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Citizens of Earth (PC) Review

 
Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.51.19 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.51.19 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.51.19 PM

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC, Wii U, 3DS, PS4, PS Vita
 
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Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
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We liked?


Wonderfully weird sense of humor, both in the writing and gameplay

Not so much?


Forgettable music


Final Fiendish Findings?

It’s not easy being the Vice President of the World. Public approval ratings are down, citizens are rioting in the streets, and Moonbucks coffee seems to be turning the citizens into mindless slaves. Right off the bat, Citizens of Earth has just as much charm as its sleazy and perpetually-grinning protagonist. Taking inspiration from classic […]

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Posted January 21, 2015 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

It’s not easy being the Vice President of the World. Public approval ratings are down, citizens are rioting in the streets, and Moonbucks coffee seems to be turning the citizens into mindless slaves.

Right off the bat, Citizens of Earth has just as much charm as its sleazy and perpetually-grinning protagonist. Taking inspiration from classic SNES-era RPGs like Earthbound, it’s a surreal trip through a bizarre version of modern-day America, with plenty of offbeat comedy and nonpartisan political jabs.

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The story is delightfully weird, never taking itself seriously, and your adventure will take you through a variety of bizarre locales. The game’s main draw, though, is the huge variety of playable characters.

As the Vice President, you’re far too important to stand in the line of fire yourself, so throughout your adventure you can recruit over 40 distinct party members, each representing a different job like “Lifeguard” or “Programmer” or “School Mascot.”

You start off quite literally making your own mother fight your battles for you, but more party members can be recruited through side quests, and up to three can fight at a time.

It’s worth switching out your party frequently to test all the characters out and find out which ones fit your own play style. I found that curiosity drove me to tackle side quests and recruit new members more than anything, just to find out what someone like a Gardener or Cat Lady could possibly do in battle. I was never disappointed with the results.

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While the writing has some truly excellent one-liners, some of the best humor comes from the gameplay itself – all of the special moves your party learns are based on their one-note stereotypical personalities. You can have the Conspiracy Guy use verbal attacks to confuse and brainwash enemies, or use the Baker to heal the party with donuts and smack enemies with a rolling pin. Even more ridiculous abilities will be unlocked as they level up.

The turn-based RPG gameplay is accessible enough for beginners, but still has enough variety and strategic depth to keep battles from getting stale. Every class has their own varied repertoire of moves, and no two characters feel alike. There’s a variety of attacks, elemental damage types, status effects, support abilities, and buffs to keep things interesting.

As another interesting touch, stat boosts when characters level up are affected by their current party members. That adds another dimension to assembling a team that works well together, and encourages some different party builds.

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Citizens of Earth makes no effort to hide its Earthbound roots, but still manages to have a distinctive style all its own. The character designs are colorful and brimming with personality, and the already-hilarious dialogue is made even better with some excellent voice acting.

If you’re a fan of quirky retro RPGs, Citizens of Earth will definitely scratch that nostalgic itch, while still providing plenty of memorable surprises along the way.

Citizens of Earth is available now on Steam, and to download on Wii U, 3DS, PS4, and PS Vita.


Jason Meek