Thursday, January 22, 2015

Citizens of Earth Review I'm Gonna Get My Mom To Kick Your Butt

Citizens of Earth
Steam,Wii U, 3DS, PS4, PSVita 
$11.99 Starting Week on Steam

Officers why are you attacking me and what's with the creepy smiles? Is that a bear made of honey? When did the Earth unite under one banner? Those questions and more are never explained in Citizens of Earth.

Citizens of Earth stars you as the pompous Vice President of Earth, all of the Earth, who must collect the regular citizens of the world to fight and explore for him. He won't be going into battles in this American RPG, with heavy influence from JRPGs, especially Earthbound. No, you and whomever else he can get through side quests will join the party and find out the mysterious goings on affecting the Vice President's hometown and the world! Along the way you'll laugh, battle, and question how silly they could make the game with simple jokes and word-play. Excuse me, let me just take a sip of my coffee from Moonbucks, nothing like that cheap rip-off Starbucks.

The game starts with you awakening from your slumber after just winning the election as Vice President. Your back home, on vacation, it is the day after you won the election, and your brother and Mom are happy to see you. There also the first members in your party, and I don't mean your political party.

What starts as some, in-no-way-earned, time-off becomes a mystery of coffee aliens, strange living signs, and bizarre cybernetic deer who are part telephone, the Telefawn. After being Mom-ed by my Mom and bothered by protesters you quest the world with silly puns and goals brought up by so many older RPGs. Odd jobs and jobs that only licensed professionals should have handled were taken on by the people I elected. Strange creatures followed us at every turn, including a nerd that was part coffee, a Cappuccinerd.

As the overly egotistical, caring-only-about-them-self, Vice President, your Mom fights your battle for you. So did a Baker, and IT Nerd, Mascot and host of other regular citizens that use their normal powers of their occupation to fight bad guys.

We lose the election in this part of the game. Combat is long and tedious.When you fight Honey Bear, a bear made out of honey, you see the beast take full screen with the back of the heads of your party ready to pounce. You, the Vice President, are off to the side just giving a pep talk and chiming in every so often. Unforgivably, the battle animations are the same for the characters in your party. Though attacks are cleverly named with the profession of the citizen selected. Your Mom can use Timeout, while the Architect can use Blueprint, they all look the same on screen. I want to see some physical affects take hold or the animal I'm fighting be on fire, if I use a fire enhanced attack. The other tediousness comes from taking long times to power up powerful attacks and high level enemies that are hard to kill.

Voice work had us laughing with the voice of Haruhi Suzumiya, Wendee Lee, as a crazy Cat Lady and a number of other characters. Her, alongside the rest of the great voice cast, much from the world of anime, does make the game stand out. With great moments voice acted the game becomes a much more professional level title.

That's why when combat comes in and a stronger story for the main cast is missing the game falters into living up to being the best RPG it can be. Their are plenty of side-quests to collect citizens and mysteries to figure out to keep you entertained just like any JRPG, though there's no stupid harem to collect or pop idol to save. Technically, you couls just collect cute girls for your party.

Citizens of Earth takes a skew of the modern American town and makes it an RPG. When putting it against the South Park: Stick of Truth, the last non-JRPG we can remember playing, that came out last year, it doesn't hold a candle to the level of that game. Budget and fan-base aside the game just lacks a killer difference to make it stand out.

The enemies and the strange people you meet are worth the exploration of the world. Forgetting to make combat fun...there's just no way to make that bearable.

There's a mascot spirit you have to hunt down who joins enemy parties to fight you until you can defeat it. That was a funny idea, but I wanted to see that same mascot have animations in battle.

We commend those who made it for the sense of humor and old-school RPG love. I salute you! Next time, let me see what it looks like to fight someone with baking utensils or bees. 

You do get to fight hippies, a true joy of RPGs.

Publisher provided copy of game on Steam for review.