Are you an Earthbound fan? Are you sad and mad ad Nintendo for never porting Mother 3 from Japan? Or perhaps you are just a rpg fan who craves for the old times of Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger? Have you considered a Pokemon game with humans instead? Heck even if you are inexperienced in this kind of games yet are in search for a game that mixes challenge and humor Citizens of Earth might be the game for you. This game has a such wide target, such a potential fandom, such a potential greatness. But is it worth your time or not?
Citizens of Earth is released by Atlus, an already known company in this genre, financing a failed kickstarter. The game obviously tries to emulate the already mentioned games, mainly the Earthbound/Mother series. And fans of this very underestimated series are in search of a similar game for decades, finding it in two pieces of art, the first being Undertale that is very far from the source but it's differences create the masterpiece, and Citizens of Earth which tries to be literally the spiritual successor, creating a world that either will unite all Earthbound fans into loving/hating it or divide them. It's an interesting premise, isn't it?
The game also is near the longevity of Earthbound, has a very similar battle system, humor etc. I mention this now because in the next sections I'll be focusing on the mechanics of Earthbound itself and won't compare it to other titles. Shall we begin?
The StoryYou are the newly elected vice-president of earth, and have to make a team of your family, friends and random people to become heroes and save the world from your political enemies, and also a incredible calamity. The dialogues are perfect, the humor varies from political satire to mild black humor and it's almost always in it's place, almost because sometimes it tries to get too weird, and it fails. Characters are well written, and if you are okay with every character being the over-exaggerations of their respective stereotypes and since they cannot all (there's a lot) build depth, and they can of course be predictable, you are good to go for a fun story.
And RPG like this has to have a good gameplay. Some things that worked in the past may not work today, yet Citizens of Earth tries to make an old school game with nearly all of it's characteristics. The gameplay is based on the overworld, where you meet and recruit the previously mentioned characters, while moving boringly through the map with many enemy encounters around every angle that bring you to the battles, which can be enjoyable but also very repetitive, excluding boss battles. The many characters you recruit are like their own classes and it's up to you to create a good team between them. (You sometimes recruit character by mistake considering how many there are.) You don't fight, you are the vice president, you have a reputation, use your mother against that monster instead like a real Pokemon. The fights are basically Earthbound's battle system with the addition of a few tweaks here and there including charged attacks. You level up your citizens and unlock skills, and can even leave them at the daycare like in the Pokemon games. You have items and equipment so you can work on tactics even more, which you will need especially for boss battles. As I said both this parts of the gameplay are limited, there are many places to visit and many secret areas that are hard to find, the problem is that this places are plain frustrating because of the huge number of enemies and the secret areas instead of being extras are required for the main story and you have to loose hours to find them. But, that does not mean the game was bad, the bugs and crashes didn't help but I think the old school project was successful and many will appreciate it, but not everyone will.
Music and Graphics
The graphics were inspired by Earthbound, the musics were too. Where the game proposes a good art style it falls short on the musics because even if having many good track some try to be something they can't. Overall I'd say the Music and Graphics are much above the average, and the average is high for rpg's. Yet if it tried being it's own thing it would have been better
Worth it or not?
Platform: PC, PS4, 3DS, Wii U, PS Vita
Price: 11$ (On Steam as of 23.11.2018)
Citizens of Earth is a game that tries hard to be the next Earthbound instead of trying to be it's own thing, if fails yet any Earthbound fan would enjoy the similar gameplay and the many references. Will any rpg fan enjoy it? Mostly. The game is 70% worth it.
The worth it scale is set in base of how many people that will play the game will find their time on the game worth it, it doesn't include people not interested in the genre. This rating indicates 7 out of 10 people would find their time well spent.