PS5 Review: Chained Echoes

Can this capture the SNES JRPG vibe?

Take up your sword, channel your magic or board your Mech. Chained Echoes is a 16-bit SNES style RPG set in a fantasy world where dragons are as common as piloted mechanical suits. Follow a group of heroes as they explore a land filled to the brim with charming characters, fantastic landscapes and vicious foes. Can you bring peace to a continent where war has been waged for generations and betrayal lurks around every corner? Chained Echoes is a story-driven game where a group of heroes travel around the vast continent of Valandis to bring an end to the war between its three kingdoms. In the course of their journey, they will travel through a wide array of diverse landscapes spanning from wind-tanned plateaus and exotic archipelagos to sunken cities and forgotten dungeons.

Chained Echoes is one of those rare treats, it’s a love letter to a classic JRPGs from the SNES/Mega Drive era and it does it to almost perfection. It has everything you can think of when you think of these games like amazing pixel artwork, solid turn-based mechanics, a top-notch story and brilliant writing. It also has a truly superb soundtrack to boot. So what more could you want?

The overall package is very impressive and it’s also on Xbox Game Pass if you want to try it that way. I’m playing on PS5 and I can safely say it’s one of the most impressive retro-style RPGs I’ve played in a long time. Sure there have been some damn good 2D RPGs as of late with the likes of Triangle Strategy and Octopath Traveller that deliver an amazing experience as well, but I found myself enjoying Chained Echoes a lot more overall.

I’m not entirely sure why that is, but I just found the experience more fluid, the script to be more thought-provoking and the gameplay to be a nice blend between old and new. The only issue I found is that the game is over in roughly 30 hours, but it does feel that it would outstay its welcome by being longer. It feels like just the right length by the time you get to the end, even if you do wish it was slightly longer, it’s hard to imagine how they would have dragged it out.

The Verdict

Chained Echoes is a perfect love letter to the classic SNES JRPG. It’s a solid experience from beginning to end and definitely one of my favourite 2D RPGs that I have played in a long, long time. I can’t wait to see what comes next from this developer…

Score: 9.0