[Vita RPG Review] Citizens of Earth
Citizens of Earth is an old-school infused RPG release from Eden Industries that is being published by Atlus. If you’ve enjoyed games such as Nintendo’s quirky Earthbound, then you’ll definitely love to take Citizens of Earth out for a spin!
Citizens of Earth pits players as the second-highest-paid bureaucrat in the land. The game begins just after winning a long, drawn-out candidacy, and the VP returns to his hometown for some taxpayer- funded rest and relaxation. But after just one night passes, the VP awakens to find the world gone berserk! As elected official he has two responsibilities: investigate what’s caused people to go crazy… and delegate as much of the dirty work as possible. Citizens of Earth has 40 wacky citizens to recruit and send into battle!
Citizens of Earth – Full Trailer
Like I wrote in my preview from last week, Citizens of Earth feels like a spiritual successor to Earthbound, but instead of following a young boy, you’ll be following the second most important person on the planet: The Vice-President of Earth!
Of course, Citizens of Earth has enough material to be considered a standalone title instead of being what looks like an Earthbound clone. For instance, almost every single character on the map can be recruited to your team and fight for you. It’s not that easy of course, and each character has special requirements that need to be fulfilled before he/she will accept to join your crew. Those characters are all optional, but it was a pleasure to do their side-quests in order to have them in my party.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the battle system looks a lot like Earthbound’s. Each character has two types of attack: weak ones that charge energy dots (below the character’s health), and a stronger one that consumes those energy points. Of course, a nice balance has to be taken into account when fighting because of course you always want to do stronger attacks, but using them so much can also cripple your fight strategy if the enemies link some strong attacks of their own and you can’t access your skills. I loved how the battles play out, and the difficulty in the normal setting is fair. Of course, in true Earthbound-fashion, if you manage to get behind an enemy and are strong enough, you’ll instantly defeat the enemy without entering the battle and earn full xp for it!
Each character also has a special talent, which ranges from regular RPG stuff to crazy things like changing the game’s difficulty, and each character will upgrade his talent when he’s used in battle. You can only bring 3 out of the 40 possible characters into battle at the time, and unused characters do not level-up automatically. This means that some characters will fall behind in their levels, but luckily the game is balanced so that you can select your combination of choice, and stick with them as you progress in the game. And if you want to take a different character, he’ll be “usable” after only a few battles as he will level-up quickly.
Awwww… Everyone is soo happy!
The dungeons in Citizens of Earth are actually relatively huge, and all take some time to get through. This sadly leads to the main issue I had with this game: all enemies are visible on the map, so you should have the choice to avoid them (a.k.a. NOT random encounters), but it actually isn’t the case. Here, each enemy in every dungeon corridors will react when you pass, and almost all will chase you. The issue here is that their detection range is too big, and made evasion almost impossible most of the time. So you cannot rush from point A to point B, and will eventually face almost every battle that has to be done on each floor. I would have preferred if it were actually possible to evade some of the fights, especially when I was already strong enough.
Finally (and surprisingly), the game crashed on me a few times. I read on some forums that the review copies of the PC version had a similar issue but had been patched, so I’m sure this will be fixed soon, but since this bug was in the review copy I had, I do have to mention it.
If you’re a fan of Earthbound (either after playing it back in the day on the SNES or on the Wii U Virtual Console), you’ll be in familiar territory. Citizens of Earth is a great RPG release from Atlus that features an extensive cast, a great battle system and funny dialogues! On the other hand, since this game doesn’t use random encounters, I’d have preferred to be able to navigate in the dungeons without being chased by all the enemies. Also, the few bugs that I encountered in the Vita version are something to consider. Hopefully, the bugs will be corrected with a couple of patches here and there.
[review pros=”Great gameplay mechanics and Auto-battle
Reminiscent of Earthbound but with its own identity
Save everywhere feature + Auto-saves often
Funny dialogues and enemies” cons=”Enemy ‘aggro’ makes progression harder than it should be
Some crash bugs are present in the Vita version” score=80]
Game Cost: $14.99 / â‚¬11.99
PSN Game size: 1.6GB