Citizens of Earth Review

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Posted February 2, 2015 by Bryan Boshart in Video Games

Citizens of Earth

Developed By: Eden Industries

Produced By: Atlus

Release Date: January 20th, 2015

Available for: Nintendo 3DS, PC, PS4(reviewed), PS Vita, Wii U

 

Congratulations, you’ve been elected Vice President of the World! Citizens of Earth starts off innocently enough with the new VP recovering from a hard fought campaign. Sadly, you’re house is surrounded by protesters which you have to fight off with nothing but your great hair and charisma (and the citizens you pick up along the way).  Citizens of Earth pays homage to the absurdity of games like Earthbound, but does it do enough to get noticed on its own?

The most endearing element of Citizens of Earth is the wonderfully quirky humor that help breathe life into the world. It pokes fun at politicians with the Vice President refusing to fight and sending people to fight for him and commenting on the fact that his hair is his greatest asset. Only a handful of people actual recognize the VP(much like real life), and most quickly dismiss him. Goofy jokes are thrown out repeatedly. From the bodybuilder commenting after a loss that someday a bodybuilder will be a successful politician *cough Schwarzenegger cough* to the VP telling a lifeguard not to save any lives on her vacation.  The story is also a source for a few laughs and helps keep up the quirky spirit that makes Citizens of Earth unique.

Just some of the humorous dialogue present in Citizens of Earth

Just some of the humorous dialogue present in Citizens of Earth

The humor also carries over into the enemies. Enemies range from hippies to protesters, to bears literally made of honey. The enemies attacks also carry some flavor text in battle to make them more interesting than just a quick flash followed by damage. The goofy enemy design helps the game maintain a lighthearted feel that never disappears.

The pacing on the game is one of the biggest problems. Enemies are abundant and if you want to avoid any it is rather difficult. This is made all the more annoying when the game gives you a vague goal such as asking people about a flying coffee shop. With some missions being as straight forward as “Escape the Capitol,” these generalized objectives throw a wrench in the games pacing. While recruiting citizens is one of the most important aspects of the game, the amount of hoops you have to go through to unlock some is absurd. Certain characters will join you upon meeting them in a particular area, while characters like the Yoga Instructor require you to get every Citizen to level 20 or higher. Other characters feature what amount to fetch quests or mini-games to acquire. While a couple of the recruitment missions were fun, acquiring most of the forty party members was a chore.

Your U-Pad will slowly fill up with acquired citizens

Your U-Pad will slowly fill up with acquired citizens

That said, the characters are all quite useful in Citizens of Earth’s battle system. Citizens of Earth at its core is a simple turn-based rpg; however, proper management of your power is important. While the VP himself stays out of the fight, any three citizens you’ve acquired will be at your disposal. You build power with your weak attacks and can spend them on battle altering abilities from buffs to massive damage. There is also an elemental system that helps you exploit enemies for quick victory. This smart meter management system had me creating well rounded teams whose abilities were complimentary quite quickly. With the exception of boss fights, the battles are fairly quick. Your characters actually gain experience mid-battle too, which has saved my butt on a few different occasions. When you level up, you also get bonuses to stats based on which other party members you are using, so cycling members is important to building powerful characters. The level system is also a bit of a problem, as often in new areas enemies will deal over sixty percent of life in a single hit, which means you’ll have to grind for experience. If an area is particularly difficult, you can always have one of your citizens lower the difficulty.

Despite the archetypal nature of the forty citizens, they are all very charming.  Not only do citizens all add to the game’s humor and increase your combat ability, but they also have abilities that function in the overworld. The gardener and handyman can both clear obstacles from your path. Some characters talents let them function as shops like the Baker. Possibly the most useful is the teacher who can train up to  nine of your party members when you aren’t using them.

Citizens of Earth is one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in a long time. It hearkens back to many of the classic 8 or 16-bit rpg’s that I grew up with. While Citizens of Earth is worth a play, some pacing problems and mediocre recruitment missions manage to trip up what could have been a great game. That said, I still found myself smiling at the end of each play session and does just enough to capture the vote of this citizen.


About the Author

Bryan Boshart

Hey, I'm Bryan. I write video game reviews here at We The Nerdy. In my spare time I mostly play fighting games, but play almost anything.

 
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