Citizens of Earth

9 Overall Score
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 9/10

Awesome Old School Feel | EarthBound Inspired

Too Many Citizens | May Be Too Difficult for Non-RPGers

Game Info

GAME NAME: Citizens of Earth

DEVELOPER(S): Eden Industries

PUBLISHER(S): Atlus

PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U

GENRE(S): RPG

RELEASE DATE(S): January 22nd, 2015

Anyone who talks to me regularly knows that two of my most wanted sequels and/or reboots would be StarTropics and EarthBound.  Now, while both may have similar puns and humor, both are completely different in gameplay styles, StarTropics being more on the side of adventure and EarthBound being an RPG. Thankfully for Eden Industries and Atlus, Citizens of Earth is the closest experience that I will probably ever get to playing EarthBound without it actually being EarthBound.

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The game starts out like any great RPG should, and that is with your main character, the Vice President of Earth (yes that’s right, Earth), sleeping away in the comfort of his bed.  Your Mom comes into the room and wakes you up to start your adventure and soon joins your team, as well as your brother.  All of the characters can be renamed but also start off with generic titles so you can personalize the game as you see fit.  As you start off in chapter one, you are met by protesters who have been organized by your political rival and are soon thrown into a plot filled with mutated animal and plant life, as well as some things alien to the world.  I won’t go too deep into the story as there are some pretty good twists that I don’t want to spoil for anyone.

The gameplay is very reminiscent of EarthBound, which to me is a wonderful thing.  You can see all the enemies you will eventually battle on the screen and can walk into them to start the turned-based fighting.  You also have a move you can make that will send your 3 party members out to hit the enemy, and this can result in getting a preemptive strike of just defeating the enemy without having to go through with the battle.  I loved this addition in EarthBound, as it speeds up the game from having to battle with weaker enemies, and it feels right at home in Citizens of Earth.

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Once in a battle, if you have played any turn-based RPG before, things will feel very familiar.  Each member will pick their attack or defense move and then the battle will ensue.  The one thing that Eden Industries added to spice up the challenge was adding ability orbs.  Moves will either cost you orbs or have you gain them.  This becomes a huge tactic in how you take on the enemies during battle and who you choose to be your party members.  Some members are better fighters, while others range from being healers to granting different buffs and debuffs.  I really enjoyed the way that the orbs were presented, as it adds just a little bit more of a challenge for experienced gamers, though it might leave some newcomers confused.  The enemies you will battle have clever names as well, such as the “telefawn” or the “catctus” and the art style of these blended creatures is just as awesome.

Citizens of Earth is set up in a chapter format.  All the main story quests will move you right along through the chapters, but the side quests are plentiful.  In fact, with each recruited character is a unique side quest that sometimes has more of a humorous take and sometimes is more puzzling in tone.  This helps break the game up and allows you to grind around the city with a purpose.  There are also secondary quests, such as finding the creatures on the most wanted posters or finding places for the photographer to take just the perfect picture of you.  All the quests are well done and never feel like a chore.  There are also achievements for those completionists who just have to collect everything that the game has to offer.

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The Wii U’s GamePad takes on a few unique abilities in this title. While you can use it for what now seems like the standard off-screen play, you can also use the game’s main interface, a tablet that you earn, on the touch screen.  Once you bring up the tablet using the X Button, you can easily navigate the menus using just the touch screen.  This is a great feature in the Wii U version, as you actually feel like the tablet you have earned is right in your hands.

Citizens of Earth’s visuals was the first thing that grabbed my attention many moons ago.  The unique comic book art style with the quirky humor is something that we don’t see enough of and is welcome any day in my opinion.  The design of the characters and locations are all gorgeous in HD and really have a timeless feel.  The soundtrack is also something that just matches the game so well and they did such a great job with.  The voice acting is well done but some of the in-battle snippets can get old and repetitive if you use the same citizen long enough.

The Recommendation

If you are of a fan of EarthBound this game is a must-own, day one purchase.  It really does a great job of capturing the essence and what was so special about EarthBound but at the same time makes it’s own unique mark on the genre.  Even if you have never played EarthBound and are looking for a fun RPG, this will satisfy that craving.  Newcomers to the genre might struggle at first, but you can change the difficultly at anytime, and the story is totally worth sticking it out for the long haul.  Here’s hoping we see another Citizens of Earth in a quicker manner than the releases in the EarthBound series.

 

Summary

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Author: Anthony View all posts by
I'm somewhat of a gaming relic Google+ Author