The world is in danger and the President is missing. Now it’s up to you, the freshly elected VP, to recruit your beloved citizen to fight for your cause. Hearing about Citizens of Earth (CoE), I jumped early and do the 1st day purchase from Nintendo E-shop. I was in a sickbed (diagnosed with LBP) so I’m hoping that CoE will help me fight my boredom of not being able to move around. And I’m right! This game feels fresh and great. If people asked me should I buy this game? I personally will say, YES! But it depends whether you are patience enough to ignore its glaring flaws.
So you start your game as a freshly elected VP. You overslept and your mom came to wake you up. A typical start for classic RPG. You then can rename your character. At this point, I rename my character into Jokowi, the President of the Republic of Indonesia. At that time, Jokowi was heavily bashed because of his choice on the ministerial cabinet and his policies on things. I thought that his name will be perfect and boy how it makes me laugh everytime I read his in-game line. One of his early lines that is an inside joke for me is, “My adoring public, here to congratulate me on my meteoric rise to power.” So true Mr. Jokowi, so true :))
After you rename your character, you can then proceed the storyline a bit before you can start recruiting your citizens. The story certainly is not the selling point of this game as it feels lack of punch for me. There are this incident on “Moonbucks”, an evil corporation who try to take over the world by brainwashing people with its special coffee blend (LOL) and after that, you’re trying to solve problem of why everything seems more aggressive afterwards. From a Telefawn (a deer with a phone attached as tail) to a Catctus (LOL) are trying to attack you as you were caught in their line of sight. Not to mention that this aggressive approach affect the peace-loving hippies and scouts campers as well. So basically, almost everything and everyone want to kill you. At this point, you can start recruiting citizens to help you fight hordes of enemies with their own unique actions.
Recruiting citizens is THE BEST PART of the game for me. It reminds me of Suikoden series (HOW I LOVE THEM SO). Every citizen has their own unique actions with their own strengths and weaknesses. Each action represents the citizen so much I find it fun to explore every citizen just to pick which attack suits you best. For example, your mother will have action such as “Hug” to recover a bit of your stamina and the scientist will have action such as “Dry Ice” which is an attack infused with hydro element. My favorite so far in terms of damage is the action from Psychologist, “Nightmare”, which has an outstanding damage if either you and/or the enemy is asleep. He surely can OHKO most enemies in 2x difficulties with this action. Ha has the best line (IMO) too, “Pain is just an illusion” LOL
Another fun part of recruiting citizens is using their unique field ability to help you traversing the overworld. Car Salesman, for example, can lend you a car to go from place to place if there are roads to drive. A pilot can help drop you in helipads scattered in many places and Gardener can prune wild plants blocking your way. My favorite field ability so far is the ability of Yoga Instructor which can help you drop your level for a bonus points you can assign to increase the status to help you build your perfect desired character. This is like “rest” from EO series but much much simpler and easy to use (and you can stack the bonus as much as you want).
The battle is surprisingly fun. You have action points, represented by blue glowing dots below your citizens, to use your citizen’s actions in battle. There are blue actions (actions that recover the blue dots), red actions (actions that consume the blue dots), and blank actions (actions that don’t affect the blue dots).Usually red actions are more powerful or more useful in battle than blue actions. Red actions can be a heavy attack, an area attack, or even a supportive move to heal or to inflict statuses. The citizens’ actions are also divided into physical (determined by strength point) or special (determined by sp.att. point) actions. For example, “Wrestle” will be physical but “Cheer” will be special.
There are 7 Elements (including the no elemental attack) in the game and every citizen has their own action infused with elements. Enemies have their own weaknesses and strengths. If you hit enemies’ weakness, you’ll receive a free blue dot. If you hit their strength, you lost a blue dot. Picking which citizen to go into the battle is crucial to survive the hordes of enemies with diverse strengths and weaknesses. Luckily there is an option to “Regroup” and change your active citizen if you think your team is not effective enough.
The world is vibrant, the music is nice and I love me the art, but CoE is not a game without flaw. Instead, it has many flaws that will test your patience in playing this game. The first flaw I found is that, there are TOO MANY F***ING LOADING SCREENS! I was admitted into physiotherapy and while waiting for my therapist, I played this game and some kids approach me to watch the gameplay. The first thing they said was, “wow! It’s cool!” and the next thing they said was, “Why so many loading screens?” Everytime you go to a different location, loading screen pops up. And you go to different location A LOT. So yea… expect to deal with a lot of loading screens. Thank God loading screens are accompanied by Auto-Save feature, a feature which will be a blessing in the face of the upcoming flaws.
The next flaw (which is a VERY FATAL flaw) is the game CRASHES A LOT! Seriously, what a huge pain in the a**. You change your active citizen after so many VR battle? The game crashes. You go to different location or having a cutscene while you receive an email or get notification? The game crashes. You pick the action too fast? The game crashes. It crashes, like, once every two hours! So SAVE FREQUENTLY! Especially after you done so many overworld battles and distributing that Yoga point as the auto-save feature won’t help you regain what is already lost there.
The third flaw is bugs. Bugs, bugs everywhere! You walk between a car and a dumpster? Bugs catch you and you’re stuck there, cannot escape that narrow space between. You walk between desks? Bugs catch you and you’re stuck there. You changed your difficulty to 4x? Beware that if you go into a cutscene then your game will crash. SAVE FREQUENTLY! I never imagine that I’ll be stuck between a truck and a dumpster just to lose my progress because I had to Home-Quit my 3DS!
The last flaw: Game Freeze! I can’t stress it enough but SAVE FREQUENTLY! My first freeze happened right after the battle with Mr. Mocha (it’s early in the game, the 2nd boss I guess). After the fight, the screen just freezes while I’m button mashing hoping that something will happen, but no. Nothing happened. No crash, no sound, nothing. I home-quit my 3DS and had to refight Mr. Mocha. Thank God for Auto-Save feature but seriously, SAVE FREQUENTLY!
If you have the patience to undergo every crashes, bugs, freeze, and loading screens, then congratulations! You’ve found yourself a beautiful piece of gem. CoE is homage to Earthbound with a witty dialogue and fun battle. You’ll love every citizen (well…not EVERY citizen but you get my point) and you’ll laugh everytime the VP throw some lines. I had fun playing this even with those glaring flaws ruining my moment LOL. As it stands now, I’ll give this game a 7.8 out of 10.