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My Journey with JRPGs began back in 5th grade where I took up a few GBA titles like Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Summon Night: Swordcraft Story, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (I cried), and many others. Shortly after this, I had to part ways with the genre, due to their (often)excessive length and effort that had to be put into the games.

Edge of Eternity SS
But, in 2021 amidst a pandemic, I found myself ready to dive back into the genre and I couldn’t have found a better game than Edge of Eternity. The game combines current-gen visual fidelity but still honors the core JRPG mechanics by keeping it a classic turn-based combat game.

Built by formerly just 4 developers, the team has expanded to 13 dedicated and hard-working individuals. The fans who took part in the beta proclaim this modern JRPG to be “one of the best out there”. How true is this claim? Let us find out!

Illness, sacrifice, and a pinch of magic

The story of Edge of Eternity starts heavy and progressively focuses itself on a  linear questline, on which the entire game is built upon. You live in a world full of mysteries, crystals, magic, and sorcery. This planet is visited by a race far advanced in terms of technical achievement. But things went south for the planet when the guests decided to declare war on their hosts. The battle was one-sided and the people of the mystical lands were losing. After countless sacrifices and use of the secret practices, the embers of hope lit anew again.

Do you think ‘BAM!’ that’s where you come in? Hold on, now comes the worse part – the invaders deploy their most deadly weapon and leave the planet. What could be so deadly that they abandoned the entire planet?

It was a virus called the ‘Corossion’. It takes over the body, killing the person from the inside and becoming a predator in the new host. The virus, unfortunately, does not affect just humans but every single living organism – the flora and fauna of this fantastical land.

And yes BAM! This is where you come in. You start off as Daryon, a soldier drafted to be the last hope of humanity fighting against extinction. I won’t spoil what happens in the prologue but be assured that it is going to break your heart. After the prologue, you receive the news that your mother is now a victim of the corrosion and only has a few days left to live. This is where your journey to the edge begins. Daryon along with his sister Selene, a priestess from the High order, one of the best spell casters, embark on a journey to find a cure for the corrosion before it takes over the entire world.

My turn now!

Edge of Eternity is hands down one of the most refined turn-based combat games I’ve come across after Yakuza Like a Dragon. Instead of engaging in combats with default attacks turn by turn, you can change the tides by using special attacks, changing position, flanking, and using the environment to your advantage.

I will say this now, I didn’t enjoy the grinding in the game much. That is moreover because the story is really engaging but constantly requires you to be at higher levels than the enemies to stand a fighting chance. The enemies often will have 5x more health than you and hit like a tank engine. And since it’s a turn-based game, you’re just waiting for your turn to fall over and die.

But why is this a bad thing? Isn’t this what JRPG’s are about? Yes, I get it – JRPGs are lengthy and grindy. But the point is that grinding is actually hard and boring, at least in this case. Your main source of gaining XP will be side quests or the repetitive mobs that you will come across every 10 steps, especially when you’re playing at high levels. Hence, the side quests are nearly compulsory to do, which I am not really happy about since half of the side quests are basically of the ‘collect X bear asses’ variety.

I ran into a sidequest that challenges you to open a chest since Daryon is too nervous to open one. The problem is, I had ALREADY opened the chest, so what do I open now? The quest is bugged and can never be completed. While some other sidequests are really unique, which will make you travel to places and fight legendary beasts that give out a good deal of XP and resources.

While fighting parasites, or worms your camera can go under the ground and end up at weird places. The first 25% of the game has to be done on foot which really slows down the pace. Facial animation in the prologue is creepy and scary. And a major chunk of the game is to be done with just 2 characters, the additional party members join later in the end game, which is again, just too late. The grind is not fun at times, and some parts of the side quests are blank and pointless.

But, we’re talking about an independent studio putting out a game, that relishes the childhood of many gamers, bringing in a story that will melt your heart and a well-defined combat system made by just 13 people. And that is truly commendable.  And still, the game is gigantic and powered by a good combat system that allows you to actually move around the map, awarding you with critical damage during flanks, and using the environment by interacting with different items makes turn-based combat feel more engaging.

You see that’s where the trouble began- the aesthetics… those damned aesthetics

Edge of Eternity holds the record for the most screenshots I’ve taken in a game. Every single POI in the game has been designed without slacking off even a single percentage of effort. From the groundwork to the atmosphere, color grading, visual effects and more factors that collectively make the game look so damn good that it never ceased to amaze me.

I’ll be honest, the game devs directly address that they don’t have the budget or resources to make this game a AAA title. But personally, it is on par with many AAA titles out there in terms of how the game looks during open-world exploration. The game even features different biomes, starting from snowy mountains, to a coastal area followed by caves covered in greenery. Then you’ll make your way into some of the cities that may not have a lot of depth in terms of what you can do in it, but are massive and beautifully designed bottom to top.

Furnished by suiting soundtracks, the game delivers an amazing experience. From diverse enemies, a range of weaponry, spells, and battle items, there is something new to experiment with all the time in Edge of Eternity.

Real Talk

Edge of Eternity is truly not just a game but a phenomenal experience. The game is well-fit to be adapted as an Anime series as well, with all the parts divided into different seasons and story arcs (Imagine the devs stealing this idea). The lack of polish in certain departments and a few bugs here and there don’t hamper your experience at all and you already know how I feel about the grind. If you enjoy JRPGs (and especially the grind they offer), Edge of Eternity is the perfect fit for you.

Me after getting a Legendary Weapon

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