Today, we’re going to be reviewing Citizens of Earth, an RPG by developer “Eden Industries” and publisher “ATLUS”. This game was released January 20th, 2015 and I’m excited to get started.
Lets start with the story, shall we? Considering Citizens of Earth is an RPG, this is one of the most important factors. It seems to take inspiration from many older RPGs, and I find a lot of “Earthbound” in this game.
You are the Vice President of the World. You recently got elected, and after one day of mildly difficult work you had to take a vacation. The game starts on your first day back, and there’s a rally against you in your hometown! Without getting into too many details, this is the most normal situation you are going to encounter in this game and events escalate quickly.
As the Vice President, you don’t fight. You recruit your constituents to fight for you, like any normal politician. There are 40 party members to recruit in total, each leveling separately and having their own special attacks and strengths/weaknesses. As a note, there are only certain characters you have no choice of recruiting, many others can be bypassed altogether. On my playthrough, I had less than half upon completion.
The storyline itself is nothing we haven’t seen before, but with every bit of dialogue they’re attempting to get a giggle out of you, and puns are everywhere. Books titled “Be Your Own Co-Pilot, written by Pilot”, or attacks by enemies such as “Protester hurts you deep inside with scathing ridicule”. One of my personal favorites was “Spiteful youth seen beating crows with cracked bat, apprehend at once!” seen on a police computer, an obvious shout-out to Earthbound. The game also lets you name all the characters you recruit. I named my Mom, “Dad”. Bringing the system down one step at a time.
The graphics aren’t the draw of this game, but they do their job. They give the game the feeling it may take place in a Saturday morning cartoon, and the character models are each widely different (they’ve obviously not cloned different characters).
As above, you can tell effort was really put in to the audio effects and music as well. Characters are almost all fully voiced, and the music sounds like a mix of something you’d hear in a cartoon, an older RPG, and an early 90’s music video. If the original music isn’t retro enough for you, there’s a setting for that as well. I did find that some of the sound clips got repetitive, but once you get into the groove, you don’t notice it as much. You’re obviously not getting blockbuster sound and music, but for this developer’s modest budget they did a great job.
The game is split into chapters, and each one plays almost like an episode of a TV show. I beat the game in about 14 hours and in that time, I recruited less then half of the total characters, but I also explored every nook and cranny of each area (I’m an item hoarder, I have a problem). I would say you could probably beat this game in 8-10 hours if you were determined and only recruited the minimum amount of characters. Alternatively, you could probably get up to 20 hours of gameplay if you attempted a 100% playthrough.
I would say this gameplay length is about perfect. This game definitely plays like an older RPG, but it can get repetitive fast – especially the combat. The funny dialogue is nice, but I don’t think I could sit through a traditional RPG’s worth (30-40 hours minimum).
Combat certainly takes many cues from Earthbound and older RPGs. Encounters aren’t generated randomly, but when you make contact with an enemy on the map while exploring. Depending on how many enemies are around, you can expect to fight 1 to 4 at once. You can have as many as three active characters fight for you, and combat is turn-based. Attacks either use energy or generate energy, and this is the basis of combat as well as buffs and debuffs. As said above, each character levels independently and have their own special attacks. One of my personal favorites is Conspiracy Guy, who can accuse enemies of covering up government secrets, confuse them by explaining one of his many theories, apply truth serum, or attack with a cattle prod.
Enemies of course have strengths and weaknesses, which help you decide which characters to use in each area. This is one of the reasons to recruit as many characters as you can. Health only recovers when you rest or level up, so make sure to always have health generation items, or a healer in your active party.
Certain maps can have tons of enemies and you can over-level fairly quickly. This can get a bit repetitive, but on the plus side if you can manage to “Charge” behind an enemy, and you’re a high enough level above them, you can instantly win the battle.
Recruitment can be tedious or fun, depending on the character. Some may have you going across the world to find items, others may just want you to collect an item, help them with something, or beat a minigame.
Once you beat the game’s main story, you can keep playing to get the rest of the characters. Because of this, I would say this game has little to no replay value, unless you come back to the game years later.
– If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, quick RPG with references to all sorts of older RPGs and pop culture, then give this game a try. It was only $15 when I bought it, and I found it well worth the purchase.
– If you don’t like turn-based RPGs, are looking for a more serious storyline, and get bored of repetitive game mechanics quickly, I would pass.