advance. It was not the common game on my game inventory, it felt a little harder to me, but I enjoyed it, despite my age. Some years later, I had the chance to play another title of the franchise. On this occasion, I got it dominated, but I enjoyed it like the first one. Fire Emblem probably influenced my gaming tastes because I love tactical turn-based games. In the current years, I had the chance to play more titles of the franchise, they got new refreshed graphics, but the essence is the same.
When I saw this game, the people and the media sold it like a Fire Emblem successor, but no, you can take this game as a Fire Emblem successor because it isn’t. Also, all the bad reviews which I read were oriented to this matter. Rise Eterna is not Fire Emblem, it has some similar mechanics but is not a member of this franchise. However, it’s a good tactical turn-based game to spend your time without enormous complications. The game is easy, and has some deficiencies, like the way to narrate the story, the personality of some characters, some are empty, or its duration, it took me 18 h to complete it, and I was grinding for a while to unlock some achievements.
But there are positive points too: Despite the narration method, the story is good, I wanted more. Some characters will touch your heart for different reasons, especially the duo Natheal and Lua. The gem system feels eclipsed a little because of the inventory limitation, but if you like inventory management, you will enjoy it. The soundtrack is spectacular, there are several themes, and all are great and will go with you well when playing. The graphics are very nice pixel art. Also, the game is in several languages too, I played it in Spanish, and the translation was good. Besides, it is available in English, Portuguese, Polish, among others. And yes, the game is easy, but this does not mean that it is a bad one, you can use it for relaxing when you are playing a genre that you like. Despite all, it engaged me from start to end.