This mechs-and-airships JRPG is finally out after almost 4 years, and it's getting great reviews

Chained Echoes is finally here, and for fans of JRPG classics, the wait has certainly been worth it.

Real-time action and realistic visuals might be all the rage in role-playing games these days, but if you've got a hankering for the isometric camera angles, pixel art graphics, and traditional turn-based battles seen in the JRPGs of yore, Chained Echoes could be just the adventure you're looking for.

The game follows a group of heroes as they venture across the continent of Valandis, attempting to bring peace to its three warring 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," reads the game's Steam page.

In typical RPG fashion, areas are filled with baddies to defeat, treasure to discover, and side quests to complete. Enemy encounters are turn-based and use a tag team system that lets you switch allies into battle to trigger certain skills and abilities. In a nice change to the genre's usual mix of swords and magic, Chained Echoes also lets you pilot mechanical suits to fly around the world with ease and, better yet, take on foes you couldn't possibly handle on foot. You'll also "customize your own airship" in the background of your adventure.  

Bringing Chained Echoes to life has been a long journey for solo developer Matthias Linda, who launched a campaign to get the game crowd-funding on Kickstarter all the way back in February 2019. Its retro charm quickly struck a chord with old-school JRPG fans, and the game managed to amass almost half its funding goal in the first seven days. It also smashed many of its stretch goals, meaning you can play it on PC, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One, or grab it on Game Pass.

Those who've already delved into Chained Echoes' 16-bit world have been mightily impressed. The PC version has earned an impressive critic score of 91 on Metacritic and currently has a "very positive" rating from players on Steam. "This game is an absolute blast," says one reviewer on Valve's platform. "The story is engaging, the combat is some of the best I have seen in a very long time." Another writes, "What Matthias Linda has accomplished here is nothing short of incredible."

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Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.