Version Tested – PS Vita
Returning home after a long – but ultimately successful – election, the Vice President of Earth was hoping for a relaxing vacation. Instead he’s greeted with a series of strange occurrences. Now it’s up to him and his motley crew of bumbling constituents to figure out what the hell is going on and inevitably save the world!
Variety is king in Citizens of Earth with a plethora of atypical RPG heroes to choose from including, but not limited to, a homeless man, a used car salesman, your mother, an architect, a conspiracy nut, a life guard, a photographer, a barista and, well, you get the idea.
Each character has their own special attacks, and role to play in the game. For example, get hurt and your mother can hug you better, while the homeless guy can unleash a devastating bio attack using his unique aroma as a weapon.
The randomness and variety is not limited to the characters themselves either. Recruitment is varied too. Fancy hiring the musician? You’ll have to beat a short rhythm action mini-game. The psychiatrist? Delve into sub-conscious and face your childhood demons. The school teacher? You’ll have to answer a quiz on the local area of course. This really does keep you wanting to Pokemon it up and catch-em all if nothing else, just to see what hoops you’ll have to jump through to get them on your side.
There’s plenty on offer in the opposition corner too. You’ll battle rampaging coffee beans, computer viruses, very small tanks and angry protesters and that’s just in the first two chapters! Like your crew, each enemy has their own skill and you’ll have to find out their weaknesses if you want to triumph in battle.
You’ll also have to balance attack and defense. You see. every skill either depletes or replenishes energy, so rather than spamming a super attack you might want to keep a couple of those energy cubes saved up in case you need a little hug to heal.
There are no random encounters in Citizens of Earth so you can, in theory, avoid combat to a certain extent. You can see every enemy on the world map so, if you’re quick enough, you can slip through without having to fight. Also, once you’re super hard, enemies will run away instead of chasing you. Heck, you’ll even defeat enemies without having to fight them which does take some of the grind out of it.
Your minions also have their own skills that come in handy. For instance, the car dealer can drive you around town, helping you avoid combat, also getting you around faster. You’ll need to take advantage of each of them to make it to the end.
If you’re stuck with a bunch of low-level characters you can always send them to school – if you have the cash – and let them level up while you’re off adventuring. Other citizens let you tweak everything from the level of zoom, the music or the difficulty with higher levels giving bigger rewards.
So it’s all brilliant, right? I should give Atlus all my money? Well, hold on there partner; there are some… teething problems. While the writing of individual scenes and characters is generally brilliant, the high level story is a little sparse and doesn’t really keep you in the world. It was also super buggy when we got our hands on it. I got stuck on the scenery a few times and had to restart, thankfully the auto-save happens between every screen. Also, sometimes the combat broke for no reason so I couldn’t fight anything. There were also a few inexplicable crashes to contend with. Hopefully Atlus will get a patch out soon and these issues will disappear, but while generally little more than niggles, the amount of times issues crop up does start to grate after a while.
It’s also worth noting that, while the variety of enemies is great, they are bloody everywhere. In longer sessions, the combat does start to feel like a grind, especially going up against those damned Cone Crabs that hide, turn invincible, heal themselves and annoyingly extend combat to teeth grinding levels.
The Good Stuff
- Unique and quirky
- Moments of comedy gold.
- Huge variety in characters and enemies.
The Bad Stuff
- Buggy, I mean really buggy.
- A little light on the story front.
Citizens of Earth is a fun game packed with personality and tongue in cheek humor. There’s plenty to love here; cutesy graphics, crazy enemies and moments of laugh out loud comedy. Unfortunately it is also buggy, slow paced and lacking a decent story to link all of the hijinks together to keep you coming back for more. It won’t have you abandoning the new Dragon Age to play it, but for a tenner Citizens of Earth is well worth the price of admission.