[Review] Citizens of Space – Nintendo Switch

Written by slimwiggins

Reviewed by Thomas

  • Developer: Eden Industries
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Release Date: 18/06/2019
  • Price: $14.99 / £11.99
  • Review code provided by SEGA

Intro

I still remember my excitement when learning about Citizens of Earth in 2014 for the PlayStation Vita. Everything had the look and feel of Earthbound. Having a JRPG set in modern times with cartoonish graphics and humor to play on the go was a great package. There was a fair amount of buzz leading up to its January 2015 release and I had a first class ticket on the hype train. Choo-choo!

Fast forward to Summer 2019. The Nintendo Switch is selling like hot-cakes and JRPGs have strong representation. The sequel to Citizens of Earth nearly stealth drops with little fanfare. I’m sure there were announcements for Citizens of Space. I’d like to think I keep my finger on the pulse of any Switch Role-Playing titles but this one completely caught me off guard. Read further to see if Citizens of Space is a worthy sequel or if it should have continued hiding in the shadows. 

For Earth!

Citizens of Space casts you in the role as the Ambassador for Earth. After a long voyage to the galactic center where you are to be sworn in officially, you learn that the Earth has completely vanished. Throughout your journey across space to find the missing pieces about the disappearance, you have to use your diplomatic skills to recruit others to your cause. The story itself is fairly linear. There is freedom in where you search for missing pieces of your lost planet and you’ll revisit some areas after gaining new teammates which add abilities to reach previously blocked areas.

The main story was fun and humorous. Though it paints the ambassador as a sort of buffoon, he is actually more capable than expected. There were several subtle jokes which are relevant to anyone when you consider the political landscape today and how closely connected we are now with social media and internet news. The nonsensical story was certainly suitable for a silly sequel.

GalactiCo: Making Everyone’s Galaxy Amazing!

True to its name, Citizens of Space gives you control of a ship in which you navigate the stars seeking out unique planets to visit. There is a lot of variety in the characters you’ll meet and interact with. Few beings from Earth and many exotic aliens or robots. You can recruit 40 different characters with different functions. The majority are still NPC’s who add world map abilities or can strengthen your combat team. Whereas only a select few are controllable during battle.

Combat is turn-based with three members available to fight. You can swap between any other recruited combatants which is necessary to deal with the weaknesses of opponents. Each attack and action used during battle is accompanied with a mini game. This makes combat last a lot longer than other games. You can also minimize damage when attacked with timed responses. I for one enjoy the mini game aspect of the combat. It’s a nice way to break up the traditional formula and keep you engaged.

The supporting characters who join you impact the game in other ways. Your assistant alters the encounter rate. Since battles are random, you can increase to grind or decrease to rush the story. Other party members allow you to change names or the music track. There is a lot of variety and customization, especially as the game progresses.

One Giant Leap For Approval Ratings!

The art used for Citizens of Space is whimsical and cartoonish. Since most of the dialogue is voiced, it was reminiscent of waking up early on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. There were a few occasions where the background images would overlay the ambassador. Despite the silliness of the game, these oddities were distracting. 

The music had a patriotic cadence which fit nicely with the theme. Citizens of Space was enjoyable in handheld and docked mode. Though I preferred the portable aspect most. Other than a few long loading screens, I didn’t run into any issues with the game’s performance. I did run into an issue where I fulfilled the requirements to recruit someone and nothing happened. I had to trigger the quest again and start over for it to work a second time. I’m confident I didn’t miss anything so it seemed more like a bug.

Final Wrap

Citizens of Space was a pleasant surprise this Summer. Most of the issues with the game were minor or could be offset with in game adjustments. Some may tire from the constant mini games in battle and going back and forth to recruit a character who doesn’t really add to the game can be a slight nuisance. Overall Citizens of Space is charming and fun. It’s a great title to have on a portable system where you can pick up and play at will. The characters are imperfect, quirky and fun which made the story enjoyable. For the amount of content, the asking price is more than fair.

Pros

  • Quirky Cast
  • Entertaining Dialogue
  • Varied Combat

Cons

  • Tedious Backtracking

Verdict
Citizens of Space has all the quirky charm needed for a successful RPG.
4/5

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