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Citizens of Earth Review

Citizens of Earth Trainer
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Citizens of Earth. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience.
 

Reviewed on: PC
Developer: Eden Industries
Publisher: Atlus
Rated: "E10+" for Everyone 10+

 
CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki
Presentation 6/10 
It's clear from the moment you start playing Citizens of Earth that Eden Industries and Atlus wanted to make this game look and feel like an updated version of Earthbound. They've succeeded for the most part but you can't deny how much the game looks like a simple flash experience, regardless of how colorful and vibrant the art style is.
Gameplay 7/10 
Citizens of Earth doesn't just look the part, it acts and feels just like a RPG from the 16-bit era, but that's not always a great thing.
Lasting Appeal 8/10 
Atlus and Eden Industries have created a game with something to discover literally around every corner and finding all of the secrets, locations and characters is going to take you a while.
Overall 6/10 
I enjoyed my time with Citizens of Earth, but not nearly as much as an old school Earthbound fan should have.
CHEATfactor 6/10 
 

Citizens of Earth is the perfect political game and captures the spirit of most elected officials (at least the voters perception of them) better than any game before it, it just does so in a way that it didn't intend on doing. At first, it's charming, it's funny and promises to bring you back to the way things used to be; the way they should be. Then, after you get to know them a bit you realize that their ideas are just as dated as the ones that came before them and not much has changed. Yes, Citizens of Earth plays and sometimes even feels a lot like Nintendo's cult classic Earthbound series but by failing to update the formula in any real way they've made Citizens of Earth into a slightly enjoyable display of why we as an industry have moved past RPGs built like this.

"...full of pop culture references and clever jokes."

 
   

In Citizens of Earth you control the newly elected Vice President of Earth as he's thrust into a battle to save the planet. To be fair, that statement isn't completely accurate as you'll only control the VP while wandering around the town, in battle and everywhere else you'll control three of the titular citizens of earth. There's near forty possible party members spread throughout the game and they're all archetypes of people you'd meet in everyday life. There's a baker, a barista, a body-builder, a mailman, even your own mom and a weird looking school mascot to find and each of them have their own unique abilities to bring into battle. To Citizens of Earth's credit, finding these characters and experimenting with their abilities is one of the most fun parts of the entire experience. Using your mom in combat for example you'll be able to cast lectures against your enemies, which bring down their health and words of encouragement to heal your own party members. Citizens of Earth's biggest win is clearly it's witty, smart and funny writing, nearly every conversation is full of pop culture references and clever jokes.

I just wish it wasn't such a task to get to some of the game's best moments. It's very clear early on that Atlus and Eden Industries wanted this to be as much like Earthbound as they could, and it shows with everything from the game's art style to the combat and unfortunately that also means it borrows some heavily dated game design. You're going to spend a lot of time wandering around aimlessly looking for what you should be doing next thanks to a completely unhelpful hint system and an even less useful world map. You'll constantly be told to go to point A and find item B to complete objective C, sounds easy right? If only, Citizens of Earth makes a habit of leaving out key details that you need to even start a lot of your quests and most of the time simple actions like going to point A require you to travel all the way to point C and work your way backwards, but you have no clue of this going in. I'm all for adventure and exploring in games but when you're not even given the slightest hint as to where you should be and you end up searching for hours in the wrong spot, that's not adventure - that's just bad game design.

"Citizens of Earth is filled with constant backtracking..."

 
   

That same sluggish tempo can be found throughout Citizens of Earth; from the repetitive battle system to the way you'll encounter party members. At the beginning of the game you'll find potential party members constantly throughout the world, but each and every one of them (besides your mom and brother, who you start with) will ask you to do some sort of mundane task in order to join them. Forget that you're the damn Vice President of Earth, that little girl needs you to find a good place for her photoshoot dammit. Even more interesting, I stumbled upon a lot of these objectives by accident even when I wasn't looking for them. Finding a lot of these party members does feel worth it because they bring extra abilities on and off the battlefield (some are better than others admittedly) but Citizens of Earth is filled with constant backtracking, enough to make you question why you're playing in the first place.

Though combat is fun and fast paced, it happens so frequently that it itself becomes a burden before long. Encounters aren't random but the map is constantly littered with enemies and they frequently block the path you need to finish the objective you're looking for. There are unique systems built in here, like the energy meter that governs each of your party members moves and abilities, which adds a nice strategic element to each battle but before long I just started looking at it all as something else to impede me on getting where I was going.

My nephew has one joke that he tells. That's it. It's the typical "Guess what? Chicken butt!" joke that everyone knows. Every time he tells it, he screams the punchline very fast and then continues to tell it again and again. Citizens of Earth is a lot like my nephew telling that joke, it's cute and clever but it feels rushed and misguided. What's worse, it takes something that works and continues to say it until long after it's not funny. He's three, this is a game that's supposed to last hours. I enjoyed my time with Citizens of Earth, but not nearly as much as an old school Earthbound fan should have.

 
 
CHEATfactor
 
CHEATS USED: Increase Money, Increase Level, Freeze Time of Day, more
 
While the trainer for Citizens of Earth features a slew of new and remarkable cheats and features, none of them really did anything to add to the game or my experience with it. With the cheats the game was just slightly more enjoyable than without them because I got to skip through some of the huger amounts of tedium that the game's mechanics bring with them.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more on Citizens of Earth.

 
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