Every once in a while I will be given a game that hits me like a truck out of nowhere. I just have to stop and say, how did they come up with this insane idea, and how is it possible that it is sitting in front of me right now. Most of the time, the game fails spectacularly, but in some very rare instances, that game shines through like a beacon of light in a fog storm, Citizens of Earth is one of those games.
Citizens of Earth
Reviewed: Playstation 4 (Review Copy Received) WiiU/Steam versions played to Chapter 2
Developer: Eden Industries
Released: January 20, 2015 (Steam, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS)
MSRP: $14.99/€11.99 (Steam, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS)
Right from the get go, you will understand the direction the game is leaning toward. Solid, clean, and colorful, the art work pops with its cartoon sprite style that is very unique and fun. The massive amount of character designs brimming with creativity is staggering, especially considering the fact that the MSRP for the game is $14.99. The landscapes are also nicely designed and quite large in size giving many chances to use character abilities. There are allot of pop culture references in the game, many reflected graphically, which will have you keeping an eye out for landmarks, designs, and books and signs scattered throughout the world, each one designed to be a mini joke.
The controls are very easy to pick up, but it must be noted that Citizens of Earth is more competent on console or using console controls then with mouse and keyboard. You will absolutely want to find yourself a compatible controller for your PC if you are playing this on steam. When using a controller, the game in combat and overworld feel fluid and easy to use.
Much like the Pokemon series you will be collecting characters that are throughout the world, accomplishing tasks so that they join your party. Each character is well designed and unique in gameplay, giving you the option to tackle late game in many different ways, depending on the characters you unlocked at that point. Citizens of Earth’s gameplay really coaxes the player into being a completionist, rewarding them for exploring and looking at everything possible, even going so far as to give EXP rewards to help you gain levels for doing so. While the combat can be very repetitive in the beginning or when grinding levels on characters, some characters are truly unique late game, which many players may find enjoyable.
The leveling system also has some unique features, such as gaining different bonus states for leveling with particular citizens in your group, as well as being able to reallocate your stats at the coast of levels, adding an extra layer of customization, giving the ability to mid max if you want to really demolish your opponents.
The talent system is one of the most enjoyable things in the game, and really feels rewarding once you have unlocked citizen’s talents by leveling them up and using them in combat. Everything from art galleries to difficulty settings can be accessed via citizen talents, later on earning abilities like driving a car, fixing doors, or even dumpster diving It also must be noted that I did not experience one bug the whole time I played and the load times were fast and consistent on the three platforms the game was played on.
The game does incorporate a system where you can ambush an opponent, sometimes killing him out right instead of entering into a fight, but it is awkward to aim, and will sometime lead you to be ambushed if you don’t aim it correctly, which can be a bit frustrating when you want to move through an area quickly.
Music and Sound:
The music for the game is competent if not a bit repetitive. The real shining gem in the games sounds and voice acting. Dialog is many and varied; many people will enjoy the humor this game presents to the player, often corny and lovable but with a hidden adult tone. Add that to the sheer massive amount of dialog in the game that is presented with allot of enthusiasm and vigor, and you end up with one of the games major selling points. Hands down, some great voice work.
While the story is cartoonishly convoluted, it is a story that you can easily follow and many will enjoy. Not to mention the large amount of side missions available, as well as recruit missions; there is a lot of narrative to experience. Many people will really enjoy the outlandish jabbing at popular culture mixed with a general sense of loving admiration the game presents the player. Playing as the Vice President of the World is an interesting premise that is not wasted at all. The story explores the massively flawed stereotypical politician and his interactions with a world that is bizarre yet grounded, in a way that feels really unique from a character stand point. Right from the start you know you are playing the fool, and you revel in it. There is no other game where you can be the Vice President, get in a fight with a child hopped up on sugar and a police officer, while teaming up with a teenager that is aspiring to be a journalist that can make clones of enemy, a giant purple school mascot, and a crazy conspiracy guy that can actually preform attacks with fire, lighting, and water while learning the real spirit of politics from a bald eagle in a dashing Toupée and a brilliant set of teeth (you read that correctly).
From the ground up everything fits together perfectly. Citizens of Earth really conveys the sense that it is Earthbound for a new generation. Character Graphics and Voice go together nearly seamlessly, and really make this game what it is, while the story and game world help accentuate each character you run into. You will be hard pressed to find issues with the Cohesiveness, which is really sings to the praises of the game considering how convoluted things can get, and how each the game could fall apart with a couple miss steps in the wrong direction. Over all everything fits together like a well-oiled machine.