Game Review #416: Citizens of Space (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewed By: Bradford E. (The Waffinator)
Developer: Eden Industries
Release Date: 06.18.2019
Price (at time of review): $14.99
Buy Citizens of Space from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
Switchizens of Space
I have been gaming since I could. My first game I played was Super Mario on NES followed by Excitebike for NES. So if Nintendo was my first gaming console/company to open up the world of gaming for me why is it not my favorite? Well because shortly after NES came the successor the SNES, and that console was most of my really getting into gaming years. But even SNES isn't my favorite. There was a great nemesis to the SNES and that was the SEGA Genesis! Sega was my first true love of a console and still one of my favorites because of all the great titles and bonding I had with it as a child. Well Sega down the road would finally lose the battle in the “console wars" and the Dreamcast was its dying model and to be honest is still to this day many years down the road a great piece of hardware! I would lose my mind if SEGA made an epic comeback into the console wars (but it won’t), but not all hope is lost because they still publish a huge amount of great gaming titles and live on in the gaming war.
Recently Eden Industries (The Developers) and SEGA (The Publisher) teamed up and released upon the world an RPG title that goes by the title Citizens of Space which is a follow up to the Citizens of Earth game. I have not even heard of these games, never mind having played them until now! I just recently heard of both and have been gaming hard with Citizens of Space. I know, I know - I skipped the first game and went straight to the second so see me! Citizens of Space is an RPG that takes place in, you guess it SPACE! And with so many RPGs coming out on the Switch and PS4 and Xbox One both new and remakes/reboots where exactly does Citizen of Space fall in the fight of RPG titles? Where does It stand among other great titles like Final Fantasy or Earthlock or Xenoblade and even Stardew?
Well for starters I'm going to be very honest, I do not like comparing games to other games simply not because I may like one more than another but as a true gamer I understand that all games can offer something great in their own way and can bring different elements to be enjoyed. But do I think it is a title that more people should be aware of and give a try? Yes, yes I do. For starters the price point is very on point. $14.99 doesnt break the wallet and gives you a very enjoyable game and time. So shall we take a closer look at what the game offers?
Dude, Where’s My Planet?
Your main character is referred to as Ambassador because you are the well, ambassador of Earth. The game starts off with you arriving at what seems to be the center of the galaxy because that's where races from all planets seem to meet up. As you arrive to meat the Judge “Your Honor" to get sworn in an important news report comes up on the Galatic TV saying that Earth has gone missing! So your being sworn in is cut short and you venture off to try and find out what happened to Earth and why it is missing. That is the main story to the game and all you are getting out of me for I feel like that is enough of the concept and dont want to give any Spoilers.
So now that you know what the story is about let's break down some of the key elements of the game that make it rather fun and rather enjoyable. Let's start with a few characters.
-The Ambassador reminds me a lot of Adam West as the Mayor in Family Guy. He isn't too bright but he isn’t stupid either. He is the leader and commander of the characters that you will unlock along the way to join you on your quest. He doesn't always say the right things but seems to get what he wants. Very personable and says some silly things that will give you some laughs.
-Billy is your assistant and what they call a “Partner" in the game. He is short, blue haired, and the Ambassador is always cracking short dry jokes that get on his nerves. He is also like a walking tutorial and a guide hence being your assistant. As a partner his starting ability is he will help buff your attacking troops’ attack.
-The Captain (Mr Crabs). The Captain is your starting fighting troop but in my game I named him Mr Crabs because he reminds me a lot of well, Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants. He has a mechanical arm that looks almost like a crab’s arm and he has like that pirate personality and his voice almost sounds like him. He is the Captain to the interstellar bus that you will use to travel from destination to destination. His pet parrot can be a bit obnoxious however.
One more character that I really enjoyed without giving away too much is, I can't remember his real name maybe the musician? I can’t remember because I renamed him Mad Hatter. I named him this because he reminded me of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Not the Jonny Depp one either but the original Mad Hatter from the cartoon version of Alice. He talks in rhymes but makes complete sense and his voice is awfully close to sounding like him. To unlock him as a “Partner" you have to play a mini game and was my favorite one so far from what I have played. You play Simon, you know the game where there are four colors and you need to repeat back the pattern and it gets progressively harder and faster. I love the game Simon and had a blast playing it to unlock him.
There are many other partners, Summons, and Main Fighters to unlock but those are the basic ones and the ones you can get on your team right away. As soon as you go to the Moon, the second area of the game you get another main fighter. Each character will level up as you battle and gain XP and will gain stronger moves and buff the current moves. So I have mentioned 3 different types of characters but what are they exactly? Well you have:
-Fighters- the ones who do the battles for you in the game. You can have up to 3 on the battlefield at a time (a team) and just like any other RPG once they all go down you die or blackout and have to start from the last checkpoint.
-Partners- Partners are characters you will encounter on your journey that you must complete side quests or mini games to have them join you. They can contribute different attributes if “partnered" to one of your main fighters and out of battle buffs to help in your game play or just something quirky. Like Billy for example: his out of battle attribute is you can change your percentage of how often you will encounter enemies in random battles. Or the Musician just lets you change what song you are listening to while playing aka the BGM.
-Summons- These characters are pretty much, well, you guessed it: summons that you can summon in battle to help you out for a turn. The first one you can get is The Scientist. Just like partners you need to complete a given task to have them join your cause. And out of battle they can help you out as well. The Scientist for example will help combine items to make different items like stat boosters or health potions.
Battle For the Planet
That was a quick breakdown to see what you can expect character wise. There are a good amount of each type to unlock and many different quests and mini games to play to unlock them. Now onto battles. Battles are both foreseeable and random. You can be walking along and out of now where you will see a sceen transition and next thing you know you are in a battle. Now during random encounters once you beat the first set and get your after battle results you will get the option to “advance" where you can hop right in and do waves of enemies (which is good for grinding money and XP) or just continue on your way. The foreseeable battles are when you walk up to the enemy that you can see on the screen or you can avoid most if you don't feel like battling. And of course BOSS BATTLES. Boss battles sometimes have enemies prior that you must beat in order to battle them so make sure to have some kind of health regenerating abilities and get ready for some fun boss battles.
Tools of Diplomacy
The controls are very easy to grasp for it being an RPG. The only controls that are not pretty much the same are your moves that your character will perform during battle. Like the Captain for example. During battle his standard move is a button bashing attack but the button you are pressing repeatedly changes everytime. One attack you might be pushing A repeatedly to fill the attack meter and the next time it is his turn you could be bashing X to fill the meter. The attacks during battles gave me a Paper Mario feel. You’re pretty much just paying attention to what button or buttons it tells you to push and timing to make sure you push the buttons at the right time. Same thing for when defending against enemy attacks. Depending on the type of the attack the opponent is doing will change what button to use and mastering the timing. For if you defend the attack right it will do little to barely any damage to your characters. If you push at the wrong time or wrong button you will take almost completely full damage.
Outside of battle you can use either ZL or ZR to pull a map and get a better visual of where you are and where to go. If you push and hold the B button the Ambassador will do a dash style run which helps open up small boxes allowing you to move into a new area and find money or even miscellaneous items. The + is used to pull up your menus which is where you can see and set what quest you are doing or complete next, and you can also manually save your game which I really recommend.
In Space, No One Can See You Scream
I already mentioned some of the audio that I really enjoyed of the game so far talking about the Captain and the Musician but what about everything else? The Ambassador has a few catch phrases you will hear repeatedly thoughout the game (not at an annoying rate I promise), like when you encounter battles. One of the phrases you will hear him say every few battles is “For Earth". So literally like a war cry. The BGM is very space-like and will vary depending upon where you are.
The overall display of the game is very cartoonish and colorful. It is a 2D/3D old school style exploration game. All the characters are well drawn and have unique looks that make them fun. Again the Musician is one of my favorites and then the Sheriff is pretty cool himself or even the Astronomer. Some of the enemies have interesting character design as well. Overall the whole layout and design is well executed and doesn’t get tiresome quickly at all and can easily be enjoyed. And a good combination of both the audio and graphics is the story telling in general. It's very basic and doesn’t do overdramatic CGI. When doing anything story related it's the talking characters on the screen with a script of what they are saying.
Citizens of Space easily offers hours of fun and exploring. There are main story quests and plenty of side quests and tasks to keep you busy and entertaimed for hours. Being a big Paper Mario fan made me really like the battle system. I like when you have to do sequences or mini games to attack and the better you do the stronger the attack. It keeps you playing and engaged. With 12 areas to explore in outer space and all kinds of unique characters to unlock and help you solve the mystery of Earth disappearing and all kinds of mini games and puzzles and enemies to destroy, Citizens of Space is a must own for anyone, not just RPG fans. One of my favorite aspects of the game is for an RPG game it gives you all the key elements of an RPG without the stress. It is very casual and a great game to play and actually be able to relax without getting the blood pressure going. I know this game is multi-platform but it is easily one of my favorite games that I now own on the Switch.
Buy Citizens of Space from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by SEGA