Most of us will never get the opportunity to experience what it is like to be the Vice President of the United States much less any other country, but thanks to Eden Industries and Atlas Games, you can get first hand exposure of what it would be like to be the Vice President of the World. Citizens of Earth is an uproarious retro-styled RPG that takes its inspiration from the golden era of SNES JRPGs. Hoping to take a much needed vacation after a hard fought election, you are almost instantly confronted with a plethora of very odd situations that are taking place in your city that only you and your adoring constituents can handle. After a quick stop at the local coffeehouse, you embark on a quest to travel the land battling mutants, gaining allies, overthrowing puppet governments and snorkeling for buried treasure. Whew! Nobody said being the Vice President of the World would be easy.
You can see enemies on the map so you can avoid them all together or fight them to build up your stats.
Citizens of Earth is pretty straightforward in regards to its story but the fun of the game comes from finding and recruiting additional Citizens to join your crew. In a huge departure from RPGs of yore, there are no NPCs in the game whatsoever. Every character that you come across is recruitable from your mother and brother to the Chief of Police and the local school teacher. Everyone brings something to your party and depending on your play style, you can put together your own team of faithful constituents to help you solve the mysteries at hand. They don’t just join your team out of a sense of civic duty, however, as palms will need to be greased and favors will have to be doled out if you want the best of the best to join your team. There are 40 citizens in all to recruit so you will need to put their skills to use to fly planes, push boulders, alter weather patterns, dive through dumpsters or synthesize new items from your old junk.
Battles are turn-based and each character will build up a repertoire of moves that you can choose from to defeat your enemies.
Battles in Citizens of Earth are turn-based just as in any other JRPG from back in the day and as the Vice President of the World, you don’t get your hands dirty, that is what your party members are for. Early in the game you can recruit your brother, who works for FedUPS delivery, and your mother who is a stay-at-home mom who is good at keeping her two sons in line. Each characters abilities in battle are based on their occupation, state of mind or station in life. For example, your brother can be called on to wrestle an enemy to the ground to cause direct damage. In addition, if you run low on items such as donuts to recover health, he can make a call and 15 minutes later your package arrives. When its her turn, your mother on the other hand, can nag the enemy causing direct damage while lowering their defense. Each character has different skills and abilities that you can call on for every situation that you may be faced with in battle as well as to proceed in the game.
The graphics in Citizens of Earth are very cool and fit perfectly with the theme of the game. Visuals are done in a fun, brightly colored, hand-drawn comic book art style that is hilarious. Each of the characters sport stylized designs that fit with their standing in the community such as the baker who has a huge belly and wears a dirty chefs hat or the Vice President himself who sports broad shoulders, a stunning blue pin-striped suite and a glorious head of bright red hair combed in a style fitting of a Vice President. Each character and the enemies that you will encounter are uniquely designed and keeps the game feeling fresh. The environments are also kept feeling fresh as you travel from the town where your home is located to wooded areas where bears made of honey dwell as well as the capitol city where your seat of power is located.
Your brother gives you this tablet as a gift for winning at the beginning of the game. You use it to manage supplies, bringing teammates in and out of the lineup and keeping track of quests, to name a few.
The sounds in the game are all very well done and help to immerse you in this fantastical story of being second in command of ruling the Earth. Sound effects in battle like the tackling of an enemy by your brother or the scolding from a heat attack of the Baker bring the battles to life. The soundtrack is also very well done and shows that a lot of thought was put into their compositions. In addition, the voice actors really nailed their parts and none of the characters felt like they were rehashes of other characters. Every one of the 40 characters felt unique and had different perspectives to bring to the team. It is this attention to the characters and their dialogue that ensures the player stays in the moment while taking on the duties of Vice President of the World.
You can only have three team members at a time but its a snap switching them in and out of the lineup.
Where this game tends to stumble a little is in some of the side missions that you have to do in order to recruit the different characters. Many of these missions just turn into fetch quests where the character that you are trying to recruit can’t possibly join your team until they have the one item that for whatever reason, they can’t just go out and get themselves. Is this really the type of activities that the Vice President of the World would be engaged in? Maybe, but it is this feature that made the game feel bogged down at times. With so many unique and cool ideas that made it into this game, the fetch quest aspect just kept reminding me of the part of JRPGs that I don’t really enjoy all that much.
The dialogue is hilarious and never misses a step.
It’s not easy to do comedy in video games and I can think of only a handful of games that have been able to successfully bring in the laughs and provide compelling gameplay. This game was able to accomplish this while providing a respectable RPG experience. The dialog is hilarious, the characters are fresh and the attitude of the Vice President is so over the top that you can’t help but laugh at the crazy comments that come out of his mouth. Citizens of Earth is currently available on PC, PS4, VITA, Wii U and 3DS for $14.99. That is a great price for the amount of gameplay that this game offers as well as the amount of fun that you will surely have while in office.
The hard work begins once the election is won.
Challenge - 8/10
Design - 8.5/10
Gameplay - 9/10
+ Hilarious storyline and awesome characters
+ Engaging gameplay and team building
+ Can fine-tune difficulty once you find school mascot
- Fetch quests can be a bore
- Not available on Xbox?